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3 methods to enhance home care risk management

3 Methods To Enhance Home Care Risk Management _Blog cover

Keeping clients safe while providing care services is critical for home care organizations. Client care can present a variety of risks that can impact the quality of care provided.  

In a survey of home care providers conducted by the Joint Commission, the most frequently identified risks were related to communication (such as miscommunication between providers, patients, and caregivers), falls, and medication management. 

According to the Patient Safety Network, errors are reported to occur at rates between 2-33%. Wrong doses, missing doses, and wrong medication are the most commonly reported administration errors.  

Home care businesses must have a process of assessing, preventing, and mitigating risks associated with providing home care, for it is essential for several reasons:  

  1. Client safety: Risk management strategies can help prevent accidents, falls, and other adverse events that can harm patients. 
  2. Legal and financial liabilities: Clients or their families may file lawsuits against the organization if they suffer harm due to negligence or inadequate care. Enhancing risk management in your agency can help reduce these risks and the likelihood of legal or financial repercussions.
  3. Reputation: Poor client outcomes can damage the reputation of the home care organization, leading to a reduction in client referrals and a decrease in business. 
  4. Compliance: Proper strategies can help ensure compliance with home care regulations and prevent penalties or sanctions.
  5. Caregiver safety: Risk management can help protect caregivers and staff from potential hazards and ensure a safe working environment. 

To help you enhance risk management strategies in your home care business, here are 3 methods and tools to help enhance your home care risk management for client care… 

1. Engaging the client’s circle of care 

The circle of care is a network of individuals who are involved in supporting a client in their home environment. This can include family members, friends, neighbors, healthcare professionals, and other caregivers; all with the aim to enable the client to receive comprehensive and coordinated care. By involving individuals connected to the client in the care plan, the circle of care can help to enhance communication, identify potential risks or hazards, and ensure that the client’s preferences and goals are taken into consideration. Ultimately, the circle of care plays a critical role in promoting positive outcomes for clients receiving home care services. 

By engaging in the circle of care, providers can gain insight into their client’s medical history, needs, and preferences; providing them with more accurate information when making decisions about the patient’s care.  

Creating an effective circle of care helps ensure that all parties involved in the client’s care are on the same page and that their concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Having the right people involved in a client’s care can lead to better health outcomes.  

When families and other members of the client’s circle of care are engaged, they can provide valuable support to both the client and care workers, helping to reduce burnout which could otherwise lead to errors or risks. 

Engaging with the client’s circle of care essentially ensures that everyone is aware of any changes in the client’s condition or needs so that appropriate adjustments can be made quickly, reducing potential risks.

AlayaCare’s Family Portal makes engaging a client’s circle of care easier and more effective  

AlayaCare’s Family Portal tool is a secure, integrated, online portal that provides clients, providers, and authorized family members access to parts of their AlayaCare client health record to stay connected and engage in their care plan anywhere, at any time. Organizations can: 

  • Improve communication 
  • Deliver a personalized experience  
  • Increase client engagement 

It’s not rare for people living at home with health issues, or otherwise needing assistance, to feel like they are losing their independence. The portal is one measure that puts control back into their hands: they aren’t just recipients of care but are a part of the client’s circle of care. 

AlayaCare’s family portal is HIPAA-compliant, and access is only given to users permitted by each client, who are filed under specific roles. This way, each client can tailor how much information they wish each stakeholder – family member, nurse, PSW – to actually see. Decisions on the family portal are made by clients and families themselves.

Summary on how to best engage a client’s circle of care: 

  • Establish open lines of communication between all members involved in the patient’s care, including family members and healthcare professionals. 
  • Use home care software to share relevant information quickly and easily with all those involved in the circle of care.  
  • Make sure that everyone is kept up to date on changes in the patient’s condition or treatment plans. 
  • Utilize data tracking capabilities within home care software to ensure that caregivers are meeting risk prevention standards. 
  • Create tailored care plans based on a thorough understanding of the client’s condition and needs, as discussed with the client and their circle of care. 

