INTERVIEW

Connecting Care Managers

As a Care Manager for Right at Home Northwest Houston, Kim manages the everyday care of clients. She communicates regularly with caregivers and family members of the client, addressing any concerns they may have, and revises individual care plans to ensure all client needs are met. Kim and the Right at Home team have been using SparxConnect for the past year. We recently had the privilege of chatting with Kim about her use of SparxConnect and how it has improved the communication with families and her team.

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"Letting someone care for your loved one is a trust walk. The wellness updates and photos that we are able to share through SparxConnect make gaining the trust of families easier."

- Kim, Care Manager at Right at Home Northwest Houston

Q: What challenges were you looking to solve with SparxConnect?
 
A: “Before using SparxConnect, we were noticing gaps in communication where our office staff was missing out on conversations regarding client needs that were being discussed between caregivers and families. We were also fielding a high number of non-emergent calls from both caregivers and families, and our caregivers were being asked to accept calls from families on their personal cell phones.

We needed a safe and secure online communication solution that brought everyone together. One that enabled our team to provide families the ongoing peace of mind they desired while reducing the pressure on our office staff to address non-emergent calls."
 
Q: How are you using SparxConnect today?
 
A: "Our initial use for SparxConnect has been to support more effective and efficient communication between our families and our care team. For example, we have a few clients with family members that have very busy lives and it can be difficult to get them on the phone. SparxConnect serves as the primary form of communication to share wellness updates or request changes to the care schedule or specific needs for that day. We also find it helpful to have a digital record of these interactions in case we need to go back to them.

We have also started to utilize the Care Journal in SparxConnect for some of our client's documentation. We can eliminate the in-home paper binder by posting daily care notes for the family to review online. This has been especially beneficial for clients who live in a community with visiting restrictions and for families that live out of state.

More recently, we are seeing the value of posting training resources for our caregivers. For example, when one of our clients needed to have her nephrostomy bags drained, we didn't have the ability to train all care team members in person, so our nurse posted a how-to video to SparxConnect. And now all the caregivers can watch and learn for future use. We were unable to upload the video on the ClearCare platform, so it was great that SparxConnect offered a safe place for us to share it in time to support our client."
 
Q: What has been the reaction to SparxConnect from your families?
 
A: “All of the families have shared the same sentiment; SparxConnect helps them feel connected to their loved ones even when they cannot be there in person. It provides them with peace of mind when they can see that their loved one is having a good day.

It is particularly helpful for building rapport and trust with those families who live far away. One of our newer clients lives in California, and despite the distance (father is in Houston, Texas), he is still highly involved in his father’s care. In fact, he moved his father from another care provider after they failed to meet his requirements for communication. He has been very impressed with SparxConnect and logs in every day. We use SparxConnect to post-care notes and he can view them when he wishes.

Another client, whose mother lives in a memory care facility, made it clear that communication was a huge expectation for her. We posted daily updates with photos in her secure circle in SparxConnect and seeing, not just reading, what her mom was doing has meant the world to her. She recently called me to say: “Kim your company has been such an advocate for my mom. The communication has just been wonderful, I can’t thank you enough.”

Truly, if we didn’t have SparxConnect, I don’t know how we could offer the level of communication we provide today."
 
Q: How have your caregivers benefitted from SparxConnect?
 
A: “We sometimes feel like we work in a separate bubble from the caregivers out in the field and us in the office. We try to visit, but we can’t be there every week. So SparxConnect connects us into one bubble and makes it easier for us to keep our caregivers engaged and all parties informed.

It also puts a spotlight on the great work our caregivers do every day. Every client has a dedicated circle of care and when a caregiver can share updates, ideas, and questions, we all get to see and experience their efforts. All of this leads to a better understanding of their roles, which is when trusting relationships can be formed. Additionally, hearing that they are a ‘blessing’ from their client’s daughter is such great recognition and further motivates them to continue delivering exceptional care."
 
Q: What would you want another care manager to know about SparxConnect?
 
A: “There is so much potential with SparxConnect, and when it is used to its full capabilities, it really works. Having a central spot where everyone can go and view an update in real time has not only reduced the calls we receive, it frees up the care managers up to work on other priorities such as caregiver training and having clinical discussions with our care partners.

It also helps us stand out from the other providers. I honestly believe SparxConnect is a factor in our customer retention numbers.

For example, one client receiving care in a skilled nursing facility was initially booked for our services for two weeks, but after the family experienced the benefits of daily updates and communication within SparxConnect, they extended our services to over 6 weeks."

"Truly, if we didn’t have SparxConnect, I don’t know how we could offer the level of communication we provide today."

- Kim, Care Manager at Right at Home Northwest Houston

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