- Project: Long-term care booking platform
- Duration: 1.5 years
- Target audience: Senior customers and their families, care facility providers
The Client is an online marketplace that streamlines the search, selection, and reservation of long-term care facilities. Their platform allows both customers and long-term care providers to manage the booking process and ensure a seamless journey from inquiry to move-in.
Upon personal experience, the company founders were motivated to address one of the biggest challenges in the senior housing industry — lack of information transparency and process efficiency. Thus, they came up with a project to build a first in the US market platform to enable the senior generation and their families to search and book long-term care residences online.
The Client’s Request
The Client approached Velvetech to create a web solution that would ensure a consistent process of booking long-term care. Contrary to the rest of the existing online platforms that provide limited capabilities, the new portal has to be a one-stop marketplace for a customer, including the ability to make payments and initiate the onboarding process.
As an essential difference, it should also comprise a healthcare component — allow a person with certain conditions to choose the facility that offers a corresponding level of care: from independent and assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care.
While the Client had already outlined their clickable prototype, they were looking for a partner with expertise in healthcare software development to deliver a full-scale solution. According to the company’s request, our team divided the project into three blocks that could be implemented concurrently. They included:
- A portal for customers to choose and book the residence
- A platform for providers to manage the booking process
- A web app to handle system administrator’s functions
Given the industry regulations, all modules of the solution had to be HIPAA-compliant and built strictly in line with technical policies and procedures. Ultimately, our team needed to ensure that the access to protected health information (PHI) and electronic records was properly secured.
Customer Portal Development
One of the core pillars of the system is the customer portal. The Client wanted to build it specifically to help users easily find all needed information as well as provide them with a seamless experience across every interaction along the way. To achieve that, our team delivered an intuitive UI/UX design that adds emotional connection and fosters customer engagement.
However, the essential part of the portal development was delivering key features to address user needs. Velvetech implemented the search of residences based on a wide range of criteria.
As of now, a potential customer can choose a location on the map, type in the city name, or simply enter the zip code; select a room category, level of care required, and monthly budget. Ratings & reviews, either embedded from Google or written right in the app, also help make a choice.
Another important step to streamline the search was offering customers an opportunity to communicate with housing operators. Thus, we’ve built instant messaging functionality that facilitates conversations between participants. While moving along the booking process, customers can also upload and send necessary documents in various formats like XSL, PDF, PNG, JPEG, etc.
The Client’s aspiration to provide maximum comfort and flexibility for the seniors also led to the implementation of supplementary functionality. It allows a group of people, for example, family members, to create a shared account and help a senior with the search and reservation. Together, they can chat, leave comments, talk to providers, and make a final booking on behalf of the service recipient.
Finally, to ensure a smooth and complete application process, the portal had to support secure payments. Here, Authorize.net was chosen as a payment gateway to enable accepting electronic and credit cards. On top of that, users can offer their own price. This feature allows both sides — seniors and care residence providers — to make a bid and accept or reject it correspondingly.
Provider’s Platform Design
The next component of the system is the residence provider’s portal. Since booking long-term care facilities is only possible with senior housing operators involved, it was essential to support them with a user-friendly and efficient platform to manage their part of the process.
Together with the Client’s team, we elaborated the system where providers can:
- Create residence profiles
- Edit facility descriptions
- Set terms and conditions
- Offer prices for various levels of care
- Detail room services
- Upload videos and photos
Moreover, many fields can be customised if there’s a need, and housing operators are able to adjust and include new add-ons, amenities, and services. We’ve also implemented roles and permissions to allow different staff members to work with the operations only they’re responsible for. Thus, restricting access to the activities they’re not engaged in.
Similar to the customer portal, the provider’s platform supports users with push notifications on statuses and messages, chat functionality, and payment management.
As a result, providers can control all steps of the booking process through one portal without the need to switch between other software. Customer details, documents, selected services and facilities, communication history — there’s a unified space for managing related operations in a transparent and secure way.
System Administrator Portal
Apparently, the performance of almost any software application requires the participation of a system administrator. Thus, the web architecture of the solution comprises the functionality to conduct the administration of the entire platform.
In particular, the interface enables the Client’s team members to:
- Help providers manage lists of residences
- Assist with editing room services and amenities
- Control payouts and generate reports
- Set up Google Analytics to track user activities
Leveraging the expertise in API integration services, our team configured Bill.com — a cloud-based payment software — to automate the Client’s back-office financial operations and make payouts to housing providers.
In collaboration with Velvetech, the Client has successfully converted their idea into reality and acquired a distinctive solution. Besides helping set up the company’s core business operations, the platform unites senior customers, their families, and housing operators in their desire to receive and provide long-term care services.
Ultimately, the software streamlines the booking and onboarding processes, making it a mutually beneficial win-win solution for all parties involved. Users can rely on the platform’s integrity, security, efficiency, and simplicity — all they need to leverage the app as a one-stop marketplace.
Our partnership continues to help the company drive innovation in the senior care market. In addition to the minor fine-tuning and updates of the current healthcare reservation platform, our app development team has new project ideas to work on.
For example, the Client is inspired to deliver another functionality that will allow customers and healthcare providers to receive and offer assisted living services at home.
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