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November 16, 2017

5 Reasons Why Your EMR Isn’t Enough

EMRs (Electronic Medical Record Systems) have become a pillar of the way modern medicine functions. Gone are the days of filing endless paper systems as the healthcare world has morphed into a digital, trackable, actionable system.

Although EMRs are mainstays in the industry, they are simply not enough. Your nurses and caregivers are in high demand and EMRs are simply not built in a scalable, mobile-first way to meet the requirements of our in-demand lives. Inefficiencies in scheduling and care-matching are choking out profit margins, negatively impacting the experience for your nurses and ultimately the level of care that your clients are receiving.

It’s simply not enough. Here are the five reasons why your EMR systems aren’t able to cut it as you seek to expand your business, recruit a stronger workforce and reduce churn.

1. Non-Conversational Communication Channels

Many EMRs may have the capabilities to send text or email blasts to employees, but do not facilitate your employees to respond. In our newly evolved digital world, communication is built around conversation. One way streams of content are by definition spam, and will undoubtedly push your employees away and to the doorstep of your competition.

These communication blasts also invite a sort of “aftershock” of phone calls, text and emails that create bottlenecks, frustration and open ended communication with your workforce. Any interactions that aren’t operating in a real-time, conversational basis, are antiquated and wasting the time of your schedulers and CSMs while creating friction and a negative experience for your nurses and caregivers. Read how lack of engagement can effect recruitment and retention here. 

2. Irrelevant, Non-Contextual Engagements

EMRs and back office systems lack the ability to send personalized, relevant communication to your nurses and caregivers. Like anything else clogging up their inboxes and sending irrelevant spam to their messaging platforms, your workforce is unsubscribing because it’s simply irrelevant. Your messages are unwittingly getting the same attention as a credit card solicitation, telemarketing message or a robocaller.

Oftentimes, only the newest employees are the ones receiving the updates because they haven’t yet been exhausted by the communication blasts. Also, it’s important to note that around 90% of home healthcare agencies have no way of tracking who is actually receiving the messages they are broadcasting to their nurses and caregivers.

3. Increased Overtime

Because of the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the communications tools available with EMR and back office systems, schedulers and CSMs tend to rely on the “old faithfuls” of their employee rosters. Countless phone calls and wasted hours spent scheduling caregivers seems pointless, when the communication is only being extended to a fraction of your available staff.  This phenomenon drives overtime hours by your most used employees and costs your organization. Without a scalable solution for engagement, you are spreading out the workload unevenly amongst your workforce and creating too many risks for last minute cancellations and other friction points.

4. Increased Employee Churn

Conversely, establishing meaningful relationships with newer employees becomes cumbersome because of the broken communication systems and trend to rely on the same 5 – 10 people instead of leaving 50 voicemails with newer employees to garner less engagement. Without meaningful touchpoints that are scaleable and two-way throughout your organization, your effectiveness is only as strong as your scheduler’s phone-tag skills. Watch how Interim Health in Texas tackled this issue. 

Home healthcare clinicians are oftentimes not full-time employees and many are supplementing their income with home health care shifts. If they aren’t able to effortless fill their downtime with available, relevant work they are going to quickly move on to a company that can meet their financial needs.

5. Less than Stellar Patient Experience

Without a solid backup system, patients and their families are oftentimes put in a very uncomfortable position when clinicians have last minute barriers to covering shifts and visits. In elder care, 35% of the time, families have to step in last minute when a caregiver cancels.

This not only decreases billable hours, can possibly impact overtime, and creates chaos for your business, but the highest cost is coming out of your patients’ quality of care and peace of mind.

Want to learn more about how you can extend the reach of your EMR and create two-way, engaging communication channels with your workforce?  Let me walk you though a demo of what Swift Shift’s On-Demand Mobile app can do for you. Schedule Demo Here.