*If you're on the fence about Home Health, I highly encourage you to read my previous post before you dive into Your Home Health Starter Guide - So, You're Thinking Home Health?
“You’re Hired!”, said my future boss.
I was ecstatic! A new job, new setting, new freedom! I was breaking away from the monotonous clinic job into the unknown arena of Home Health.
But reality began to slowly set in. Panic ensued as I was realizing I had NO CLUE what I was doing.
If I was a betting man, I imagine most first time home health’ers have similar feelings.
But Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright. Learn from my mistakes & from the suggestions of a handful of SRP Facebook Members.
Consider this Your Home Health Starter Guide to get you started on the right foot.
There are SO many things to learn and variables to consider in Home Health. Some companies do a wonderful job of thoughtfully orienting their new staff before they’re out in the community. Some throw their new hires to the wolves with evals on their second day. Some provide all the resources you’ll need as a clinician. Some just give you patients to treat.
With the variability of the new hire process from company to company, we’ll start with establishing some general Objectives to give you some guidance as you start:
1. Understand Office/Business Workflow
The Home Health Machine can be a very delicate machine if all of the parts are not operating as intended. All it takes is one person to not do their job and the rest of the team suffers. Don’t be that guy/gal.
Get to know the systems and operations that allow your company to do what they do well.
To help you along the way, remember these questions when talking with your office teammates (regardless of what they do):
I’ve asked these questions to anyone I can and the answers have helped me see how my actions/inactions impact the rest of the team as well as settle any confusion.
Now let’s dive into some specifics...
The Sales/Marketing team is VITAL to any Home Health Company. They are out in the community convincing case managers, nurses, & physicians to refer their patients to your company. Word of mouth from good care is the best, but company’s often need to get out in the community.
Your scheduler has a VERY difficult job. You will be communicating with them often so understand their processes to ensure a good working relationship.
These are the people that make sure we actually get PAID for what we do. We can make their lives miserable so be nice. ;)
They set the tone & make the big decisions. The culture of companies often live or die based on the leadership.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list and are very general questions. Just focus on learning as much as you can about the inner workings of your company so you can be life-giving and not life-sucking.
2. Understand Field Clinician Workflow
This section basically boils down to:
There are so many different types of documentation that you will have to perform. There are also different timelines for when you need to perform certain tasks. You’ll have to communicate with LOTS of other disciplines. It is A LOT, but your fellow clinicians or office staff will point you in the right direction.
Having a personal organization workflow that’s effective for you will be vital. Here are some things to consider…
Coordinating with InterDisciplinary Team
3. Optimize Your Setup
After excellent patient care, efficiency is your secondary priority. You can shave minutes if not hours off of your work process just by your setup and the equipment/technology you use.
The FIRST thing many of you can do to get the most bang for your buck is to NOT use your tablet to document. (Given that your company provides a tablet.)
IF your documentation software is browser based (AKA you can login from any computer), I HIGHLY encourage you to use your tablet as a Hotspot/Wifi signal so you can connect to the internet through an affordable laptop.
I calculated this out for my workflow, I saved 30 minutes/day on documentation by using my laptop rather than my tablet. Now multiply that 30 minutes by 5 days....then by 52 weeks. Look at how much time you'll save!
I recommend a Touchscreen Chromebook as it's affordable, you can get signatures preventing you from having to dig for your tablet, & the software is VERY simple. You'll get your return on investment within 2 weeks!
Once you do as much documentation as you can on your laptop out in the field, finish things up on a desktop at home.
A good desktop setup will shave minutes off your documentation time as well.
Now let's move on to some other things to consider...
For Your Car
For Your Phone/Tablet
For Your Bag/Trunk
After you've decked out your car, phone, & bag...Enjoy your new setting and serve your patients well!
I’ve never been in a more fulfilling setting than home health. It is hard work, but boy is it good work! The opportunities, memories, and relationships you will build are going to be priceless.
I hope this guide has served you well. Please don't forget that you have an abundance resources in the Home Health Section of the American Physical Therapy Association & in the Senior Rehab Facebook Group. Use them!
Thanks for reading y'all. Keep it funky!
p.s. Big thanks to the SRP Facebook Group contributors: Bailey Bails, Meggen Lowry, Nikki Arnold, Brittany Denis, Carolyn Blake, & Mandy Chamberlain.