Health care agencies are under increasing pressure to perform to higher and higher standards despite having less and less funding. This challenge as well as the many others they face means that efficiency and productivity have never been more important.
In practical terms, increased productivity in healthcare delivery would make it possible to continue driving medical advances and meet the growing demand for services while improving affordability.
If senior leaders are freed up from time consuming bureaucracy and administration jobs, then they can use this time to focus on the real issues such as:
· keeping up to date with sector leading best practice
· the quality of care being provided across their care homes
· quality staff performance management
· ensuring that all health and safety rules are being adhered to
· monitoring the effectiveness of care plans
‘For Home Healthcare Agencies to grow and thrive, they must achieve some of the best key performance indicators (KPIs) and operational efficiency for utilization and billability. At the same time, they need to reduce time-consuming effort and cost non-revenue generating administrative tasks such as billing and payroll. The agency’s focus should be on its service delivery operations and maximizing the time of its caregiver team providing quality care to patients. ’
In many organisations the tradition has been for senior staff or administration staff to oversee the creation and collation of vast amounts of paperwork. Not only is this a huge burden on them and expensive in terms of time costs it can also lead to human errors which can incur further costs.
One sure fire way to increase both efficiency as well as productivity is the introduction of bespoke healthcare software tools.
How can software help?
Software can be used for a whole range of tasks that were traditionally completed by a member of the senior leadership team:
· Software can be used to track potential staff members applications, collating all the information provided by the candidate. The advantage of using software means that the data only needs to be entered once but can then be used for a range of purposes. Furthermore, all senior and administration staff can access the data to check on the progress of the applications.
· Software can be used to create shifts quickly and accurately, stating how many people in varying roles are needed. These available shifts can then be sent to staff who can sign up for the ones they are free to work. Traditionally this would involve a senior member of staff creating a shift and then filling all the vacancies by phoning staff or looking at their availability on paper.
· Software can enable staff to sign in on their mobile devices which will capture the time as well as their location. This information can be used in the form of a timesheet that, once signed, can be automatically uploaded so that it can be used to collate completed shifts for each staff member over the month. Another example of a task that used to be completed manually, taking up a huge amount of time.
· Software can be used to capture and collate all staff members’ relevant training and certificates. It can also be used to ensure that this training never lapses by setting alerts to remind staff to book onto reaccreditation training before their current certificate runs out. This automated system creates peace of mind for leaders as well as making sure that all staff members have the certificates necessary to carry out their jobs.
It is clear that technology and software is now at a level where it can be easily used to ensure organisations can vastly improve their productivity by making a wide range of tasks more efficient.