Senior Care Franchise Quality Assurance Tips
Quality assurance is a priority for any senior care franchise. But it can be tough to get right. Caregivers do almost all of their work in the field. That makes it challenging to monitor their work and gauge their performance.
At the same time, as a franchise owner, quality of care will be crucial to your success. High-quality care leads to satisfied clients and glowing referrals. Low-quality care leads to unhappy seniors and families, making it difficult to generate new business.
In the worst cases, poor quality assurance could put your clients in danger. Neglectful or predatory caregivers can inflict untold damage without proper oversight. While smart hiring practices can limit this risk, you owe a proper quality assurance program to your clients, your clients’ families, and your agency.
If you’re considering opening a senior care franchise, here are some tips that can help as you prepare a game plan to ensure your agency will provide high-quality care.
Start with Smart Caregiver Recruitment Practices
Exceptional care starts with exceptional caregivers. Even the best quality assurance program can’t fix poor hiring decisions after the fact. If you want your senior care franchise to provide high-quality care, you’ll need to hire the right caregivers in the first place.
At Visiting Angels, we recommend a number of hiring practices to help our franchisees find the best caregivers available. Some of these practices include:
- Seeking out caregivers with at least two years of senior care experience.
- Performing rigorous reference checks to confirm the character of caregiver candidates.
- Requiring background checks for care staff before they begin providing care.
- Training caregivers through written materials and/or in-person modules.
As a Visiting Angels senior care franchise owner, you would have full control and discretion over which of these practices you implement and how you choose to use them. We provide our franchisees with guidelines and guidance for hiring caregivers. At that point, they can design a hiring program tailored to their specific needs.
Monitor Care via Senior Home Care Franchise Software
Over the past few years, digital technologies have transformed the home care industry. While the hands-on work of home care is largely unchanged, agencies now have a range of new tools for planning, tracking, and monitoring their services.
When you’re first starting a senior care franchise, you’ll need to choose the right care management software for your agency. At Visiting Angels, we maintain an up-to-date shortlist of recommended software systems. We also provide franchisees with expert advice about the features, benefits, and drawbacks of major systems.
The right software will make it much easier to oversee the day-to-day operations of your senior care franchise. Modern software systems cover almost every aspect of agency management, including care scheduling, client monitoring, payroll, and more.
These systems also make it easier for agencies to provide consistently high-quality care. Automated shift reminders can help minimize the risk of missed assignments. Caregivers can remotely log their onsite and offsite times, as well as the completion times of priority care tasks.
It’s also easy to communicate directly with your staff. In urgent situations — like extreme weather events — you can quickly send emergency messages to staff. In terms of monitoring clients, you can ask staff write short written reports at the end of each shift.
The Human Side of Care Monitoring & Management
While home care management software makes quality assurance much easier, it can be dangerous to over-rely on digital monitoring. At the end of the day, senior care is a highly personal business. If your quality assurance efforts rely entirely on digital reports, you’ll likely run into issues.
That’s why it’s important to find time for personal conversations with caregivers, clients, and clients’ families. If you rarely see your caregivers because of how much time they spend in the field, find ways to ensure regular face-to-face conversations and performance reviews. Create a positive, supportive, and responsive atmosphere in these discussions — one in which caregivers don’t feel uneasy voicing concerns or communicating on-the-job issues.
At the same time, you’ll want to stay in contact with your clients and their families. Depending on the size and structure of your senior care franchise, you might be conducting these conversations yourself, or you might hire a care director who’s in charge of client management. In either case, it’s important that you have open lines of communication with your clients. At the same time, you want to show your clients that you’re focused on their health, their well-being, and their happiness.
Another step you may wish to take is to hire a third-party company to assess the quality of your care. A third-party company can conduct client and caregiver surveys to measure the performance of your agency. At Visiting Angels, many of our senior care franchise owners have had their businesses certified in this manner, helping them keep tabs on what’s working about their business — and what isn’t. Just as importantly, a positive certification sends a strong signal that your senior care franchise can be trusted to provide top-quality care.
Learn about senior care franchise opportunities with Visiting Angels by calling us today at 800-365-4189 or by requesting information online.