Home care organizations are made up of two teams: clinicians and operators. A successful marriage between these teams is like a pair of glasses. Each lens has a separate focus but only when connected and working together properly can you achieve the shared vison of success. The first shared vision for home care organizations should be healthy and satisfied clients. To achieve this, the clinical and operational teams must focus on client care and quality caregivers.
The Clinical Focus
Providing high-quality client care is a never-ending mission for a home care organization. The clinical team is an integral part of facilitating high-quality care, and it starts with the clinicians and caregivers who are hired. Two areas to keep in mind when hiring and managing clinicians and caregivers are:
- Hiring for potential vs. experience – Should organizations hire experienced caregivers or caregivers in whom they see potential? The answer is yes. Experienced caregivers bring a wealth of knowledge and innovative ways to handle difficult situations. Their experience has taught them new ways to do the job well. Of course, experience can also come with resistance to change. Hiring caregivers with potential can be a great option as well. Maybe a caregiver has experience in one area but has less experience (or no experience) in the area that you are looking for. Asking the right questions to see how they have handled other situations can help you determine their potential to learn new skills to provide quality care. Look for people who ask questions and offer new ideas.
- Setting a quality standard – Decide on quality standards that you want to mandate, then hire and manage the performance of your clinicians and caregivers according to that standard. Some potential quality standards include: client safety measures, effectiveness measures, client satisfaction measures and efficiency measures. The only way this tool will help achieve the clinical focus of providing high-quality client care is if your caregivers are evaluated on these standards consistently, ensuring quality is met.
The Operational Focus
Attracting quality caregivers is the most important component to a well-run home care organization. The operational team must take a strategic approach to increase their ability to attract top caregivers.
- Sourcing for quantity vs. quality – Recruiting can be a numbers game: the more recruiting leads you have, the more likely you are to hire. But organizations must evaluate if they are focusing time and energy on the right hires. Chasing down candidates just to meet a quota has an opportunity cost associated with it. Spending time and energy on all candidates instead of the highest quality candidates could cause you to lose both. Hiring quality caregivers can also have trickle-down benefits, such as qualified referrals, fewer late arrivals and better client care.
- Hiring for performance vs. personality – This is another balancing act with recruitment efforts. Personality is an important aspect of hiring, as caregivers are in a client’s home for eight to twelve hours at a time, with some even living in the client’s home. However, if the caregiver’s performance in delivering quality care is lacking, personality alone cannot suffice.
Separate Focus, Shared Vision
Telling your team they should have healthy, satisfied clients without clear and defined ways to achieve that goal is like asking them to bake a cake with no recipe. The outcome is the result of guesswork and a desire to finish the job, along with food that probably isn’t worth eating. Only when you provide your expectations on how each team can focus and reach the goal will the shared vision be successful.
You can read more in our series on achieving long-term home care success and how to identify the important variables in our previous blog.
Upcoming installments will explore how the concept of separate focus with shared vision can marry clinical and operational teams for lasting success in the home care industry. Axxess Home Care, our innovative home care software, provides the tools necessary for your organization to succeed.