Demand for home care is rising. According to market research, the “Home Care industry in the US has grown 3.3% per year on average between 2016 and 2021.”
Since Covid-19 is unlikely to leave our lives any time soon, this growth is only expected to continue in 2022. To cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and the ever-increasing number of home care patients, agencies must turn to technology to automate and simplify their processes, overcome industry challenges, and gain that all important competitive edge.
How Can Technology Help Home Care Agencies in 2022?
There are many benefits to using home care-specific software, not only for home care agencies but also for their caregivers, clients/patients, and families. For example:
Faster client/patient intakes
Home care agencies can significantly speed up the client intake process with the right technology at hand. 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.
In addition to faster client/patient intake and an in-depth record of the patient’s information – including address, medications, diagnoses, and treatment plans – the right technology can also ensure all patient records are kept secure by the home care provider at all times.
Better client/patient outcomes
Data shows that most home care patients prefer to stay in their own home versus a nursing facility. With the Covid-19 pandemic badly affecting skilled nursing facilities, home care is undoubtedly a safer option.
Technology designed for home care can help 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 can optimize the caregiver’s delivery of care and provide consistency for better client/patient outcomes, giving them real-time access to schedules, care plans, documentation, prescription instructions, and caregiver notes.
Additionally, mobile-friendly technology can provide advanced communication tools for agencies, caregivers, clients/patients, and their families – helping agencies to continually build two-way communication, engagement strength, and overall customer satisfaction.
Better communication between the agency-caregiver-patient
Technology solutions, such as 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.
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.
Caregiver agency software can make this process seamless by automating the tracking.
Simplifying the billing and payroll process
There are many billing and payroll software tools tailored to small and medium businesses, making the accountant’s job much more manageable. Home care agencies can opt-in for software such as Quickbooks to keep track of their billing and payments.
Industry-specific software, such as SMARTcare, integrates with Quickbooks, to save agencies time and money by automating all billing and payment processes – plus it brings additional services like multi-payer options.
Tools like this, that automate tedious manual tasks, mean agencies can spend more time focusing on growing their business and improving their services.
Keeping up with caregiver certificates and other documentation
Large agencies can struggle to keep a record of their caregiver staff since caregiver turnover is over 80% and retention is low. For many agencies, this means that their caregivers are continually changing, creating an ever-growing pile of paperwork and filing.
It’s vital to keep an up-to-date, detailed record of each caregivers’ certificates, certificate expiration dates, upcoming training, and more – which is where the right technology can make a significant difference.
Software specifically designed for home care providers, like SMARTcare’s Caregiver Application Tracking System, collects and stores all applicant documentation in a centralized hub for easy filing and quick access, so your HR team can focus on more critical aspects of caregiver hiring and retention.
Solving scheduling conflicts and 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.
For example, SMARTcare’s Intelligent 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, etc.
Simplifying the scheduling process, adding flexibility, and keeping caregivers informed and connected means technology can help agencies to increase engagement, motivation, and retention.
Improving the hiring process and increasing the likelihood of caregiver retention
Great caregivers are difficult to find and retain. For the hiring process to be successful, it really needs to be standardized. Home care agencies can opt-in for software that standardizes and simplifies the hiring process, provides candidate screening and background checks, collects, stores and manages all candidate information, and helps keep candidates engaged throughout.
Once a hire is successful, technology can aid home care agencies in providing an excellent ‘caregiver experience’ to keep caregivers engaged and motivated and avoid the high turnover trend in home care.
SMARTcare is software designed by home care agency owners with home care’s greatest challenges in mind. Its features specifically aim to increase caregiver retention and customer satisfaction.
- We work with hiring partners who provide our clients with effective employment screening, which increases the hiring success rate by over 52%.
Our clients can set up hiring stages and track the applicant process, allowing them to move their top candidates quickly through the process to avoid any dropouts. SMARTcare also enables setting up automated messages that keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process.
- Our unique machine learning technology and matching algorithms match caregivers with clients according to how suitable their skills and communication style are to the clients’.
- We have improved caregiver retention by providing rewards to engage caregivers, made scheduling and taking on shifts easier, and support from the agency more readily available.
- Caregivers can collect points with our new Caregiver Rewards system that rewards each ideal performance, such as clocking in on time. They can receive personal gifts, professional or personal development opportunities, motivating feedback, and more rewards designed to engage and motivate them.
- Our software is designed to address compliance requirements such as EVV.
- We regularly update our software’s features to meet our users’ changing needs. For example, we’ve introduced Smartcare COVID-19 Toolset to provide contact tracing, PPE verification, and test tracking all in one app.
- Thanks to SMARTcare, families can also be a part of their loved one’s care. Our Family Portal is designed to inform patients’ families, let them treat their loved ones to additional services by the caregiver, and more.
SMARTcare solutions drive the best practices in care while increasing the engagement of caregivers, patients, and patient family members, leading to improved outcomes and increased satisfaction. Contact us today to discuss your needs or for a free demo.