2. Enhanced secured communication 

Using a secured communication tool between caregivers, their clients, and back-office staff can help enhance home care risk management.  Encrypted communication can help protect sensitive client data and keep medical records confidential and secure, allowing care providers to share information with each other more easily. 

Most secure communication systems allow for the tracking of communication transcripts which provides an audit trail that can be used for compliance and liability protection in the event of any data breach. This ensures that only authorized personnel can view client information, helping to reduce the risk of privacy violations. 

In addition, secure messaging tools reduce errors by preventing messages from being sent or received by other parties, reducing mistakes, and helping organizations maintain their reputation. 

AlayaCare’s Secure Messaging tool is HIPPA compliant, enhancing secured communication between your staff members when exchanging client information 

AlayaCare’s Secure Messaging feature, has HIPAA-secure messaging to improve the way your teams collaborate and deliver care. It enhances clinical workflows and maintains patient privacy while improving your organization’s overall care and safety through seamless communication within your home care organization. Secure Messaging allows you to have an instant, two-way dialogue amongst care staff securely at any time, anywhere.

Tips on how to find the best-secured communication tech for your agency 

  • Research available software that minimizes data security risks by being HIPAA compliant 
  • Identify features that enhance care team efficiency, such as a company directory allowing you to create individual and group chats, provide automatic delivery, and read notifications 
  • Make sure the tool provides increased collaboration amongst your agency employees through a two-way dialogue among care staff 
  • Check if the messaging platform is integrated in-app with your homecare software 

3. Automation to reduce manual errors and identify risks quicker 

Automation is the future! You might as well take advantage of it in your home care organization. Adrian Shauer, CEO of AlayaCare, expressed in episode 35 of the HomeHealth360 podcast that he believes that it’s now that agencies finally can win the war on repetitive tasks. For home care risk management, automating repetitive tasks can help reduce any human errors associated with manual processing. For example, automated administrative tasks such as billing, scheduling, and data entry help reduce the burden on healthcare staff while also increasing accuracy. Most automation tools also use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to help prevent clinical errors like analyzing patient records for inconsistencies or errors.  

Automation can also streamline the process of compliance with relevant regulations and legislation by monitoring employee resumes and backgrounds for any signs of risk before an applicant is hired. It can also detect any lapses in training certification or licensure that might create potential liability for the company.  

AlayaCare’s Connector feature offers automation tools to reduce human errors and identify any signs of future risk 

AlayaCare home care cloud software solution can provide organizations with the tools, like our Connector feature, to automate and streamline processes of administration and processes of compliance. With AlayaCare cloud software, agencies can utilize automation to: 

  • Simplify complex scheduling 
  • Automatic schedule updates and alerts 
  • Optimized caregiver matching 
  • Custom configuration and form building 
  • Real-time form submissions 
  • And more… 

AlayaCare offers a high-touch and holistic software platform that provides you with the tools you need to bring important client information to the forefront, share client updates with key stakeholders, and create client-centric workflows that enable you to provide a world-class client experience. 

Best practices for automating processes to enhance risk management in home care:

  • Establishing clear and effective policies, processes, and procedures to ensure compliance with industry regulations. 
  • Setting up systems that allow for near real-time detection of risks. 
  • Making use of predictive analytics to identify potential areas of improvement in patient care. 
  • Utilizing automation tools to streamline data entry and patient tracking processes. 
  • Automatically alerting stakeholders when risks are identified, or new regulations come into effect.
  • Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to detect anomalies or fraudulent activity. 

By engaging in your client’s circle of care, using secure communication tools, and automating processes and workflows, your home care organization will be one step closer to providing risk-free quality care for your clients.

Interested in learning more about digital tools and methods to streamline your business?  

Watch our webinar on 3 ways to supercharge your home care business in 2023.  

3 ways to supercharge your home care business in 2023 webinar recording
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