2 Results of advocating for nurses in home-based care

2 Results of advocating for nurses in home-based care

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By: Christie McWilliams, RN, Implementation Consultant, CitusHealth

As your primary means of caring for patients and the face of your business, nurses are a critical part of your organization. And while other members of the care team may also be present in the home, including physical therapists or an aide, it’s the nurse who is responsible for managing the patient’s total care plan. This is why it’s important to advocate for their job satisfaction.

Amid a nationwide labor shortage forcing home-based care organizations to do more with less, nurses are facing higher workloads and less work-life balance. Their struggle to meet growing expectations could potentially impact the level of care patients receive—not because they’re low-quality nurses, but because they’re stretched thin and lack the tools that could help them do their jobs more efficiently.

The inability to do their jobs effectively can also lead to unsatisfied referral sources. When organizations are understaffed, patient care suffers. From medication errors to not having enough time with patients, overworked staff can struggle to meet patient expectations or can make significant mistakes along the way. And it always trickles back to referral partners.

With the right technology, nurses can do their jobs more efficiently while easing the administrative burden commonly felt in this line of work. It not only advocates for their satisfaction, but it also can lead to better patient care and higher staff retention.

Here are a couple more things that can happen when home-based care organizations put their focus on nursing staff.

Higher visibility into nurse challenges and workload
When nurses are included in the conversation around the amount of non-clinical workload they have and the new technologies that could help alleviate those challenges, they feel heard. Nurses are the ones using digital tools most of the time, so it’s imperative that they have a voice in what’s going to work best for them. This approach will also foster buy-in from nursing staff, as they have a sense of ownership with the technology decisions made within their organization.

It’s also important for employers to have a deeper understanding of the processes being used by nursing staff—which is hard to grasp for those who have never been in the field. Once they truly understand the mundane, administrative tasks that fall on nurses every day, they’ll have a better idea of what digital tools can help. As nurses have less expectations to do non-clinical tasks, they’ll be more likely to work at the top of their license and achieve better work-life balance.

More seamless communication with patients, families, and referral sources
With video chat and real-time messaging capabilities, nurses no longer need to make unnecessary visits to the home and can securely connect with referral sources from anywhere. Nurses can remotely educate patients and families on their care within minutes, versus hours of driving back and forth. They can chat in real time and exchange images or video to coordinate orders, verify insurance, or manage medication refills.

This approach avoids email and phone calls, which can cause a time-consuming back and forth that can delay care and cause frustration for everyone involved. More seamless communication gives nurses more time to focus on patient care and increases engagement with patients, families, and referral sources.

In the end, the right digital solution is an impactful way to advocate for your nursing staff. Schedule a demo to see for yourself how our all-in-one platform is designed to make nurses’ jobs easier so you can retain them longer.

Christie McWilliams
Christie McWilliams
RN, Implementation Consultant, CitusHealth

As an Implementation Consultant at CitusHealth, Christie successfully assists healthcare companies to digitally transform their processes using the CitusHealth application. Christie has been a registered nurse for 12 years in various positions within home infusion, home health, and hospital settings. Christie applies the extensive knowledge she has gained during her nursing career to assist CitusHealth customers in utilizing the application to its fullest advantage.