In any meeting between a care provider and a client there are a number of things that need to be verified.
- Time, Date and Location.
- Who the provider is.
- Who the client is.
- Are the provider’s credentials up to date?
- Has the provider and their supervisor gone over the client’s plan of care and signed the plan of care?
- How many hours may the provider work on this shift without exhausting the clients available hours or exceed the available hours?
- How many hours can the provider work without going into overtime?
- Has the provider left the client for any reason during the shift?
- Has the provider provided transportation and if so how many miles?
- Has the provider presented the client with a list of tasks preformed and mileage driven during the shift and gotten the client to sign for services received?
- The Time, Date and Location at the end of the shift.
Without this critical information there is a problem, and any attempt to touchtone this information in would be impossible. VCS uses GEO codes, facial recognition and signature recognition, on screen notifications, alarms, and timestamps to validate each and every step of a provider/client visit.
The current system of monitoring HCA’s is susceptible to frequent errors because there is no identifiable method of validation or verification of time worked. Pushing buttons on a phone cannot sufficiently identify the caregiver’s identity (who pushed the buttons) and location.
When the system relies on a phone call from the HCA, just the reliance on the phone alone can lead to potential problems:
It has been said that a landline can verify the presence of a HCA, but it doesn’t validate who is punching in the numbers. In addition, approximately two-thirds of the homes in the U.S. no longer have landline phones as people switch to cell phones, or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
- The use of VOIP phones can’t prove the physical location of a device (Vonage, Magic Jack, etc)
- Input errors are easily made on touchtone phones when an HCA pushes the wrong key and the methods we have seen accept whatever is typed in with no method of verification of the care provider, the provider’s certification and the validation that the care provider is authorized to provide the care.
- In addition, the reliance on a landline phone opens the door to errors because any of the following could be a valid reason why an HCA did not call in…or an error that could easily pass for truth:
- Phone is disconnected due to nonpayment.
- Patient changed phone number.
- Patient is moving, leading to an interruption of service.
- Patient staying temporarily with another person, such as a family member.
- Patient refuses to let HCA use phone.
- Patient is outside waiting for the HCA, to be transported to a medical appointment.
- Patient requires immediate assistance due to a fall, confusion, incontinence or some
other type of emergency.
- HCA can’t enter the dwelling to use the phone because the patient is asleep and not
answering the door.
- Patient must admit HCA into a secure building
In addition to not having a landline available and all of the possible excuses for not calling in, there’s the real (and frightening) possibility that an HCA could show up to a patient’s house, call in, and simply leave again. There is simply no verification of what has really happened, nor any way to validate it.