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The Key Performance Indicators of Home Care: The Power of Data

Jan 28, 2022 | Blog Post, For home care professionals

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help people working in home care to focus their time and efforts in the most effective ways.

KPIs can be used in your day-to-day work, with your employees, the individuals who rely on your care, their families and your key stakeholders including local authorities, regulators, inspectors, and brokerage teams to help you and your team to success across your home care provision.

Homecare KPIs can give insight into key areas of your provision: quality, HR, finance, business development and marketing.

KPIs can also help employees focus their resources on improvements that have a direct impact on business performance, such as workforce productivity, client conversion and net change in your care team headcount.

Used carefully, KPIs can also empower employees to choose which activities NOT to do, which is essential when prioritisation of an employees’ use of their time can have significant consequences on overall performance.

What are Key Performance Indicators?

KPIs are trackable and measurable values that show if a company is achieving its objectives. Most businesses set targets, and KPIs clearly demonstrate whether those targets are being consistently met.

It’s important not to overwhelm your team or business with too many KPIs. The simpler and most relevant KPIs are the most helpful. Good KPIs help employees focus their limited time on actions that make the greatest net positive difference to the company achieving its objectives.

Pick a small handful of important elements to measure, such as completed visits, visits completed on time, and missed visits. Make sure employees know why the KPIs were chosen, how they are measured, where the information (data) for measuring will be captured, and how the entire process of working with KPIs is both an individual and team effort.

To be effective, KPIs must unite the entire workforce, whether they are based mainly in the office or they are out in the field providing care.

Well understood and helpful KPIs give your team a clear sense of direction and empowerment. This means that effective KPIs will help to improve performance, because by following direction from the KPI, employees will choose to allocate their time performing actions that make the most difference to achieving key company objectives.

Why Measure Performance?

The goal of any home care provider is to provide excellence in care and meet the demand for their care services in their community. KPIs can help you do just that.

When we set out to measure the success of our work, we need to know what we’re measuring and why. You can use KPIs in many different ways:

1. To evaluate the current state of your care service provision

2. To measure where you need to focus on improvement

3. To set goals for the future

You might be wondering how we know which KPIs are important and which KPIs are not so important. The most important KPI is the one that shows that your team is getting the most important aspect right.

For your home care provision, this is likely to do with the impact your care provision is having on the quality of life of the people you are responsible for. It is also likely that an equally important aspect is retention and the growth of your workforce to ensure adequate capacity to meet demand.

For instance, if a person feels that their quality of life has improved because they are getting more autonomy and independence in their lives, then that would be considered an important KPI to track.

There are several key elements that indicate the level of quality in your service. These indicators might be equally as important to inspectors as they are to your patients and their families.

In home care, a quality related focus may be to have all care professionals arrive on time to each visit on their roster, or a percentage reduction in missed or cancelled visits or in medication errors.

Or there may be strategic goals that teams advance toward over time; for instance, increasing the frequency of care plan reviews, measuring continuity of care, or decreasing staff churn rate.

KPIs are also important for measuring workforce performance and business growth. Taking on more care packages often means you need your care team to increase productivity (to take on more visits on their round) or it might be necessary to recruit more care professionals into your team to increase capacity.

Workforce metrics such as churn rate, job applications received, 1st interviews completed, DBS checks submitted, training attended and completed, can be helpful KPIs in forward planning for growth. Similarly capturing the reasons for leaving in exit interviews can provide invaluable insight into how to improve retention.

To measure demand for your services, tracking how many cancelled visits have occurred in a time period, or how many requests for additional care packages have been received and not started, can indicate the level of demand.

KPIs and Home Care

The power of data is incredible. Used correctly data can empower people and teams to take the right actions to achieve objectives.

With KPIs, we can measure and evaluate the success of our work with patients and families performing home care services.

KPIs are a way for us to track key things that we want to measure that will help us achieve our goals. They are specific performance measurements that allow us to see how we’re doing and identify areas for improvement.

The purpose of KPIs is to make results more understandable by presenting a clear picture of what is happening in your service or organisation.

A KPI can be measured in different ways; it could be an event, a number, or even a percentage. The most important thing about them is that they’re measurable and that they make sense to everyone using them.

