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Case Management Software: 10 Must-Have Features for Human Services

By: Cassandra Steele, online fundraising and digital marketing communications professional.

There are many wonderful nonprofit human service organizations like food banks, hospices, shelters, and more that are doing great work on the ground to serve their communities and make a difference, but they need case management software to fulfill their missions. 

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Human services case management software for nonprofits, including social worker case management software, will help your organization track cases, spot trends, analyze success and keep data secure. 

What is Case Management Software?

Case management software for nonprofits offers a modern and efficient alternative to paper files for tracking client information. Case management softwares gives your organization one place to track all your client data that is easily accessible by your case management staff. It makes scheduling a breeze and fosters easy collaboration between staff and volunteers.

The best case management software for nonprofits and human service organizations prioritizes your organization’s unique needs.

These are the top ten best case management software features that nonprofits need to consider when choosing case management software.

#1: Top-notch Security

When you are dealing with personal and sensitive information, the client information tracked in human services software, security is very important. The best case management software for nonprofits will offer top-notch security. 

Most countries have laws that cover privacy of personal information and especially health information. In the United States this law is called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – also known as HIPPA.

HIPPA-compliant-case-management 

In Canada personal information that is stored electronically, – which includes case management software, social worker case management software, and human services software – is covered by The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA

The case management software for nonprofits that your organization chooses to use has to have great security and be compliant with the privacy laws of your country. 

Part of great security is controlling access levels for different members of your nonprofit staff, and even your volunteers. With access levels you can limit how much information your staff can see, you may want all users to be able to see client names and contact information, but limit viewing case notes to only case workers.

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Sumac case management software for nonprofits gives you the ability to set access levels for different members of staff (and it’s completely HIPPA and PIPEDA compliant).

#2: Online Access

Today, it’s so important that you can access your case management software for nonprofits from anywhere, and from any device. We are living in a remote access world, even before the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted the traditional workspace. The best case management software will allow you to access your client records from anywhere with online access. 

Online access is critical for social workers and case managers on the go! If your staff are meeting with clients at their homes or offsite it is important that they can access the case management software from wherever they are.

Online access means

  • Case managers can access client information securely on the go
  • Staff can update the client record during and immediately after an appointment so information is up-to-date and accurate
  • Prevents service interruptions when a case worker is unable to travel to the office (A very important consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic)

#3: Tracks Client History

The best case management software will give your staff the ability to track the history of your clients, and case management software for nonprofits is no different. 

The ability to track the history of your client with human services case management software is critical for nonprofit organizations. If you have clients who are engaged with your nonprofit over the long term then you likely have different staff working with them over time, tracking their history with case management software for nonprofits will ensure no information is lost over time and with staff turnover.

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Tracking client history is also an important feature in the best case management software for nonprofits when you have clients who may be involved with your nonprofit intermittently. When they return, ensure you have a record of their history in your human services case management software so you can deliver the best service. 

The best case management software for nonprofits will put a complete client history at your fingertips. Staff can easily see:

  • When a client was admitted
  • Staff members who have been assigned to the client
  • A history of treatment and services
  • Case notes

With quick access to your client’s history, human services case management software helps your staff focus on delivering services and supporting your nonprofit’s clients – not spending hours digging through filing cabinets!

#4: Customizable

No two human service nonprofits are alike, and different nonprofit organizations will need different features from case management software or human services software. The best case management software can be customized to fit your unique programs and mission.

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Case management software for nonprofits that has standardized fields that cannot be removed or re-named will probably not work for your specific needs. Look for a human services software that offers you the ability to easily customize fields within client records. 

With Sumac, for example, you can quickly  change the names of fields, add your own, and organize them into tabs to track the data you need for your organization.

How easily you are able to customize your case management software for your needs is a critical. If it takes a lot of time, effort, and maybe even money to customize the software, you might want to look elsewhere.

The best case management software and human services software offers you the ability to customize your database yourself without added complexity and expense.

#5: Track Service Deliverability

Being able to easily track service deliverability is important for nonprofits working in human services like food banks, child and family services, shelters, and other areas, since you may have clients who are receiving multiple services, from multiple case workers and partners. 

