With patient satisfaction becoming the driving force for healthcare providers, home healthcare has been on the rise. Many patients find that recovering at home is more convenient, less expensive, and that the quality of care often rivals that of in-facility visits. The cherry on top is that the patient can be in the surroundings they know and love, and it’s often easier for friends and family to visit too.
It’s no wonder the number of people choosing home care over in-facility visits or recovery has quickly risen above and beyond a whopping 4.9 million patients. Recovery is often easier to achieve when the patient is in good spirits—not to mention home healthcare providers can facilitate patient education and can help with self-efficacy, ultimately reducing the likelihood of complications.
Regardless of whether you feel like your home healthcare system operates like a well-oiled machine or needs quite a bit of help, there can always be room for improvement. Here are some ways you can transform the services you provide and make your processes and the care delivered better for you, your team, your patients, and their loved ones.
Common problems for home healthcare
Poor communication is arguably the biggest problem facing home healthcare. Making sure that all caregivers are on the same page can be difficult and frustrating. But when they’re not on the same page, preventable mistakes and redundant activities can happen. There’s no room for that in a professional landscape—especially not in medicine where lives are at stake and you’re responsible for them.
Lack of consistent care is another problem facing home healthcare. Most patients will have multiple caregivers and can experience varying levels of care. While the home care industry has increased by about 50 percent across the U.S. in recent years and a shortage of available, qualified staff isn’t much of an issue, consistency can be.
If patients are used to great care from one caregiver and mediocre care from another at the same organization, satisfaction with the level of service they’re receiving may skew. Every professional will have a different demeanor, style of attending to patients, and attention to detail simply because they’re different individuals—but when they’re all working for you, you need to make sure there is a standard of quality being delivered.
Technology is another challenging problem for home health. Finding a reliable system that can help your care team monitor your patients is necessary, but having too many different tools can consume too much time, cause patient care to suffer, or lead to errors or mishaps.
Not every caregiver will be tech-savvy. Learning new, complex software can be hard, and when technologies aren’t integrated, it can divert attention to solving tech issues when the focus should be on the patients themselves instead.
Home healthcare solutions
With all the stresses that come with this line of work, your technology shouldn’t be one of them. Here is how you can improve your processes with the right tools so things can quickly and drastically improve from the inside out. When your systems are running smoothly, caregivers will come into work with a winning attitude because they know they have what they need to get the job done well. This positivity will shine through to patients, who will, in turn, have confidence in your services.
Better outcomes are reliant on better care delivery. For this to happen, communication—especially home documentation—is key. It’s important that communication is flawless between:
- You, as the manager
- Your administrative staff
- The team of direct caregivers
- The patient’s family
- The patient themself
When communication is made to be a priority among your home healthcare team and everything is transparent, the handoff from one caregiver to another will be seamless. Crucial details are less likely to slip through the cracks. Stay connected between home check-ins and appointments and provide frequent encouragement and education. Specific instructions, patient needs or preferences, and other necessary details should be written down so the next shift can pick up right where the last one left off for a smooth and complete care funnel.
Efficient care workflow
With an efficient care workflow, you can be sure that the quality of care given at any given time will be the same no matter who the caregiver is. This is important so that the patient does not get too used to one caregiver when that person cannot realistically be on duty at all times. While it’s only natural for patients to have their favorite caregivers, it’s important that they can trust and respect each person on your team that walks through their door to provide care. This will be imperative to the success of your brand as a whole.
Additionally, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to remember everything about every patient. Thus, having a holistic view of each client will make workflows much easier. You can be sure everyone is on the same page and organized when you give your team a tool that enables each team member to pick up right where someone else has left off.
Finding a technology that integrates with your current tools can be a lifesaver—literally. When your resources need to point to the direct needs of the patient, no one has time or funds to waste on ancillary things like worrying about a computer program’s functionality.
It’s understandable to be hesitant about bringing on a new technology, even if you know your current tools aren’t up to par. New software can come with its own learning curve, pricetag, and slow adoption. It’s all about finding something that’s going to improve your process, integrate with the systems you already have, and be a reliable tool for your team.
How Welkin can help you improve home healthcare
Investing in smart software like Welkin can provide better communication throughout the entire care team with a unified patient database—not to mention it beautifully integrates with your current technology. Improved workflow is also a breeze because you can create customized, efficient workflows with a simple yet robust tool from right within the platform.
Plus, Welkin works offline. This is significantly more convenient for home health than other tools, as sometimes caregivers find that there is no stable internet. With this technology, providers know they will be able to access the information they need, when they need it—regardless of the internet connection in the area or at the residence.
Welkin is a true Patient Relationship Management enabling program, as the cutting-edge telemedicine features allow medical staff to connect with patients via their preferred mode of communication. Convenience and efficiency will help engage staff as well as encourage patients to engage in their own care.
To conduct a checkup of the effectiveness of your processes and the quality of home care your team delivers, utilize our FREE ebook, “5 Questions to diagnose if your Patient Relationship Management is working.”