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How to stay competitive in California private duty home care

Introduction

California is already the most populous state in America – and it’s projected to be one of the fastest growing states as well. The Golden State is expected to grow by 30 percent by the year 2060, which amounts to nearly 12 million more people. Startlingly, amidst such growth, California is set to welcome an influx of those aged 60 years and over — a cohort that will surge by 166 percent in the same time period.

This aging demographic presents both challenges and opportunities for the home care industry. Agencies must strategize to stay competitive, relevant, and appealing not only to clients but to caregivers — an escalating challenge in an era where demand for quality care is outpacing supply. As an added challenge in California, an increasing minimum wage is making it even harder to compete for workers, who may elect to even move out of caregiving and into other service-focused jobs if they can get the same or more money for often far less hectic and demanding work.

While there are a number of ways to “add value” to the caregiver profession — from creating peer mentorship roles to communication and conflict resolution — technology must be considered for its ability to curb employee churn and ultimately preserve an agency’s reputation for maintaining quality levels of care.

Caregiver churn is a triple-edged sword

Caregiver churn can be viewed as a triple-edged sword for the home care industry:

  1. Staff shortages force an agency to turn away potential new clients.
  2. Rotating staff raise the risk of missed visits, making existing clients unhappy and forcing the scheduling staff to scramble at the last minute.
  3. Churn creates a continuity gap in care, which unsettles clients who become familiar and comfortable with the same staff coming into their homes. The end result is poorer client outcomes — and a hit to an agency’s reputation.

We know that workforce stability is vital to business. Studies have shown that having at least 70 percent full-time employed nurses fosters continuity of care among many other benefits: reduced costs, better teamwork, and happier and more engaged staff.

And to achieve stability, agencies need their workers (and, in particular, top talent) to feel satisfied with their roles. This, the fight against employee churn, is not easy to do in this demanding industry. Workers who feel they aren’t getting the hours they want, at the locations they want, and during the times they want will naturally keep their eyes open for other employment opportunities. Or, again, they may exit the industry entirely.

For agencies, meeting the needs of care workers in a complex, shifting environment while managing multidisciplinary care plans, multiple visit requirements, moving clients from the hospital to their home, the list goes on…consistency seems almost improbable.  This is where modern tech solutions can make a real difference in recruiting and retaining top talent, regardless of minimum wages or competitive job landscape.

The Solution: Technology

Not only can technology relieve caregivers of the many inefficiencies that can contribute to burnout and eventual departure in the first place, but it provides increasing transparency into operations and added value for caregivers.