Optimize your home health agency by going from shift planning to real-time collaboration with your field staff
Home health services run 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This intrinsically makes shift planning and schedule management problematic for service providers. Keeping communication lines open and staying responsive to changing needs from your RNs and other caregivers is a priority, but the complexity of the schedule often gets in the way. With Congress and CMS turning to home health services as a more cost-effective post-acute care option, the need to monitor schedules and provide service as needed will only grow. New technologies through mobile platforms can help with increasingly complex home health shift planning and schedule management.
In this article we’ve compiled the top four reasons why mobile app software can help you master your shift planning:
1. Mobile Apps Streamline Communications
One of the biggest areas of opportunity for home health providers with mobile apps is in the collaboration and communication around shift planning and schedule management. Push notifications, text and email options give you more ways to get in touch with employees on the go. By offering interactive calendars and sharing up-to-the-minute information, you can get the best out of your RNs, CNAs and LPNs. The nature of home health means they are in the field and need an easy way to engage with the process of covering visits.
2. Use Staff Preferred Communications
The right set of collaboration tools, available through an app interface, give you better engagement with your field staff. When you communicate using their preferred method — mobile — you increase your weekly coverage hours. Did you know that people open 99 percent of their text messages? Phone calls and emails get lost in the shuffle, but text and push notifications get instant attention. Shift planning and schedule management for home health is a real-time issue, communicate using the channels your employees prefer to get the best results.
3. Reduce Lateness and Coverage Gaps
Field staff in home health are constantly traveling which means as soon as the shift planning is done, the real work begins. A traffic backup on the highway can make a caregiver half an hour late or more, many times resulting in a completely missed visit. Impacting trust with your client and revenue potential for your business. When employees call off a visit, leverage mobile applications to instantly engage your staff to quickly cover the visit. Better communications generate a faster response time, which equals better quality of care and higher profitability for your home health agency.
4. Engage Staff in Staffing
Making calendars interactive and communicating the information directly to your field staff lets them actively engage in the shift planning process. If they have extra time or need to earn extra money, they can quickly cover short notice gaps. If you have a call off, on-call staff members can see the need and respond, without you ever picking up the phone.
The key to optimizing your home health agency and overcome issues with traditional shift planning and schedule management lies in going mobile. By using real-time collaboration and mobile software, you will ensure your company’s success, employee response rate and customer satisfaction remain at the forefront of operations. With new technologies that take advantage of mobile platforms, you can streamline increasingly complex home health shift planning and schedule management.
About the Author:
Derek Frer is the Customer Development Director for Swift Shift a workforce management software company based in London. If you would like to receive blog posts to your email sign up here or follow him on twitter.