With a growing nursing shortage casting a shadow over the bulging senior population in America, one major home health care provider is stepping up its efforts to recruit, retain and train new home health aides and boost its caregiver force.
Bayada Home Health Care, which recently announced it would transfer ownership to a charitable organization as its founder and president J. Mark Baiada retires, has placed increasing emphasis on training and developing its nurses and other care professionals. New Jersey-based Bayada is one of the top 10 largest home health providers in the country, with more than 300 locations in 22 states.
Their approach is expected to help as the demand for in-home care continues to climb, according to David Baiada, who will succeed his father Mark as CEO in August.
“Big picture… the demand for people and providers of health care services is outstripping supply by anyone’s predictions,” David Baiada told HHCN. “The need for people is a top priority.”
Bayada, which hires around 500 people per week, recruits staff from several sources, including online, by holding local events, collaborating with schools and partnering with local community organizations.
During the first three months of the year, Bayada has doubled its incentive payment for referral bonuses for employees who refer a candidate who is hired.
In terms of the number of new staff Bayada hopes to hire, the figure is “limitless,” according to Baiada.
“Right now, our ability to take care of more people is really squarely limited by our ability to have great clinicians,” Baiada said. “We don’t have a top-end goal; it’s as many as we can find.”
Fostering Culture and Care
To overcome these challenges, the provider has focused on creating an employee-centric culture.
“They’ve decided to be a nurse because there is something in their heart,” Baiada said. “We want to create an environment to connect with why they feel they want to do this in the first place.”
The provider keeps employees engaged with support and reminders of why home care is important work. The company introduced its “I Love What I Do” campaign in conjunction with its 42nd anniversary to emphasize employee experiences with a testimonial video online.
The company also supports home health aides when it comes to additional training and development, including supporting caregivers seeking higher nursing certifications with mentorships and partnerships with other health care providers.
“When at home, you have to be comfortable and confident to build a one-on-one relationship, but also have good judgement to help a family and that client,” Baiada said. “The investment we make in helping people prepare for that responsibility we think is best in class. We put a lot of emphasis on preparation and ongoing development as clients or family needs rise.”
The role of a caregiver has also changed, according to Baiada, which is why Bayada incorporates technology as it evolves.
Bayada has been at the forefront of shifting technology use in home health care, including getting on board with the popularity of on-demand ride sharing services, such as Uber. The home health care provider teamed up with Uber at the end of 2016 to bring its job applicants to the Bayada office.
“One thing that has changed is the increased complexity [of home care],” Baiada said. “Through technology and the evolution of the health system, the service we can provide in the home today is far more advanced than just 10 years ago. That’s a key driver.”
Written by Amy Baxter