After recently jumping back into the game of franchising, home care company Griswold Home Care is tackling a new issue: harnessing technology to tackle care gaps.
Philadelphia-based Griswold has more than 180 franchise locations and 20 company-owned and operated locations that provide non-medical home care. Over the past several years, the franchisor, which changed hands as a long-time family-owned business to a private equity owner, has instituted several strategic changes before reopening its franchising efforts this year.
Through its growth efforts with franchisees, Griswold is aiming to fill gaps in care through its services and empower caregivers through technology.
Identifying Care Gaps
The franchisor recently partnered with technology company CareHandOff to give caregivers another tool that incorporates checklists into care plans. After working with CareHandOff for more than a year, Griswold is now equipping its caregivers with the mobile plan checklists.
The CareHandOff partnership is one example of what CEO Matt Murphy sees as the vital connections caregivers can help make in the home to bridge gaps in care.
“Because of the length of time a caregiver is in the home, we are uniquely positioned to address social determinants, adherence to a plan of care, and communication with family and clinicians,” Murphy told Home Health Care News. “We are making investments in training, technology, and recognition so that our caregivers—and families—feel well supported in preventing these care gaps.”
Specifically, Murphy hopes to tackle lapses in compliance with respect to clients’ care plans, enhance training and effectiveness with respect to specific patients’ needs and preferences, and fix communication lapses with families or clinicians.
As Griswold is rolling out the technology, it will continue caregiver testing and conduct interviews to improve the work experience as it relates to the care plans and meeting patients’ specific preferences and goals.
With the partnership, Griswold is hoping for lower readmission rates, increased visibility into the home and care team, increased engagement and improved quality of life for patients in meeting their goals.
“If we do these things, we will be rewarded with new growth and opportunities regardless of what the future climate holds,” Murphy told HHCN.
Growth and Recruitment
The new partnership comes at a time when Griswold is entering its next phase after completing several fundamental changes in the business. After taking over as CEO in 2014, Murphy paused all new franchising while the company faced a lawsuit from franchisees and mounting issues from its registry structure.
Since then, the company has overhauled its structure, renegotiated its contracts with franchisees, and started growing again with new franchise locations. At the same time, the company undertook steps to improve its operations and caregiver recruiting and retention in its company-owned locations, even modernizing the trivial details caregivers see in their offices.
“We focused really intently on the experience of the caregiver,” Murphy told HHCN in September of the company’s focus on its operating locations. “[We looked at] everything from when they pull into the parking lot and then asked, what then? When they walk into the office, what is the first thing they see? Is it comfortable?”
When asking these questions, Murphy noted that specifically, the office used to have magazines spread around for prospective caregivers awaiting interviews to read. However, many news publications depicted President Trump, a character Murphy described as “polarizing.”
“Let’s not evoke any emotional reaction, and just be soothing, be neutral, for someone who is about to come in and might be a little intimidated by the interview process or nervous,” he said.
Having some locations operated by the company has been beneficial for insight in the improvements that have spread throughout the franchises, Murphy said. As part of those improvements, Griswold made recruitment and retention one of its top priorities in 2017, Murphy said in September.
The introduction of new technology is another component of those efforts. Griswold is even looking to test Amazon’s voice technology, Alexa, “as a means for accessing and updating the care plan,” Murphy said.
“As we look to the future, we see an opportunity to offer our clients new value in the form of expertise and service that will help them to stay in the place they love,” Murphy said. “One thing is clear, care is moving to the home, and with it new opportunities for us to meet the needs of clients and their family.”