Manual Work Processes in Home Health & Hospice Agencies

A successful home healthcare & hospice agency considers a variety of problem sets that contribute to their ability to excel.  How efficient is the process concerning schedulers?  Is your scheduling operation manual or are there aspects that are automated? 

Your scheduler is an integral employee with crucial responsibilities tied to the success of your agency. How they manage cases and clinicians effectively is determined by how well tuned your operations are.  For a home healthcare agency’s longevity and growth, the scheduling system is one of the first areas that must be given attention as, from time to time, the system can run into bottlenecks. Many agencies manage their scheduling duties entirely on manual processes like hard inputs in a spreadsheet. This can be prone to human error as well as visibility issues around a clinicians’ workload when dispatching cases through the usual channels of emails, texts and phone calls.  But, one thing is certain in scheduling, the fewer errors an agency can make and more efficient they are, the better their chances are for high growth and long term success. 

Think about your agency’s operations, what are you doing manually that can be automated? Or, what areas can be improved that have a direct effect on your ability to take on more patients and help you scale? 

Imagine the chaos and stress-inducing visual of several spreadsheets in your dashboard that require updating every day in order to successfully perform your job.  

A detail oriented scheduler must carefully balance one sheet that tracks potential start of care (SOC) visits awaiting authorizations with another sheet that tracks SOC visits that are already approved and require attention. Even worse, a third spreadsheet of clinician availability is introduced once an SOC is ready to be assigned, and potentially a fourth spreadsheet of clinician region assignment. Having a close intimate relationship with these workbooks are essential to make sure patients don’t go missing as lost visits equal lost income.  

So the question is, can an agency scale quickly with such a heavy reliance on manual processes?

One thing to consider is where in your organization can you optimize, especially with regards to keeping operations running smoothly. Streamlining means taking rote, manual efforts and sequencing them potentially through a platform that automates the calculations for you (staff + utilization + region + client needs + discipline) and helps you arrive at the best possible conclusion. 

Data driven decision making tools that are easy to use help your staff make better decisions to help you save money. 

There are several moving parts within the scheduling department which makes it difficult to scale without some automated system in place. Ask yourself,  as an operator or owner of a home healthcare agency, do your schedulers have the tools to keep pace with an ever-increasing workload? Do they have the resources to dispatch each new case with the right clinician on top of all their routine duties.

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