According to the Home Health Care Association of America (HCAOA), nearly 40% of adults aged 65 and over need daily assistance. Longer life expectancy and the growing number of the aging population are creating a rise in demand for home health care services.
Meeting the needs of a growing patient base is getting harder for agencies as they struggle with operational difficulties along with a lack of effective operational strategies.
Now, home health care agencies are feeling the push to optimize their operations and searching for ways to meet this demand.
Agencies who are trying to stay ahead of the competition face industry-specific barriers like ever-changing regulations, insufficient staff training, and communication problems between patients and the agency. Not to mention the lack of technical infrastructure that makes providers stick with manual, paper-based documentation.
Tackling barriers to your home health care agency’s growth and keeping up with the demand can be tough if your overall operations are not up to par.
There are a lot of operational adjustments that you can adapt if your agency is looking to enhance productivity. So here is a look at some of the best practices and operational strategies you can apply to your home health care agency.
Power up your workday
Reach your goals faster with time tracking and work management.
3 Operational best practices for home health care
Here are some proven strategies and best practices to advance the operations of your home health care agency and meet the needs of your patients.
1. Invest in home health care technology
Introducing home health care technology results in significant improvements in your patients’ quality of life and your agency’s operations.
There are many home health care technologies that offer life-saving features and address specific issues such as communication problems, poor management and coordination.
Quick adoption of these technologies and staying up-to-date with trends may seem overwhelming at first. However, they will contribute to your agency’s operational effectiveness and reduce costs long-term.
Location-based time tracking for patient visits
Increasing the efficiency of home health care operations by using home health care time tracking software also leads to improvements in patient experience and satisfaction.
An automated time tracking solution makes managing your staff easier by providing
accurate and efficient reporting. This solution minimizes time lost working on paper timesheets and helps you achieve a seamless transition.
That means the home care staff spends less time manually tracking patient visits and focuses more on patient care by going paperless.
The last thing you want when taking care of patients is digging through paperwork holding patients’ personal information. Keeping track of paper documents, whether it is for medication management or daily medical progression, is not ideal.
With that in mind, using a home health care-focused software for patient documentation minimizes errors and saves your staff a great deal of time.
Keeping patient information in a digital format with a HIPAA compliant customer relationship management software can also help your staff to use this extra time to focus on patient care.
What is more important than keeping secure and accessible digital records? Life-saving alert and monitoring systems.
Even with the most attentive home care professionals, things can be left unnoticed. Monitoring pattern changes with smart devices like wristbands can actually prevent catastrophic consequences.
According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans aged 65 and over falls each year.
Falls are the number one cause of fatal injuries among seniors. Nonfatal falls also cause traumatic and serious injuries among older adults.
Fall prevention and detection devices for older patients are highly effective tools that save lives.
These devices monitor patient movements and detect abnormal activities. Once a fall has been detected, this wearable wristband or necklace automatically contacts emergency response agents or emergency contact on the list.
Remote patient monitoring with telemedicine software and HIPAA compliant video conferencing offers a convenient way to bring medical practitioners, caregivers, and patients together. These assistive technologies also help home health care agencies reduce costs through a systematic approach.
2. Improve your workflow and patient communication
Better communication and a more holistic approach deliver better patient outcomes by aligning treatment methods with patient’s expectations.
Making sure that caregivers listen to patients carefully and engage with them on a deeper level from the beginning makes patients feel comfortable and safe.
Showing extra attention to each individual patient allows caregivers to collect precise information and act accordingly.
Measuring patient experience and outcomes
Another way to optimize operations in home health care is to measure your progress and assess the quality of your home health care services. Measuring operational efficiency regularly helps organizations pinpoint the right issues and adjust their workflows if necessary.
Ultimately, this means it is very important to understand patients’ views on their experience using patient satisfaction surveys. Asking patients to rate their experiences and confidence in your staff should help your agency to improve the quality and value of care.
3. Investing in staff training for better satisfaction and productivity
For many agencies, hiring more nursing staff and home health care assistants is the first solution that comes to mind. However, it only ensures temporary relief and can be costly and time-consuming.
Instead of increasing the number of your employees, investing in their training, providing essential educational and operational opportunities results in both business and patient satisfaction.
Fostering employee satisfaction and engagement
In a time where the demand for home health care continues to rise, providing high-quality care without placing too much stress on your employees is tricky.
As you know, your patients would not be satisfied if they are being taken care of by unhappy caregivers. That is why setting realistic expectations and goals minimize the possibility of detachment and feeling overwhelmed. Being flexible and not overloading staff duties also creates a significant impact on effectiveness.
It’s in your best interest to get everyone on the same page and support your staff’s efforts. Building trust creates an environment that makes your staff want to engage.
Implement these best practices for a higher level of care
Implementing new technology and strategies can be intimidating. However, exploring best practices, and adopting convenient ones will help your organization stay on top of things.
Many families consider home health care as the ideal option to make sure their loved ones are being taken care of. With that in mind, streamlining how your team operates will allow you to better meet these hopes and provide a higher level of care to your patients.