Providing home care that is tailored towards each client and their unique needs is an inherent challenge for providers. Especially when it needs to be balanced with the needs of your workforce and the demands of cost management.
However, workforce management and personalised home care can go hand in hand, with improved profitability often a concurrent result. And the solution can lie in technology.
The demands of personalised care
To understand more about how improved workforce management and technology can support tailored home care, it’s important to understand more about the demands care providers face.
Every care provider knows that each client has a specific, and often unique, set of needs and requirements – there really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Whether it’s a request to have a regular carer, complicated medication or a need for a specially trained care professional to attend, each of these factors need to be taken into consideration when rostering staff members and managing a home care workforce.
Add in the challenges of workforce management
Of course, care providers are then also challenged with not only delivering a care service that takes into account the specific needs of the client but the availability, capability and training of individual care workers.
All together, the challenges faced include:
- Achieving continuity of service for clients.
- Providing care that is tailored to the client’s needs.
- Creating a roster that is not only feasible for the care worker but does not compromise profitability.
- Managing a workforce that is effective and efficient, without spending more than absolutely necessary on the likes of travel and mileage expenses.
The role technology can play
So how can these challenges be mitigated? How can home care providers continue to provide a tailored and efficient service whilst also ensuring their workforce is satisfied and able to deliver high-quality care?
The answer could lie in the effective use of technology and IT solutions tailored for the care industry.
In their September edition, Care Management Matters (CMM) explored the needs of care providers and how IT solutions could help. After going through the pros and cons, the possibilities and the benefits for clients, CMM summarised that by adopting appropriate IT solutions care providers:
“May experience significant improvements when it comes to efficiencies, quality assurance and mitigating risk. Ultimately, this leads to happy, well cared for clients.”
Technology, like the solutions offered from Webroster.net, can streamline communications between back office staff and those delivering care. Our Bee app, for example, allows staff to stay up to date with their rota, manage appointments and communicate with back office staff quickly and easily.
With the right solutions in place, technology can provide staff with the essential information they need, freeing up their time to focus on the personalised care they are required to deliver.
For example, the Webroster.net Optimisation module (coming in January 2017) provides workforce optimisation that automatically allocates staff to shifts, visits, specific jobs or events in the most optimal way. Users can add shift/visit needs, client locations and the locations of resources and Webroster.net will do all the hard work in producing an optimised roster.
One of the biggest concerns for many home care providers, however, is that using technology to support in the delivery of care or workforce management will lead to a reduction in control with rigidity and lack of personalisation – completely in contradiction to the growing need for care providers to offer tailored care but consistency of service at the same time.
However, if the right IT solution is chosen these concerns can be banished. For example, we have specifically developed Optimisation to allow users to retain control – you know your staff and your clients, so your control is essential in providing not only an optimised rota but also one that works according to your needs and priorities.
Similarly, another concern about integrating technology into providing improved personalised care and better workforce management is that staff will struggle to get to grips with new software. Yet it comes as a surprise to many how easy many solutions are to use.
It’s important to choose a software solution that provides the right level of customer support and makes usability a real priority. Find out how SureCare Enfield found that to be the case in our case study.
All in all, technology could be the solution you’re looking for to allow you to provide the very best personalised care whilst making workforce management a priority too. Ultimately, you don’t have to sacrifice one to have the other.