Increased Homecare Productivity

thuiszorg, homecare


Homecare providers are working with low hourly rates financed by local government or by insurance companies. The balance between time spent with the patient to proved care (productive time) and the time spent with other activities like travel, meetings, education (non-productive time) is crucial for the financial results.

Homecare provider, Vivantes, has asked Herku to help and find out what are the key factors in improving productivity.

Problem and Objective

Like with every improvement project using HerkuXL® method, first a pilot location/team was selected: Beek (south of Netherlands). This team of healthcare professionals started the project with the following objectives:

  • improve productivity
  • increase financial results to guarantee continuity
  • spend more time on providing homecare
  • spend less time on non-productive activities

After collecting baseline data on productivity per person, it was clear that the average productivity was 75% of the team with big variations from person-to-person ranging between 50% and 95%. Due to many extreme values, the process was not stable.

Analysis and Solutions

Looking at the baseline data and trying to come up with reasons why the team had 75% level with big outliers, these core causes were identified:

  • Team members had no idea about their weekly nor daily productivity.
  • There were no personal goals set about productivity, they were only talking about average team productivity until this point.
  • This subject came up only once in the while during team meeting when the financial results were really bad.

Taking this root-cause analysis, the team agreed on the following actions:

  • Every person will get their average productivity number from the recently collected baseline data.
  • Every person will set his/her productivity goal for the next 30-60 days
  • To avoid project leadtime delay, team agreed to keep it low-tech: a printed A4 paper with a graph on it was given to every team member where they can plot their productivity number at the end of their shift.
  • When personal productivity was not hitting personal goal at the end of the shift, team member would provide with some explanation/analysis just by writing on the the graph/paper.
  • When the paper graph was full (about 30 days) a new graph was given by the team leader, the old graph was discussed and new personal target was set together.


After the execution of above countermeasures, the following results were achieved by the team of homecare givers:

  • Average team productivity was increased by 5% from 75% to 79%
  • Individual productivity was increased in some cases by 15%
  • Variation within the team was reduced by 50%
  • Higher productivity was increasing revenue by $61.500 per year.

Similar Projects

  • Similar project: Increase productivity at SGL
  • This project approach can be applied in Consultancy, Field Service and any industries where revenue is based on hourly rates.

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Posted on

8 April, 2020

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