How to solve the two biggest problems in the home care industry
Post-acute care is a vital piece of our healthcare system and a saving grace for so many people. Yet, caregiver turnover is too high — and their work is too important — to accept the status quo in our industry. There can be no doubt that burnout and frustration have ongoing negative effects on both the quality of care and the financial performance of home care agencies.
The increasing demand of an aging population and staffing shortages are both huge challenges — but they are also the biggest opportunities for the agencies who are willing to embrace real change.
We’ve done a lot of research into the causes of caregiver turnover and what tactics are most effective at preventing it. (You can read a recap of our findings here.) Agencies often default to wages, benefits or perks to boost caregiver retention. However, a deeper and more fundamental shift is necessary to make a truly meaningful impact. Turnover is just a symptom of two much larger issues. The first is a systems problem. And the second is a culture problem.
The entire healthcare industry, and specifically home care, is plagued by inefficient systems and processes that drag down everything from business development to scheduling and reporting. This same overarching problem can present itself in different ways depending on the size of your agency.
Managing different legacy systems, acquired through acquisitions and spread across multiple locations, can make even the simplest tasks feel like jumping through hoops.
The way it’s always been done isn’t getting the job done anymore. Your old software, or worse, those stacks of paper charts, feel like an albatross around your neck. But you just can’t afford the risk of losing all that data.
Small and startup agencies:
Wearing a lot of hats sure can wear out your head. There’s no time to think strategically when you have to do everything yourself. It’s hard to even know where to start.
The common denominators of all these obstacles are systems that impede rather than improve the flow of information and care. Instead, agencies of every size need technology with a pulse. An innovative and intuitive platform that puts people first. The role of home care agency management software should be simplifying and streamlining, so caregivers can spend their time delivering quality care rather than filling out forms — and leaders have the data and insights they need to make more strategic decisions.
But technology alone is not the answer. Which brings us to the second problem that requires fundamental change to solve. Culture may sound like just another corporate buzzword or a distraction from the “real” business of running an agency. But your agency culture is a vital component of sustainable growth and long-term success. How your people work together and how they feel about their work can either drive higher results or stall your agency performance. Still doubtful that culture should be one of your top priorities? Ask yourself these questions:
· What is your caregiver turnover rate?
· How do your staff feel when they clock in for the day?
· Would you want your parents under their care?
Changing your agency culture requires understanding what makes a healthy culture tick. Why are some teams successful while other teams struggle? To find out, Google created an initiative that studied hundreds of their own teams and interviewed their best statisticians, engineers, organizational psychologists and sociologists. Code-named Project Aristotle, their research found five core traits that strong, successful teams share.
1. Psychological safety
Every individual feels comfortable being honest and vulnerable with each other.
All members of the team complete tasks on time with excellent quality.
3. Structure and clarity
Individuals have well-defined roles, plans and goals.
Each member of the team finds their work personally fulfilling.
Each individual believes their work makes a real difference.
With jobs that are ultimately rewarding but highly demanding, caregivers often struggle to handle the stress and emotional load of their jobs. To create an environment that consistently provides these five traits for your entire staff, you need to provide them with tools that bring out their best and empower them to take control of their responsibilities. Make it easier to do their jobs and tell them that you trust them to do it well.
The Savii Connect caregiver app is designed to keep caregivers connected to your agency, their clients and each other. With a simple-to-use interface, it’s easy to manage schedules, document tasks and deviation of care, capture signatures and securely communicate. Plus, electronic care journals help caregivers and families communicate by sharing critical care information such as dietary restrictions, allergies and current medications. We made it simple to keep everyone informed, because as human beings, we all want to feel valued and understood.
As for the business of running an agency, we’ve applied the same “put people first” approach. Savii Care streamlines every aspect of managing home care, from finding new clients to billing them. It seamlessly integrates everything from referrals, intake, authorizations, scheduling, personnel records, data tracking, reporting, billing and expenses. This flexible, all-in-one solution makes managing workflows and profitability easier.
In an industry so clearly in need of transformation, home care agencies and their partners must collaborate to change both systems and culture for the better. With the right tools and a common purpose, individuals can come together to achieve great things.
At Savii, our team is dedicated to inspiring innovation and transforming the future of care. We do it by creating solutions that improve care, instead of distracting from it. Because your agency, your staff and your clients deserve nothing less.
So, what’s the first step to transforming your agency? In just 20 minutes, we can help you uncover the biggest inefficiencies in your workflow. Schedule a discovery call at saviicare.com.
Dedicated to your success,
Kristen & Jenna
Kristen Duell is the CEO of Savii, Inc. With a background in healthcare information technology, she is focused on bringing innovation to the needs of post-acute care agencies.
Jenna Schwartz is the Director of Business Development at Savii, Inc. She has a passion for helping people and companies improve the efficiency of their processes by connecting them with better tools.