Hey everybody, it’s Steve “The Hurricane” here, and for today’s episode of “A Drink with The Hurricane”, we’re gonna talk about some tips and ways to make it easier to maintain the schedule of your caregivers. So raise your glass and let’s toast to your success. Cheers!

This is “A Drink With The Hurricane”, the talk show discussing all things growing your home care business. This video is sponsored by Home Care Evolution, where we help home care agencies adapt to changing circumstances, transform their business, so that they can thrive for years to come.

Maintaining your census schedule is one of the most difficult parts of operating a home care business. When I have my Elite Academy board meetings and all the members get together from around the country and we sit down and we discuss our operation for three days and how to problem solve and best practices and what not, scheduling challenges are usually one of the common themes that take place throughout.

And this always reminds me back of when I had my agency from 2005 through 2012, where scheduling was a challenge, but it wasn’t the challenge that everybody has today. And the reason why it wasn’t the challenge that everybody had today is because of the way that we built my business. And this is the reason why I started Home Care Evolution, was to help people run their businesses much more efficiently so that they’re not spending their time, wasting their time, and overstressing about things such as scheduling.

Now, I’m gonna tell you right now, you should be able to schedule your schedule, your week-to-week schedule, about 80% of that client census, so if I have 100 patients, 80 of them should be able to be scheduled and set for four weeks or more in advance. Write that down. Make a note of that, because if you’re not able to do that, then there’s something that we’re doing operationally wrong and that’s what I’m gonna be talking about here today.

Because if you have clients that are with you week-to-week and they’re set up properly, where you have the caregiver who’s supposed to go to these patients and the patient is expecting it and the amount of hours are set properly, there’s no reason why your scheduler can’t schedule out at least 80% of your census for four weeks in advance. If she’s not able to do it, it’s either one of two things. Either she’s not the right scheduler and she doesn’t know what she’s doing, or your operation is messed up somehow in that you constantly are returning over caregivers and there’s always new caregivers that have to go to your clients, and that is what I’m feeling the issue is. I really don’t think it’s the scheduler. Maybe one in five agencies, the problem is the scheduler, but I’m gonna say more often than not, there’s something wrong with the type of clients that we’re taking on, and it has to do with the minimum hours that we’re doing.

It is very difficult for your scheduler, for you, for anybody in your organization to be able to get one caregiver and keep that same caregiver, and get him or her to go and serve four or five clients that are getting six hours here, eight hours there, 10 hours here. The reason why the caregiver crisis is as bad as it is, is because of the lack of work-life balance. Forget money and how much you’re compensating your caregivers. The number one complaint of caregivers is they don’t have work-life balance. They don’t have a set schedule week to week to week. And no one, I don’t care how good at time management you are, no one can handle a work schedule that changes every single week, and that’s the reason why scheduling is so difficult.

So you have clients, say you have three or four clients with one caregiver, and this week caregiver, client two out of those three, decides she doesn’t need help on Thursday. Well, now all of a sudden you have your caregiver who is supposed to work 40 hours, who just lost say six hours, and now she’s only gonna get paid and she’s only gonna work 34 hours this week and you can’t find somebody else to take those hours. The caregiver’s living paycheck to paycheck. Next week she comes into your office and she quits, or she doesn’t even come into your office and quits. She just disappears and she ghosts you forever. Sound familiar? That’s because we don’t have enough structure to the operation.

The solution to this problem is having minimums, and I say this all the time, but people don’t understand why until I go over this point right here: a 20-hour minimum. By having a 20-hour minimum, and that 20 hours is four hours a day, five days a week, that allows you to create shifts. And when you have shifts, now you’re going into your clients and you sell the client based on their need, the appropriate shifts that you offer, that you now know you have caregivers that they can cover. If it’s 20 hours and you have two clients, you have a morning shift and an afternoon shift, that’s an eight hour day, Monday through Friday, eight to 12 with one, one to five with the other, boom! Hour break in the middle, drive time, grab some lunch. That’s how it’s done.

You sell a client. One client discontinues services. As long as, you know, referrals equals freedom. I say this all the time. As long as there’s an abundance of referrals coming in, you lose a client, there’s another one that you should have on deck ready to go at those exact hours. The caregiver goes from the one client to the next, doesn’t lose any pay. You’ve retained that caregiver and she continues to work for you.

That is how you can make your life easier and be able to set your schedule up at least 80% four weeks in advance. And it makes your life that much easier from a scheduling standpoint, where your scheduler comes in on Monday and she doesn’t have to fill the whole schedule for the week because it’s already done, and it’s already done weeks in advance, and you just deal with the 20% of no-shows, and reschedules, and cancellations, and onboarding, and everything else. That will free your scheduler’s time up tremendously. So there you have it, folks. That is the tip for the week.

So again, as a reminder, you see it right here on my desk, but I have to always point this out because this is free for you, right? I spend $20,000 a year, $30,000 a year making these magazines for you because I want you to have additional content. You can access these magazines absolutely free on my website, homecareevolution.com/magazine, where we’re gonna give you tips, insights from top clients of mine, from other industry experts, authorities such as myself, my coaches, and my staff, and other people so that you have the competitive advantage where you can “Blow Away The Competition!”