HealthStrong is one of the largest healthcare providers in Australia with more than several hundred practitioners providing services to residents of aged care facilities across the country.The company also offers home care and anticipates exponential growth in this market as governments and healthcare providers globally work to address the needs of an aging population. In preparation for the anticipated growth, HealthStrong has implemented Skedulo for a more efficient and reliable scheduling of HealthStrong’s practitioners. Since implementing Skedulo, HealthStrong’s efficiency has doubled and has helped to ensure that the right care is delivered to the right patient at the right time.
Matching healthcare practitioners and patients faster and more reliably
Its growing team of practitioners perform around 50,000 treatments across the country each week. Most of these treatments take place in aged-care facilities, however the demand for home visits is set to grow along with the overall need for aged care. This is an issue globally with the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years expected to nearly double from 12% to 22% over the next three decades.* In anticipation of this growth, HealthStrong set out to find a more efficient way to schedule their several hundred practitioners and enhance overall patient care. Previously, HealthStrong used a system based on Microsoft Access and multiple spreadsheets to schedule their practitioners. This process was very time-consuming and it was difficult to ensure the most qualified worker was assigned to each job. For example, schedulers relied on memory or input from colleagues if they needed to find someone with specific qualifications or language skills. HealthStrong needed a much faster and easier way to schedule appointments, particularly as the growth in home care would increase the number of appointments per practitioner per day. They also wanted to empower practitioners by providing them with more information on the go and reducing the need to fax timesheets.
Faster, more effective scheduling to fuel and support growth in appointments
HealthStrong reviewed a number of workforce management solutions and ultimately selected Skedulo for its integrated mobile workforce solution that offered a faster, easier way to schedule appointments in advance or on the fly. Skedulo also featured intelligent resource mapping, real-time logging, geo-tracking and native integration with Salesforce. A few months after meeting with Skedulo to discuss their needs, HealthStrong scheduled its first appointment using the mobile scheduling application. Skedulo tailored the solution to provide HealthStrong with an end-to-end process for scheduling, managing appointments and their field practitioners.
“Skedulo’s tight integration with Salesforce has supported our move to a single platform for all of our data and applications.”
HealthStrong’s scheduling team of four now use Skedulo’s Web App to identify and schedule the best person for each job. The team can search by qualifications, gender and language skills among other skill sets to ensure the practitioner assigned is the most qualified and the best fit culturally. When schedulers assign and dispatch jobs, they can automatically send client details to the practitioner’s mobile device. Also, appointment confirmations are sent automatically to clients along with required documents such as police background checks or professional registration.
Excellence in aged care independent of location
HealthStrong is now positioned to meet the growing demand for home care. The time it takes to schedule appointments has been reduced by half. A four-person team is now able to manage the scheduling of more than 1,200 appointments each week – a 30% increase to the number managed previously. In addition, on-boarding is improved with data from Skedulo. This helps HealthStrong identify the optimum amount of training needed for practitioners, resulting in an increase in staff retention. Also, new schedulers are no longer required to memorize details about various workers. If the schedulers needed to locate a practitioner who is fluent in Greek, for example, they can simply search for that specific attribute in Skedulo.
“With Skedulo, we have much more timely and accurate data about our practitioners and the time they spend in the field. We can ensure our contractual demands are met while also reducing revenue leakage.”
Skedulo has helped empower HealthStrong’s practitioners by providing them with a clear view of all their appointments and instant access to client details. Skedulo maps all the data the practitioners needed in one easy-to-use app. Practitioners can check in with their patients, schedule follow-ups and get instant sign off from clients once a job is complete. They no longer need to worry about time sheets going missing or a late fax resulting in a payment delay.
Skedulo’s GPS-tracking feature provides HealthStrong peace of mind and additional security as home visits ramp up and the workforce becomes more dispersed. With improved efficiency and reliability of scheduling, HealthStrong ensures that its clients and patients get the hours and service they require without fail. For example, if a client requests a podiatrist with expertise on a particular disorder, the scheduler can quickly find and dispatch the right practitioner for the job.
HealthStrong has seen improvements in the transparency of workers’ start and completion times. The HealthStrong team can now view at a glance if an aged care facility is getting the service it requires or if workers at certain facilities are spending additional time that falls outside the standard time allotment. Management is therefore able to conduct data-driven conversations with clients and make the necessary adjustments to the number of hours or practitioners.
Looking to the future with HealthStrong and Skedulo
Planned residential and planned homecare places in Australia totalled 245,000 in the last decade, projected to rise to 390,000 by 2022 and 740,000 by 2050 (the year that the last baby boomer turns 85)**. This represents a significant opportunity for healthcare providers who are able to adapt and scale their business.
“We chose to work with Skedulo as we’re both growing and we could see the potential to grow together. That’s exactly what we’re doing as we continue to integrate more of our processes with Skedulo.”
HealthStrong is setting itself up for success in the years ahead by continuing to improve and optimize its mobile workforce processes and capture business intelligence through Skedulo. Insights on past jobs and the work performance of its team will help to ensure HealthStrong continues to recruit the right people for the future.