While no two home care agencies are alike, those that serve rural areas face several unique challenges compared to those that solely serve urban centres.
In fact, though urban populations continue to rise, about 19% of people who live in the United States and 17% of those in Canada have rural abodes. For older adults here, ensuring access to the services they need is an important concern.
AlayaCare has tailored home care software to meet the unique needs of many rural clients. A common refrain is the issue of travel: field workers drive long distances to client homes that are spread apart. Without the right technology in place, it’s easy to lose time, create administrative backlogs, and lapse in response to clients’ needs.
For rural agencies to thrive, here are five key benefits that modern software can bring:
Optimized schedules and routes
Good software should help all field workers map their days as efficiently as possible. Built-in GPS allows caregivers to build their routes for each day and ensure they stay on track. Efficient scheduling means less time on the road and more time in the community.
In fact, this month AlayaCare released a new schedule and route optimization tool that will help an agency’s schedulers and coordinators plan and reshuffle visits with minimal coordination, and stress when cancellations, changes, or urgent visits occur, while also reducing transit time. Staying nimble in this area can truly have a big impact on an agency’s bottom line and reputation.
Work despite poor mobile coverage
Mobile is a necessity, but in rural areas, coverage can be spotty. Ideally, an agency’s software should be able to handle these situations, without slowing down the pace of a caregiver’s day.
At AlayaCare, we listened to customer feedback and ensured that we created offline capability so that care can be delivered as effectively amid poor mobile coverage as in areas with full signal strength. Our software allows field workers to download what they need at the start of each day before heading off into regions with unknown cellular coverage. When their day is done, caregivers reconnect and all their data and notes for the day sync back into the system.
Simple Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)
One of the most pressing issues for all agencies, especially in the U.S., is electronic visit verification (EVV).
Rural agencies can get a leg up here with the right technology in place. Syncing mobile EVV with GPS lets an agency track field workers in real time, confirm client visits, and connect headquarters with those on the back roads.
Meanwhile, it helps an agency see which staff are clocking the most miles, and manage their workloads accordingly -- a shield against caregiver burnout and over-scheduling.
More efficient supervision
Field supervisors thrive in a mobile world and those who still toil in a paper-based or older technological system are missing key portholes to delivering efficient care.
Once the initial visit and care plan for a client is established, supervisors perform follow-up visits where needed. If a client’s home is a 90-minute drive from the office and the visit is 45 minutes, that’s three hours spent on the road. Such an endeavour may be better spent car-less through mobile solutions and remote monitoring.
AlayaCare’s remote monitoring software allows nurses and supervisors to monitor the health and status of clients via a real-time dashboard. This helps address a client’s needs and limit what may be unnecessary visits. There is also the opportunity to perform virtual visits with video conferencing capabilities that can dramatically reduce time spent travelling.
Here is our care worker mobile app in action:
Achieve personalized client care
Many rural agencies take extra pride going the extra mile to maintain personal connections with clients. One key way to do so is for field workers to arrive fully prepared for a client visit, no matter where they happen to be.
Mobile technology that permits real-time access to information means that a caregiver knows a client’s complete history before arriving at a scheduled visit. This makes those visits very efficient, as caregivers don’t need to waste time getting up to speed before getting down to business.
To suite any agency, AlayaCare creates customized solutions that promote efficient, effective care that puts clients first. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to see how we can help solve any current business challenges.