Value-Based Payment, or VBP, is not necessarily new in the healthcare space. In fact, VBP has been a part of the home care conversation since 2016. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implemented the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model (HHVBP) to give incentives to Medicare-certified home health agencies to incentivize better quality and more efficient care. No matter if your agency is following VBP protocols or not, one thing is clear: exceptional home care agencies are always looking for ways to improve patient outcomes and increase revenue.
The answer to realizing your VBP goals? Your caregivers.
Caregivers are the Key
By far, caregivers are the most crucial point of patient contact. They are the ones who are with patients the most and who are able to catch minor changes that would otherwise go unnoticed. Your caregivers are the ones who can tell if a cough is getting worse, if a patient is more confused than usual, or if a patient is becoming depressed.
Beyond noticing small changes, your caregivers often know how to improve patient well-being based on their time together. For example, they may know that an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon makes a patient feel anxious, so they suggest decaf. They might know that a patient will cooperate with his range of motion exercises if he waits until after lunch. These are small details that make a big difference when it comes to patient care.
Of course, it takes a team to create a quality care experience. However, whereas a RN or physician sees patients at scheduled, sometimes infrequent, intervals, a caregiver is there during the day-to-day routine. This daily insight makes the caregiver the greatest resource any home care agency has.
Empowering and Equipping Your Caregiver Team
A caregiver knows their patients well, and they have the ability to report any acute or developing issues that could lead to changes in the plan of care. Proper reporting from insightful caregivers also means that agency leaders are able to find agency-wide care trends and implement a strategy to remedy those trends.
But what if your caregivers are not reporting as they should be?
Caregivers are often not empowered or equipped to submit their observations, which is why about 70% of caregivers admit to not submitting patient reports or observations regularly. They often do not have access to the technology that can make documentation easier, which is where agency leaders come in.
Technology can provide a smarter workflow that allows caregivers to quickly document their observations, making it easier for agency leaders to aggregate and review the data. While there are many technology-based solutions for home care agencies, not all are created equal. When you are choosing a platform that empowers caregivers, make sure you look for:
- A platform that is caregiver-centered, allowing them to document easily from their smartphone.
- A documentation solution that has caregivers complete a VBP Questionnaire prior to clocking out for their shift, that includes questions about the patient and gives the caregiver an opportunity to share any concerns or observations.
- A system that uses AI technology that uses caregiver data to predict when a patient may be likely to deteriorate. This allows the agency to develop a plan of care that focuses more on preventative care to potentially keep that patient out of a health crisis and away from an emergency room.
- A solution that makes meeting VBP goals easier, thanks to a focus on the caregiver’s data.
If you are looking for a way to make patient care more efficient and improve your patient outcomes, it starts with your caregivers. Finding a platform that both empowers and equips them with the tools to document their observations more easily will enhance your agency’s commitment to patient care as well as boost morale among your team.
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