If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that all businesses need to be able to pivot and be flexible in order to succeed. One of the biggest trends that came out of COVID-19 is for organizations to find a way for team members to successfully work remotely. Home care agencies already have caregivers working away from the office and in client homes, and leaders are often out of the office working on assessments or partnerships. However, if you aren’t successfully operating remotely, now is the time to start the process.
Here are a few things you can do this month to give your agency the ability to work better remotely.
Make Charting Electronic
If you don’t already have a platform that gives caregivers the opportunity to chart electronically, it’s time to invest in one. Documentation compliance is crucial to communication and to reimbursement, and paper charting is quickly becoming obsolete. Search for a platform that includes an app that caregivers can download onto their smartphones. You’ll see that accurate and compliant documentation increases immediately.
Secure and compliant documentation platforms also allow your clinical team to immediately change care plans in real-time or write new instructions based on assessments. Your clinical team can also use the platform to build staff schedules, research new clients, or even perform assessments in the hospital with a tablet.
While meetings with leadership and caregivers are certainly imperative to your agency’s success, it is wise to evaluate if you are having too many in-person meetings that are taking away from your team’s productivity. In general, best practice tells us having a monthly caregiver meeting for education is ideal. The leadership team must meet more often, certainly, but try to see if you can have a management meeting once per week that takes care of many business items at once.
Audit your current meeting schedule and see if it is realistic to condense some, combine some, or eliminate some altogether. Remember, tools like email and texting can assist with small decision making.
Get the Right Tools
In addition to an online platform for your agency, start experimenting with apps and software that were designed for teams working remotely. Try using Slack or Microsoft Teams for quick chats between team members as well as Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 for shared items ranging from press releases to newsletters. The more you and your team can become familiar with these tools, the easier it is to transition to a remote working situation when necessary.
Educate and Empower
Remember, not all team members are going to feel comfortable using technology in their daily work life, and that’s okay. It’s your job to work with your team to educate them and empower them to use new tools throughout their day, week and month with clients. Have a solid training curriculum established, as well as a way for them to get help when they need it, before rolling out any new technology.
Your team already works remotely more often than the typical business. Now is the time to streamline your efforts even more.