Leveraging Technology to Support—Not Supplant—The Home Care WorkforceHealth Affairs #Health_AffairsAugust 8, 2019
Even where training opportunities exist, workers are often prevented from participating by time, cost, accessibility, and other barriers.
However, there are a number of barriers to widely implementing e-learning as a training tool for home care workers.
Targeted funding to extend e-learning to non-agency workers—employed directly by consumers through consumer-directed Medicaid programs or private-pay arrangements—is also required, to help those workers develop their core competencies in line with consumers’ needs and preferences.
But even when workers have sufficient training and employ correct techniques, certain activities of daily living assistance tasks carry a persistent risk of injury for both workers and consumers.
(In parallel, all relevant members of the care team must receive sufficient training to implement these technologies safely and in alignment with each consumer’s care preferences.)
Even where assistive technologies exist, consumers and workers may struggle to access them.
The third category of technology with direct relevance for the home care workforce is information and communication technology (ICT).
In the Intervention in Home Care to Improve Health Outcomes ( In-Home ), for example, home care workers are trained to report possible changes in condition when they telephonically “clock-out” at the end of each shift.
Within home care agencies, key operational functions can be improved or fully automated with technology—to save costs and improve efficiency in the long run.
Along with automating and improving the accuracy of consumer-worker matches, scheduling systems can enhance employers’ abilities to fulfill workers’ scheduling requirements (thus boosting retention) while managing overtime costs.
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