Job Specific Skill #3: Reviewing the Plan of Care
Because the care plan impacts the client/caregiver matching process, your schedulers should receive training on how to find a care plan, how to read it, and who to reach out to if there are questions.
There are three important features of the care plan that help guide the matching process:
- The client’s medical needs (or diagnosis).
- The client’s physical needs.
- The frequency of services.
A top complaint we hear when conducting both client and caregiver surveys is that the caregiver is insufficiently prepared to care for the client. Taking the care plan into account during the matching process assists schedulers in assigning qualified caregivers only.
Don’t Forget Soft-Skills Training!
Job-specific skills are what most companies focus on when it comes to training. But here is some interesting data: companies that offer soft skills training on topics like communication, time management, and team building enjoy a whopping 250% Return on Investment (ROI) for those training dollars because of increased productivity and retention.
Soft skills provide the necessary foundation for being successful at job-specific skills. For example, a scheduler needs to be a good communicator and a good listener to succeed at matching clients and caregivers.
Soft Skill #1: Handling Conflict and Complaints
Because health care is a people business, conflict and complaints come with the territory. Chances are your schedulers are often caught in the middle between making your clients happy and providing a good work experience for your caregivers. Learning how to manage conflict and complaints is a key skill for every scheduler.
When training your schedulers on this skill, include information on the different ways that people approach conflict. For example, some people avoid conflict like the plague while others see it as a competition they must win at all costs. Your schedulers need to learn how to recognize and manage each approach. You should also give your schedulers some best-practice tips for resolving a conflict, including hearing both sides of a dispute and negotiating a solution.
If your schedulers complete training that helps them understand their role in handling conflict, they will gain the tools they need to remain calm, professional, and respectful whether they are dealing with an angry client or an upset caregiver.
Soft Skill #2: Time Management Skills
Time management training can help your schedulers identify any time-wasting habits they have, such as taking shortcuts. Imagine that your scheduler has three new admissions. Instead of taking the time to get to know the clients’ needs and the caregivers’ abilities, she “saves time” by selecting the first available caregivers.
What is the result? The caregivers work with the new clients for a few days before it becomes painfully clear the pairs are mismatched. Now because of taking that shortcut, your scheduler must go through the matching process all over again! In addition to wasting time, she wound up with three sets of unhappy clients and caregivers.
Another time management myth is that multitasking saves time. In fact, multitasking may be costing your schedulers more time than it is saving. Studies show that people who think they are saving time by performing several tasks at once may not accomplish anything as well—or as fast—as if they tackled one task at a time.
By providing your schedulers with training on time management that encourages alternative ways to save time, you will give them the tools they need to complete their work without resorting to shortcuts or multitasking.
Soft Skill #3: Relationship-Building Skills
The most successful schedulers are those who are trained to build meaningful relationships with both clients and caregivers.
Connecting with Clients
A scheduler’s relationship with clients affects both client satisfaction and caregiver retention. To develop top-notch schedulers, offer training on the following communication skills: