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How to Streamline your Home Care Roster

11/07/2024 minute read Health and Care

You don’t need us to tell you how time-consuming creating a roster for your home care organisation is. What we can tell you, is that 92% of domiciliary care providers in our Care Trends Report 2024 say they face challenges with rostering and rota planning.

So, whether you’ve struggled to manage a complex roster across multiple locations or found difficulty putting the right people on the right shift, you’ve likely also battled through scheduling challenges. But with demand for care continuing to go up, getting control of your roster plays a key role in delivering high-quality domiciliary care.

In this article, we’re looking at how you can enhance your home care roster by going digital, from supporting your staff to better managing your budget.

Why effectively managing your home care roster is so important

  • Optimising Availability and Travel Time

Coordinating your care workers based on their availability can be a struggle in any care service, but an added challenge for home care providers is the need to also to take travel time into account. Ideally, you don’t want your care workers travelling out of their way in between clients - wasting time and money on petrol - if they could instead be scheduled to visits in a smaller area.

And of course in domiciliary care, things like traffic, roadworks or poor weather conditions can create delays to care delivery, eating into the time allocated for client care. But it also takes up time in your care workers shift with any unwanted overtime potentially affecting their work-life balance.

  • Matching Caregivers with Clients

Home care rostering isn’t just about having a care worker or two visit at a certain time of day. It’s also about allocating the right person to meet the needs of the client. And your clients will all have varying levels of care requirements and preferences that need to be considered when you’re creating the schedule. Being able to match your care workers skills and availability to each client can be incredibly important for providing high quality care and boosting client satisfaction.

Let’s say you have a number of care workers who have experience in certain areas, are trained to provide care for particular needs or have already established a connection with some of your clients. You’d ideally want to efficiently roster them to those who have those specific requirements – and better ensure you’re effectively meeting their needs - than schedule someone else who isn’t yet fully prepared to manage that type of care.

  • Care Continuity

As you know, being able to maintain continuity of care can be crucial for your client’s wellbeing. That’s because seeing a familiar face can reassure clients, whilst helping your care workers build a strong relationship and establish trust with those they care for, ensuring consistent care quality and high user satisfaction.

But you can’t always predict what the day is going to look like. High turnover rates, sick leave, unexpected delays or last minute client hospital admissions can alter the original plan, meaning your staff have to quickly adapt to continue providing the level of care your clients expect. Having plans suddenly change can unfortunately affect continuity of care and may even mean visits get missed, particularly if these amendments aren’t easily communicated.

How to enhance your home care rota with digital rostering

1. Provide Real-Time Updates

Each of your care workers attend to a wide variety of tasks and clients, spending most of their day on the go. So, when you rely on manual or paper-based rostering, the schedule is often out of date as soon as you’ve created it. But with digital rostering, you can make care coordination more seamless, giving a helping hand to both your care coordinators in the office, and your care teams on the road.

Rostering software allows your teams to see their roster in real-time, as well as any updates to the schedule as they happen. Software solutions like Care Cloud have a mobile app which can even allow your teams to keep each other informed for things like lone worker safety. That way, you can track those who are working in the community and let them know when to wait for another member of staff to arrive before starting a client visit.

2. Embrace the Complex

You know that domiciliary care rostering isn’t just about a regular, daily or even ad hoc roster. It’s about all those extra requirements that you need to consider that takes more time to figure out. Things like training days, breaktimes, annual leave, shared care or activity days. All these extra complexities can be easily added into your roster when you utilise dedicated software, taking the pressure off your busy care coordinators.

And because the software is able to consider all of these rostering complexities, you’re in a better position to accurately calculate pay for multiple employee contracts and invoice your clients correctly first time, because you know exactly what care was delivered, for how long and at what rate.

3. Be Proactive

Of course, you can’t always be sure you have a water-tight rota, because amends to the schedule can happen at any time. You can, however, be better prepared for when plans do change. Having complete oversight of your roster means you get to see exactly where your shortfalls are and plan for them before they affect service delivery.

Care Cloud can even tell you when your new employees have completed their training and onboarding process, so you can seamlessly get them on the roster as soon as possible. And in doing so, you can avoid relying on expensive agencies for short term cover, or missing visits that you may have otherwise been unprepared for.

Rostering Software for Domiciliary Care Providers

Care Cloud, our care business management solution, is packed with vital functionalities that give you more control over your home care rostering, so you don’t get caught out by last minute, expensive changes to the schedule. Get in touch with us to get started on your software journey today!