Home health care agencies are blossoming before our very eyes. The state of healthcare costs warrants more and more in-home care services, with the promise of a bright future for those who endeavor to meet the demands. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to say with it comes growing pains in the industry.
Home health care has one of the highest turnover rates of any other type of industry. In fact, staff shortages are cited as their number one issue in the industry. There are a few reasons to consider what they are, as each of them comes with its own unique set of risks for the person receiving care and the company that employees the care provider.
Home Health Care Agencies Need To Redefine Skilled Labor
Unfortunately, being a personal care assistant, home health aide, or any other type of service provider that doesn’t have a state certification is currently defined as unskilled labor. This unfair term means low pay for the workers that provide compassionate and quality care to those needing their services.
Some of the people that these professional caregivers provide care to are:
- The elderly
- Those recovering from illness
- The chronically ill
- Disabled persons
- Cognitively impaired persons
These are only a handful of reasons why someone would need to receive personal care in their home. Most of the time, professional caregivers are given paper reports that outline the diagnoses of the person they will be caring for, what types of care they will need, and any nuanced instructions that may come from medical staff or the care recipient’s family.
A professional caregiver must be able to understand how to apply their training to not only what is outlined but be able to decide if the medical condition of the person receiving care has acutely changed. Professional caregivers are often in the position of needing to be able to assist their care recipients with moving, standing, bathing, dressing, eating, and any other thing that may require heavy lifting and could present a fall risk to the care recipient.
The risk of personal injury to the care recipient and the professional caregiver should not be understated. When either of these parties is injured during the course of care being delivered, the loss to each of them and the company being employed is great. Risk should be considered along with the type of work being done. When professional caregivers see their pay does not match the demands placed on them physically and mentally, they go find another job.
Fortunately, there are home health care agencies who are getting on board with offering better pay and working conditions to their professional caregivers. Their reward is tremendous. Paying to recruit, hire, and train professional caregivers only to lose them to jobs with less demand and personal risk is very costly.
Proper Training To Prevent Injury Or Accidents Is Lacking
With labor shortages and impossibly high turnover rates for employees, training and dispatching professional caregivers who have the skills and the confidence to do their jobs correctly gets tricky. While there may be fewer workers to do the job, there is no end in sight to the demand for their services. This puts home health care agencies in a bind to get employees hired, trained, and out the door delivering care services. The impulse to send new recruits out into the field before they have completed their training is great and anyone can see why this bad idea gets made a little too often.
An ounce of good training prevents a ton of loss due to accidents and injuries. No one likes to face litigation, but if professional care is being promised to a care recipient and an accident happens due to lack of proper training, that is just what will happen. Home health care agencies beware, lawsuits await for those who do not take employee training as seriously as it should be.
Documentation Is The Holy Grail In Mitigating Risk
If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen. Have you ever heard that phrase before? It’s true. Especially when it comes to proving innocence in court over negligence claims. Too many home health care agencies have paid damages to care recipients and/or their families because they couldn’t prove that proper care was given. What is your staff doing now to document their care delivery?
eCare Vault is specifically designed to provide a secure, HIPAA compliant, cloud-based platform for the home health care industry. Instructions, documentation, oversight, collaboration, and document sharing all can be done on a handheld device. When it comes to documenting procedures and care, monitoring care quality, and being able to see how care is being delivered,
eCare Vault is the only choice in mitigating risk and litigation for home health care agencies. If you’d like to find out more about how eCare Vault can help your home health care agency, find out more today.