Bringing Things Under One Roof
HME software company Mediware's new CareTend platform aims to unify products' various capabilities.
- By David Kopf
- May 01, 2015
Mediware Information Systems’ new CareTend platform integrates the best of the various acquisitions the company has made over the past five years, while still offering new capabilities, such as the ability to customize workflows and screens right down to the employee level.
Even to the casual observer, there has been a fair degree of consolidation among the makers of HME software products. For instance, in recent years one such healthcare IT company, Mediware Information Systems Inc., has acquired several software makers and their products, such as Definitive Solutions and Fastrack.
But the question is, will that consolidation among companies mean a consolidation in capabilities? With the recent debut of CareTend, a new system from Mediware, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
While the company says it will work with customers on existing systems to ensure their systems are supported and keep up with the healthcare market, CareTend aims to bring the best parts of all those offerings together into a single solution. All in all, the company has six systems, each with its own strengths, such as billing, clinical workflow, or point of care, but those systems also had a lot of overlap.
“It’s been nearly five years since we made our first foray into the home health market, with a combination home infusion, pharmacy product,” says said T. Kelly Mann, president and CEO of Mediware. “Since then, we’ve made several acquisitions in the same area, with each of the products being exciting. They had a different origination, a variation on the theme, a different speciality coming into either HME, specialty pharmacy, or home heath.
“But along the way, we knew we needed to have a go-forward strategy with a contemporary technology,” he continues. “What we did was pick a new platform and built it out on a new technology. But we also took the historical products, learned what the strengths of each of those are, and built those into our road map.”
The software aims to enhance patient care across the post-acute continuum while helping HME providers, home infusion providers, home health agencies and specialty pharmacies expand from their current service lines into other markets. This stems from the fact that each one of the legacy products had unique origins in the homelier and post acute care markets. With the CareTend system, providers can flexibly approach new market opportunities. If they see a new opportunity, they can integrate that particular functionality into the system, Mann explains.
Moving to CareTend
While CareTend unites a lot of legacy features, it brings new capabilities to the table, as well. Operating as an on-premise or hosted system based on current technologies, such as Microsoft Dot Net, CareTend offers a considerable level of customization of the user workspace and workflow. The interface can be designed for easy navigation with fewer clicks and greater personalization, and can be tailored to better fit employees’ responsibilities and workflows. For example, billing professionals or pharmacists working within the same company would each have their own unique screens that would be perfectly suited to helping them most efficiently carry out their jobs whenever they go into the application.
Billing is another key aspect of the systems. Leveraging Fastrack’s specialization in billing functionality, Mediware built a robust billing component that benefits all the elements of CareTend. In terms of scalability and flexibility, CareTend is designed to support providers with multiple sites and large patient volumes, as well as less complex environments.
Providers on existing wishing to get started with CareTend have an almost pushbutton approach to upgrading from their legacy systems. This comes from the company’s knowledge of databases, as well as expertise in migration utilities, Mann explains. Transitioning systems is essentially a simple migration of data. And once the employees are on CareTend, Mediware offers various educational tools, such as remote training to help them learn CareTend, and get going on the new system as quickly as possible.
Mediware Information Systems Inc.
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.