Healthcare scheduling is a centralized process where facilities are staffed and patients come to see their staff at the practice office or hospital. By contrast, home care scheduling is more complicated. Since care services are delivered in the home there are questions of geography and transportation for the care workers, and there are also timing challenges such as recurring appointments. As you can see, Ankota takes scheduling seriously and we focus on healthcare.
Let’s explore scheduling in healthcare a little deeper. different flavors of home care require different modes of scheduling
There are many aspects of home care that have different scheduling approaches. These include the following:
- Non-medical home care: Non-medical home care services such as a home health providing personal care and homemaking service usually follow a repeated weekly pattern. It could be something like every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
- Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Scheduling: One of the most affordable Medicaid programs that avoids institutionalization at low cost is called CDS. In this model, the home care agency administers the care, but the consumer receiving the care “directs” the service and sets the schedule.
- Certified Home Health such as Visiting Nurses: Home Health is specifically focused on post-acute recovery (making sure that a patient discharged from the hospital has the help that they need for a successful recovery. In most cases this care is limited to 60 days.
- Case Management: Ongoing case management is usually ordered for individuals with higher hospitalization risk. In this case a nurse or other needs assessor is scheduled to meet with or call the individual periodically such as once a month.
- Call Center Based Services: One of the keys to the future of home care and health care in general is that it will become more necessary to provide remote services. Whereas a “visiting nurse” can generally see up to 6 people in a day, a nurse in a call center an have meaningful conversations with 30 or more.
- Durable Medical Equipment Delivery: Another aspect of home care is delivering meds and supplies to clients. Since most deliveries are made to home bound individuals, the best way to schedule is to optimize in a manner that minimizes driving. There are, however, some situations that necessitate specific time windows for scheduling (e.g., to make sure that the infusion supplies are delivered before the infusion nurse arrives)
As you’ve seen, comprehensive home care scheduling requires consideration of many models of care delivery. We’ve shared a good number of “best practices” for scheduling within this paper. Looking to the future, we anticipate that our industry will shift more in the direction of “population health.” Which will require our agencies to deliver the right blend of medical visits, non-medical visits, call center-based interventions and automated interventions. If your systems are from the previous generation of software that only enables documentation and billing, your agency will be left behind in the coming years.