Hiring the right Home care giver has always been a challenge Home Care Providers face. Although, you have put together the best set-up possible, reached the people about the services you provide but do not have the right “care giver”, then running the Home Health care show is not easy. Care givers are the pillars of any Home Care organization as they are the bridge that connects the patient and the organization. They often represent the organization they work for and thus a good amount of time needs to be invested while they are hired to find the best possible fit.
Professional experience :
As a rule of thumb, an efficient and a well qualified person should always be hired to suit the role of the caregiver. The care giver you hire needs to understand the professionalism involved in the process and is required to exhibit that as a member of the team. Sometimes, the personal experience they have had may also help them take care of the Elderly.
This certainly has to be a criteria as the job of a care taker is different from any other job role. It requires compassion as this mostly deals with Elderly patients and patients suffering and the care giver certainly needs to be able to understand those feelings.
More than any other job, the role of a caregiver burgeons mostly on flexibility. They need to be available round the clock as one cannot be sure of the needs of the different patients. Some patients may need care in the mornings and others during the night. Thus, the care taker should be someone who is ready to take up all these calls with no complaining.
Although you hire caregivers, there always comes a point in this business that the organizations face a shortage in caregivers. Either the patient count and needs increase tremendously and the Home Care provider is not able to make the ends meet as the demand for quality care givers is always high. And in some cases, the existing caretakers do not stay with the same organization for long and keep making jumps between many, sometimes for that extra cash and sometimes if they are not happy with the organization.
How does one take care of Care-giver retention ?
The true success of any Home care agency relies upon the care givers they have and they cannot afford to lose them. There are a number of ways to improve caregiver retention and it requires a multifaceted approach and not just increasing the wages.
The Home care agency needs to provide other competitive benefits other than just increasing the monthly wages as this makes the choice of the leaving the organization less likely.
Incorporating effective training sessions – this helps them in a number of ways as they can continue to learn and grow and there is an opportunity of continual education which is a very good offering and makes it hard to leave the side of organization.
Use efficient match making tools – a good software system in place that takes care of scheduling the best caretaker to the patients ensure good terms for both the patients and the caretakers. This further establishes a good foundation and brings a sense of confidence and trust that the organization always strives to provide the best quality care to the patients and their satisfaction is of prime importance to the organization.
Coordinating and encouraging good communication between the office staff and the caregivers on the field. This helps reduce chaos situation and ensures smooth functioning of organization. Further, mobile applications can be employed to help these caregivers keep track of their appointments and stay well informed of the schedules ahead of time. Also this helps implement an efficient system in place for communication between the internal staff and field members and avoid mis-communications.
But this system of caregiver retention is not a one-size fits all. What may work for your organization may not suit an other organization well. But, these may just help you start experimenting and find the best solutions on the long run to run a Home Care service effectively.
Most families face the reality that there has to be someone at home to take care of the Elderly. They have all true intentions to provide good care to them and be there for them but the practical scenario is that, most people are working or far away from home that they are unable to do so. This very thought weighs them down and constantly keeps them worried.
It is at this point of time, they realize that there needs to be a dedicated care taker or a companion to assist them with day-to-day activities. They often approach other relatives or depend up the house maids etc., to help them with but again they are not sure that they would be the right ones.
Many are not really aware of the concept Home Health care services and for the others who do, generally are hesitant towards approaching one as they have certain pre set opinions toward it.
Are these really true? Let us see.
“I have no say in who comes to take care of my Mom”
No, you do really can choose the caregiver that is going to come home to provide care. A good Home care agency first sets up a pre assessment with the patient to assess their needs and getting them into their comfort zone. An effective Scheduling system in place will help the Home care agency to provide the right match to you based on your comfortable timings, your needs, care giver you suggest and etc., You are now reassured that the Home care provider is majorly interested in your satisfaction. They also re-assign the care takers if you are not comfortable with the existing one.
