For many home care providers there is no lack of clients or business coming their way. The real challenge is how to recruit and retain high-quality staff to meet the demand. Many HR and Operations managers look to bring on more staff, which is part of the answer, but we believe increasing utilization of your existing staff is the first area to explore. Here are some ways in which your agency can increase utilization and productivity without hiring new personnel:
- Provide caregivers with great tools – Paper time sheets and paper “tick” sheets, and assessments are poor for the environment, are extremely inefficient, and most of all draw many irks. After a long visit, shift, or series of visits the last thing a caregiver wants to do is call a number to clock out and document ADLs - or worse fill out time sheets and visit notes. It’s 2017...it's time to go mobile. Adopt a BYOD (Bring your own device) and permit care givers to access schedules, claim new visits and shifts, document at the point of care, clock in/out, get turn by turn directions and finally recognize that a smart phone or tablet is an indispensable tool for your staff.
- Capture availability and unavailability – organize your operations to gather this information so that all parties know when and where staff can work.
- Factor multiple variables for shift/visit placement – your software should compute some (arguably all) the following variables:
- Gather employee skills, licenses, certifications
- Capture relevant soft skills, attributes and lifestyle characteristics for ex: really likes cats
- Recognize employee tenure, seniority and rank
- Factor employee home proximity, travel distance and even mode of transportation
- Determine capacity, utilization and labor constraints (Overtime, Labor regulations)
- Consider pre-existing continuity of care data, for example which of your employees has ever provided service to client X.
- Schedule optimization and forecasting – permit software to recommend minor changes and schedule re-shuffle for efficiency
- Use shift/Visit offers and allow staff to claim in real-time - This increases your caregivers pay and that is crucial to them providing more time to your agency vs. a competing agency or competing priority
- Reward behavior – run aggregate reports and determine your “most on time” employee with reports on clock time vs. schedule time.
These 5 points were focused on motivating, engaging and providing tools to existing staff. There are some other options to consider such as:
- Applicant tracking software – reduce the burden of your HR staff to process and file potential candidates.
- Register with 3rd party services like MYCNA jobs for scaling up and down of caregivers
- Establish a referral program
When confronted with a shortage of nurses and other caregivers, it’s critical to keep yours satisfied, unstressed, and motivated to help your clients.
AlayaCare is here to help. It only takes a moment to book a free demo to see what our home care technology solution is all about.