The Pros and Cons of Converting To Remote Care
While the key component of home care has been remote for our field staff, many offices are finding it necessary to return to a fully remote office to combat the rising number of COVID-19 variant cases. Through 18 months of COVID-19, we have learned important lessons and best practices to optimize your remote care experience.
The Positives of Remote Work
Less paperwork - when you have a paperless solution and you're working remotely, you are forced to use an electronic medium to communicate remotely, eliminating the slow clutter and confusion of paperwork.
Streamlined Communication - Remote work forces companies to streamline communication between office staff and field staff. Instead of documenting on paper submitted to an office at the end of the day, Office and Field staff communicate on visit data in real time. This results in an increase in productivity and limits human error and missing visit data.
Reduced Costs – Agencies who go into the office less frequently can save on overhead costs as well as reduce travel expenses for office staff who would normally commute daily.
While remote work has its benefits, it is not without challenges, especially when converting to in-person operations.
Top-Down Support is Imperative – Top-Down support for remote work is the key to success. There cannot be office or field staff who are disengaged from adoption because this will make adoption much more difficult and complicated. It has to be an all-or-nothing approach where everybody is fully committed to the solutions from the get-go.
Implementation Takes Time - Implementing new software takes a lot of time and energy to move towards successful adoption, often creating operational challenges for field and office staff. Field staff may have to learn new technology as you eliminate paper which can be challenging for home care aides who are less tech-savvy.
Complying With Mandates - The other reality of converting from paperless solution to a remote agency, is making sure you're compliant with all state mandates such as Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). EVV requirements are constantly changing and are different across states, making compliance difficult. In addition to emerging EVV requirements, agencies are facing new COVID Vaccination legislation requiring fast action for compliance.
Connecting with Field Staff Becomes Increasingly Challenging - Before remote operations, field staff would come to the office frequently to drop off supplies and paperwork, attend meetings, or attend office functions. Now that offices are going remote it can be hard to create that relationship that previously would have been easy to form. Now, maintaining relationships with staff requires a much more concerted effort.
How CellTrak Helps
While converting to fully remote operations can feel overwhelming, CellTrak is here to arm you with tools to facilitate the process.
Secure Messaging - Send fast messages in the CellTrak App. This HIPAA compliant feature allows for both blast and direct messages to be sent to communication can be streamlined and crises can be minimized.
Learning Manager - CellTrak's learning database the learning manager contains training videos and resources to make it simple for field staff to use CellTrak and get questions answered. Instead of having field staff attend lengthy training sessions in-person, we offer simple training videos to save you and your aides time and money.
Easy Mileage Reimbursement - As an EVV solution, GPS data documented for 21st Century Cures Act compliance can be used to easily manage mileage reimbursement for caregiver travel expenses.
Operations Team Portal - There are three different mapping tools in the operations team portal, that you can use to deploy, monitor, and schedule efficiently. And these different mapping tool, you can pull up and show where aides are located and then, from there, where that's where the caregivers are located, versus where the clients are located, and be able to pull the most recent GPS points for those to sell. Well, if they are, if they always work at this one location on a Wednesday, then we know that, even though this next client isn't close to their home, but it's close to their other location, they work, we can track that and kind of more efficiently schedule caregivers. So, they are able to use these mapping capabilities to, they'll larger areas, instead of just the area that, that one branch is looking for. This is especially helpful if you have multiple branches or are operating on a lean workforce.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we sought to fulfill a need many of our customers were facing – how could they ensure that they were keeping our most vulnerable loved ones safe during the pandemic? To aid this process, We put together a COVID screener in less than a week to meet customer needs. COVID screeners are now the standard in healthcare settings Since 2020, 51% of CellTrak customers have implemented this screening tool across the US and Canada.
CellTrak is at the cutting edge, constantly keeping up with legislation so that you don't have to. Due to emerging legislation on COVID-19 vaccination, CellTrak now offers a vaccination and testing tracker, which can be viewed here.
As many virtual teams are experiencing, it can be difficult to encourage your field staff while working remotely. How do we encourage caregivers, how do we make them feel like they're a part of something as we're working remotely?
As a remote company ourselves, we’ve found that you have to be intentional with every interaction to ensure your staff feels connected. Go the extra mile to support your staff and ensure they’re set up for success. Have virtual happy hours and events. Have one-on-one meetings with staff when possible.
"We can strengthen homecare overall if we strengthen the people who provide direct care." - William Dombi, National Association for Home Care & Hospice
CellTrak was founded with caregivers at our core and so we wanted to create a program where we could offer our appreciation to those who make care happen.
This scholarship program in partnership with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice is in its second year. We're giving away $500 in scholarships, to 20 aides, adding up to a $10,000 prize pool. Fill out the form below to nominate a caregiver for our scholarship program. Nominations are open now through October 8th, 2021. Winners are announced in November on our social media platforms for National Home Care and Hospice Month.