“A person coming into your premises with whom you have not had an encounter with”
This rises a question of security as you have not seen him/her before and do not know if to let them into your house let alone take care of your loved one. And you have every right to feel so, but again the Home Care agency can always make sure that the care giver they are sending from their side is a qualified professional and send their details like name, contact and photo id prior to the scheduled appointment to the patient via the Patient Portal. This portal also serves an other purpose of communicating every other detail attached to the patient and the bill details. The patient’s responsible party can now securely log into this portal and see all the necessary details and make payments via the portal itself. There is no longer the need to make multiple calls to the agency to get your hands on each piece of information.
“My grand-father is not sick or terminally-ill to want a care taker or medical assistance, but just needs some help around the house, to remind important things, to assist him on his daily walks, help him buy groceries etc.,”
Home care does provide a wide variety of services to the Elderly. Non-medical services would just require for the care taker to visit them twice or thrice a week and the scheduling can be made accordingly. Some might need a companion to just not feel lonely as they are all by themselves in the house until the others arrive home from work, they can then avail a companionship package where the care giver’s primary role is to keep them engaged.
“Home Care is expensive”
Of course there is some cost factor attached to the quality health care that you look for. But, depending upon your various needs, this can save up a lot of time and be affordable too while compared to treating the same at Hospitals.
Successful agencies must help clients and their families overcome these common objections, creating trust and gaining the opportunity to serve. It’s the agency that reassures the family by directly addressing common concerns during inquiry calls and exhibiting a high level of professionalism and genuine concern towards them.
Caring Elders Technology partners with Home Care Provider to help them provide quality care and operate efficiently.
Home Healthcare – A solution to increasing healthcare costs.
The Indian Health care market is growing fast and so is the cost of medical services at hospitals. Amidst the rapidly increasing chronic diseases and the demand for quality medical care, especially for the elderly, the market is now opening up for home-based health care services.
Home Health care, a booming notion in India, striving to establish a stable market. It includes rehabilitative care after surgery, hospice care, physiotherapy, nursing care, companionship and palliative care, dedicated to relieving people’s physical and emotional symptoms when they face difficult situations. In most cases, there is no awareness among people about the concept of advantaging from quality medical services at home or often have misconceptions when it comes to the pricing. People tend to believe that the cost of treatments and services when given at home are far too exorbitant. On the converse, most post-surgery treatments and health services are more affordable.
Upon choosing to avail medical services at home, there is focused attention to the patient, comfort of receiving care in the familiar surroundings help recover faster. Not to forget, the significantly lower cost when compared to an extended stay in the hospital.
However, the increased patient outcome will still be the dominant factor in deciding the Home Health care becoming the most accessible for long-term care. The emerging start-ups and the existing home care providers must concentrate on the quality of service rather than the volume of service provided.
If you are someone who is looking to start a Home Health Care business, then this is the right time. Home Health Care is one of the largest growing businesses and has expanded its boundaries over a short span. The Indian Home Healthcare market has been frugal and is continuing to grow.
So what exactly is Home Health Care?
Home Healthcare can by itself define two broad things. One, medical home health services provided to people in the comfort of being at home. These services are provided by skilled professionals, nurses and so and includes nursing services mostly. On the other hand, there are non-medical services such as companionship, maid services, housekeeping to aid and ease the lives of senior citizens.
Therefore, at first you might have to define and understand the scopes of the service that you are going to provide. Thus a lot of ground work goes into this just like any other business. One must lay out a proper business plan, do extensive research about the market and the players in it, foresee its trends a few years down the line and then make a firm decision of stepping into the market.
Talking about providing care at home, it essentially means that this industry revolves around the patient in need and providing services at his/her convenience. In this patient-centric industry, there needs to be careful planning and structure to keep it running smooth.
Just like a house would need a strong foundation, we need to lay the metrics on which we are going to build our business.
The future of Home Healthcare in India
Indian being the second largest country with Geriatric population with some States having just the Elderly as the sole occupants, home healthcare becomes a necessity. India has almost 88 million people above the age of 60 and not all the needs of this category of people be full filled within the traditional limits of an Hospital. With our healthcare infrastructure soaring up, the costs incurred to treat long-term problems are un imaginable. Also, certain procedures require most holistic approach such as treatment of cancer, which can be administered at home.
