Your home care agency’s reputation for quality care and customer service begins and ends with your caregiver team. No matter how helpful and professional your office staff is, family members and clients forge their own perspective of your agency by the habits and attitude of the representative they see the most: their caregiver.
Home care agencies can struggle with bad caregiver habits more frequently than other traditional healthcare settings. One reason, of course, is that caregivers for home care agencies work without supervision in the client’s home for the majority of their time. This means bad habits can creep in quickly and supervisors or office staff may not even notice the habits until it has caused an incident, concern, or issue.
Here are a few tips for eliminating bad caregiver habits in your organization sooner than later.
Watch for Trends
If you don’t already have a platform that allows you to easily track care trends and markers, you are not taking advantage of all that home care technology offers. When you have access to track care markers in real-time, you are able to determine if there are any bad caregiver habits lurking throughout your agency.
An increase in urinary tract infections? That could mean caregivers are not being as attentive to pericare. An increase in potentially avoidable hospitalizations? This could mean caregivers are not reporting changes in condition or new symptoms to the agency in a timely manner.
Follow the trends to look for potentially bad habits.
Listen to Family Members
While every agency has at least a few “high maintenance” family members, in general, you can learn a lot about your caregiver habits by listening to family members when they express concerns or compliments. Try to follow up with family members regularly, even if they don’t call your office with a concern. Simply checking in with each family at least quarterly can mean you are getting honest feedback from someone who sees their loved one’s caregiver regularly.
Follow Up Quickly
If you notice bad caregiver habits from one team member or from the entire staff roster, you should address it quickly. Remember, caregivers who work without supervision on a regular basis can easily slip into bad habits; it isn’t because they don’t care about their job or clients, but simply because no one is there to keep them on task or remind them of best practices.
Ensure you are hosting skill workshops and staff education meetings at least monthly. This way, you are able to widely address best practices and focus on specific skills that could be leading to poor trends in your agency (pericare, documentation, etc.)
Then, consider adjusting the clients’ care plans as needed to address best practices. This way, caregivers will focus more on that particular task. For example, update pericare requirements under the services section of the care plan. This will require caregivers to document pericare services differently, which will make them focus on that part of care a bit more and create a new (and better) habit.
Finally, praise all movement toward better habits. Your agency is a team, and the entire staff should know what the current focus is so they can work together to eliminate bad habits and create better ones. You’ve got this!
Article written by Haley Burress.
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
I’d like to share with you my free Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit staff and efficiently scale your home care team.
The end result:
Faster than ever.