The holiday season is in full swing -- and for many agencies, it can be one of the busiest times of the year. In fact, the pace can sometimes stretch the limits of staff and scheduling at a time when many are looking forward to a much-deserved break.
The truest test of any business is how it maintains a high level of service amid the busiest, and often most stressful, conditions. Maintaining the routines of care is vital to an agency’s reputation, yet there’s no question that managing care over the holidays can be tricky business.
All clients need to enjoy peace of mind that they will be seen by caregivers they trust, regardless of what day it is. This can pose problems for schedulers, who must also be mindful of protecting their caregivers from burnout; furthermore, caregivers themselves have booked well-earned vacation time to be with family and friends. Loved ones who visit an agency’s clients around the holidays can also pose added scheduling challenges, while client profiles may also change, requiring agencies to respond in a timely fashion.
While maintaining a high standard of care, an agency needs to think of its caregiving staff -- and ease them toward the finish line of 2017 rather than engaging in a sprint that leaves people spent heading into a new year.
Make Things Easier on Everyone
The right technology can provide much needed support not only on an ongoing basis, but particularly during the most stressful times of the year.
For example, continuity of care can be protected with optimized scheduling. AlayaCare’s cloud-based software offers easy to use drag-and-drop client, weekly and daily schedule screens, integrated employee and client matching, and mapping and messaging to support client coordination.
Tracking home care visits during treacherous winter conditions or when working around a client’s holiday events with family and friends can also be streamlined with the right software, avoiding distress and discomfort to clients and their families. In fact, a mobile electronic visit verification (EVV) paired with GPS (triangulated with client addresses) can alleviate stress and excess travel time by allowing agencies to accurately track and monitor visits, including worker location, and length of time spent with clients.
As the Sun Sets on 2017...
AlayaCare looks forward to positive changes in the home care landscape, which will help agencies respond to some clear trends that are emerging.
As I wrote back in November, AlayaCare is preparing for key themes to rise throughout 2018:
- Retaining talented staff is key amid ongoing global shortage of caregivers
- Self-directed models of care are coming fast. With them are consumer expectations in line with what modern technology has fostered: obtaining the care clients want, when they want it, with clicks of a button.
- We believe the economics of supply and demand, coupled with caregivers seeking stable and normalized shifts, will usher in variable pricing to the industry. (E.g. visits during high-demand times will cost more.)
- Technology will optimize routes and scheduling to a far greater degree, allowing more efficiency for caregivers and a more flexible scheduling operation.
The future bright for an industry evolving with the times, and we’re ready to meet the changes as they evolve. To all of our clients and friends: we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season, and a prosperous 2018!