January 31, 2024

How to make visits more efficient

Table of contents

Domiciliary care businesses continuously strive to provide top-notch care to their care recipients while optimising the use of their care professionals' time. Achieving visit efficiency is crucial for owners and registered managers of domiciliary care services for a multitude of reasons.‍ This article explores a few practical steps that can be taken to enhance the efficiency of care visits you deliver.

Let’s get started!

Optimising Care Visit Schedules

Efficient scheduling in domiciliary care is often challenging but always necessary. It involves ensuring timely and appropriate care for each care recipient, considering travel logistics, care professional availability, and accommodating unforeseen circumstances.

Effective route planning plays a pivotal role in this process. Grouping appointments geographically minimises travel time, while a clear understanding of the time required for each visit is essential. Effective time management during visits is equally crucial, focusing on prioritising tasks to deliver essential care activities.

To achieve these optimisations…

  1. Consider offering flexible working hours for care professionals, allowing them to align their schedules with their availability.
  2. Implement efficient communication channels for updates and changes to rotas, perhaps a group chat dedicated to rota changes or a card management system with integrated rostering and messaging.
  3. On the client-facing side, conduct regular schedule reviews, training programmes, and clear communication about visit schedules.

While achieving these goals manually is challenging, rostering platforms tailored to the domiciliary care sector can revolutionise scheduling, making it more responsive and efficient.

To help whittle down rostering systems you can use for your homecare agency, we’ve created a list of the Top 7 Best Rostering Software for 2024.

Enhancing Care Professional Training

Efficiency in domiciliary care begins with a well-trained team that understands the significance of effective time management. Prioritising regular training sessions that go beyond core care skills is crucial. These sessions should cover rapid yet thorough assessment methods, task prioritisation during visits, and best practices for delivering effective domiciliary care.

To improve visit efficiency with your team:

  1. Schedule regular training sessions designed to enhance both the efficiency and service quality of your care team.
  2. Investing in your care professionals will yield dividends, resulting in improved visit efficiency and overall service quality. Additionally, care professionals benefit from more time to bond with care recipients instead of rushing through their list of tasks before moving swiftly on. Giving them time back to do what they do best - care, is essential to both the care recipient and care professional.

For a wealth of training resources tailored to the domiciliary care sector, visit Skills for Care, where valuable materials and guidance are available to support your training initiatives.

Implementing Standardised Visit Protocols

Having standardised visit protocols ensures that essential tasks are consistently performed during care visits by your team. Consistency with standardised protocols enhances the efficiency and quality of care delivery across different services.

To begin implementing standardised visit protocols…

  • Collaborate with your care team to identify critical components of successful care visits. Develop standardised checklists based on these components. These checklists become invaluable tools for care professionals, helping them manage their time effectively while maintaining consistent care standards.
  • Ensure that these protocols are readily accessible to all care professionals within your organisation. Consistency in care delivery improves efficiency and recipient satisfaction.
  • Utilise care management platforms with customisable task creation and care planning to align with your standardised visit protocols.

If you're not ready to create your protocols from scratch, study existing protocols in the domiciliary care sector for inspiration and guidance.

Did you know Birdie Partners delivered 30+ million care visits in 2023? Read the full report here!

Fostering Effective Communication with Care Recipients

Clear and consistent communication with care recipients sets clear expectations, builds trust, and ensures efficient care visits. It’s vital to establish and maintain transparent communication channels between care recipients and their care professionals / care provider.

How to improve communication:

  • Begin by providing care recipients with information packs containing visit schedules, care plans, and details about each visit.
  • Empower care recipients by keeping them well-informed, reducing confusion, and enhancing visit efficiency.
  • Explore communication guides and best practices within the domiciliary care sector to refine your interactions with care recipients.

Article continues below this video

Sara from Newcross Healthcare Solutions sat down with the team at Birdie to discuss just how game-changing the Birdie Message Centre truly is. Find out how Newcross communicates effectively without emails and WhatsApp:

In addition to providing information, create an environment where care recipients feel comfortable discussing their needs, preferences, and concerns, you could do this by implementing a feedback forum and/or survey.

Open and transparent communication fosters trust and partnership, contributing to efficient care visits. When the care professionals know more about their care recipients, the more they can do for them, therefore delivering efficient, quality and personalised care.

Read - How to track carer-client communication

Embracing digital tools and cultivating a culture of efficiency can lead to a more successful and sustainable domiciliary care business. By delving deeper into these strategies, care providers can take concrete steps towards improving visit efficiency, ultimately benefiting both care recipients and care professionals.

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