Since its introduction in 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has taken some getting used to by healthcare providers and their customers.
It’s been a long and winding road—and one we’ve been privileged to help our clients who are NDIS providers to navigate.
7 years on and many organisations seem well and truly settled, and able to turn their attention to improving internal processes that drive efficiencies and ensure a high level of customer care. This in turn reduces unnecessary spend and promotes long term customer retention; a major factor for sustainability after the NDIS was introduced and old funding models were retired.
Key to improving efficiency is leveraging best of breed technology that is purpose-built to make work, and life, easier. Advances in tech capability, reduced barriers to entry, and a vast range of exciting benefits has led many NDIS providers to make forward leaps on their digital transformation journey in the past few years.
Scheduling software has become an important part of this transformation due to the way NDIS providers tend to operate. The ability to effectively allocate and manage a blended workforce of casual, contract and permanent staff who operate from various locations and in the field is a crucial part of maximising productivity.
If your organisation is just setting out on this journey and is contemplating scheduling software, here are a few essential considerations to make when evaluating different platforms…
Ability to customise
No two NDIS providers deliver services in exactly the same way. The way you work is different to how your competitors work, and you should be supported in that rather than being made to fit in a pre-configured box.
Don’t underestimate the value of customisation, and seek out a scheduling platform that is happy to adapt its functionality to meet your needs.
Ideally, the platform you choose will have extra features designed for NDIS providers as part of their off-the-shelf solution (perhaps due to feedback gained from working with other providers over a period of time).
For example, when our customers told us these features were important to them we made them part of our standard offering:
- The ability to deliver services in a group setting with features that enable you to adhere to client to worker ratios
- Integration with an award-interpretation system so you can ensure pay rates and conditions comply with a worker’s relevant award and schedule the most cost effective and appropriate resource for the job
Fast and easy to use
There’s no point using technology to boost efficiency if you’re stuck with a complex or slow system that creates the very manual situation you’re trying to escape.
When it comes to scheduling, the ideal platform is intuitive and easy to use. You should be able to do all of these in a single click:
- View all worker schedules at a glance
- Assign multiple resources to a single job
- Assign workers based on skills and availability
- Manage appointment changes and cancelations
- Schedule quickly on the fly
Skedulo has always had advanced functionality in the scheduling space—but with the recent introduction of Shifts and Rostering (which we co-developed with our clients), we’ve taken the ability to manage and optimize scheduling to new industry heights.
Accurate, real time routing
Empowering your resources to get where they need to go quickly and via the most direct route saves time and money, decreases worker stress, and leaves customers with a great impression because their point of contact turns up on time and is ready to work.
Skedulo is ultra-precise with its ability to direct resources via the most effective route when they’re heading to an appointment.
Skedulo for NDIS
A commitment to continuous improvement
No platform is perfect from the start, so a commitment to continually improve based on client and user feedback is essential.
For example, all of our clients have a dedicated Customer Success Manager who proactively seeks and relays feedback to our product development teams. We’ve also recently launched our Customer Advisory Board whose sole purpose is to understand and improve on our customers’ experience with us.
In addition, we release updates to the Skedulo platform and mobile app every quarter. These updates include improvements based on features that our customers have told us they want.
Better oversight of billing
Part of driving efficiency is finding new and effective ways to manage billing. This particularly applies to recurring appointments, because it can be difficult to track where customers are up to in their payment vs appointment cycle.
Skedulo integrates with a number of cloud-based financial platforms, and has its own feature that will flag issues that may arise with recurring appointment billing.
The feature keeps track of remaining funds in a customer’s service agreement versus how much has already been spent. If they run out of money, Skedulo makes it easy to pause appointments while a new NDIS plan is arranged.
A great experience for users
Digital change management can be difficult for some organisations where staff have been using legacy platforms for a long time.
To counter this, any new platform must be easy to use with fast access to support whenever it’s needed. If customers also use the platform, this ease of use and adoption is even more crucial.
We take user experience very seriously at Skedulo, and are always happy to hear that this is something people love most about our product. When clients tell us a feature is important for their users, we include it wherever possible.
For example, users told us they wanted a no-fuss way to accept or refuse work when scheduling was being done. Clients also told us they wanted their customers to be able to use Skedulo to set their own required levels of support. So we added both!
Prior experience with NDIS providers
For platforms that have little to no experience working with NDIS providers, it’s unlikely their features have been developed or improved with you in mind. It also means explaining your requirements can get frustrating, because staff do not understand the environment your people are working in.
Ideally, look for a scheduling platform that has worked with many NDIS providers in the past, and understands the unique challenges you face.
We have been working side by side with NDIS providers for 7 years—from the introduction of the NDIS, right through to the enormous shift in healthcare that has occurred following COVID-19. We also have health professionals on staff who have worked with and managed NDIS providers who help us gain a unique user perspective.
To learn more about how we have helped other NDIS providers find greater efficiency, productivity and cost savings through their scheduling platform, simply contact us. You may also be interested in our case studies.