As the market for home care services continues growing at a rapid clip, agencies are finding it tougher to find and keep qualified caregivers. According to a recent survey by CareInHomes Caregivers, 76% of private duty agencies were looking to hire more caregivers this year, and the trend points to that continuing in 2017. But along with that opportunity come significant challenges. In that same survey, the respondents said their two greatest challenges were:
- Caregiver shortages (70%)
- Caregiver turnover (53%)
Some agencies are finding mobile home care technology can be an especially effective tool in improving caregiver retention.
Eliminate Feelings of Isolation
Home care workers often feel detached and isolated. They spend most of their workday on the road and bouncing from home to home. They miss the daily banter that occurs around the breakroom coffee pot. When they do make it into the office, it’s often at the end of a long day, and their primary concern is completing documentation as quickly as possible so they can get back to their own home and family.
A paraprofessional working for Hospice at Home summarized the frustration of remote workers: “I used to spend two to three hours after my shift officially ended just on documenting work.”
Connecting your home care workforce through technology can help create a more positive environment that encourages caregiver retention.
For starters, a mobile home care delivery management solution enables field workers to complete documentation at the point of care. This speeds up the documentation process, since using a well-designed mobile app will be much easier to use than keying in data on a PC back in the office. For the caregivers, this means they no longer have to spend their evenings doing paperwork. It also improves documentation accuracy, because the care experience is recorded when it's still fresh in the caregiver’s mind. Additionally, multiple caregivers may serve the same client, and this accuracy helps everyone on the team be better prepared to deliver better care.
The benefits even extend beyond the time savings and the boost in productivity. Since the technology keeps caregivers in the field connected to the staff in the office, remote workers feel more like they are a part of the team.
“We have experienced a significant decrease in turnover of staff using CellTrak. It has enhanced their sense of inclusion and professionalism,” said Cathy Sorenson, CEO, Home Healthcare Hospice & Community Services.
In effect, it's an “addition by subtraction” effect, which can:
- Cut the quantity of paperwork caregivers must complete
- Save the time, hassle and cost of going back and forth to the office to pick up schedules or drop off paperwork
- Reduce the frustration that can occur when the caregiver’s manual records aren’t in sync with what’s back in the office
- Eliminate lost or misplaced paperwork
When you subtract all of these annoyances and add the ability to remain in close communication with other members of the care team, employee productivity and satisfaction blossom, and caregiver retention naturally improves.
Learn additional ways you can boost caregiver satisfaction by watching our on-demand webinar, "8 Tips to Keep Your Remote Home Care Workers in the Communication Loop and Feeling Connected."