Did you plan for your Agency?

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When you decided to open a home care or home health business what entered your mind? Be true to yourself about the answer. Was it to get back at an employer that has made you mad and you think you can do better? Is it because you have the love to help the growing senior population to be able to stay home, and receive quality care.

Whatever your real reason may be, as a Home Health/Care Consultant I have to ask you have you did you do  a business plan to see if your business would be viable? Did you think about all that is required to start an agency, or did you just jump out there in the sea of agencies and now you find you may be drowning.

As anyone in the healthcare industry know there is a major crisis facing Home Health agencies, Hospices, and Home Care businesses. There’s simply not enough nurses, therapists, home health aides, and personal caregivers to meet the vast demands of our aging population in a highly competitive home care industry. There are 35,000 homecare/ home health agencies in the United States, and it is getting harder and harder to provide staff for the agency’s clients.

This crisis is causing major problems for everyone. Clients are upset with the lack of dependability and continuity of staff. Caregivers may get frustrated with their employer because of turnovers, and Schedulers stress out from trying to find coverage to meet the agency’s needs. Agency Marketers don’t know how to bring in new clients if your agency can not guarantee quality care from competent staff. In addition, you are losing money because of unfilled shifts, missed visits, and angry clients leaving. So, what are you to do?

There is no easy answer; there is no magic wand to solve the problem. One of the most talked about solutions for solving the shortage of field staff is to provide quality training at the time of orientation. Research shows that properly trained employees, tend to stay longer with their employer because they feel “valued.” Second, is for supervisors to spend quality time with your staff and get to know them better. Reassure them that you understand their frustrations and that you are working on a solution. Here are a few more ideas for hiring, training, and maintaining quality staff.

How can you hire quality staff, and keep them?

  1. Change where you look for staff. Posting an ad in Craigslist should be your last choice.
  2. Place ads at colleges in the healthcare section of the college and in the college newspaper.
  3. Try AARP there are a lot of 50+ people wanting to work with the elderly.

Training:

Training your staff to be quality caregivers is a Must!

  1. Staff should have 5 days of orientation at least.
  2. Monthly in-services need to be conducted and are required.
  3. Staff competency prior to giving field staff any clients no matter if your staff is licensed or not make sure they are capable to provide care.

Lack of quality staff training can easily put your agency in jeopardy for a lawsuit from staff or clients.

To your Success,

Sharron