It was great to come together recently with over 1,000 vendors and customers who shared a similar passion to learn and collaborate at this year’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Conference in Washington, D.C. With so much exciting technology on display, and informative sessions providing a full week of takeaways, our team came out of the event fueled by what the future holds.
As I sit here and think about all the conversations over the course of the week, three key trends stick out: the impact of the workforce crisis on direct care, electronic visit verification, and the need for mobile worker support.
We wanted to devote some time to unpacking these trends, along with ways we see the HCBS community coming together with so much compassion to address these challenges in 2022 and beyond.
As we approach the 1,000-day marker since the beginning impacts of the global pandemic, we’ve come up against a few new hurdles in the hybrid work obstacle course; running the risk of confusing priorities along the way.
The healthcare industry has seemingly found itself torn between goals: technology and HR.
In the quest for digital transformation, these two can sometimes get confused as providers need to do more with less – which is where technology becomes the answer. However, in the mix of workforce retention tactics, technology can also go a long way.
Today’s nurses have been pushed to their limits and many are even leaving the profession altogether. And to make matters worse, the healthcare industry is facing unprecedented nurse staffing shortages.
The recent nursing shortage has had a significant impact on patient care today. From poor patient outcomes to a diminished patient experience and even decreased revenue, hospital systems are starting to feel the impact of the nursing shortage in very tangible ways.
So when it comes to retention, how can providers do more with less? The answer: technology.
As we’ve seen, there is a significant opportunity to be more resourceful with technology, specifically by streamlining communications. By uniting internal and external collaboration in one location — creating a dynamic, safe and secure environment — the employee and patient experience can be improved.
Today, supervisors are equipped with multiple devices for communication during their shift and are tasked with repetition in recording patient information in multiple systems. There is a significant need for one software that communicates as needed to all necessary parties to streamline admissions, transfers, and discharges as well as to operate more efficiently. We’ve taken these concerns into consideration with the construction of LinkLive, enhancing the digital agency experience, digital office and mobile worker experiences with one single pane of glass.
Nurses and clinicians are doing more with less and need more time given back to them during the day that will allow them to better care for the patients that so desperately need it.
Electronic Visit Verification
Another trend we discussed were the many perceived benefits of electronic visit verification (EVV).
The ability of EVVs includes reducing fraud, waste and abuse by incentivizing workers to show up on time, especially in relation to older customers with cognitive limitations.
When properly working, these systems can create more accurate and secure records compared to the archaic approach of paper timesheets.
With the 2023 implementation deadline rapidly approaching, states need to be prepared to act. As part of my conversations at HCBS, I found this topic is top of mind for all as vendors are preparing their final steps in the implementation process to provide the most compliant and up to date services possible.
Mobile Worker Support
According to The Business Research Company, the global mobile healthcare market size is expected to grow from $65.56 billion in 2021 to $250.50 billion in 2026. When it comes to reducing liability, reliable documentation of care and recordings of communications are required. Key avenues for support include:
- Compliance: Validation that a healthcare worker was providing care at a specific place and time is essential for audit trails and compliance to prove services were provided for medical and private pay patients.
- Privacy: Not recording phone communications with patients is a potential liability risk. Communications require privacy so that the healthcare worker can communicate pre-, during and post-visit without exposing their personal information.
- Productivity: Poor time management of health workers’ time can decrease billing, shared savings, quality of care, and overall patient satisfaction so enabling them with tools to optimize the workflow is key.
Ultimately, these trends are still unfolding, and challenges remain. However, there was so much compassion found at this event and our team is committed to helping healthcare organizations address the needs of their workforce, including those mobile / on the road, and organizations needing to prepare for the EVV deadline.
If you find your healthcare organization needs to do less with more, let’s solve your staffing problem together. We’d love to help you level up with LinkLive.