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Staffing woes in the Home Healthcare Industry

By the year 2026, Americans will spend a whopping $5.7 trillion on health care. The Home Health industry will need to recruit and train 13 million new caregivers to meet demand. On the contrary, attracting and retaining talented staff is challenge faced by Home Health agencies for several years with staff turnover rate as high as 22.18% in the current year. Without sufficient staff, the Agencies are unable to admit more patients, resulting in unhappy clients and restrictions on the expansion of their business. With the result, only 5% of Home Health Agency have 5-Star ratings.

Challenges faced in hiring staff for the home health agency are:

  • Awareness of job opportunities in the Home Health Industry
  • limited interest in home health care careers
  • Concern for job growth
  • Health Care worker’s interest in roles outside the industry

Given these obstacles, it is extremely difficult to ensure the availability of qualified employees to keep up with continued growth in the Home Health Industry over the next decade. The need of the hour is to work towards creating awareness about the Health Care Industry and providing the staff with the utmost facilities, remuneration, career path, and perks.

Tips for Successfully Recruiting & Retaining Homecare Givers

Caregivers are a Homecare agency’s most important asset. With the emergence of COVID-19 disparity between caregiver supply and demand has become apparent. The agencies should ideally recruit and retain their staff by using innovative strategies, and also attract potential candidates. They should invest in ongoing retention programs, implement new technologies to empower caregivers, and continue to provide quality care for those who need it the most.

  1. Create awareness of Job Opportunities

The home health care agency needs to put in extra effort to attract CNAs, nurses, and other prospective applicants. The Homecare industry should invest in educating the general public and potential future employees on the home health care space as an amicable and promising place to work. Job portals mostly cover job opportunities in Nursing Homes and Hospitals and overlook the Home Health Care sector. It is essential to create awareness in nursing schools, about job opportunities in the space of HHAs.

Many job seekers are motivated towards training opportunities and career paths, besides remuneration. Aptitude should be an important factor for job requirements. Does being a caretaker come naturally to them? Do they have compassion and sensitivity to handle patients? 

  1. Attract talent from outside the industry

Instead of contending for existing staff, Homecare Agencies need to bring new workers into the Home Health workforce. The Agencies should work towards changing the label of “non-skilled labor”, for Caregivers. This move will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the Home Health Industry. ‘referrals’ should be promoted as a way to recruit new workers. Data shoes that people referred by friends score very well on annual performance reviews and stay longer.

  1. Focus on employee training and retention with innovative programs

An average caregiver costs $2,600 to replace, making onboarding a critical expenditure for an agency to bear. After recruitment, it is essential for the staff to receive proper attention and training. Beginners’ orientation can be followed by training on basic skills, such as elderly safety, working with chronic illnesses, and transporting clients. Caregivers should also be well trained on self-care tips to help them combat burnout from the very beginning.

Incentive programs are a great way to empower caregivers and keep them fulfilled in their careers. They can be awarded points for on-time visits and for accurately observing and tracking patients’ conditions, which can be pooled toward rewards.  Perks such as gift cards or spa days for a job well-done can make all the difference to overall morale and drive.

  1. Implement innovative technology to streamlines operations & boosts efficiency

Home Health agencies must invest in innovative IT solutions to improve existing processes, which will make the lives easier for caregivers and their patients. For instance, replacing manual forms of billing and communication processes with a platform that connects Patient and their family, caregiver, physicians, and agency in real-time on the same group.

Many other benefits that clinicians and caregivers can avail themselves of with a smart App are, streamlined and accelerated processes of scheduling appointments with the right caregivers Storage of medical records, clocking in and out, maintaining a shift schedule, communicating with the agency, completing in-service training, and much more.

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