The aging population of the US will demand a different approach to healthcare and hospice care.
We’re talking about value-based, hospital-level care at home.
Senior citizens who need geriatric care or people suffering from special conditions greatly benefit from not having to travel to a hospital in order to get regular treatment or stay there for longer periods of time.
In addition to being inconvenient, hospital stays, especially if they’re extended, can trigger so-called hospital delirium and a variety of hospital-acquired infections. All this can take its toll on the overall wellbeing of already frail patients.
The rapid and steady growth of the home care industry requires agencies to stay up to date with the latest trends in order to maintain a competitive edge and provide the best possible service to patients.
That’s why home health software has become an indispensable tool that allows agencies to meet patients’ expectations and stay on top of different home care challenges.
This article will cover several key home health software benefits and discuss how you can improve every aspect of your home health care business.
The Most Common Challenges of In-Home Care
Before we discuss home health software benefits and how such a solution can help you deliver exceptional customer experiences and contribute to the growth of your agency, it would be a good idea to explore the challenges of running an in-home care agency.
When you have a handful of clients, maybe it’s possible to use a simple spreadsheet and accounting software to keep your operations running smoothly. But, as the number of your patients grows, it becomes virtually impossible to handle things.
1. Manual scheduling
Even when your patient base is small, manual scheduling is something that can lead to a number of no-shows, double bookings, and all kinds of complications. Leaving a patient to wait for a caregiver is not only unprofessional - it results in failing to meet the immediate needs of the ailing person which can have serious consequences to their health and quality of life.
Consistency is fundamental in this line of business, and there’s no room for mistakes. After all, the well-being of your patients is at stake.
One of the most important home health care software benefits is in its ability to streamline the entire appointment scheduling process and eliminate the odds that your patients will be left without treatment.
With Timeero’s scheduling feature, you’ll make your managers’ job easier, ensure your patients are well taken care of, and save 30 hours a week. Instead of wasting time trying to create the most efficient schedule, your managers can have it ready in just a couple of clicks. And you don’t have to worry that they will accidentally fail to add one of your patients to the list.
Timeero also has a solution for one of the worst nightmares of every manager - last-minute cancelations. We already established that can’t afford to leave your customer in the lurch, and the “Who’s Working” tab will display a list of all the available employees in an instant so that you can easily find someone to cover the shift.
2. Lack of workplace accountability
When talking about home health software benefits it’s essential to delve into the challenges of managing a remote workforce.
The thing is that you can’t be sure whether your employees show up for their scheduled appointments on time as well as whether they stay as long as they should. That’s why electronic visit verification (EVV) has been introduced and is mandatory since January 1, 2020.
This method prevents patient neglect or abuse and the practice of fraudulently documented home visits. As you already know, every home care agency has to stay EVV compliant and that means using EVV software. Otherwise, you risk being denied your Medicaid or Medicare claims, and even a prison sentence.
Thanks to the fact that it’s equipped with a GPS and time-tracking feature, Timeero is an excellent solution for agencies providing personal home care services. It allows you to document all the home visits, record the time when a caregiver clocked in or out, and see the exact coordinates of their trajectory, even when they’re offline.
This way, you will:
- Have electronic proof of each visit
- Protect your agency in case of a potential dispute
- Keep track of where your employees are
- Bill your clients correctly
- Pay your employees accurately.
3. Finding and keeping qualified staff
We’ve already mentioned that home healthcare has become an increasingly competitive industry. In other words, agencies are not only competing for acquiring clients but also skilled, qualified, and loyal staff.
If you want your agency to deliver on your promises and meet clients’ expectations, you need to maintain a high level of professionalism and quality. And for that, your roster has to consist of top talent only.
According to a recent McKinsey report, the greatest growth in labor demand by 2030 will be among health aides, technicians, and similar wellness and health professionals. It’s not hard to conclude that in order to attract and keep professionals that are in such high demand, you need to offer the best conditions and perks.
Of course, paying your employees properly is non-negotiable, but it won’t do the trick unless you ensure they have all the tech and equipment they need.
Again, home health software that collects, stores all the relevant information about patients, and makes it easily accessible to caregivers is a must as it makes their jobs much easier. Having patients’ records at their fingertips will help your staff minimize the risk of mistakes while administering medication and providing health care.