The best case management software will seamlessly track service deliverability even if there are multiple case workers or service providers working with one client.  

A nonprofit women’s shelter, for example, could have a client receiving counselling from a social worker, legal aid from a lawyer, and other services like job training. All of these services need to be tracked in your human services case management software to not only help your organization deliver excellent client services, but to track and report on the outcomes from these multiple services.

Get a free demo of Sumac Case Management Software

#6: Automated Features

Nonprofit organizations are often working with limited resources, so it’s important to find efficiencies and automate processes where possible, including case management and service deliverability.

The best case management software will offer your nonprofit features that help to automate processes or find efficiencies.

Scheduling and wait-listing

  • Create reminders for appointments and tasks
  • Schedule staff and volunteers in one built-in calendar
  • Add notes and define tasks

Custom action plans

  • Create custom action plans to streamline case management
  • Automated reminders will keep staff on track
  • Build custom plans for screening, needs assessments, discharge and aftercare, and more

Automated reports

  • Get reports delivered right to staff’s inbox regularly
  • Saves staff time to manually run the reports and ensures reporting doesn’t end up on the back burner
  • Keep an eye on service delivery trends and outcomes without it being a chore

#7: Customer Support

This can be easy to overlook when choosing a case management software for nonprofits, but the best case management software offers excellent customer support to ensure your nonprofit can effectively use the software and deliver your mission – at no extra cost.

It’s important that your staff have access to customer support for your human services case management software

Great customer service is more than troubleshooting and fixes, it also includes ongoing training opportunities for staff to refine their skills or to train new staff when they come on board Consider what other customer support that case management software can offer your nonprofit, like ongoing training to improve skills as well as webinars and exclusive professional development opportunities.

#8: Manages Staff and Volunteers

In human services nonprofit organizations you may have some volunteers who are working on client services, or who need to access case records for other purposes. An important feature in case management software for nonprofits is the ability to manage staff and volunteers with one system

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Human services case management software for nonprofits should offer your organization the ability to track service delivery, scheduling, and access levels for both staff and volunteers who are working with clients. This includes reporting on the service outcomes of both staff and volunteers. 

The best case management software for nonprofits gives you the ability to manage both your nonprofit staff and volunteers, including controlling access levels.

#9: Email Integration

Human services nonprofit organizations typically fund their mission through donations from corporate partners, foundations, and individuals. With the right communication strategy, and case management software, nonprofits can keep their beneficiaries in the loop and turn them into donors.

Former clients of your nonprofit would probably love to hear about how they can support your mission and help others like them. Keep these people informed with a case management software that has email integration to send out e-newsletters and solicitation emails.

The best case management software has email integration that ensures you are reaching out to the right constituents, and saves you time importing and exporting a lot of data to send out emails.

Keep your former clients informed, and find new donors for your nonprofit, with case management software for nonprofits, like Sumac, that has an email integration feature.

#10: Outcome-based Reporting

Finally, the best case management software allows you to not only track your client interactions, but also report on the outcomes of your client programs. Reporting features in human services software allow you to analyze:

  • Service delivery
  • Client demographics
  • Staff time spent with clients
  • And more!

When you can easily access data about your human services case management, you’ll be able to ensure your nonprofit is delivering the best service efficiently and maximizing staff time. You’ll also be able to spot trends that can help you make strategic decisions about your nonprofits mission and service delivery.

Outcome-based reporting is a key feature in the best case management software, especially case management software for nonprofits. Nonprofit human service organizations often have to report back to government agencies, foundations, and individual donors who have funded their programs. 

The ability to easily pull outcome-base reports from nonprofit case management software cuts down on the staff time required to create these reports – meaning your human services nonprofit can satisfy your donors and funders while ensuring staff can devote their time to delivering your nonprofit’s mission!

All 10 of these features that define the best case management software are available in Sumac CRM’s case management add-on. Book a demo today to learn more about how Sumac can help you fulfil your mission and streamline service delivery with case management software.

 

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