Guide

How Technology Affects Home Health Job Retention

Your best employees are your most valuable assets. When your team provides exceptional patient care, it helps you outshine competitors and makes you the go-to-choice for home health and home care services. Undoubtedly, you want to keep this top talent.

But turnover in home healthcare is high. Despite a slight increase in salaries, home healthcare companies struggle to keep their best and brightest. What’s driving employees away from home healthcare jobs? Let’s take a look.

Why Employee Turnover in Home Health Is High

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, home care aides, and other roles who provide in-home care often leave their employment in search of something better.

From time to time, all healthcare workers are subject to work-related physical and mental exhaustion or burnout, but home healthcare professionals are particularly vulnerable. Often, home healthcare workers have a high number of patients to see in a given day, and the work can be emotionally demanding, as well.

In addition to the pressure to take on more patients, in-home visits may take longer than planned. Transportation in between client visits can be time-consuming. Factor in strict documentation requirements, billing, reimbursement, and other administrative tasks, and the hours can really add up.

The workload of home healthcare workers is a growing problem as the aging population—which is most likely to need home healthcare services—continues to grow. By 2020, the number of Americans aged 65 or older is expected to reach 55 million. By 2060, it should reach 98 million.

This trend will affect not only the patient population, but also the home healthcare workforce. One-third of the existing nursing population is nearing retirement age. According to Mercer’s US Healthcare External Labor Market Analysis, the U.S. will see a shortage of more than 445,000 home health aides by 2025. In this climate, home healthcare providers must find new ways to recruit and retain talent while increasing efficiency, meeting patient needs, and growing the business.

How Mobile Healthcare Tech Can Increase Home Health Job Retention

Home health leaders are challenged to develop patient-centric strategies that allow them to remain competitive and increase revenue while retaining talented caregivers. With mobile healthcare technology, these goals are easier to achieve.

The right platform, customized to meet your mobile healthcare needs, eases stress for mobile caregivers by making daily administrative tasks quicker, simpler, and more effective. Plus, the right tool will support mobile caregivers as they build relationships with patients and help them meet their care goals. This increases coveted employee engagement while harnessing the improved productivity that benefits your bottom line.

Attracts Top Talent

Millennials are taking over as the largest working generation, and they grew up consuming technology in a more advanced way than previous generations. The healthcare industry is increasingly using technology to provide better patient care, and millennials prefer working for organizations that use technology to make work easier.

We are currently in the midst of a “candidate’s market,” where there are more job openings than candidates looking for work. This is great for prospective employees, who have more choices in the job market and are more likely to shop around for the best fit. But for home health organizations who are hiring, it means you must stand out from the crowded field more than ever.

The increase in patient load, the shift to telehealth solutions, and the competitive candidate market means home health providers must adopt powerful technology solutions to stay competitive and attract top candidates.

When technology unburdens employees from unwieldy routine duties, they’re less likely to experience burnout and leave their jobs. When you consider the expense of hiring, training, and onboarding new employees, mobile health tech is a worthwhile investment.

Configured to your needs, a solution for mobile caregivers can:

  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Reduce costs
  • Drive productivity
  • Make scheduling more efficient
  • Improve communication
  • Increase patient satisfaction and care
  • Streamline workflows
  • Provide employee feedback that helps you retain mobile caregivers

When you understand what drives employees to leave their jobs—laborious commutes and required activities that take time away from working with patients, demanding administrative tasks, and so on—the choice becomes clear: a manual, outdated way of managing mobile caregivers verus a modern, technology-driven approach that removes barriers to effective home healthcare.

Giving your home healthcare workers better tools gives you a better chance to attract top talent to your organization. Once you have attracted that top talent, especially in a time where candidates have more options and are more discerning about where they land, mobile health technology gives you a much better chance of keeping them on board.

Increases Employee Engagement

If you want to stay on the leading edge, provide better services, keep patients happy, and retain your employees, it benefits you to have an engaged workforce. Mobile health tech facilitates this by providing information directly to all those involved in patient care delivery.

With the right mobile health app, mobile workers can get the information they need to be prepared and perform well on the job. Knowledgeable, empowered staff are an invaluable asset to home healthcare organizations, as they provide better patient care and increase patient satisfaction.

A mobile healthcare tool also makes it easier for employees to capture new information about patients, such as notes from a recent visit, and sync it back to your patient database. With information in one centralized, secure, easy-to-access location, home health workers experience less frustration and deliver better patient care. Plus, with documentation occurring in almost real-time, home health organizations can cut down on potential errors or delays that affect patient outcomes.

Engaged employees go above and beyond the job to help their employer achieve goals. An engaged workforce of home health providers, equipped with the right technology to deliver excellent care, is a strong competitive advantage for a home health organization. Plus, the more engaged the workforce is, the higher the retention rate will be for skilled workers.