For KPIs to work best, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the goals for your organisation as well as the strategies you will use to accomplish those goals.

This will ensure that your KPIs align with those goals and provide the feedback you need to know if you’ve been successful or not.

When presented with good KPIs, your team can focus on choosing actions to improve standards of care, create a better work experience for employees in the office and in the field, and these actions can lead to achieving higher standards of care, growth and improved profitability.

How to select the best KPIs

The best KPIs are aligned with your business’ priorities and have tangible goals. This is why KPIs tend to be different from one home care provider to another.

If one provider is looking to scale operations, KPIs to do with staff recruitment and retention would be useful. If another provider is looking to improve standards of care provision, KPIs to do with specific visit outcomes related to the care plan and customer feedback could be chosen.

A popular method to help you choose KPIs is to use the “SMART” framework:

S Specific purpose related to your home care provision
M Measurable
A Achievable
R Relevant to your success
T Time period (set a start and end date to test performance)

It is also important that you think about how to capture the data; so you’re not only deciding what to measure, but also ensuring the data being captured accurately reflects the KPI, so you can trust it to support decision making.

What Does This Mean For You?

It’s your goal to make sure you are delivering high-quality care. This means making sure that you are doing everything in your power to achieve your KPIs.

The goals in home care are focused on quality. You want to make sure that when your care team provides care, they are interacting with the patient and providing them with the care they expect, need and at the highest possible standard. Used in this way, KPIs can show you the performance and outcome of each visit.

Home care professionals have a responsibility to deliver high-quality care every day, and so you need KPIs that measure outcomes.

Data is an important tool for measuring these KPIs and ensuring that they are being met. It’s up to you use data wisely so that it helps you to improve quality of life for your patients, while also improving support to your care teams.

How Can KPIs Be Useful In Your Day-to-Day Work?

KPIs can be helpful in your day-to-day work with patients and families, because they’ll help you improve the quality of care you provide. You’ll also be able to identify ways to improve your margins.

For example, if you want to learn about how many hours your care professionals are spending on each visit, this will allow you to adjust care plans and schedules. Or if you’re looking for ways to drive business growth, you may find that by identifying significant gaps in care professional runs, you can identify where and when you can increase time on a particular visit, or take on a new care package.

An important outcome of improving employee productivity in this way is that productive employees take home more pay. If you also have advanced software that ensures your care team don’t travel a single metre more than is necessary, they will keep their travel costs and time to an absolute minimum too. This approach can significantly improve a care professional’s experience at work and help increase job satisfaction.

These are just a few examples of the many benefits KPIs can provide. There are more aspects of care provision that will help make your home care business more successful.

Data exploration is key to business success

The goal of any successful business is to find a way to successfully deliver a product or service that appeals to their customers. To do this, you need to understand the factors that will make you successful. The key performance indicators of home care are a good place to start.

You will need the tools to be able to capture the right data and analyse it accordingly. This is where advanced software can also help.

As the system collects data, you will want to ask questions of that data and share answers and insights to empower your workforce to take decisive and appropriate action, and focus their limited resources on delivering the best possible outcomes.

In this way, exploring data can create knowledge that over time helps your care provision to progress towards its objectives.

When you have collected a lot of data, it can be used yet further to predict future resource requirements, so you can plan for growth or contraction, and help prevent the escalation of problems to crises by taking interventional action to stop predictable events. This could be many things and includes falls prevention through to predicting staff capacity shortages.

A final and important consideration is to look at how data is presented and communicated. Not everyone is comfortable with spreadsheets. Advanced software like MyHelpa presents data in a visually straightforward and appealing way, so everyone can understand it. This way, there is low risk of misinterpretation or confusion.

So, to create your KPIs, protect some time to reflect on those aspects that best represent performance in all areas of your provision. Then identify who creates the data during those activities and interactions, and how you could collect it.

Finally, decide how you would like to visually represent and communicate the KPI to your team, understand what actions they might need to take when they see the KPI results and any support required.

Using KPIs, your team can take the best possible course of action to help ensure your provision is achieving its objectives.