4. Billing and payment issues
Billing and invoicing your clients, processing your employees’ hours, and calculating your costs can be time-consuming tasks.
For example, not every patient uses the same insurance program, you have to figure out how to facilitate your billing and invoicing process.
Generally speaking, keeping track of your finances can be tricky as you have to control your cash flow, payroll, and incoming payments.
With the help of Timeero, it will be easier for you to monitor your expenses and pay your employees accurately. The software seamlessly integrates with 3,000 apps, including the most popular payroll and accounting software. This will allow you to approve and export time to the solution you use and streamline your financial matters.
So, What Are Homecare Software Benefits?
After covering the most common and pressing challenges that home health agencies face, we can move on to discussing the advantages of using home health software.
Here’s how your agency, patients, and employees will benefit from switching to such an advanced tech solution.
Efficiency is crucial when it comes to home health care, but at the same time, it shouldn’t come at the expense of service quality.
And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t automate and optimize your operations.
One of the most important home health software benefits is its capability to streamline your workflows by using the available data and analytics. For example, the software will gauge time between visits, keep track of the mileage, account for lunch breaks and days off, and create a cost-effective schedule that will cover every single patient.
Timeero comes with a mileage tracking feature, and together with its GPS tracker, you can rest assured that your caregivers don’t take long routes intentionally or use company vehicles for personal purposes.
The point of using this kind of software is to provide quality home care to your patients consistently, help your managers and employees do their jobs, and reduce your operating costs. All this will ultimately result in establishing a reputation and growing your business.
Improved patient and caregiver experiences
Being a professional caregiver is rewarding but at the same time, it’s one of the most responsible and stressful jobs.
By implementing home health software, you will ease your employees’ administrative burden, such as filling in mileage log for employee mileage reimbursement purpose. In addition to that, when they have an overview of their tasks, reference notes for each patient, and more time to actually focus on their work, your caregivers will perform better and establish a more meaningful connection with their patients.
On the other hand, patients feel scared and vulnerable, and some of them feel much better when the same caregiver is visiting them, as it gives them a sense of stability and security. If you use the home health software with a scheduling feature, you can easily assign the same caregivers to the same patients.
Better caregiver experiences will, in turn, boost their loyalty and minimize your turnover rate.
Better communication and teamwork
More often than not, your patients’ needs change, while caregivers come and go.
All this makes it difficult for your team to be on the same page, which is why storing all the reference notes and patient records in the same place is crucial. That’s why keeping the lines of communication between all members of your team open is among the top-priority homecare software benefits.
Such a system allows for smooth hand-offs and continuity in the caring process.
A new caregiver can easily pick up where their colleague left off, without compromising the success of the treatment.
Similarly, when you make or change the appointment schedule, it can take you a lot of time to inform your employees about their shifts and communicate last-minute changes. Timeero offers an elegant solution as it will automatically notify your team about any changes in their schedule.
Protecting your staff and clients
Using home health software with a GPS and time-tracking feature is not only mandatory in terms of compliance but can come in handy if a patient raises an issue or refuses entry, your employees will be able to prove what happened.
This way, you protect your staff and agency from potential legal issues, as the software keeps digital records of every visit. Timeero tracks time for every location, and you can accurately monitor when each employee clocks in or out.
Also, the face recognition feature prevents buddy punching so that you’re always sure who is at a particular patient’s home, which improves accountability and facilitates dispute resolution.
Simultaneously, these features are also used for electronic visit verification, so that your patients are equally protected from the irresponsible and neglectful behavior of caregivers.
Saving money and time
Some small agencies still stick to old-school paper-based systems for keeping records and making schedules. Needless to say, this is an expensive and inefficient practice that ultimately results in wasting a lot of resources.
When your employees have to spend more time taking and accessing their notes, they have less time for patient appointments. 5 minutes here and there add up, and you might have to hire another employee in order to cover extra shifts and appointments.
By going digital, you’ll eliminate such inefficiencies and substantially cut your costs, which is vital for the growth of your agency.
Is Your Agency Taking Advantage of Home Health Software Benefits?
If you still haven’t, it is high time you chose your home health software. Solutions like Timeero are easy to use and will improve every segment of your home health or hospice business. The initial investment will pay off very quickly and have a profound impact on the revenue of your agency.