The pool of available caregivers shrunk dramatically, accelerated by pandemic job loss.
High caregiver turnover is anything but news. But typically, when we talk about employee turnover, we’re referring to staff who leave your agency for a different one that might provide more hours, higher pay, more flexibility or a more convenient location. Last year’s story was a bit different.
According to PHI National, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for support for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, of the 168 370 direct care workers (including home care, residential care aides and nursing assistants), just 9% or 14 760 returned to the direct care field in 2021.
But few home care software platforms offer the customization needed to support small and medium-sized private duty agencies, instead expecting them to fit into a smaller version of software meant for enterprise companies. This keeps many agencies on paper, spending hours per day chasing caregivers about scheduling, manually invoicing, or on hold with their banks managing payroll.
Cheryl is the founder and CEO of Eternity Sitters and More, a private duty home care agency based in Birmingham, Alabama. Cheryl has been working as a caregiver since 1994 and has experience in virtually every settings – from well-baby nurseries to nursing homes. In 2012, she returned to school to complete her Masters of Social Work. Inspired and energized by her studies, Cheryl founded Eternity Sitters and More in 2013.
She now leads 12 full-time staff, caring for an average caseload of 15 clients. As if owning and operating a successful business wasn’t enough, Cheryl founded and manages the “Home Care Business Learning Station”, a Facebook group serving thousands of home care professionals across the US. Offering continuing education seminars, networking and mentoring opportunities – the HCBLS is a thriving community that helps home care business owners learn, grow and do their best work.
Like many agency owners, scheduling was Cheryl’s biggest challenge. Without a system in place, caregivers would clock in and out via text or phone call – but sometimes they would forget. And without GPS functionality, it was impossible to know if they were truly onsite.
Cheryl was spending around 2 hours per day writing timesheets, adjusting hours and updating the schedule. Payroll was, at minimum, a full-day process. And despite that, the day after payday was even worse. Her phone rang off the hook as everyone wanted their hours adjusted.
Dan Bofoya, Founder and CEO of FirstVisit, is familiar with the challenges faced by home care agency owners – and their skepticism about technology solutions. Before founding FirstVisit, a home care software platform for small and medium-sized private duty agencies, Dan was an agency owner himself, employing over 250 caregivers and caring for more than 150 clients.
As a member of Cheryl’s industry group, Dan was well acquainted with Eternity Sitters and More – and the challenges they were facing. Although Cheryl was wary that software could help, she shares “Whereas other companies tried to jump right into getting me started, Dan and his team at FirstVisit took the time to explain how it would benefit my business”.
After learning how FirstVisit could help her spend less time scheduling and eliminate the need for paper logs, Cheryl decided to sign on.
FirstVisit’s user-friendly and cost-effective platform enables home care providers to focus on their operations by minimizing administrative complexity. Agency owners don’t have time to waste on the back office. They need to focus on hiring great staff and getting them onboarded quickly so they can deliver meaningful care to clients
FirstVisit makes this possible. Unlike other software platforms, FirstVisit was designed for small and medium-sized private duty home care agencies. The platform supports agency owners like Cheryl by simplifying their scheduling and payroll processes, managing labor costs and offering instant access to insights on caregiver performance. Its other features include push notification shift offers, invoicing, reporting, ADLs, skill tracking and more.
Cheryl was ready to move ahead. But she felt nervous about telling her caregivers they would have to start using a mobile app. Home care software has a reputation for being time-consuming and difficult to use properly. Many caregivers also fear it may mean getting paid less or being tracked when they’re not at work.
Between her empathetic leadership and FirstVisit’s exceptional customer service, Cheryl led her team to a successful start with the new software.
Cheryl is now completing scheduling and payroll in record time. FirstVisit makes these functions easy with:
It’s not just Cheryl who benefits from FirstVisit now. Better scheduling features mean caregivers aren’t missing pay or missing out on shift offers. Mobile clock in and clock out means that Cheryl is still calling clients – now she’s reaching out to see how they’re feeling and how Eternity Sitters and More can improve their service.
“FirstVisit has been the best change I’ve made in years to my business,” says Cheryl, “It’s cut my administrative work by more than 50%.”
Without manual time tracking behind her, Cheryl is ready to start exploring other features so she can continue to simplify and reduce her administrative work. Up next? Learning more about FirstVisit’s billing features.
With administrative work cut in half, Cheryl wants to grow Eternity Sitters and More. “Before, I wanted to keep my business small so I could keep up with it”, says Cheryl. “I’m still old school and that doesn’t need to change, but now we’re looking to expand and add a group home to our portfolio. This wouldn’t have been possible without FirstVisit.”
Click here to join Cheryl’s thriving community, the Home Care Business Learning Station, and meet thousands of fellow home care professionals driven to learn, grow and do better in the home care industry.
Are you interested in learning more about how FirstVisit can help you grow your business while spending less time on billing, scheduling and payroll? Let’s chat.
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