Although, there is a huge need for Home Health services, much of this sector still runs un-organised. Another woe that the emerging and existing home healthcare providers face is that there is no insurance coverage for the services availed through Home Healthcare. And this very reason pushes away majority of the crowd.
However, with this sector’s pace and need today has already knocked doors. More insurance companies will come forward to extend services to Home Healthcare in the near future.
Challenges in starting a Home Healthcare
Starting a new Home Healthcare is not a cake walk and not necessarily suit everyone. It is a business that combines strategic expertise and the compassion to serve people. If you are not someone with a desire to care for your fellow man, then this might not be a right decision on the long run.
Before setting up, there are a few challenges to be considered.
Distance – Home Healthcare services are patient centric and requires the caregiver to travel to the patient’s place at the patient’s comfortable time to be provide the service.
Technology – Although most Home Healthcare today manage their operations conventionally, over a period of time as the organisation expands, there comes a situation were handling large volumes of data and its processing becomes difficult and more dedicated personnel are hired to take care of this. This deviates the organisation’s main motive – to be able to provide quality care to their patients. But thanks to the modern technical advancements that has allowed effective management of these operations through software and applications.
However, this best suits when adapted at an earlier phase rather than on the later stage.This adaptation to technology in the beginning paves way for a “process” and a strong foundation on which your homecare business can operate.
Now that we have understood the base and what the future holds for this Home Healthcare industry, let us consider the other factors that actually play the dominant role once we have decided to set-up our business.
“Expenses” shoot up to the top of the page while drawing out your business plan. Let us list the expenses that should be met to set out the plan.
In order for one to provide quality service, good staffing and technology has become important. We need specialised equipments that match the quality of service provided at the hospitals, at the same time cost effective. Now, that there has been enough awareness among people about Home Healthcare and the considerable shift in the population that has chosen homecare over availing services at hospitals, a home healthcare cannot compromise on the quality yet provide it at a minimal cost. This shift in trend is ever growing due to the increasing population and the rising number of senior citizens who require dedicated attenders to aid them for their daily routine.
Basically, you would need to concentrate on the equipments, hiring professionals, rent a place for office set-up. It is now time to decide the cash-flow, if you are going to partner with someone or take up a loan etc.,
Before establishing, let us analyse the trends and patterns of people during the past and about each medical service that has been prominent in different areas. Basically, we are understanding the different needs of different people and mapping it with the resources available with us. We can then decide which geographies to provide our services to. Ideally you can set up the office location central to these geographies.
The most essential and crucial part is in hiring the most suitable fit for your organisation. As, the growth of any Home Health industry completely depends upon the quality of care provided and hence it becomes your biggest responsibility to hire highly qualified professionals and thoroughly conduct background checks. This in turn will improve the service quality, reduce thefts, increase trust among your patients. In other words, they represent your organisation and choosing the best is important as it reflects the name of the organisation.
Another option would be to, have tie-ups with other organisations who are specialized in certain services and pull employees on contract basis. Again, we will have to make sure that it is a reputed organisation.
Now that we have covered our basics and ground work, we now need to expose ourselves to the market. Devise new marketing strategies and make yourselves visible to the people.
Primarily, you can set up a website and use it extensively to lay down all the services provided by you. “Trust” is a key factor that attracts your clients, thus find ways to instill trust among your patients. Additionally you have give out advertisements on social media such as Facebook, join forums and groups associated with your industry, post useful information constantly.
Most of your trusted clients come in referrals, so “word of mouth” is very important. What your patients feel about your services is important as they go on to suggest people they know to contact you only if they have had a satisfying experience.
Create a brand of your own and stand out from the crowd. Finding ways to capture that special place in the market is the key to withstanding in this competition in the long run. And most of this comes from the quality of care that is provided.
Get exposed to the outer world. Attend trade fairs, conferences and events where you get an opportunity to meet Physicians, Equipment vendors, Nurses and other owners of businesses. Networking is important as is in most business.