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Supporting patient, caregiver and family engagement with technology

Families have turned away from nursing homes and other institutionalized settings at record rates over the last few years. Instead, they’re choosing home care for their loved ones. As a result, home care organizations are not only caring for more clients – but more clients with acute and complex needs.

It’s far from the only new demand for home care organizations. Value-based Medicaid payments have finally rolled out across nine states in 2022, with many more states forecasted to follow shortly. Agencies accepting these reimbursements are required to deliver better outcomes and back these claims up with data.

Between changing payer rules, consumer preferences, and acute client health needs, the demands on the home care industry are higher than ever. Agencies must learn to do more with the same resources as the caregiver shortage continues to strain the sector.

The good news for home care leaders? New digital tools and strategies also continue to evolve to support these changing needs. AlayaCare CEO & Founder Adrian Schauer, predicts that the technology industry will rise to the challenge, offering digital tools that enable innovative home care agencies to adapt to the new care landscape over the next few years.

Curious about how your organization can adapt to these new demands? On three recent episodes of Home Health 360, AlayaCare’s podcast offering global perspectives on home healthcare hosts Jeff Howell and Erin Vallier spoke with industry leaders about how they leverage novel tools and implement programs to increase engagement across entire clients’ entire circle of care.

Use clinical providers as coaches for home care providers

Home care clients require more complex care plans than ever. As a result, caregivers and nurses need to complete more involved ADLs than ever before.

Lourdes Wiley, Clinical Educator and Nurse Consultant, and Irina Gorovaya, Home Health Consultant, Educator, and Founder of Amity Healthcare Group, explored the importance of staff training and competency programs at home care agencies during Episode 14 of Home Health 360. They shared recommendations for agencies seeking to maximize their share of the growing acute home care market while providing complex care safely.

Goravaya suggests that agencies reimagine their competency program from a box-checking event to a transformational program. “You’re setting up the grounds to not only ensure you have skilled and knowledgeable personnel – but most importantly, to get better patient outcomes with better knowledge and better skills,” says Goravaya.

As a consultant, Wiley reviews many clinical charts for personal care agencies. She notes, “There’s a norm of expecting home health nurses to figure it out. But we shouldn’t be expecting this; it’s dangerous. We arm them with the why – why is this important, why does this work?”

Wiley and Goravaya frequently encounter agencies hesitant to train caregivers who might leave within three months. But they recommend that organizations not only look at competency programs as an investment in staff retention.

Hiring a competency training consultant, like Amity Healthcare Group, is an excellent option for many agencies. But this is something many organizations could take on themselves if they have a clinical leader willing to spearhead this – and the funds to invest in training equipment.

Once you’ve implemented new competency training for your team to take their skills to the next level, ensure you’re setting, tracking, and measuring the new metrics you can now achieve. Lean on your home care software provider for the tools to create and manage client care plans. And then ensure you’re tracking and reviewing ADLs via a care worker mobile app.