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4 Tech solutions on how to optimize daily home care scheduling and routes

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For many home care providers there is no lack of clients or business coming their way. The real challenge is how to recruit and retain high-quality staff to meet the demand. Many HR and Operations Managers look to bring on more staff, which is part of the answer, but we believe increasing utilization of your existing staff is the first area to explore.  

Providers are expected to care for more clients with fewer resources, which is why an increasing number of agencies are turning to technology to help alleviate time-consuming processes and increase efficiencies. 

Consider optimizing your schedules and routes via AI technology 

At AlayaCare, in 2017 we began working hard with our partner VHA Home Health and other leading professionals to develop and reap the benefits of an optimization algorithm in the back office module of the AlayaCare platform. The feature better equips agencies to address the number one challenge that all home and community care providers face – care worker shortage. 

Leverage advanced algorithms to maximize agency resources and deliver more efficient care with AlayaCare’s Schedule and Route Optimization.   

With these new optimization features, your agency can: 

  • Create more efficient schedules and routes 
  • Determine the best care worker to perform visits in the best order on the best days
  • Reduce your agency’s carbon footprint through reduced travel 
  • Improve the continuity and quality of care provided 
  • Analyze and identify staffing efficiencies to create the capacity needed to meet growing demand 

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Scheduling and commuting challenges for home care agencies and how to solve them with AI technology 

  

1. Demand for care workers is outpacing the number of workers in the industry 

The demand for care workers is far outpacing the number of workers in the industry, post-secondary graduates, and the percentage of newcomers experienced in this field. 

“Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, some statistics suggest. Within the aging population, about 70% of individuals have severe needs for long-term services and support… Almost 80% of adults 50 and older have a desire to stay in their homes as they age, according to AARP… In fact, a national shortage of 151,000 caregivers will exist by 2030. There will be 355,000-caregiver shortfall by 2040, according to the report.” – Home Health Care News, Report Sheds New Light on Looming Caregiving Crisis. 

 

Technological solution 

With AlayaCare’s Schedule and Route Optimization features, schedulers and coordinators have the tools to ensure they are efficiently utilizing current staff to their maximum potential. Serve more clients with existing staff with more favorable coordinators/schedulers to field staff. 

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Interested to hear what industry experts are saying about caregiver churn? Check out our on-demand webinar, identifying and addressing caregiver churn in home care.   
 

2. Keeping caregiver schedules optimized and reliable

The home care industry presents a particularly challenging optimization problem given some visits are time specific, while other clients require home care workers with specific skills and training. Furthermore, the government (payers/insurance) asks home care companies to schedule services with a high degree of continuity (have the same home care worker deliver services to the same clients).  

Technological solution 

AlayaCare computes and factors the following variables for shift/visit placement, ensuring you’re coordinating the most informed and efficient visits as possible: Employee skills, licenses, certifications

  • Relevant soft skills, attributes and lifestyle characteristics for ex: dog lover 
  • Employee tenure, seniority and rank 
  • Employee home proximity, travel distance and even mode of transportation 
  • Determines capacity, utilization and labor constraints (Overtime, Labor regulations) 
  • Considers pre-existing continuity of care data, for example, which of your employees has ever provided service to client X 
  • Schedule optimization and forecasting – permit software to recommend minor changes and schedule re-shuffle for efficiency  

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In addition, regularly asking for feedback from your home care team and listening is crucial in developing an effective two-way communication plan based on the individual and team’s needs in general. You can also keep an eye out for your caregivers’ retention and churn with our employee retention dashboard: 

 
3. Scheduling visibility for care workers on the job 

Access to schedule updates is limited due to paper processes or legacy solutions. Once the ideal schedule and routes are calculated, there is no way to update care workers in real-time. Visibility into staffing inefficiencies and analyzing capacity is also cumbersome without the right tools in place.  

Technological solution  

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With AlayaCare, you can distribute schedules and shift offers directly to care providers via the AlayaCare Mobile App, and benchmark/measure productivity and financial progress through aggregate reports and analytics.   

 
4. Standardizing coordination and scheduling workflow 

Humans are non-conformist and have nuanced interpretations to accomplishing the task of coordination and scheduling. More concerning are situations where a coordinator and care worker determine roster decisions with more self-interest than the greater organizational benefit. Consider a coordinator/scheduler topping up hours for a care worker that yields sub-optimal mileage and scheduling for the entire agency. 

Technological solution 

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With AlayaCare’s schedule and route optimization feature, bias is removed. The algorithm recognizes constraints and delivers to schedulers/coordinators with ideal routes and care worker suggestions.  

Check out the AlayaCare Schedule & Route Optimization Tools  

Whether your agency is currently operating on paper documentation or you’re working on a dated legacy solution, AlayaCare could be the solution you’ve been looking for. 

Learn more about how AlayaCare’s Schedule and Route Optimization and back-office solution can drive your organization forward.