How Home Care Technology Can Improve Care Worker Continuity

Randi Baxter Posted on Jun 24, 2016

With client centred care on the rise in the home healthcare space, providers need to find new and improved ways to deliver personalized care to their clients. With that being said, it comes as no surprise that care worker continuity, or a client to having a consistent principal care worker, is fundamental to this new care model.

Care worker continuity presents a number of benefits that are important to client care. These include but are not limited to:

  • A withstanding relationship with that client;
  • Documentation that is easier to follow;
  • The ability to keep a close eye on changes in the client’s condition; and
  • The ability to detect subtle changes in appearance or demeanor.

According to this Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) position statement, caregiver continuity is being considered as a key variable in the improvement of client outcomes.

While it would be ideal to be able to provide care worker consistency to every client, it becomes more challenging in the home care industry if you take into consideration multidisciplinary care plans, complex schedules with more than one visit a day, or the complexities of moving a client from the hospital to their home.

It’s not uncommon for clients to have a variety of care workers assigned to their care plans. Even if a provider could facilitate a single primary care worker to each client, the client’s need to have additional care providers who are compatible and reliable, in the event that their primary care worker is unavailable.

This is where technology is key. With the help of advanced home care software solutions, providers now have the ability to choose the most appropriate care worker based on the client’s wants, needs, and preferences, while also increasing accountability and the predictability of patient outcomes.

Software solutions have the ability to bring all the relevant information to the forefront using data analytics to help providers make more informed and proactive, patient-centric decisions. This allows schedulers to provide a higher level of care worker continuity, increasing client satisfaction and overall outcomes. Here are some of the features the AlayaCare solution contains, which enable these capabilities:

Employee Finder

The AlayaCare solution comes equipped with the Employee Finder, providing schedulers with an at-a-glance view of employee-client compatibility. When scheduling a care worker to a client’s specific service, the coordinator can filter employees based on previous experience with the patient, required skills and qualifications, employee availability, and other miscellaneous qualities.

As you can see below, care worker continuity is expressed as a percentage right up-front to ensure client’s are paired with the field staff who know and understand their care plans.

Route and Schedule Optimization

One of the factors that makes it difficult to provide care worker continuity in the home care industry is the actual location of the client’s home. Travel time and visit locations can become obstacles in a care worker’s schedule, which can be a major issue for overall employee satisfaction and retention, while also making consistency even more difficult for a scheduler to provide.

AlayaCare’s back office coordination, incorporated maps and optimized visit routes ensure schedules are convenient and efficient for both employees and clients. When choosing an associated employee for a client, travel time and travel distances are pulled forward to be considered before that employee is selected.

Audit Trails and Outcome-Focused Documentation

Another obstacle for care providers when it comes to care worker continuity is care plan visibility. Should the primary care provider be unavailable, the care worker with the next highest continuity percentage needs to have full visibility into the care plan history in order to ensure they can adequately provide care according to that clients wants, needs, preferences and clinical status.

This is why AlayaCare has a complete audit trail of care worker activities, as well as rich-media enabled documentation enabling the substitute care worker to prepare for the visit and have a complete understanding of the client and their condition before they arrive.

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With the help of this home care technology, providers have the tools they need to increase care worker continuity, improving the home care experience for both employees and clients.

If your employees are struggling with onerous processes that make care worker continuity a mere fantasy, schedule a demo of the AlayaCare platform and watch as your processes become truly patient-centric.

Topics: Back Office Suite