Over the last few years, many facility-based care providers – including Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and assisted living centers – have been looking for new ways to evolve and expand their reach.
Opportunities include offering more on-demand personal care services and in-home care services to existing residents for resident convenience, better care outcomes and to develop new sources of revenue and business expansion.
A successful strategy is one that captures home care business that may be currently contracted directly with residents with an outside vendor, while creating programs for home-based continuing care (CCaH) to create a concierge-level of service that will help acquire new customers.
Any of these opportunities, implemented well, can provide a significant competitive advantage and enhanced revenue channel for facility-based care providers. However, the opportunities do come with some common challenges. For example, coordinating care between existing skilled and unskilled care providers and new personal care and in-home care service providers; integrating scheduling and financial operations can prove quite a headache without the right tools.
If you want to run your own personal care and in-home care services as part of your senior living business model, the right technology is essential to help you overcome these obstacles and make a big difference for your residents in a highly competitive market. The right software will seamlessly integrate your current care services with new/additional care service lines, and help you streamline, optimize and expand your business effectively; without the headache!
Here are seven key areas where a healthcare software platform, like Smartcare, can help you better manage an extended range of service options, overcome challenges, improve quality of care, increase staff retention, and differentiate your business from the competition in 2022.
1. Smart scheduling
Facility-based care services typically operate 24/7, 365 days a year, and need to schedule skilled staff and required resources in the right place, at the right time – every single day. Extending care service options for residents – including Activities of Daily Living (ADL) support, housekeeping, and other non-skilled home care – can present multiple scheduling challenges. For example, maintaining the required staffing levels, balancing skill sets across shifts, meeting regulatory and union requirements for hours worked/overtime/time-off between shifts/staffing ratios, etc.
In addition, any home care scheduling technology needs to integrate with a facility’s point-of-care software and eMAR that is already in place.
The right scheduling software not only addresses all these problems – to ensure your administrators can manage staffing shifts more efficiently than by using a paper-based, manual process or spreadsheet – but the right software also vastly improves communication and coordination, promotes greater flexibility, reduces costs, and saves time. For example, the right solution will help you to organize, optimize and simplify your care services and gain complete visibility into your business from a one-stop scheduling dashboard, and include:
For example, the right solution will help you to organize, optimize and simplify your care services and gain complete visibility into your business from a one-stop scheduling dashboard, and include:
- Tools to quickly identify any shift issues
- Automated text, email, SMS shift reminders
- The ability for staff to clock-in/out of shifts and document services provided, via mobile app
- Automated documentation of all shift data direct to staff files
- Enhanced caregiver-client matching that increases patient/resident and staff satisfaction
- Overtime/late and missed shift alerts
- Staffing reports, including KPIs and wage insights
- Easy integration with existing skilled nursing software
- Access to scheduling details and care plans for your care team anywhere, anytime.
2. Better coordination of care
Whether you are planning to provide additional home- or facility-based care services (or a combination), it is essential that your patient/residents’ care is meticulously coordinated and that all staff members are kept fully informed of each patient/resident’s wellbeing and specific needs.
Care management software should automate coordination, allowing all demographic data, medication, care plans, assessments, and clinical charts to be stored securely within one system – in addition to collecting and highlighting observations made by non-skilled staff during their time providing home care services to residents. As a result, your caregivers and nursing staff can log in to access each resident’s plan/information to ensure they are delivering the very best care services needed, in the right place and at the right time.
Replacing time-consuming paper-based documents with electronic versions is a more secure way to improve the accuracy and accessibility of information while reducing time spent on documentation and increasing the time your team can spend caring for residents/patients. A recent analysis by Smartcare Software has shown that by leveraging a mobile app, care providers spend 64% less time on admin tasks and completing manual paperwork. That is less time caregivers spend on administrative tasks, leaving more time for your team to provide better quality care and achieve higher outcomes.
Additionally, with everything recorded in real-time, your care managers are constantly updated with each resident’s wellbeing and can run and coordinate your daily operations smoothly and more cost-effectively.
Care management software, like Smartcare, can also be used to empower your residents to provide their input – not only on the care services they receive but also on who provided it, how they provided it, and where improvements could be made. Listening to the voice of your customers is a powerful way to drive better care outcomes, and contribute to raising your patient/resident satisfaction scores.
