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What’s the Yield Out in the Field? Basic Strategies to Improve Productivity


Productivity remains a key component of maintaining cost-efficient home care and hospice operations, and agencies and clinical staff are feeling the pressure of trying to meet their goal for “visits per day”.   In terms of managing costs, what are you doing to evaluate and improve your agency’s productivity?  Many factors contribute to your agency’s overall results, but all days in the field are not created equal.  Simione Healthcare Consultants provides comprehensive expertise to help home care and hospice organizations improve productivity. Our team can identify any barriers – from patient acuity and technology issues to duplicative paperwork and time/distance to visit – and build an effective plan to assist you in improving overall business performance. These basic considerations can help in your ongoing efforts to increase efficiency:

Technology

The systems and digital devices you use, as well as programs such as telemonitoring, will enable your staff to be more productive in communicating and documenting their work. Make sure you are monitoring the reliability and quality of your systems and devices.  Sometimes the best rate on systems and services aren’t worth the savings if you cannot rely on their performance.

Support Resources

Do you have enough team support to facilitate productivity? Clinical staff need adequate clerical support to minimize their time spent on non-clinical tasks.  They also need clinical support resources to assist them with problems in the field, and need to know how to properly use technology during a visit to improve overall efficiency. Are they performing tasks efficiently (i.e., do they complete documentation at the patient’s home or their own home?)  Additionally, all team members need reliable communication tools such as cell phones and email to communicate with both patients and the office.

Salary and Benefits

Many agencies have sought cost savings by considering or making changes to salary and benefits.  If you are cutting direct staff salary or benefits, you are likely to see a negative impact on productivity, leading to higher turnover, a higher risk for cutting corners in patient care, and overextended staff who miss work due to illness or fatigue.  Additionally, any salary incentives which reward the number of visits without considering outcomes have the potential to backfire if the end result compromises patient care or decreases patient satisfaction. 

Time Management

Are your staff scheduled efficiently in terms of their starting point, travel time and location of visits?   Efforts to coordinate schedules will go a long way if staff have an equal opportunity to meet productivity targets and account for meeting time, clinical calls and documentation requirements.  

For more information on ways to assess your organization’s productivity, call Simione Healthcare Consultants at 844.215.8822.