For the home care industry, the next couple of decades are clear: the need for services will rise in step with the population of older adults.
Governments are increasingly turning to home care providers as a means of alleviating strapped hospital resources and a shortage of long-term care facilities. They also need to ensure that those who require care, even those with chronic conditions, are safe while at home.
In step with this need, the home care industry is poised to offer a broader set of services that meet the needs of aging boomers. In this atmosphere, faced with possibly greater demands and new growth potential, agencies may ask themselves: how can we scale our business to tap this surging industry while solidifying our reputation for quality care? How can we take advantage of these boom times and achieve our full potential?
Time and again, the answer lies in pivoting toward the right technology.
Scale Up by Stripping Down
For even a small home care agency to scale its operations, the ideal first step is to realize just how efficient the business can be.
Scheduling is a clear area where modern software can help an agency deliver more and better care with its existing resources. If schedulers -- who operate almost like air traffic controllers -- and caregivers are in coordinated sync, it can expand the number of clients the team can manage in a week. Technology that can optimize schedules and routes for caregivers on the road can deliver huge efficiencies in transit time and travel gaps.
AlayaCare’s specialized algorithm, for instance, allows schedulers to quickly develop efficient schedules in real time, with built-in GPS enabling caregivers to stay on track and spend their time where it is most needed: with clients. Overall, software features will reduce time-consuming coordination and communications between field staff and those at headquarters.
Then there’s administration. For an agency to expand, its back-end operation must be highly efficient. Outdated software or even paper-based operations absorb time better spent serving new clients. Staff time can get quickly consumed by entering data, processing referrals, completing timesheets, reporting on compliance, and recording other key metrics. A software suite that is built specifically to streamline all these administrative tasks is key.
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), soon to be mandated in the U.S., can easily become an additional speed bump to efficiency, unless the right software is in place to seamlessly weave EVV into an existing platform. The key is real-time information, rapid-fire data entry at point-of-care, and GPS-enabled EVV software that provides total accuracy.
Efficient human resources practices are clearly key to scaling operations. To help find the right employees fast, AlayaCare has introduced an applicant tracking feature that brings job applicants for in-demand positions directly linked to our human resources module. Hiring staff can be extremely protracted -- let modernized software do the major leg work.
Is it easy for HR staff to pull key metrics or find coverage gaps in different services areas? Is it simple to view an agency’s entire staff and stay on top of any expired skills, licensing or training? Are all shift reports, time cards and documents easily accessible? If the answer is no, then it’s time to investigate a software solution that can help provide these efficiencies. These tasks must be clicks of a button when an agency seeks to grow.
Considering new offices, multiple locations? A cloud-based software solution will bring transparency to every office, and eliminate any risk of duplicating work. The right technology will work seamlessly across all offices, with the right permissions in place for full data sharing. It will ensure that the streamlined back-end operation is consistent everywhere and that information is updated and viewable in any office in real time. (For more on multi-office functionality, check out this post.)