3. Secure communication
Secure messaging enables you to streamline communication between your admin team, patients/residents, residents’ families, nurses, caregivers, and other service providers, providing seamless 24/7 management of care services.
The right solution will provide you and your team with multiple ways to communicate internally via secure messaging and chat, it will allow you to add and share documents and information, automate the notification process for daily scheduling/open shifts/critical care updates, and support effective collaboration. All great ways to build a strong organizational culture, streamline your operations, and boost employee engagement and retention.
4. Increased engagement
When investing in a complete home care software platform, you need to make sure it includes a mobile app, allowing for all the functionality of the full software to be available on the go – especially if you are coordinating teams for in-home and in-community care.
Mobile apps will also help you engage more effectively with your patients/residents and their families and improve satisfaction scores, through instant access to details and information about their care, schedules, invoices, and essential updates – plus easy-to-use feedback options to rate their weekly care.
It is widely acknowledged within the senior living industry that engaging with residents and their families through technology, like mobile apps, can significantly impact the resident’s life, alleviate social isolation, and give your care community that all-important competitive edge.
5. Automated financial operations
- E-billing and payment processing
For facility-based care providers that are adding new care services, automating the billing and payment processes can save a lot of time while aligning care and service levels to your business needs. Automating tedious manual tasks not only reduces billing workload by up to 80%, but it also means you will have more time to focus on growing your business and providing exceptional care for your existing residents.
Ideally, you will want a single scalable system that provides flexibility for your specific needs, with configurable scheduling, billing, and payment software. Choose a revenue cycle management tool that is developed specifically for the healthcare industry.
The right system should enable each patient/resident to have a designated payment method (whether their care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, or where residents and/or their family members are paying privately) – all accessible from a single, easy-to-use point-of-sale dashboard.
- Payroll management
Whether care is delivered in a patient’s home or in a care facility, healthcare pay rates can be complex, but your payroll management software doesn’t have to be.
With the right software in place, non-standard payroll processes can be managed and automated within minutes. This can save your business significant time and money by improving accuracy, ensuring compliance, improving reporting and analytics, and ensuring all staff are paid accurately and on time.
Smartcare software has found that care providers typically see over 60% reduction in time spent administering payroll. This is time your team can spend interacting with your care staff, patients/residents, and families, and winning new business.
6. Differentiation through sales and marketing
If you’re looking to extend your home care services and grow your business, advanced technology tools are available to help you capitalize on the ever-expanding healthcare market.
CRM, sales, and marketing tools make light work of running campaigns to attract new customers, tracking referrals and leads, responding to leads faster, turning leads into new customers, gaining insights into your revenue streams, and much more.
The technology platform you select should include a built-in CRM, as well as sales and marketing tools. One platform will save you time and allow you to win more customers and build strong relationships with your referral sources.
Businesses that use an industry specialized CRM, sales, and marketing automation solution as part of their customer acquisition process grow their businesses three times faster than those that don’t, differentiating them from the competition and achieving first positions in their markets.
7. Leveraging actionable data
When determining if your home care/personal care services business is performing as well as expected, especially if you are trying out new and innovative strategies to expand services, the right technology will prove invaluable – providing real-time data that lets you see firsthand how you are doing. This actionable data can be leveraged to make data-driven business decisions, as well as informed care treatment decisions for your patients/residents.
With powerful analytics and BI tools, facility-based care providers are leveraging operational, financial, clinical, and business development data insights to identify new growth opportunities and drive improvements. A comprehensive business automation system not only facilitates best practices but also helps you make clear, precise decisions to improve your business, leading to better outcomes right across the board.
As you look to improve the running of your care services and expand your business – whether in-home or in-community – there are seven keys to success: Smart scheduling, better coordination of care, secure communication, increased engagement, automated financial operations, differentiation through sales and marketing and leveraging actionable data.
The right platform will help you transform and grow your business with technology that allows your organization to quickly and easily follow these seven keys to building a successful personal care services business.
If you are looking to improve the running of your care services and expand your offering and revenue – whether in-home or in-community – Smartcare’s cloud-based software provides everything you need to master the seven keys. Smartcare is easily customized to help you streamline every aspect of your operation, from scheduling, care services coordination, reporting, communication, and engagement – to intake, billing, compliance, and payroll.
As a result, Smartcare gives providers everything they need to reduce operating costs, boost productivity, and increase profits; all while increasing caregiver retention and delivering an exceptional level of care and patient/resident satisfaction.