At Your Side Care – The Woodlands Finds Unexpected Benefits By Gathering Client/Caregiver Feedback

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About At Your Side – The Woodlands, Texas

When Shawn Franks’ father began to age, the family members—especially Shawn’s mother—took the lead in caring for him. Seeing the toll that being a full-time family caregiver took left a lasting impression on Shawn and his wife Tamara. The experience led them to begin their own home care agency years later. With their complementary backgrounds—Tamara has a master’s degree in communication disorders, while Shawn has founded and run multiple service companies—they had a strong blend of knowledge and skills required to run a successful home care agency.

“The commitment our caregivers have to our clients is absolutely unmatched,” says Tamara. “We know that if a client needs something at the last minute, our caregivers will be there. During Hurricane Harvey, we saw caregivers sleeping on air mattresses or on the floor because they wanted to be there for their clients. Our team is up to the challenge, at all times, and we are proud to do it.

Initially, Tamara Franks signed on with Home Care Pulse as a way to maintain compliance with quality assurance standards in the state of Texas. However, she found the feedback and reports to be a solution to many of the problems she’d encountered with gathering client feedback.

“We tried doing surveys in-house, but the responses we received weren’t super genuine.” says Tamara.  “People seemed reluctant to be candid.  We wanted to make sure that we could receive quality data and that people could be comfortable about being open.”

While she was only mandated to have Home Care Pulse survey 5% of her clients each month, she quickly upped this number to 10% and enrolled in caregiver surveys as well. Although the feedback she received was largely positive, it confirmed that she was right to believe that both clients and caregivers felt reluctant to approach her about some of the most important problems.

It’s so easy to not realize what you’re not doing, and it’s so easy to not realize that what you are doing isn’t as helpful as you thought it was.

Michelle Tagge

Tamara Franks
Owner
At Your Side – The Woodlands, TX

Tracking Trends and Monitoring Feedback

With regular reports and feedback being provided through their online portal, Tamara and her team now review the feedback each week and discuss how to act on it. They also watch for trends to identify if there are long-term issues that need their attention.

“If in the past three [monthly reports] we see there’s a problem, we know that this is something we need to take steps to address. . . It’s so easy to not realize what you’re not doing, and it’s so easy to not realize that what you are doing isn’t as helpful as you thought it was,” Tamara says.

In one survey, for example, a client’s daughter who lived out-of-state expressed some dissatisfaction with the level of communication and stated that she wished she could get a monthly update on her father. Despite this frustration, she hadn’t mentioned anything directly to Tamara or her team. Her team set up a monthly status report to send to the daughter, who was thrilled with the follow-up and quick action.

An Unexpected Benefit

Tamara also reports an interesting side effect of gathering feedback through a third party, which other Home Care Pulse customers have reported as well: gathering feedback through a third party and acting on it also made more clients and caregivers willing to approach Tamara’s team directly when other problems arose.

She believes that listening to their feedback and taking action on it helps build a stronger relationship of trust that ultimately makes clients and caregivers feel more secure that their voices are being heard.

“A few of our caregivers approached us to talk about providing medical insurance,” says Tamara. She’d considered it before, but she hadn’t realized how important it was to her caregivers. “Because of the engagement with [Home Care Pulse’s] program, they felt comfortable approaching us about this, and now medical insurance is one of our offerings.”

Initially, Tamara Franks signed on with Home Care Pulse as a way to maintain compliance with quality assurance standards in the state of Texas. However, she found the feedback and reports to be a solution to many of the problems she’d encountered with gathering client feedback.

“We tried doing surveys in-house, but the responses we received weren’t super genuine.” says Tamara.  “People seemed reluctant to be candid.  We wanted to make sure that we could receive quality data and that people could be comfortable about being open.”

While she was only mandated to have Home Care Pulse survey 5% of her clients each month, she quickly upped this number to 10% and enrolled in caregiver surveys as well. Although the feedback she received was largely positive, it confirmed that she was right to believe that both clients and caregivers felt reluctant to approach her about some of the most important problems.

It’s so easy to not realize what you’re not doing, and it’s so easy to not realize that what you are doing isn’t as helpful as you thought it was.

Michelle Tagge

Tamara Franks
Owner
At Your Side – The Woodlands, TX

Carefree Home Care Logo

About At Your Side – The Woodlands, Texas

When Shawn Franks’ father began to age, the family members—especially Shawn’s mother—took the lead in caring for him. Seeing the toll that being a full-time family caregiver took left a lasting impression on Shawn and his wife Tamara. The experience led them to begin their own home care agency years later. With their complementary backgrounds—Tamara has a master’s degree in communication disorders, while Shawn has founded and run multiple service companies—they had a strong blend of knowledge and skills required to run a successful home care agency.

“The commitment our caregivers have to our clients is absolutely unmatched,” says Tamara. “We know that if a client needs something at the last minute, our caregivers will be there. During Hurricane Harvey, we saw caregivers sleeping on air mattresses or on the floor because they wanted to be there for their clients. Our team is up to the challenge, at all times, and we are proud to do it.

Tracking Trends and Monitoring Feedback

With regular reports and feedback being provided through their online portal, Tamara and her team now review the feedback each week and discuss how to act on it. They also watch for trends to identify if there are long-term issues that need their attention.

“If in the past three [monthly reports] we see there’s a problem, we know that this is something we need to take steps to address. . . It’s so easy to not realize what you’re not doing, and it’s so easy to not realize that what you are doing isn’t as helpful as you thought it was,” Tamara says.

In one survey, for example, a client’s daughter who lived out-of-state expressed some dissatisfaction with the level of communication and stated that she wished she could get a monthly update on her father. Despite this frustration, she hadn’t mentioned anything directly to Tamara or her team. Her team set up a monthly status report to send to the daughter, who was thrilled with the follow-up and quick action.

An Unexpected Benefit

Tamara also reports an interesting side effect of gathering feedback through a third party, which other Home Care Pulse customers have reported as well: gathering feedback through a third party and acting on it also made more clients and caregivers willing to approach Tamara’s team directly when other problems arose.

She believes that listening to their feedback and taking action on it helps build a stronger relationship of trust that ultimately makes clients and caregivers feel more secure that their voices are being heard.

“A few of our caregivers approached us to talk about providing medical insurance,” says Tamara. She’d considered it before, but she hadn’t realized how important it was to her caregivers. “Because of the engagement with [Home Care Pulse’s] program, they felt comfortable approaching us about this, and now medical insurance is one of our offerings.”

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