Overcoming Common Challenges in Home Care with Software: Tips and Strategies for Service Providers

Asha Neil

Written on 17 April, 2023
The challenges facing the healthcare industry threaten to jeopardize patients’ care quality and agencies’ growth. But software can help you respond to them.

Labor shortages, increasing demand, and a hefty administrative burden only made worse by HIPAA: these are substantial challenges. Keep reading as we break down what they mean for your agency, and how the right tools can provide a solution.

Challenge 1: Admin Overload

For many healthcare providers, admin work is a bottleneck that prevents their agency from growing. They spend hours on scheduling, invoicing, accounting, checking employee documentation, updating patients' care plans, and more. These time-consuming tasks often force them to hire additional employees. Some agencies find themselves turning away potential clients because their admin system doesn't scale.

The Home Health Care Software Solution

Admin work is where agencies see some of the biggest benefits of healthcare software. You'll be able to build shifts in minutes with drag-and-drop scheduling, group shifts, and recurring shifts. Payroll and billing can be auto-generated based on your schedules, time tracking, and expense records, reducing the likelihood of errors as well as saving time. And since new patients and employees can be added to the system in minutes, admin work won't get in the way of growing your business.

Challenge 2: HIPAA Compliance and Data Security

The risk of a data security breach has never been more worrying for the healthcare industry. HIPAA requires agencies to protect the privacy and security of patient information. The move to digital records improves communication but increases the likelihood of a HIPAA violation. And for home healthcare agencies, the risk is heightened as employees check patient records at home or in public, on the way to visit patients.

The Home Health Care Software Solution

With the right healthcare software, your agency benefits from improved data protection and security. Password protection and secure cloud storage mean you'll never have to worry about a lost or stolen device. And thanks to advanced access controls, you can rest assured that employees can only access patient data in a HIPAA-compliant manner.

Challenge 3: Labor Shortages in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is dependent on the caregivers who provide quality patient services. Not only do your team members provide the healthcare that patients need, but they build the relationships that ensure that patients don't switch to a different agency.

However, the US labor shortage is making it harder for healthcare agencies to recruit and retain talented employees. And, as America's workforce keeps aging, it's likely to become even more difficult in the future.

The Home Health Care Software Solution

It's not just your healthcare agency that benefits from home healthcare software. Your employees do too. With the right software, you can give your team greater control over their hours, so that they achieve the work-life balance they need. This will make it easier to retain your staff.

At the same time, improved scheduling allows you to optimize your schedules and make the most of a limited workforce, without sacrificing patient safety.

Challenge 4: Increasing Demand

America's aging population, combined with labor shortages, is placing pressure on the healthcare system. We can add to this the recent impact of the Affordable Care Act, which brought healthcare coverage to millions of Americans, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Affordable Care Act and the general greater demand for home healthcare present opportunities for home care agencies — but they also come with challenges. Many agencies will struggle to meet patients' needs for home healthcare. They will have to balance competing demands for service volume, care quality standards, and staff satisfaction levels.

The Home Health Care Software Solution

When you sign up for healthcare software, your home care agency benefits from greater scalability. It becomes easier to onboard new patients and quickly schedule them for services, which in turn, enables you to better meet the increased demand driven by the Affordable Care Act, COVID-19, and America's population changes.

Challenge 5: Communication

Effective communication is essential for patient care coordination, but for many healthcare agencies, it remains a challenge. Internal communication is often time-consuming, with hours spent emailing employees and chasing up confirmation.

Modern platforms such as email, WhatsApp, and Slack are supposed to make communicating easier. But with so many apps being used, it's easy for messages to be missed. Staff also suffer from notification fatigue. It can start to feel like nobody's reading the same book, let alone the same page.

The Home Health Care Software Solution

Moving your communication onto one single platform is one of the biggest benefits of home healthcare software.

Your employees can access all their schedules and patient records via a mobile app, while a web portal makes updating patients' loved ones easy. Automated bidding on jobs means you add new clients to the schedule without sending a single email. You'll finally be able to get everyone on the same page.

Software Built Around the Needs of Healthcare Providers

The healthcare industry faces significant challenges that are only going to become more pressing in the near future: ensuring patient data security, retaining employees, maintaining high quality standards while meeting the greater demand fuelled by the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Healthcare software can support home care agencies in overcoming these challenges. It can automate data security, improve the employee experience, and give your team the tools they need. Moreover, by optimizing efficiency, it can help you expand your services and take on more clients.

ShiftCare's HIPAA-compliant home care software takes care of the admin side of running your agency so you can focus on what really counts: growing your business while enabling your employees to provide patients with excellent healthcare. Our users find they can reduce their admin time by up to 90% thanks to advanced scheduling, invoicing, and HIPAA-compliant document management tools.

Discover how your home healthcare agency can thrive with the right software solution. Try ShiftCare for free.

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