Technology is designed to make life easier, and the right technology can eliminate hours of manual labor and reduce human error. However, sometimes technology can also feel overwhelming. While the right technological tools can transform your homecare operations, improperly designed apps and platforms can end up being a hindrance rather than a help. How can you tell if a new platform or service will be a major hit at your agency or an expensive miss?
One surefire way to tell if a new piece of med-tech will work in your agency is to determine if your caregivers will actually use it. If you can’t convince your caregivers to actively use new technology, you will end up abandoning it sooner than later.
So, the most important question is ‘what do caregivers want’? Here are a few characteristics of technology tools in the home care space that have success among caregivers.
Caregivers are busy during their time with patients, so they need technology that is easy to use. Successful tools have a user-friendly design that makes tasks like clocking in and out, or completing documentation, as easy as possible.
Caregivers love systems they can quickly download and use from their personal smartphone. This way, they are only learning new technology, not a new device. Find a platform that allows easy clocking-in and clocking-out, as well as comprehensive documentation with a few taps on their screen.
Caregivers also want the option to complete in-service in their preferred language, from any place, at any time. They want to be able to access everything they need for their agency on one single app or platform. Keeping everything in one place also minimizes the risks of forgotten documentation.
Beyond a system that is easy and convenient to use, caregivers want technology that puts them at the center of the user experience. This is where so many caregiver tools fail. Look for programs and platforms that were specifically built with the input of caregivers and professionals in the field. These companies better understand caregiver challenges and design tools to meet them.
Look for technology that is multilingual, makes learning more engaging and fun, and sends out friendly, automatic reminders to keep caregivers on track during their busy days. As a bonus, look for a staffing platform that allows them to have more autonomy over their own work schedule, picking up shifts when they need to and declining other shifts during busy times.
Caregivers want to feel trusted by their supervisors and home care agency leaders. One way you can demonstrate this trust is finding technology that allows caregivers to take control of their own documentation and compliance regulations.
Find a platform that automatically reminds caregivers about expiring items, allows caregivers to upload their own compliance certificates or records, and transmit it directly to the agency they work for. They will love the convenience and you’ll love knowing it’s all being taken care of for you.
Home care caregivers often feel isolated from peers and supervisors. Because they work alone in the patient home, it can be difficult to create a culture of teamwork and positive communication.
Caregivers will use technology that allows them to connect with their peers and supervisors easily and frequently. Search for a platform that makes communication between the agency and the caregiver team a priority.
Finally, caregivers want to feel empowered and appreciated. After all, they are the team members who spend the most time with patients. Caregivers want to know that their observations are wanted and are important in the patient care plan.
They will use technology that allows them to be an active participant in patient outcomes. Caregiving apps that actively solicit their observations and prompt them for their comments will not only help to improve agency care trends, but will also lead to increased morale because caregivers feel valued.
Technology can help your agency recreate workflows that are more efficient and engaging. And remember the golden rule: the best technology for your agency is the one your caregivers will actually use.
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