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Virtual Homecare Delivery and Agency Management during the Covid-19 Outbreak

Published on April 7, 2020 by Scott Zielski

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While some businesses have been able to move most or all of their employees to remote work during the Covid-19 outbreak, your Homecare agency does not have that option for your caregivers. Your Homecare Caregivers must continue to provide care to the most vulnerable members of our society. 

Their personal commitment and willingness to accept the risk of their personal exposure is both magnificent and humbling. It is hard to express how much their contributions mean to those whom they serve. 

Assess Needs and Look to Mitigate Risk

It is up to you and every agency to look for every way that you can to reduce risk to your Homecare Caregivers while continuing the support of your clients who rely on your service.  So, given the conflicting needs of your clients and the goal to reduce risk of exposure, how can you operate and provide service during this challenging period.  The plan may vary from client to client and require differing approaches based on their circumstances.   

Several things that Homecare Agencies have done that you may want to consider.  First evaluate your clients and your ability to support them based on your currently available staff.  If you are unable to fully support your clients due to staffing shortages, triage which patients have the greatest needs and prioritize them. 

Even if you have enough staffing to support you clients, ask yourself if there are activities that can be conducted remotely, e.g. wellness checks, medication reminders, etc.  If so, consider using phone calls, FaceTime, or Zoom connections to reduce number of times of potential exposure. 

This won’t be viable in many situations but reducing the number of physical contacts where possible can reduce the risk to your clients as well as your Homecare Caregivers. 

Your clients are feeling more isolated and fearful due to social distancing and the rampant reporting of Covid-19 exponential incidence growth and spiralling number of deaths. This is an opportunity to go above and beyond your usual service and conduct ad hoc calls to keep them in social contact and to help ease their worries. 

Help your Homecare Caregivers stay up to date on Covid-19 recommendations by monitoring and communicating information from Federal and State Agencies on a frequent basis and assuring that they have the best personal protective equipment available to you.

Keep the Pipeline of Caregivers Filled

Homecare Caregiver turnover is always an issue for Homecare Agencies, even more so now due to the very real Covid-19 risk. For you to fulfil your mission to provide essential support to clients in their homes, you need to keep a full roster of caregivers. 

To achieve this objective, it is important to maintain a full pipeline of potential new employees for your agency.  To mitigate risk to you and your staff, you can do much of this remotely, including interviewing and document management using tools like Zoom, FaceTime, phone or software-based HR tools included in Homecare management software

Doing as much as possible remotely will reduce the risk of exposure by reducing the number of in-person encounters during the screening and interviewing process.

Balancing Risk and the Needs of the Most Vulnerable

These are just a few ideas to get you started.  You can probably find other ways to reduce risk to your caregivers and clients.  The key is to balance the needs of your clients with the risk to both of them and to seek out ways to reduce that risk. 

If you are successful at supporting your clients and caregivers during this time, you will increase their engagement level and build long term loyalty to you and your organization.  

To find out how SmartCare™ software and support can help you do more remotely and reduce risk to your Homecare Caregivers and clients, please contact us at 1+ (800) 450-9104, email: hello@smartcaresoftware.com or visit us at our headquarters:312 S Barstow St Ste. 2, Eau Claire, WI 54701