A few extra minutes spent chatting with Mr. Smith’s granddaughter about a school project doesn’t seem very significant at the time. After all, in a client-centric world it’s often the little things that pay off in the long run by solidifying patient-provider relationships.
However, when the patient roster is full and it takes longer than anticipated to complete an individual home-care visit, the impact is felt organization-wide.
Use text services to keep your team on schedule
A quick conversation with patients shouldn’t impact the daily schedule, but what about those times that car trouble, difficult blood-draws and equipment failure put a home nurse significantly pressed to make the next visit on time?
Using text services immediately lets the employee schedule maker know a backup nurse is needed to pick up one or more calls to stay on track and meet patient expectations. With When I Work Shift Replacement tools, scheduling managers can quickly broadcast the schedule change and assign a temporary fill-in.
Equip the team with the best GPS for the region
Every rural home-health nurse probably has at least one horror story about getting lost on the way to a scheduled visit miles from town with a limited signal. Whether your company supplies GPS equipment or negotiates discounts with vendors, encourage your staff to use a system that has a strong external antennae and shareable web-based route customization features.
Check out Garmin Nuvi and Magellan RoadMate, both recommended by reviewlist.com.
Improve meeting attendance with email and text alerts
Never miss an opportunity to keep everyone on your team on the same page. Broadcasting emails and text-alerts announcing upcoming in-service and team meetings keep your temporary and part-time staff in the loop.
Stay connected with mobile scheduling apps
Roughly 75% of nurses used Smartphones in 2012. It makes sense to use mobile scheduling apps that make it easier and more convenient for nurses to monitor work schedules and shift availability from anywhere—work, home, or on the road.
Improve accountability and coordination of care with EVV technology
When implemented with back-office billing, work schedule templates and other interfaced staff management solutions, electronic visit verification (EVV) technology strengthens accountability standards and allows care providers to monitor service delivery to ensure billable hours are accurate and well-documented.
Give staffers options to balance work and family
Shift scheduling software that allows staff to request specific dates and swap shifts with other team members boosts morale and promotes better coverage.
Streamline visit documentation
Digital devices—tablets, smartphones, PCs, and so forth—improve coordination of care efforts. Using cloud-based searchable electronic patient records and data storage enables nurses to spend more time at the bedside of patients and less time reviewing reams of paper files unrelated to the current visit.
Control the budget with needs-based staffing technology
Both overstaffing and understaffing strains the budget. Plus, understaffing puts patients at risk and places unnecessary burden on nurses. Online employee scheduling tools that give managers easy access to skill-sets and availability facilitate matching complex patient needs with nurses who have the right credentials and training to provide high-quality care.
Balance the workload for continuity of care and employee satisfaction
Sometimes the best laid plans get interrupted. Creating a weekly work schedule for each nurse is critical to managing workflow and patient care. But, there’s always the possibility that an employee will get sick, quit or experience a personal emergency that prevents shift coverage.
Online scheduling software that allows businesses to post open shifts from mobile apps simplifies the nurse manager’s job. No more scrambling to get back to the office to access staff profiles and patient records.
Encourage staff to embrace medical technology
Effectively communicating is essential to care delivery success. Email, text and telephone technologies are all viable communication tools. Advanced communication products like doximity, which incorporates features that include personal fax services, nationwide medical provider contact information and peer-to-peer communication, ensures your staff has immediate access to valuable information to keep them connected to peers and providers.
Voice recognition software eliminates errors and duplication
Whether your company uses a voice recognition product like Dragon or relies on services implemented alongside medical management software, voice recognition technology allows nurses to document each visit accurately and efficiently without compromising patient engagement.
Innovative technology opens the doors wide open to improved staff management and coordination of services within a cost-effective, sustainable framework. As more providers embrace electronic health records, implementing fully interfaced systems and modules that work alongside existing systems enables access for authorized users and stakeholders across the service delivery network.
If your company wants to maximize profit potential, it’s time to explore new technology solutions designed to support more efficient workflow, increase efficiency and improve communications.
 Almost 3 Out of 4 Nurses Use Smartphones for Work, Ragan’s Health Care Communication News
11 Tech Recommendations for Coordinating and Managing Your In-Home Nurses Chad Halvorson