HHAeXchange Blog

7 Ways to Keep Your Agency Ahead of the Competition, Now and Post-Pandemic

7 Ways to Keep Your Agency Ahead of the Competition, Now and Post-Pandemic

JohnPandolfi - Vice President, Client Solutions, HHAeXchange

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COVID-19 put homecare agencies to the test. Flexibility, creativity, and resilience were required to stay afloat and continue providing quality care. Use these tools to keep your homecare agency ahead of the curve now and after the pandemic.

#1: Stay focused on the caregiver experience

Finding a caregiver that fits with your agency’s culture is crucial. When it comes to your mission, vision, values, and growth, you need a team that is prepared to take this journey with you. Look for caregivers that stand out from the crowd and will stand beside you.

Motivate your staff to be as excited as you are about your agency’s progress by asking yourself:

  • What benefits are they earning by working with you?
  • What is unique about the training experience you provide?
  • What technology are you using? Does it fit your caregiver’s needs?

These are all important things to keep in mind when evaluating your caregiver recruitment experience.

#2: Train, train, and train some more

With the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, your ability to communicate, support, equip, and train caregivers about critical changes to the healthcare landscape will be put to the test.

The last two years have taught homecare agencies like yours a lot. Continue to utilize channels and resources that work best and try to optimize those that may have fallen flat. Do what you can to boost your team’s confidence and trust that you have their best interests in mind.

How can you make your training stand out?

  • Make it fun: Gamified training improves learning outcomes.
  • Make it interactive: Involve the caregivers and their experiences as much as possible.
  • Make it immediately usable: Train your caregivers on topics that they can apply today with their clients and at home.

#3: Schedule your caregivers with ease

The pandemic exacerbated existing scheduling difficulties, which were already strained with recruitment problems, client and caregiver compatibility, and the industry’s ever-changing regulations. With automated patient-caregiver matching technology and easy-to-update task dashboards, we’ve made it as simple as it can be.

Take some time back in your day to develop relationships with caregivers, understand their needs better, and return to their scheduling dashboard with a renewed mindset.

#4: Forecast

What do we mean by this? Pay extra attention to the news, the weather, your patients’ needs, and your caregivers’ needs.

Anticipate what your clients and caregivers need most:

  • Do your caregivers want more 12-hour shifts?
  • Is your office staff educated on how to submit CNA renewal documents for your care team according to your state’s regulations?
  • Do your clients need support on how to apply for a certain benefit?

With your referral sources, you can forecast their needs, too. As you visit with their nurses and discharge planners, learn what their most common discharge days are, and what diagnoses are most common.

Be there a day or two before normal discharge dates to stay top of mind. Keep their patients’ needs in mind when talking to your caregivers, schedulers, and trainers.

#5: Invest in your employees’ education

When you truly care about your employees, your retention rates will reflect those efforts. A recent survey from Care Academy showed that caregivers want an employer that will support them. 94% of caregivers consider this as a factor when evaluating a job offer.

Your support can take a variety of forms:

  • Asking your employees what their professional ambitions are and how you can help them accomplish their goals. If they can’t think of any, give them ideas for what they can aspire to within your company.
  • Providing CNA class scholarship opportunities
  • Seeking unique training partnerships for your caregivers

#6: Investing in your caregivers’ technology and relevant training

Technology moves quickly these days. To make the switch or use other technology platforms, make sure that you’re able to adapt to each caregiver‘s way of learning. Different caregivers have different ways of learning, including:

  • Visual: Watching a PowerPoint presentation or seeing a live demonstration
  • Kinesthetic: Participating in a demonstration or handling a model
  • Auditory: Listening to an audiobook or tutorial

With HHAeXchange, your team can get access to a caregiver-friendly mobile app that will empower them and make their work easier. Our eLearning solutions are integrated within the app, so caregivers can complete them at their convenience.

#7: Have a plan A, B, and C.

Operations and schedules may not always run as smoothly as you would like them to, but by planning ahead, you can stay ahead.

Once you’ve mapped out your plans, be sure to leave wiggle room for potential changes.

  • Do you have enough caregivers on staff? Start your recruitment efforts now before the need becomes urgent.
  • Cold and flu season is upon us, with the Omicron variant spreading rapidly through the U.S. Ensure you have a back-up plan in place for quickly filling shifts, or software that can help you easily broadcast cases to available caregivers.
  • Is there a chance of higher than normal snowfall in your area this winter? Ensure your caregivers have access to reliable transportation so that both they and your clients can stay safe and healthy.

By anticipating the unexpected, you can be one step ahead of the crowd.

Conclusion

You can’t plan for a pandemic, but you can stay ahead of the trends by catching them at their first breath. Stay ahead of your competitors by consistently doing what you do best, making a conscious effort to improve where you fall short, and recognizing the gaps in the care that’s offered in your community.

By listening to your caregivers, clients, and referral sources, you can prepare for events within and outside of your control.

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