Home health care services have become an indispensable part of the healthcare system. In addition to patients receiving individualized services tailored to their specific health care needs in the comfort of their homes, there are no room or board costs.
Consequently, this is the most cost-efficient health care delivery.
With all this in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that home-based care is expected to grow further in the years to come. The aging demographic, prolonged life expectancy and rising incidences of chronic illnesses have been identified as the main drivers of the growing need for home healthcare for the elderly.
The COVID-19 outbreak only accelerated the transition to home healthcare services.
When it comes to service providers, the expansion of home-based services will lead to greater competition, so current service providers need to provide top-notch care and stay ahead of the curve.
For this service to function at its best, and for the agencies to stay competitive, it is absolutely necessary to use the best practices possible, and leverage the latest, most efficient tools.
A report by McKinsey has emphasized the growing importance of software in the healthcare industry. These innovative solutions are improving the quality of medical treatments, and beyond that, they are helping resolve various issues in this sector.
Also, as of January 1st, 2020, home care agencies that provide personal care and home health care services must have electronic visit verification in place. These systems mostly use GPS tracking to verify home health care visits.
Before heading to key features of an ideal home health care workforce management software, let’s start with the basics, and clarify the term “workforce management software”.
A workforce management software is a digital tool designed to support employees' daily operations and increase their productivity. Also, it allows employers to oversee the staff’s operations and have a better insight into who is where, what is being done, and how long it takes to complete a particular task.
This type of software encompasses both desktop and mobile programs. Given the fact that the home health care industry relies on field workers, mobile apps have become an indispensable part of this business.
The home healthcare industry is primarily focused on providing the best possible service to the patients, so there is a significant number of people and processes behind it. Both human and other resources are necessary to make sure that everything functions without any disruption.
Integrating smart tech solutions can benefit home healthcare workforce management in multiple ways. Let’s take a closer look at the best technological features available, and how they can elevate home health care workforce management.
Home healthcare services require the patient to receive the proper care at their own home. This, of course, means that these types of services depend on mobile teams for delivering adequate treatment.
In the past, it was difficult to monitor field workers and track their time and location. Thanks to technological advancements, tracking your mobile workforce in real-time can now be easily done.
Having full-team visibility in real-time allows agencies to have accurate knowledge and manage their teams more efficiently. This way, service providers are able to further improve their services.
For instance, if one of your mobile workers is prevented from seeing a patient at the scheduled time, you can easily find out who else is near and available. This way, seamless flow of the workload is ensured, so the patient can receive the treatment they need, at the arranged time.
And as a bonus, capturing your remote workers’ GPS coordinates can ensure their safety too.
Time tracking software has become one of the staples of today’s businesses. Enterprises of all sizes have been looking for ways to manage time more efficiently and increase the productivity of their teams for a long time.
Automation of the time tracking process brought numerous benefits that encouraged many organizations to invest in this kind of software.
In addition to streamlining the process of creating invoices, time tracking software also allows organizations to have better oversight of individual tasks and team performance.
With the help of such a useful tool, it’s much easier to analyze every aspect of a workday, identify sticking points, and ultimately optimize work practices to make every minute matter.
Staffers can pinpoint the tasks that took more time than expected and determine what slowed down its delivery. This is a great way to improve accountability and also, if needed, help your employees expedite the process.
Smart tech solutions are becoming invaluable in every industry, and mileage tracking is one of the features that is invaluable in sectors with mobile workers. Especially given the fact that this kind of tracking can be difficult to conduct.
Humans are prone to errors, and it is not unusual for people to overestimate how many miles they’ve driven. With automated mileage tracking software, agencies that provide home health care can expect more accurate reports with little effort.
And this type of workforce management software comes with even more perks, like identifying the shortest routes and enabling your workers to reach every client in the most efficient way.
Therefore, wasting time on back-and-forth trips gets completely eliminated.
More accurate reports combined with optimized routes mean reduced expenses for the agencies, as unnecessary spending on fuel and wages gets eliminated.
Also, without having to rely simply on trust, agencies have accurate data and are able to hold their employees accountable for their mile logs. An increase in accountability is followed by an increase in productivity.
Adopting an app with scheduling capabilities provides considerable benefits to both the employer and the employees. From the employee’s perspective, this type of software gives them more visibility and more control over their workdays.
For example, your team members will be notified straight away if there is a change to their shift.
When it comes to the managers and care coordinators, they can easily see if any of the workers are available and assign them to fill in a shift if the need arises. This way if a worker is absent, the patient will still receive proper care.
Employee scheduling software also allows organizations to discourage tardiness among their staff, as late arrivals are easily recorded.
Although team cohesion and bonds between team members should be encouraged, there is an aspect of it that concerns many companies, and rightfully so. Time theft costs enterprises a lot of money, and also negatively affects morale and workplace culture.
Facial recognition technology is an effective way to prevent your employees from clocking in or out for their colleagues. These advanced tech solutions play an important role in helping companies improve accuracy in tracking time and attendance.
They also improve accountability and minimize disruptive workplace behavior.
