With the COVID-19 pandemic, in-home caregivers secured their place as essential employees. Skilled homecare and home health were the best way for people to avoid hospitalization. Homecare isn’t just for aging patients anymore.
However, with the increase of in-home patient care needs, homecare practice managers struggled to manage their employees efficiently. Fortunately, there is technology available today to automate, streamline and structure the employee management process.
Here are five areas that technology can help with and a few solutions that in-home care practices can use for efficient employee management and for bringing together caregiving teams.
1. A Mobile-First Workforce
Staying updated in real time and having access to the latest information is crucial for any employee, especially caregivers who often work on the go.
For instance, one way to ensure that staff members get the information they need on their devices is to invest in a health care cloud integration software that all your caregivers will use. However, don’t forget that you need a suitable solution that will ensure that both your caregivers’ and their patients’ data is kept safe.
Avoid using communication tools such as Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp. These are low-cost technological solutions, but they aren’t HIPAA compliant, thus compromising your patients’ sensitive data.
Additionally, implementing cloud software organization-wide will keep everyone in the loop by maintaining one centralized depository and storage place for data and documentation. With designated access, every authorized staff member will be able to access the information they need on their devices at any time.
2. Proper & Timely Shift Scheduling
An area of your daily practice workflow where you could use technology’s help is scheduling your shifts to ensure proper coverage and coordination. Manual paper scheduling takes up a lot of time and inevitably results in human errors. Instead, try using a suitable tool or software to simplify your scheduling process. A health care scheduling software can manage your caregivers’ working hours properly, avoid overlaps and ensure last-minute coverage.
With a scheduling tool, you can automate the entire scheduling process and make it transparent to all your employees, regardless of their location. As a bonus, these software solutions can help maintain staff engagement by giving them a sense of control over their shifts. Your caregivers will be able to swap shifts, accept or reject available shifts, and even submit paid time off requests through these types of tools.
3. Optimize Onboarding & Training
The initial onboarding of new homecare staff is vital for the employee’s success in the long run and the practice as a whole. According to a Gallup study, only 12% of employees are happy with the way their organization tackles onboarding new staff. This shows there’s a lot of space for improvement in the process.
Luckily, you can leverage technology implemented in many recruitment software solutions and onboarding apps to improve your employee morale and sense of belonging from day one.
Another great option is to investigate things like gamification and interactive virtual experiences to increase your onboarding success. That way, you’ll engage your new staff from the start, and instead of dreading their new job, they will look forward to it.
Technology can also help you design a well-rounded training program that will effectively prepare your caregivers for different scenarios they might face. Proper staff training improves retention rates and prevents burnouts, which are really common in these helper professions.
4. Streamline Payroll Processing
Another significant management struggle is consistently calculating and processing payroll for all caregivers, especially those who work in shifts and get paid by the hour. Payroll software can help you track the team’s working hours, capture time sheets, overtime and attendance, resulting in simplified and automated payroll calculations.
With a payroll tool, you ensure that your caregivers get compensated correctly and transparently. They’ll be able to review their working hours and time sheets and have the added security of proper compensation for their work.
In addition, payroll software can help your practice stay compliant with your local tax laws and correctly calculate benefits for each caregiver.
All things considered, payroll software solutions are beneficial not just to your practice but also to your staff. They’ll be able to choose their preferred payment method, review their time worked, see their payment history, and—most importantly—get paid on time.
5. Boost Employee Engagement
Employee engagement and employee appreciation are crucial for reducing turnover and increasing retention rates, especially when it comes to hard-to-fill positions such as caregivers and homecare aids. Aside from a candidate shortage in these profiles, it’s also much more expensive to recruit, onboard and train a new employee than to keep an existing one.
If you consider the deficit of caregivers and the costs needed to find, recruit and train a new employee, it becomes clear why employee engagement is such an important aspect of health care staffing. This is something you can improve with different technological solutions.
For example, you can boost engagement through different collaborative tools or gamification efforts based on healthy competitions, rewards, badges, leaderboards and similar activities. Additionally, pay attention to the work hours your caregivers put in, since burnouts aren’t uncommon in this profession. Taking care of your employees’ physical and mental health is critical for retention.
To Wrap Up
From recruiting and onboarding to shift scheduling, payroll compliance and staff engagement, the technology available today can help you optimize and automate every aspect of your health care practice. By implementing technological solutions, you’ll notice a much more efficient employee management structure.
The most crucial element that these five solutions have in common is improving and streamlining the communication with your caregivers. With the help of these innovations, manual and laborious tasks will be reduced, you’ll be able to enjoy increased profitability, and, most of all, you’ll see an increased level of in-home patient care.
All in all, technology is here to help you manage your entire team of caregivers more easily and place your focus on things that really matter.