Home care services are in high demand, as seniors throughout the country are seeking support to stay at home for as long as possible. In just 10 years from now, home care is projected to serve more than 7 million people (a 66% increase). With more clients on the horizon, home care agency owners must choose now to create a culture that puts safety at the forefront of all decisions.
Home care safety practices have evolved over the past decades, mostly for the better. However, with everyone seeing patients that have more challenges, more chronic conditions, and higher acuity needs, it is imperative that you adopt even more safety best practices in your organization sooner than later.
Update Your Caregiver Training
Client safety begins with solid and consistent caregiver training. Unfortunately, high caregiver turnover rates can contribute to inconsistent or hasty orientations or onboarding. You must create policies and procedures to ensure this does not happen in your organization. You can create an agency that values caregiver training by:
- Developing a comprehensive orientation training program for caregivers
- Meeting with staff members as a group at least once per month for ongoing education and communication
- Setting a standard day of the month for new caregiver orientation
- Creating a thriving Mentor program among veteran and new caregivers
- Setting up quarterly skills workshops for caregivers to practice and refine their personal care skills (these skills workshops can also be paired with annual performance reviews)
- Create a committee to update safety policies and procedures for your employee handbook
Make Documentation Easy
Increase safety within the client’s home by ensuring caregivers have access to updated documentation like the care plan. Unfortunately, paper care plans that are inside the client’s home are typically outdated within just a few days, especially when clients have chronic conditions that cause quick changes. Without access to an updated care plan or other documentation, caregivers can end up making unsafe decisions based on outdated information.
You can ensure your caregivers always have access to correct documentation by:
- Working with a platform that includes an app for caregivers to see care plans and other messages in real-time
- Performing regular documentation audits to ensure caregivers are reporting any concerns or issues
- Developing ongoing documentation training, as well as training on signs that could point to potential safety hazards in the home
- Performing safety checks and fall risk assessments within the client home upon admission and on a regular schedule thereafter.
Finally, caregivers may not know about safety concerns or new conditions when they enter the client’s home. While having access to the care plan is certainly the foundation of a comprehensive safety plan, it is also imperative that you ensure effective communication between your office and your caregivers.
Again, you can use an app for this or you can develop phone check-ins and check-outs for caregivers, though this can cause strain for office staff during early morning or late night shifts.
Client safety is always your agency’s number one concern, however, without the proper commitment to training, documentation, and communication, your caregivers cannot provide the best care possible.
How do you keep your clients safe at home?
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.