Finding the right caregiver for a client is perhaps THE core function of a home care agency. Good matches lead to greater client satisfaction with the service and greater retention of high-quality caregivers. On the other hand, bad matches lead to high turnover and low satisfaction on both sides of the equation, as well as hassle and strife for agency staff.
It’s important to recognize that a good match is a two-way street. It’s not just about a caregiver being good or bad: often the client is the bottleneck, as they may have difficult-to-meet expectations or just be unreasonable, through no fault of the caregiver.
Historically, getting this right has been mostly an art: a good scheduler can keep a tremendous amount of detail in her/his head about dozens (if not hundreds) of clients and caregivers, their personalities, preferences, pet peeves and all the subtle queues that go into these ‘matchmaking’ decisions. Notebooks, sticky notes, white boards and spreadsheets were pressed into service, but the real data management was happening inside the scheduler’s brain.
While there’s no substitute for a people-person in the equation, technology has a place in enhancing those skills and spreading the knowledge and detail among all the staff. With the right tools in place, you don’t have to risk making an obvious mistake, like sending a caregiver who is already known to not get along with a client.
In order to serve in this role, the software has to have some particular characteristics.
- It must provide a way to indicate preferences, both positive and negative, and match caregivers based on those preferences.
- It must be able to block a known bad match.
- It must be flexible and customizable in what things can be matched.
When a caregiver & client get along well, it’s not just pleasant, convenient and profitable: it can make a huge difference in the quality of life and, in some cases, even the longevity of a client.
Do you have tips or tricks about this topic? I’d love to hear from you!
The Rosemark Scheduling System is designed specifically to manage the caregiver and client relationships and skills matching.