EIOBoard Helps Homecare Provider Keep Track of Field Staff & Improve Staff Accountability
- A Savance EIOBoard Client Case Study
"People are coming and going all day. We were having trouble tracking people down, especially when calls were coming in for nurses and therapists."
Jeremy Seidl, Operations Manager
Custom large screen status display designed for HomeCare
HomeCare Health Services and Hospice is the first licensed home care provider in Wisconsin, founded on a vision of a better way to provide nursing care for those in need. For over 40 years, HomeCare has provided compassionate, cost-effective services for the counties of Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Caregivers include registered nurses, therapists, certified nursing assistants, companions, and professional housekeepers. Services also include financial assistance, bathing, hospice, support for dementia, and more.
The nature of the services HomeCare Health Services and Hospice provides requires many employees to spend the day outside the office at client appointments. "People are coming and going all day," says Jeremy Seidl, Operations Manager and Chief Technology Officer at HomeCare Health Services & Hospice. "We were having trouble tracking people down, especially when calls were coming in for nurses and therapists." He further notes that it was frustrating for clients and colleagues to leave multiple messages.
"It was cumbersome, rifling through your inbox to find out where people were. No one could really keep track of it."
The HomeCare team consists of about thirty people working from the office, along with a large number of field staff that includes registered nurses, therapists and staff that come and go during the day. These employees would come into the office, write an email detailing their schedules, and send it to the rest of the team. When they got back to the office, they would send another email notifying everyone of their return. "It was cumbersome, rifling through your inbox to find out where people were," says Jeremy Seidl. "No one could really keep track of it." HomeCare also tried the dry erase board method, but that didn't make much sense either. "The dry erase board was bad because you had to go look at it, or you had to page the receptionist to have them look for you," explains Seidl.
In a healthcare organization such as HomeCare Health Services and Hospice, it is critical to know how to contact healthcare workers both for urgent care and for collaboration among coworkers. In 2009, Jeremy Seidl decided that a more efficient method was required, and decided to take steps to improve communication. Initially, he considered building something in-house, but a quick online search resulted in connecting with Savance. "I searched for something along the lines of 'tracking staff', and stumbled across Savance EIOBoard," he explains.
"We appreciate the level of support that Savance provides, and how you actually get someone when you call."
After reviewing Savance's solutions and speaking with people at the company, Seidl thought EIOBoard, Savance's electronic in-out board, would serve HomeCare Health Services and Hospice perfectly. By using EIOBoard's scheduling and communications capabilities, staff would always know, in real-time, the in/out status of their coworkers. "In addition to giving us a user-friendly solution to solve our staff tracking issues, EIOBoard is also cost-effective. I find that is really a great value. You really get a big bang for your buck," says Seidl. He also mentions that he likes that Savance is not a huge corporation. "We appreciate the level of support that Savance provides, and how you actually get someone when you call," he says.
Solution & Implementation
Because HomeCare nurses, therapists, and office workers already used Microsoft Outlook, the organization initially decided to go with EIOBoard's Outlook add-on, which would allow employees to update their office status using the interface they were accustomed to.
"It ended questions like 'when is so-and-so coming back?'. Now they can just look on the board in the commons area and it relays the information."
After finding immediate value in using EIOBoard with Microsoft Outlook, and thanks to a positive working relationship with Savance, HomeCare decided to expand the solution by adding a 40" large screen display for the commons area. This became quite useful for anyone that came into the office. "It ended questions like 'when is so-and-so coming back?'" says Seidl. "Now they can just look on the board in the commons area and it relays the information."
Results & Benefits
Savance EIOBoard has accomplished what HomeCare Health Services and Hospice had hoped for and more. "I talk Savance up all the time," says Jeremy Seidl. "EIOBoard is a rock-solid solution. You have a better handle on where your staff is and when they're coming back. It's also a great communication tool, as well as an accountability and productivity tool. There are really some nice benefits there."
"People are definitely on time more. Everyone is watching who is signed in, which holds people more accountable."
Increased accountability was quite an unexpected benefit to HomeCare. "People are definitely on time more. Everyone is watching who is signed in, which holds people more accountable," says Seidl. "The accountability factor is huge. I imagine five minutes here and there, you save 10-15 minutes per person per day, and that adds up over time."
Also, with the large screen showing everyone’s whereabouts and status, the entire office can see if someone is late returning from lunch. "We have an automatic status change set up so that when you're late back from lunch, EIOBoard will change the status color to purple," explains Jeremy Seidl. "People hate that purple color around here."
"We have an automatic status change set up so that when you're late back from lunch, EIOBoard will change the status color to purple."
In addition to status updates to find out where someone is and when they are expected to be back, HomeCare employees also use EIOBoard for other communication purposes. The instant messaging feature is particularly helpful for getting answers quickly, and the staff uses it every day. In addition, the contact information for all employees is immediately available within EIOBoard, saving HomeCare from having to refer to other tools.
All-in-all, HomeCare Health Services and Hospice finds EIOBoard to be an indispensable and very cost-effective tool. It improves communication and accountability, enabling the organization to provide excellent home care service. It allows employees to collaborate on shared clients and lets nurses and therapists stay accessible while they are out of the office. "Savance EIOBoard is worth its weight in gold," concludes Seidl.