When it comes to running your home care agency, we know that most owners are always looking for ways to improve their businesses. How do you bring in more clients? How do you recruit great caregivers? How do you improve your profit margins?
These are big questions and ones that absolutely deserve time and strategic thought. But what about smaller efforts – the low hanging fruit that you could easily target to make almost immediate improvements in your home care agency business? If you aren’t using one already, instituting the use of a telephony system can be an incredibly simple way to make your agency operations more efficient – saving you time, organizational headaches, and money. And when it comes to communicating with your caregivers, telephony is an invaluable tool to help maintain a handle on what is actually happening at client sites.
For new agency owners just starting out, or for seasoned industry players, we know there can be a number of reasons you may not have chosen to implement the use of telephony yet. But let’s just review some of the adverse effects that can arise for your agency as a result of not using a telephony system. If you’re new, these challenges may not have come to light yet, and if you’ve been in business awhile they may be things you’ve learned to just put up with over time without realizing just how much they affect your operations.
Five Issues with Not Utilizing Telephony
Limited Visibility from the Field
A major problem with using manual methods of monitoring is simply that you do not have a real-time connection to what is happening in the field with your caregivers and the clients for whom they care. There are no alerts for late arrivals or missed shifts, there is no record of the tasks your caregivers are performing for clients, and not effective process for communicating wit your caregivers in the field. Often times your agency staff may not even know there is an issue until a client’s family calls to complain, resulting in a damaging loss of reputation for your agency.
So Much Paper!
If your office is using a paper timesheet system, you may be overrun with piles of paper. With each caregiver submitting dozens of timesheets per year, it can soon become a management nightmare. Managing the physical storage, archiving, and retrieval of paperwork in the large volumes you’re dealing with can quickly become cumbersome and time consuming. The resulting disorganization usually slows productivity and ends up costing your business a great deal of money.
If your agency employs a paper timesheet system, you rely on your caregivers for accurate management of data. However, due to busy schedules, inefficient, processes, or just plain forgetfulness, often time paperwork may be turned in late, incomplete, or not at all! With no checks and balances, your office staff must spend valuable time and resources tracking down caregivers for more information – which then leads to the next issue.
Payroll Takes Forever!
When paper timesheets submitted from the field do not match the original schedule, your office staff must figure out what happened and reconcile the differences. The time, energy, and money it costs to do this can be very detrimental to the business. We’ve heard horror stories of payroll taking up to four days because of the lack of information or late timesheets. Also, when there is difficulty collecting information, it doesn’t only mean your caregiver won’t get paid, it might also mean that your agency won’t get reimbursed for services provided.
Loss of Data
Not using a telephony system can also result in data loss. When timesheets are late, incomplete, or lost, it can result in major holes in your paper trail, and big headaches during audits. Without sufficient record keeping, you could also open yourself up to some serious fines from the state where you operate. Concerns about your records and the security of your business can also lead to undue stress on you and your agency.
Overcoming the Hurdles to Implementing a Home Care Telephony System
We’ve worked with home care agency clients for many years now, and we’ve heard a lot of reasons why some agencies choose to not use a telephony system. But after reviewing the drawbacks you can or may be encountering by not utilizing an electronic visit verification system, let’s address some of the hurdles you might feel you could face when it comes to implementing a telephony system for your agency.
Issue #1: The cost of a telephony system is too prohibitive for my agency to use one.
Reality: Cost is relative. Is it a better use of your resources to have office staff spend hours retrieving timesheets and manually verifying schedules, or would you rather have them following up with leads and making sure current clients are receiving quality care? An electronic visit verification system will automate the process of shift verification and keep you up to date with changes in the field. It is an investment in the growth and continued success of your agency.
Issue #2: Training my caregivers to use a telephony system would be too difficult
Reality: Caregivers are the face of your agency, and you trust them to ensure quality care for your clients. Don’t underestimate their ability to learn new processes.
Issue #3: We’ve never used a telephony system and I don’t want to change the way we run our operations now.
Reality: Change can be intimidating, but it is necessary for survival. A successful business is constantly looking for new ways to improve its processes and streamline its operations to stay one step ahead of rising costs and competitors.
Telephony with the Rosemark System
Using paper-based methods to manage key tasks like reporting shifts worked and recording caregiver tasks performed for clients can not only be inefficient, costing time and money, but it can also leave you exposed to some serious penalties. Fortunately, our Rosemark System provides integrated tools to help create a better management process. Our integrated telephony feature will alert you to any issues in the field, allow your caregivers to accurately record the tasks they are performing in real time, and automatically prep completed shifts for billing and payroll. Also, any shifts that do not match the original schedule will be highlighted so you can focus on resolving issues and not waste your time reviewing verified shifts.
For more information on our telephony system and how it works, contact a customer care manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-662-3537.