Successful home care agency owners know that teamwork does indeed make the dream work. However, teamwork in home care can be especially challenging because building communication and camaraderie can be difficult when caregivers don’t know one another and only connect with office staff when there is an emergency to report. While the challenges are certainly there, your agency will not succeed to the level you desire unless you commit to creating an environment that encourages home care team collaboration.
Not sure you have the tools and policies in place to make home care team collaboration happen? We’ve got your starting inspiration right here.
Utilize Technology to Improve Communication
Gone are the days of paper charts and paper care plans hanging in client cabinets. In order to compete with other home care agencies in your area, you must be effectively using technology to improve care and communication. One way to do this is to find an online platform that offers caregivers the opportunity to download an app on their smartphones in order to access client care plans and notes. Their app should also allow them to document directly into the patient electronic medical record, giving updates on the client’s health and routine in real-time.
Your office leaders cannot collaborate effectively with the caregivers on the front lines without technology. If you are already using an online platform but not seeing the real-time collaboration capabilities, it is time to upgrade your software.
Connect Management as an Interdisciplinary Team
Senior living communities are great at the interdisciplinary team model. They know that every speciality in the community serves the senior is a different way; to create a whole-person wellness plan, the disciplines must communicate with one another on a regular basis. Unfortunately, home care agencies struggle with this approach.
You can choose to connect your management team and leaders in order to utilize an interdisciplinary approach as well. If your leadership team is currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, begin your weekly meetings via Zoom or other video call app. If your leadership is in the office, your weekly meetings can start in-person. During your weekly interdisciplinary meetings, review new clients as well as any clients that have had a significant change. To get an even broader scope of what is really happening with those clients, invite the caregivers for those clients to the meetings as well.
Don’t Skip Staff Meetings
Your staff meetings are an excellent way to distribute information and ongoing education, certainly. However, those meetings can also be a vehicle to improve your home care team collaboration. Use a designated time during those meetings to talk about specific client situations that are challenging or difficult; then, brainstorm together. You’ll end up with a list of potential interventions to try and a team that feels more connected over a common cause.
Empower Your Team
Home care team collaboration hinges on the fact that caregivers feel valued and empowered. Ask for the opinion of your team members, including caregivers, regularly. Find the talents of your team and make them specialists about those specific topics. Encourage caregivers and office staff to seek out the opinions and hear the experiences of others in the agency. This exchange of ideas and opinions empowers your staff and encourages collaboration to improve client care.
Improving your home care team collaboration doesn’t happen overnight. But, with consistent focus, you can make sure your team is taking a more interdisciplinary approach. Your clients will notice the difference in care sooner than you will!
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.