The advancement in technological solutions has made it possible to automate time-off tracking and therefore save massive amounts of time managing time-off requests. Gone are the days of struggling to keep up with who is off or employees chasing down their manager to request time off.
This advanced feature benefits both the workforce and the management. On one hand, employees can easily request time off from their smartphones or computers at any time, no matter where they are.
On the other hand, managers or HR personnel can approve or decline these requests without hassle, again, at any time, from anywhere.
Home health care relies on mobile teams to provide coordinated care for the patients. It’s a dynamic industry and dynamic type of work, and as such, it requires smart solutions that work on the go and can support this kind of flexible care.
Mobile technology can bridge this gap and enable smooth service delivery on the field. Mobile apps allow agencies to easily track time, location, mileage, and schedules for their traveling healthcare teams, among other things.
To make things easier for you, we have created a list with even more features to look for in your ideal home health care workforce management software. The list is designed to help you evaluate and pick the best home healthcare software for managing your employees.
Healthcare is an industry that deals with sensitive information, so protecting them is critical. Whatever software solutions your agency is considering, they need to be secure and able to withstand malicious attacks and other safety issues, including data loss.
In addition to this, the ideal workforce management software also needs to be robust. In other words, it has to hold up well under exceptional circumstances, or at least recover quickly. Also, this feature refers to a tech solution that doesn't break down easily.
One of the most important factors when choosing software is a great user experience. Not all people are tech-savvy, and even those who are, need to get around software as quickly and easily as possible in order to complete their tasks timely and efficiently.
So, when choosing workforce management software, an easy-to-use, intuitive interface is one of the things to look for. The design of the interface should be useful for users, and it shouldn’t pose complications to them.
Integrations with other software solutions are important because they allow agencies to create a more seamless workflow. Take bringing together workforce management software and accounting software for instance.
It saves your team valuable time by eliminating manual entries and the possibility of errors as well. In other words, integrating these two tech solutions will shorten the time needed to do the payroll. And it will make this process more accurate as well.
And you can even get alerts in case a weekly overtime limit is exceeded.
And of course, when it comes to integrations, Zapier is an indispensable ally in combining as many apps as possible to work together. If workforce management software is integrated with Zapier, you can count on endless benefits and possibilities.
This amazing software allows home health care service providers to connect with thousands of popular apps and automate their work, so you and your team can have more time for meaningful activities that add true value to your business.
Let’s review some of the most significant benefits an agency can expect with proper workforce management software in place.
The ideal home health care workforce management software is integrated with accounting software, so managing payrolls becomes a breeze. With this kind of integration, it is possible to export timesheets and mileage and send them to accounting software.
With the help of these tech tools, there are no manual entries into spreadsheets and the possibility of errors is reduced to a minimum.
So, a built-in time- and mileage-tracking feature enables simplifying payroll processes and prevents your employees from wasting their valuable time on manual entries.
Smart workforce management software can make a real difference in your daily business operations. Managing employee times is a time-consuming process, and so can be scheduling and managing time-off, especially if you have a large team.
In addition to this, paper timesheets aren’t reliable, they require more time and effort, and they are easily damaged or lost.
By adopting the right workforce management software you can eliminate paper timesheets and spreadsheets once for all.
Not only will you eliminate repetitive and mundane administrative tasks, but you’ll also be able to track your mobile workers’ times and mileage more easily and accurately.
One of the main goals of every workforce management software is to increase the efficiency of your team. Automating mundane tasks leaves more time for your employees to conduct activities that add value to your organization.
In addition to this, time and mileage tracking features lead to increased accountability in your team members. They become more focused as they realize the clock is ticking and their time and mileage are being tracked.
It is less likely that some of your employees will choose scenic but longer routes when they know their mileage is being captured in real-time.
Also, these features are key to gaining better insight into the tasks being completed and their duration. In the end, you can use this information to create a healthy workflow for your staff.
Time and mileage tracking features are invaluable in optimizing your agency's expenses. By adopting these software solutions, your agency can reduce mileage reimbursement costs and track both time and mileage more accurately than with pen and paper, relying only on employee trust.
This way, fast and fair reimbursements are guaranteed.
Also, manual processes are prone to errors, while automated ones drastically reduce the number of errors that can result in greater costs to the agency. Automated workflows will bring down operational costs.
For instance, if a request for vacation days off takes a day or more to initiate and complete, your team members are wasting precious time that could be spent in a more productive way.
And there is yet another aspect to automating these processes - we tend to forget about the hidden time and costs associated with manual reporting. If your team is manually scheduling, tracking, and managing time worked, the costs of this labor can add up quickly.
The ability to adapt and thrive in today’s uncertain circumstances is of the utmost importance in staying afloat. In that sense, improving your organization’s operational outcomes and client experience are key aspects of staying competitive in the rapidly changing home care sector.
This is where modern home care technology can make all the difference.
Embarking on a digital transformation journey is a way to shift away from paper-based and other outdated practices, optimize internal processes, improve your team’s efficiency, and ultimately provide a superb client experience.
This article will cover several key home health software benefits and discuss how you can improve every aspect of your home health care business.
Here are some tips that will help you with this task and pick the best application for your home healthcare business.