The initial decision to use telephony in my home care company was made because I was literally sick and tired of time sheets. No matter what I did I couldn't get the caregiving employees to turn them in on time. Telephony, because there are no timesheets involved, solves this problem. Another attractive feature about telephony is that it identifies the caregiver, when they arrive and leave, and who the client is. This information is automatically sent to billing and payroll.
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Once I started using telephony it was like magic. The late time sheet issue became one of the past. However, to use a telephony system successfully, it is critical that all are disciplined in its use. ALL calls have to be completed and finalized each day without fail. Scheduling coordinators are required to make sure the system is 100% updated as their top priority at the start of each day. If this is not done, you will not be able to remember why certain calls were not completed. This will definitely cause problems and not solve them.
Telephony exceeded all of my expectations. After using it for a period of time I discovered that it helped me manage my caregivers and thereby improve my service level substantially. Caregivers knew that I could determine if they were on time and if they stayed for the authorized
period. It actually changed their behavior. In hindsight, I realize that this is the most important reason to use telephony. It really is one of the few tools we have available to monitor caregiver activities on a daily basis. Additionally, as a home care company, we became much more proactive with our clients. We called the client before they called us when a caregiver was late to a job or a "no show". It took the client out of the timesheet signing process, which is a very positive outcome. We also started using telephony for marketing purposes because it assures that a caregiver will be where they are scheduled to be. Discharge planners, other referral sources and clients/families love the concept because it provides peace of mind.
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