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4 ways tech can optimize daily home care scheduling and routes

4 tips Home Care Can Use to Achieve Rapid Growth in a Rapidly Changing Industry

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 the utilization of your existing staff is the first area to explore.  

Providers are expected to care for more clients with fewer resources, so many agencies are turning to technology to help alleviate time-consuming processes and increase efficiencies. 

Consider optimizing your schedules and routes with intelligent algorithm enabled software

One such solution is an optimized scheduling tool, which offers a superior method for managing schedules and routes compared to traditional automated scheduling tools.

Take AlayaCare’s Visit Optimizer, for example. This advanced platform surpasses basic task assignment by employing intelligent algorithms to match and assign care providers to available visits based on proximity, qualifications, and other specified parameters. This ensures a personalized and effective care service for each client.

Visit Optimizer identifies the most suitable employee for each visit, considering factors such as skill set, availability, and compatibility with the client. By prioritizing geographical efficiency, it reduces administrative burden, enhances productivity, and leads to shorter client wait times and reduced mileage costs.

By selecting a provider that offers an optimized scheduling tool, you invest in a solution that streamlines operations, improves service quality, and drives growth in your home care business.

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 the growing demand 

4 ways for home care agencies to tackle scheduling and commuting with optimization tools

1. Consistent and reliable schedules to keep up with demand and retain your top staff

Demand for caregivers 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

Providing caregivers with a consistent schedule and the tools they need to make their job easier

Optimized home care and home health software with a feature like AlayaCare’s Visit Optimizer can play a pivotal role in combating this issue and enhancing caregiver retention.

Here’s how:

  1. By intelligently matching caregivers to clients based on proximity, qualifications, and compatibility, Visit Optimizer ensures that caregivers are assigned tasks that align with their skills and preferences. This leads to increased job satisfaction, a key factor in employee retention.
  2. With its bulk assignment feature, Visit Optimizer allows for more predictable and stable schedules. Caregivers appreciate predictability as it helps them balance their personal and professional lives better. A consistent schedule can significantly reduce stress and burnout, further contributing to lower turnover rates.
  3. By reducing unnecessary travel time through geographically efficient assignments, Visit Optimizer helps reduce caregiver fatigue, a common cause of churn in the industry. Less time spent on the road means more time for caregivers to rest and rejuvenate, improving job satisfaction and retention.

In conclusion, implementing an optimized scheduling software like Visit Optimizer is a strategic move toward improving caregiver retention. It not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes to a healthier, happier workforce. Isn’t it time you made this smart investment in your home care business?

Scheduling challenges & their impact on caregiver turnover: insights from HomeCare Roundtable

Scheduling Issues & the Impact on Caregiver Turnover Webinar

2. Provide more client-centered care by considering individual needs when scheduling staff

Keeping caregiver schedules optimized and reliable

The home care industry presents a particularly challenging problem to manage schedules, given some visits are time-specific, while other clients require home care workers with specific skills and training.

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). 

Have one system manage all the details for you so your staff can focus on their client and/or patient

Home care and home health software computes and factors the following variables for shift/visit placement, ensuring you’re coordinating the most informed and efficient visits possible: Employee skills, licenses, certifications

  • Relevant soft skills, attributes, and lifestyle characteristics
  • 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 
  • Forecasting – permit software to recommend minor changes and schedule re-shuffle for efficiency  

In addition, regularly asking for feedback from your caregivers and/or nurses is crucial in developing an effective two-way communication plan based on the individual and team’s needs in general.

Hear how choice Health Care was able to eliminate the guesswork from scheduling by using Visit Optimizer

3. Transparency and visibility for everyone when you’re all on the same system

Scheduling visibility for care workers on the job

Convenient 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.  

Scheduling features that provide better visibility can make all the difference to your staff

With software for home care, you can effectively manage and distribute schedules and shift offers directly to care providers through a user-friendly mobile app, and benchmark/measure productivity and financial progress through aggregate reports and analytics with greater efficiency.

A software system with electronic visit verification (EVV) on mobile devices can also improve compliance for home care agencies, often leading to better client and patient satisfaction.    

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV): Stay compliant with AlayaCare’s GPS-enabled mobile care app

EV mobile

4. Standardizing coordination and scheduling workflow

Human bias likes to sneak its way in when you manage processes manually

Humans are non-conformists and have nuanced interpretations of coordination and scheduling processes.

More concerning are situations where a coordinator and caregiver 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. 

Standardize your processes when you manage visits for equality among caregivers

With an automated home care software system with optimized algorithm solutions, bias can be removed when you manage schedules. The algorithm recognizes constraints and delivers to schedulers/coordinators ideal routes and care worker suggestions.  

This not only leads to greater benefits for the caregivers and nurses but also better care for the patients and/or clients.

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

Transforming care delivery with AI-powered scheduling

Secure Messaging HIPAA-secure messaging to improve the way your teams collaborate and deliver care.

In the dynamic sphere of home care and home health, effective scheduling is not just an operational necessity, but a strategic tool that can significantly enhance service quality and caregiver satisfaction. Harnessing the power of technology, an optimized scheduling tool can revolutionize how your agency assigns and manages visits.

Optimize scheduling and match open visits with the best care providers

Streamline your home care or home health agency’s processes by minimizing manual effort and reducing reliance on guesswork for scheduling, freeing up back office staff to focus on high-priority tasks. With Visit Optimizer, you can minimize the time caregivers spend on travel and associated mileage costs and maximize time spent on direct patient care.  

Watch our live platform tour of AlayaCare’s Visit Optimizer tool below.

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