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Undercover Litmus Checks for Home Care Agencies

Undercover Litmus Checks for Home Care Agencies



blog-augustAre Your Coordinators Putting Your Business on Death Row??Many owners and administrators underestimate the critical role a Coordinator plays in the day-to-day operations of an agency. Coordinators participate in many important agency functions including: scheduling, payroll, billing, patient relations, human resources and recruiting. Even more importantly, Coordinators perform key marketing and sales responsibilities on a routine basis. Yes they do! They are your front liners and the ones who receive inquiries concerning new referrals from contracts and potential private pay clients. The majority of Coordinators must be commended for their hard work; however, there are the others who leave much to be desired. The mediocre Coordinator, commonly referred to as “not so bad”, is often an extreme detriment to your business operations. In fact, they are often far worse than your WORST Coordinators in that they camouflage their inadequacies, and you may employ them longer than you should because they didn’t really “do anything wrong”.

Employing internal undercover techniques can unearth invaluable information about a company and the performance of its employees. The popular retail and food chain industries learned this a long time ago – exposing a laundry list of loss prevention and customer service issues as a result of their clandestine operations. The Zagat Guide has been very successful, in part due to the undercover efforts of the food critics. Even the largest national corporations have benefited from covert practices, as seen on CBS’s prime time hit series “Undercover Boss”. So, the question is, why haven’t home care agencies done so yet? Act now to check if your coordinators are helping or hurting your business!

Operation Undercover:
One should not feel guilty or deceitful incorporating the forthcoming techniques into routine business practices. This is YOUR Business and it is your business to be in the know. Good Luck!

Send someone to pose as an applicant: Were they treated in a professional manner? Were the agency policies & procedures followed? Did anyone cut any corners?

On Call Checks: Leave a fictitious message on a Sunday morning with your answering service, to uncover the call back time. You may want to consider calling as a potential new patient, applicant, or contract.

Make Anonymous Calls: Call the office during business hours, posing as an applicant, patient, patient’s family member and prospective client. Make sure to call at various times throughout the day and on different days. Here are some things to consider when doing so: Was your called received in a pleasant and responsive manner? Was the person knowledgeable and respectful? Did they seem interested or was there a level of indifference? Did they rush to get you off the phone? Were you placed on hold, and if so, how long was the hold time? Were you asked if you would like to hold or were you given the option to leave a message?

Were you transferred more than once and were you given the name of the person you were to be transferred to? When transferred, does your call go to voicemail? Did they get back to you when they said they would? Finally, did they provide correct information and comply with your agency’s policies?

Unannounced Visit: Do this on a day or time your staff does not expect you. What is the staff doing? Did you catch them off guard? Were they adhering to the proper dress code and lunchtime schedule?

Random patient & aide surveys: Go to the source. They will definitely not sugarcoat anything.

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