This article was originally posted in the Winter issue of Home Care Evolution Quarterly on Nov. 15, 2022.
Prior to the pandemic, care for our aging population was already moving from facilities to the home. The pandemic accelerated this shift across the United States and worldwide by proving that home is the safest place for our seniors to receive care.
In the United States, the population over 65 is projected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 75 million in 2030, and the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that seventy percent of adults over 65 will need assistance at some point. This demographic shift represents both a challenge and an opportunity for home care providers. At the same time, according to Home Care Pulse, 85% of surveyed home care providers have had to turn down clients because of a critical lack of caregivers.
In this article, we explore ways that an advanced EHR platform, like Smartcare Software, can set the stage for success and ensure agencies can take advantage of the growth in the home care market.
1. Improving the Hiring Process & Increasing Caregiver Retention
Great caregivers are the cornerstone of a provider’s business and are difficult to find and retain. Solving the current caregiver crisis requires new approaches and creative thinking. Smartcare’s solution to this problem is unique to the industry.
Smartcare Software addresses the market’s caregiver retention pain point with an award-winning, multi-faceted approach that increases retention by focusing on the caregiver experience. By leveraging the latest research in machine learning (ML), gamification, and advanced automation, Smartcare is solving home care’s staffing and retention crisis while providing a superior user and client experience.
Central to Smartcare Software’s retention toolset is Caregiver Rewards, the industry’s first embedded loyalty program, which leverages gamification principles to reward caregivers – improving retention and engagement rates.
Multiple additional elements intrinsic to the Smartcare platform contribute to caregiver retention, including the new ENGAGE Hiring Hub. ENGAGE is a comprehensive applicant pipeline system designed to address the unique challenges of attracting and onboarding caregivers. It decreases applicant dropout while helping build an employer brand to attract and hire top talent, growing the agency, and improving outcomes.
2. Faster Client/Patient Intakes
Home care agencies can significantly speed up the client intake process with the right technology. From filling out and signing forms to creating and managing care plans, home care software can digitalize and archive all the paperwork involved in a client’s/patient’s care. Software eliminates many redundancies in the process and flow of new client intakes. In some cases, agencies can shorten the turnaround time for starting a new client to as little as 24 hours and allow for signing all required forms directly in the home.
In addition to faster client/patient intake and an in-depth record of the patient’s information – including address, medications, diagnoses, and treatment plans – an advanced EHR platform ensures all patient records are kept secure by the home care provider at all times.
3. Better Client/Patient Outcomes
Advanced home care technology like Smartcare helps agencies put the client/patient first to guarantee they receive the highest quality of care without the need to change their lifestyle. The right software optimizes the caregiver’s delivery of care and provides consistency for better client/patient outcomes by giving caregivers real-time access to schedules, care plans, documentation, prescription instructions, and caregiver notes.
Additionally, mobile-friendly technology like Smartcare provides advanced, HIPAA-compliant communication tools for agencies, caregivers, clients/patients, and their families – helping agencies to continually build two-way communication, engagement strength, and overall customer satisfaction.
4. Better Communication Between the Agency-Caregiver-Patient
Technology solutions like Smartcare’s family portal make it easier for patients to connect with their caregivers and for families to be more involved in their loved one’s care. Agencies can use similar tools to streamline and organize all communications with their clients, caregivers, and staff remotely via secure messaging and chat.
During times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, technology ensures home care agencies can keep communication channels open and support effective collaboration between their teams.
5. Keeping up with Regulatory Requirements
It’s essential for home care agencies that bill Medicaid to stay EVV compliant, making sure they report accurate information about the care they provide by tracking hours, notes, location information, and much more about the patient-caregiver interaction. An advanced home care software platform makes this process seamless by automating the tracking.
6. Simplifying the Billing and Payroll Process
Many billing and payroll software tools are tailored to small and medium businesses, making the accountant’s job much more manageable. Home care agencies can integrate a software platform like Smartrcare with software like Quickbooks Online to keep track of their billing and payments. Smartcare’s integration eliminates the need for double entry of data. Automating and streamlining the billing and payment processes saves time and makes using advanced functions like multi-payer options easier.
7. Keeping up with Caregiver Certificates & Documentation
It’s vital to keep an up-to-date, detailed record of each caregiver’s certificates, certificate expiration dates, upcoming training, and more – which is where the right technology can make a significant difference.
Smartcare tracks licenses and training and lists upcoming expiration dates on a centrally located KPI. In addition, all applicant documentation is stored in a centralized hub for easy filing and quick access, so your team can focus on more critical aspects of agency management.
8. Solving Scheduling Conflicts & Providing Flexibility for Caregivers
The right technology allows home care agencies to streamline their scheduling and caregiver planning process, automate the caregiver notification process, post and manage open shifts, and more.
Smartcare’s dynamic scheduling does all of this, in addition to allowing caregivers to access their schedules and tasks, the directions of their patient’s home, accept shifts, clock in/out, enter their task recordings, access company documents, and more.
Simplifying the scheduling process, adding flexibility, and keeping caregivers informed and connected means technology can help agencies to increase engagement, motivation, and retention.
9. Real-Time Data for Informed Decisions
Every home care provider should track several key performance indicators (KPIs) to strengthen their business operations. KPIs allow businesses to set specific goals and measure their team’s and business’s success accordingly. In addition, they demonstrate what needs to change or improve and what needs to be celebrated or rewarded.
With Smartcare, providers can forget tracking KPIs with stacks of reports that are out-of-date in minutes. Smartcare’s real-time KPIs explicitly designed for home care are the secret sauce providers need to understand their agency’s performance and make adjustments to achieve goals.
How to Start Thriving
The right home care technology can help solve many of home care agencies’ biggest challenges, including caregiver hiring and retention. Agencies can ensure success and thrive in the evolving healthcare landscape by adopting advanced home care management platforms.
Using next-generation technology and innovation, Smartcare works diligently to help solve the critical challenges home care providers face as they contend with the explosive needs of an aging population.
About Smartcare Software’s Solution
Smartcare is a complete, cloud-based solution for home care providers. With sophisticated automation, connected technologies, and advanced proactive analytics, Smartcare helps produce better patient outcomes, simplify back-office functions, and drive higher profitability for providers.
Smartcare Software solutions drive the best practices in care while increasing the engagement of caregivers, clients, and client family members, leading to improved outcomes and increased satisfaction.
To learn more about Smartcare Software, request a demo here.