Many states are planning to re-open after a long period of sheltering in place, but they must consider all the aspects and take adequate measures to minimize their risk.
There are two approaches; some are thinking to reopen their facilities completely and work in full capacity, while other agencies will follow a more graduated model.
Regardless of the way your agency is operated amid COVID-19, now is the time to plan a safe & coordinated transition to ensure improved care services for the elderly.
A home care organization must plan things appropriately to minimize their risk and at the same time improve productivity & cover any previous losses.
Here you’ll find ways to adjust planning while you prepare to move forward. We’ve also shared a step-by-step plan to prepare your agency for the months ahead.
The thing that we can’t stress enough in this guide is to prioritize future planning. The focus shouldn’t be just on the major processes but also on those small tasks that your agency has been delaying during the pandemic.
Proactive planning for home care organizations delivering personal care services is going to be entirely different than what it was earlier.
It is of the utmost importance that adequate future planning should be a part of the overall strategic process as it will help how you’ll be responding to future events.
The thing you shouldn’t forget is that future planning isn’t just limited to physical resource management- it’s also about managing your staff. With the home care industry slowly moving towards streamlining processes like never before, staff management must be a priority.
Here’s what you need to emphasize:
- Maintaining good communication with caregivers & clients
- Positive working relationships
- Ensuring enough quality resources
- Encouragement & recognition
- An adequate supply of essentials for your caregivers
You need to begin analyzing your current situation and then systematically plan your operations & processes.
The total time your resources are utilizing for diverse tasks isn’t the same as it was pre-pandemic. It’s crucial to emphasize more on your resource management in the most efficient ways that not only ensure quality care delivery but eventually help your business grow in the toughest times.
Here are important questions you need to ask yourself
- Goals- What are you trying to achieve by a particular time? For instance, you may have a goal to enhance your profits by 50% in the next three months, or maybe you wish to add your agency’s name to the top-most profitable agencies in 2020. It’s crucial to define your goal in advance so that you can plan things accordingly.
- Objective- What specifically do you need to achieve? For most home care businesses, enhancing revenue & increasing billable hours per client may be the biggest priority at this crucial time. Once your objective is clear, you must focus on the aspects that can help you achieve your goals.
- Strategy- How will you achieve your desired objective? You need to precisely analyze your current situation, number of resources, and other aspects that are hindering your journey towards your desired goals. Once you’ve figured out the things that need to be changed, you can then pay more attention to managing your resources in the most efficient ways.
- Tactics- What are you specifically doing to achieve your objectives? It’s equally important to make a list of actions that your agency needs to take to scale the business growth as per your desired goals. You can begin testing your strategies and analyze the output. If it’s fruitful, you can continue, else, you need to rework your tactics.
Manage Expectations for Clients, Caregiver, & Staff
Since the entire situation is new to everyone, people aren’t sure enough what to expect. Many of your employees or even clients may be thinking of switching their jobs and services to get the things right as they were before the pandemic.
It’s your responsibility to work with your employees, and even clients, so that you can frame their thinking regarding the operations and overall experience that needs to be carried forward.
You certainly need to work with your caregivers and other staff members to properly frame their thinking regarding the operations and the experience while progressing.
Since we know that full-capacity work post-pandemic won’t be like it used to be, it’s essential to plan things for the newly added tasks including disinfecting and sanitizing as they can be time-consuming.
Here’s what should to be considered:
- How to reduce the risk for caregivers and staff members when working at full capacity
- What services can be still managed remotely
- Involvement of your team members in creating efficient plans
- Consider analyzing your competitors
- Ask for suggestions from your clients
Create a List of Questions for Your Caregivers
One essential step that you shouldn’t miss is to ask your caregivers about the challenges that they are facing.
Ask them how the pandemic has changed their routine and the major areas that can be improved to enhance care delivery.
Since your caregivers are the ones who have to ultimately change their schedules while the states re-open to full capacity, you have to be sure enough you meet their expectations at the end of the day.
Many home care agencies have witnessed a great loss to their agencies when their dedicated caregivers switched their jobs or even decreased the total hours of their work week. The situation was extreme for these agencies who were fighting an uphill battle as hiring skilled caregivers at the time of pandemic has not been easy for any.
So, prior to managing your resources, gather the suggestions and feedback of the caregivers. They should be given priority and agencies must ensure they aren’t overburdened once the state re-opens to its full capacity.
Apart from this, agencies shouldn’t miss the overall safety of their valuable employees. An adequate supply of PPE kits must be ensured so that the caregivers remain safe during their shift.
The Road Ahead
2020 is undeniably the year of survival. This is a time to test and once we completely recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll surely have new opportunities to move forward.
From a preventive standpoint, home care organizations need to combine adequate planning and leverage technology to the fullest to stay on the top of the current situation.
Agencies must remember to monitor their plans and make alterations as required in the post-pandemic world to ensure their business remains up & running. Home care providers can try our home care software for free to enhance operational efficiency and stabilize business revenues amidst COVID-19.
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