What is Software as a Service? More commonly called SaaS, its a definitive trend in virtually all industries and is emerging as a leading business model in the health care sector. Let’s try to define SaaS so that you can understand whether or not this is a good option for your agency.
To be put simply, SaaS, is a software delivery platform that allows people to access their software from any device with an internet connection. In this model the user usually doesn’t have to house servers on site or be responsible for their maintenance. Usually the provider controls the “cloud” and take cares of all the updates and maintenance. This means that agencies don’t have to invest in hardware (other than personal devices like computers and iPads.) Right off the bat, this can be a significant up-front savings as server technology and licensing can get quite EXPENSIVE. Usually, the pricing structure for SaaS differs as well. In the non-SaaS model the home health, hospice, or therapy agency is usually paying a large up front fee for a license to the software and then a monthly maintenance fee. In the SaaS model you are able to pay a monthly fee that includes access to the software and regular updates and maintenance. This price structure allows a client to spread the costs out over time, rather than major costs up front. The delivery model for SaaS does allow agencies to get up and running with software with significantly less start-up costs in terms of hardware as well software licenses.
The cost factors are definitely not the only consideration in making a software choice, even if they are a very important one. You should assess what you need out of your software and how it will impact your business. In the home health, hospice, and therapy sectors it might make more sense to use SaaS because you will have your staff visiting patients off-site from your main office. The flexibility and ability to access the software from anywhere is a huge plus in this environment because the “anywhere, anytime” access model will definitely streamline your operations and allow your field staff the freedom to be working in “real-time.” For other businesses, where not so much traveling is going on, it might make more sense to go with an “on-site” server based software model.
Most SaaS also provides some degree of customizability. Depending on the vendor and how they have developed their platform you can “make the software yours.” There are some aspects of Data Soft Logic products that are customizable. For example, user based permissions, auto-population of data fields from one piece of the workflow to another, and you can even make the notes your agency is familiar with live web forms through our software. This can help in the transition for your home health, hospice, or therapy, because your staff will still be looking at something they are familiar to. When you make a change in software, its nice to know that the software can change as well, and meet you in the middle.
Remember, if you choose the Software as a Service route, that you should get good service! A lot of people try to provide this business model but are lacking in the knowledge of software. You really want to choose someone that has a lot of experience in this field to ensure that the software you choose has a long life-cycle and the company can continue to provide you with a high quality product over time.
Check back soon and we’ll go over a little bit more about SaaS and how it can benefit your agency.
Data Soft Logic provides cloud-based SaaS to home health, hospice, and therapy agencies across the country.