HHAeXchange on Why Top Homecare Agencies Need to Invest in Tech
John Pandolfi is Director of Client Success at HHAeXchange, an industry-leading homecare management solution that connects payers, providers, and patients. We interviewed him to learn more about what is going on in the homecare industry.
Viventium: What do you see the most successful homecare agencies doing?
John Pandolfi, HHAeXchange: Successful agencies are investing in tools that make caregivers’ lives easier. Tools that can facilitate EVV; tools that facilitate in-service trainings, and tools that help facilitate coordination. Successful agencies know that the communication bridge between them and their aides is the most crucial bridge in homecare. When there is a breakdown in that flow, the consequences can be huge.
Do you think agencies are feeling the caregiver shortage now?
JP: Absolutely. Caregivers are in short supply and high demand. This is due to a combination of factors, but low wages, few opportunities for advancement, and inconsistent work schedules definitely play a role. Caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our society, while rewarding, is no easy job. Given the current state of the industry, it’s possible that many find working for a fast food chain or larger retailer—where the pace might be more predictable, and earnings could be higher—more appealing than homecare.
What do you think agencies can do to help turn the current situation around, especially considering the incoming retiring Baby Boomers?
JP: To start, they can meet aides where they are with technology. Give them the best tools possible for them to effectively and efficiently perform their duties, and that means tools that center around mobility. Allow aides to submit timesheets electronically. Offer them the ability to accept cases electronically, right from their smartphone. Agencies can even take aides’ travel time into consideration and use smart scheduling tools to match aides to nearby patients and minimize their travel times.
Value-based care and payments are increasingly becoming more commonplace. How do you think agencies can prepare for this change?
JP: Empower aides to be more in control of alerting the agency to changes in patient condition. Aides are uniquely positioned to detect changes (emotional, physical, and social) within a patient, which makes them uniquely capable of being able to raise the alarm when they observe a change. Our Care Pathways tool makes it easy for an agency’s aides to check-in on patient progress right from their smartphone. At clock-out, aides are automatically prompted with simple yes-or-no questions related to the patient’s diagnosis and environmental observations. This information is sent directly to the agency to keep track of patient progress and intervene as needed to prevent hospital readmission or avoidable accidents.
Anything exciting on the horizon from HHAeXchange over the next couple of months?
JP: We are investing heavily in our mobile technologies. We already have a very robust mobile app and case broadcasting capabilities. However, we want to take this even further so that agencies and their caregivers will be able to manage all key business operations from within our mobile application, with a huge focus on being able to communicate in a “text-like” fashion.
What is unique about HHAeXchange’s partnership with Viventium?
JP: Our partnership has been crucial. Having payroll software that seamlessly integrates with our management solution has allowed us to offer a tool that saves our clients hours, days even, in payroll processing time. It’s also proven helpful for compliance, as anyone in the homecare industry knows how difficult it can be to keep up with changing laws and regulations.