Boosts Home Health Provider Productivity

Healthcare costs and patient expectations are rising, yet budgets and staff are shrinking. This leaves managers looking to find ways to be more efficient so that they can remain competitive. Winners in this complex game are turning to mobile health tech to increase efficiencies and keep patients from going elsewhere for care.

With a mobile health scheduling platform, you can quickly match providers and patients based on important factors like caregiver qualifications, travel time, existing relationships, and more. When this scheduling is done in an intelligent system, you can manage the schedules and locations of both patients and providers in real-time in one place. This greatly reduces the chances of providers arriving late to appointments, showing up for same-day cancellations, or spending too much time traveling between appointment locations. When time is saved at scale, it also means you can potentially serve more patients without adding headcount.

Mobile health tech also reduces the time home health providers spend collecting basic data at in-home visits, such as vital signs, that can be monitored remotely. In some cases, remote patient monitoring can even replace certain in-home visits, without sacrificing patient care.

In addition, a mobile healthcare solution can ensure that home health providers have the information and equipment required to do their jobs. This makes it easier for caregivers to perform optimally in the field, which ties into your ability to control costs and increase productivity.

Improves Communication

Poor communication—among staff, managers, back office, patients, and so on—leads to inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and delays. These communication glitches can adversely affect everyone involved in patient care. But mobile health technology can greatly improve communication between all parties.

With mobile health technology, staff can share critical information with each other from wherever care is provided. This ability to access the correct, real-time information and communicate it rapidly helps providers provide excellent quality of care to patients. It important that your mobile healthcare tool keeps communication in one place and reduces the emails, phone calls, and text messages that cannot be tracked and do not link back to your system of record.

Mobile health tech also reduces the friction between collecting information in the field (like symptoms or important changes to a care plan) and inputting that information into a system everyone can view. When data is collected in one place and synced back to your primary business systems without additional effort from your caregivers, healthcare organizations reduce the risk of information being lost, miscommunicated, or forgotten.

Other emerging health technologies also play a role in improving communication. For example, remote patient monitoring (RPM) facilitates communication between patients and medical professionals by overcoming the obstacle that geographical distance and insurance restrictions pose to in-person visits. RPM technology also allows patients and providers to be in more frequent contact with one another. RPM also benefits patients in other ways, such as receiving friendly reminders to take medication and attend upcoming visits.

When home health providers feel more connected to their fellow workers, as well as their patients, they are more likely to report high job satisfaction and stay with the organization for a longer period of time.

Improves Patient and Worker Safety

Home healthcare workers often work alone and can face safety risks—agitated patients, work-related injuries, or exposure to pathogens, to name a few. A mobile workforce management tool offers several ways to make work environments safer, including giving the provider detailed information to prep for the next appointment or allowing caregivers to ping their location to a home office in the event of an emergency.

Providing tools and training to mitigate safety risks is a crucial part of providing a safe, caring environment for your employees. The safer and more supported your mobile caregivers feel, the more likely they are to stay with your organization.

Enhances Patient Satisfaction and Care

Not only does it give your company a bad image, but it can also be unsafe for patients if home health providers arrive with the wrong equipment or the wrong patient information. Mobile health tech is designed to ensure your providers always arrive prepared to deliver high-quality service.

When providers are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to deliver excellent care, patients are happier and outcomes improve. This leads to greater job satisfaction and, ultimately, higher retention rates.

Automated Workflows to Support Recurring Activities

Because today’s home health organizations are challenged to accomplish more in less time, automating workflows that are repeated over and over again during the day is a necessity. Here, home health technology can be a big help. With the right mobile health solution, you can integrate end-to-end workflows that allow you to create seamless experiences for your patients and providers. Streamlined workflows lead to increased efficiency, data quality, productivity, communications, etc.—an organization that struggles streamlined workflows can cause provider frustration, which leads to employee turnover.

Takes Home Health Workers’ Needs Into Account

When home health providers don’t have the tools they need to get the job done, it’s difficult to make changes that improve their working conditions. However, when you allow technology to help mobile health providers manage their work and give them a voice, you gain visibility into issues. This can be as simple as insight into how and when providers want to work, or what tools they feel they need to provide better care.

A great mobile health platform leads in-home workers to feel more supported, empowered, and appreciated. Employees who feel this way are more likely to be engaged and less likely to leave their employers.

Getting Started With Mobile Tech in Home Health

Today’s home healthcare providers are challenged to keep valuable workers while providing the high standards of care that help them thrive in a highly competitive market. Organizations in the know are using mobile health tech to retain coveted staff, provide exceptional customer service, outshine their competitors, and make them the go-to-choice for home healthcare services.

Are you looking for a mobile health platform that goes above and beyond for your home health providers? Check out Skedulo’s healthcare scheduling platform and request a free demo today.