According to a recent AHCA study, home-health and hospice providers continue to grapple with a severe staffing and economic crisis. With over 98% having trouble hiring staff, estimating that their costs have increased by an average of 41%, it’s clear we need a better approach.
Luckily, proactive triage has emerged as a beacon of hope for healthcare organizations seeking to revolutionize the delivery of home health and hospice services. This strategy offers both financial relief and the promise of enhanced patient care, ultimately leading to a brighter future for long-term care. Proper proactive triage transforms the relationship between provider and patient through many different methods like automation, predictive scheduling, and proactive programs.
Understanding Proactive Triage
Proactive triage is a strategy that anticipates and addresses patient needs before they escalate into emergencies. It optimizes healthcare delivery and comes in many practical forms like weekend tuck-in calls, daily medication reminders and care provider surveys.
In home-health and hospice, proactive triage is the gateway to preventative care. It allows timely interventions and personalized care to be at the center of every healthcare journey. Remote healthcare gives patients the opportunity to discuss their symptoms and concerns with trained triage nurses, who can advise them, suggest over-the-counter remedies, or order medications and supplies from the comfort of their own home. This proactive approach ensures the appropriate level of care occurs before needs arise and to avoid after-hours calls and expensive hospital and ER visits.
Automation Solutions and Predictive Scheduling
During a global nurse shortage, automation has emerged as a critical solution, offering both financial relief and the promise of enriched patient care.
Automated staffing solutions use software technology to take care of simple or repetitive tasks and help clinicians work to the top of their licenses. These solutions encompass a wide range of activities, ranging from recorded phone, email, or text reminders for patients to take vitals to automated check-in calls asking about patient symptoms and needs. By relying on data-driven insights, it takes the guesswork out of staffing decisions and prioritizes the care of the patient. Automation frees up valuable time in busy nurse schedules, so that extra time is used to reduce the burden of administrative tasks, minimize errors, and allocate resources more efficiently for patient centered care.
Predictive scheduling leverages automation to match staff availability with patient needs, reducing idle time and increasing the overall quality-of-care.
Predictive scheduling transforms healthcare organizations into more effective, efficient, and responsive caregivers who evolve with patient and provider needs. By leveraging existing data to optimize future schedules, nurses can stay patient focused. When you match a coordinated clinician schedule with remote patient monitoring (RPM) data, organizations anticipate patient symptoms before they become emergencies. This also reduces nurse burnout by ensuring that the right providers are available when and where they are needed the most.
Benefits of Automation Solutions & Predictive Scheduling:
- Improved Efficiency: instantly adjust to changing circumstances, by providing custom EMR solutions and optimal staffing levels.
- Cost Savings: streamlining resource allocation, eliminating excessive overtime, and removing overstaffing tendencies reduce operational costs significantly.
- Enhanced Patient Care: predictive scheduling ensures patients receive timely, high-quality, personal care–improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Proactive Programs Nurse Well-Being and Patient Engagement
Nurse well-being programs empower healthcare providers to focus on themselves as caretakers. Working long hours can be stressful, so it’s important to find ways to improve workflow and alleviate the emotional burdens they carry on the job. Providing practical, effective programs to cope with common caregiver challenges creates a safe space for staff to take their own mental and physical health seriously. This is a critical foundation for any nurse, especially when caring for long-term patients and concerned family members.
Nurse Well-Being Best Practices:
- Provide training, feedback, and recognition for achievements to improve employee-engagement values.
- Employ tech-enabled triage systems so nurses can “unplug” with peace-of-mind during non-office hours.
- Commit to standards that inspire leadership, positivity, and collaboration.
Highlighting different resources and supporting nurse well-being alleviates stress across the board, reduces burnout, and allows providers to operate at the top of their license.
Proactive programs also encourage patients to become better involved in their own care. Clinicians often do not have time to check in on each patient regularly, and busy front-line staff may not have the extra time or expertise needed to guide clinical conversations. That’s why an automated, proactive outreach program focused on patient engagement can help patients stay on track in their wellness journey–before and after their appointment.
This Could Look Like:
- Automated tuck-in calls, with interactive voice response, sending reminders to the patient as well as prompting them to give feedback in an on-the-go patient survey.
- An easy-to-access web portal for both patients and providers with accurate EMR documentation and patient education videos/articles tailored to the patient’s condition.
- Technology that collects vitals with Bluetooth-enabled RPM devices like weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, or pulse oximeters that self-report digitally.
Patient engagement is just one piece of patient experience and proactive programs are a part of the solution. Expanding digital healthcare requires careful consideration of how to treat clinician workloads so that benefits are felt across the care continuum.
Transform Your Organization with CareXM’s Proactive Triage
Proactive triage powered by automation, predictive scheduling, and proactive programs, holds immense promise for home-health and hospice providers. By addressing future patient needs in advance, streamlining staffing, and prioritizing nurse well-being, providers can achieve higher levels of patient satisfaction, improve the overall quality of care, and create a more sustainable and fulfilling work environment for their healthcare professionals.
Fortunately, CareXM is the kind of experienced, clinical partner you can count on to deliver the help you need to elevate your patient and caregiver experiences. Our mission is to help our partners effortlessly anticipate and respond to patient needs with triage technology backed by our on-demand triage team. Whether you need after-hours triage, our cost-saving hybrid triage solutions, or in-house triage call-center infrastructure, we help you flex and extend your care, so you reach patients in the moments they need help the most. From home health and hospice to health systems and more, CareXM will transform your patient approach to lower operating costs.