Agencies cannot guarantee “100% satisfaction” when it comes to caregivers, but On-call Ma can guarantee 100% response to after-hour calls. Let’s face it, responding to customers is “customer care”. Customer care knows that emotion never goes side by side with logic and the Home Care Agency knows when it comes to caregivers, it is all about emotion. What does that mean? It means as an agency, we need to learn how to give out speeding tickets. Confused yet?

If you ever received a speeding ticket from a state trooper police, you might show some emotion for a few reasons. First, you need to go to court to pay a big fine – few hundred dollars, followed by paying thousands of dollars over a few years to insurance. Do not worry, no matter which insurance you change to, they will make you pay. It can be a very emotional process and you swear you will never speed again.

On Call Tracking Pulls up with a Solution

On-call Tracking module from On-call Ma takes the concept of driving on the road. As long as everyone follows the rules, less car accidents happen. For example, we should not pass the red light. Whenever someone does not follow the rules such as speeding, on-call tracking brings the case to a police officer. Imagine, you have multiple coordinators, hundred of cases to deal with per day. Patient’s family member is always calling if something doesn’t look right. This is where software can help.

On-call Tracking monitors all after hour calls and makes sure coordinators respond to all calls. If the coordinator does not respond, then On-call Ma brings the calls up to the supervisor’s attention. What makes this more interesting is that On-call Ma also listens to all after-hour calls to determine if the call was joyful, angry, or sad. If the call is angry, then it is brought to the coordinator supervisor’s attention. These features out of many help to portal home care agencies.

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“I would have picked up another case if I knew I had a caregiver,” said the home care agency coordinator. Kit has been working in the industry for more than 15 years. She knows the ins and outs of the home care agency. Then there was I, who understands phone technology because I have been dealing with the phone for close to 15 years. The problem is clear, how can we find caregivers on the fly or in a short period of time.

Kit is not the owner of the company so she never looks at the problem from a business perspective. Of course, we can hire a recruiter to find a caregiver faster. Another option would be to increase caregiver’s hourly rate by an extra $1. I can guarantee you that with an increase of $1 for an HHA certified caregiver, you will have more than enough caregiver. Kit knows that $1 extra per hour makes a huge difference, but never asked herself why the business owner never increased the hourly rate or even asked herself what is Return On Investment (ROI) for a caregiver.

Computers solve repetitive problems, repeatedly

On-call Ma tackles this problem from the perspective of the business owner. That is, how can I increase my ROI? That is how can we increase my profit per case while keeping my operation cost the same or lower. This is where technology plays a big role. In my post – Computer Vs. CEO, give you some idea of what a computer is good vs. a human employee.

From my previous post, we know computers are good at doing repetitive tasks. In our case, are the tasks to find caregivers repetitive? Can a computer process this repetitive task? The answer is yes. In fact, there is a framework that can help to automate these tasks. In our case, the business process tasks. Automating business processes has been around for many years so it is something not new.

As I listen to Kit explain her process of finding a caregiver, we fall into many issues. If the problem was easy to solve then there would not be a problem. Each task has many rules and certain rules conflict with other rules. It is as if we are in an infinite loop. To make it worse, when we are introduced with another coordinator, their tasks and rules are different. For example, Kit’s would find all the caregivers within 10-mile radio using the CRM. Another coordinator may happen to know who is free to work. The difference is that Kit is working for a big caregiver agency and the other coordinator is working for a small agency. Now we know the problem really exists with the bigger company while in the process of solving the problem. Wonderful!


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“Are you listening to me?”. I go into auto-pilot and respond “yes dear, that is a good point”. Then my wife goes back to explaining something. I am sure many of us daze off sometime in our life, but that cannot happen when it comes to health care. As I work on On-Call Ma – finding on-demand caregivers, one of the problems I am trying to solve is monitoring after hour calls. More importantly, On-Call Ma must determine if should bring the the call to a supervisor’s attention.

There are many times my wife catches me “multi-tasking”. Personally, I am jealous of her sixth sense that detects and validates if I am listening. One of the ways is by asking “what did I say?” We can also validate if a call went well in the phone system world by doing a survey after the call ends. Usually, we ask at the beginning of the call if it is ok to call back for a survey.

Not All Call Surveys are Created Equal

The less question you ask the higher chance the client will finish the survey. It is important to follow the “don’t make me think” concept because the more work you force into your audience, the more resistance they will have and result in not finishing your survey. We can have tactics such as breaking down the audience in half so we can ask two questions and still get a high survey completion. It is important to not confuse principles with tactics. The principle concept, such as “don’t make me think,” must always be there.

I replied to my wife “you were talking about your students. Wow, you really care about your students.” My wife continues expressing her thoughts, which means she confirms that I am listening. In the phone system world, we take the survey data and create some type of algorithm or call survey formula that gives a number that we can understand. For example, you scored 9/10 on your quiz, and the passing grade is 6/10. This means we have to answer at least 6 questions correctly.

Call Survey Responses Have Their Own Formula

It is important to know that in each industry, the passing grade may be different. A delivery logistics company expects a higher call success rate, compared to a collection agency. One way to find the passing grade in an unknown industry is to get the average result for a few months and use that as a base. Here is an example with a two-question survey: “Would you recommend us to others?” gets a Yes response (pressing 1 for yes) 800/1000. The follow up “Did the representative answer all your questions” with a yes response 850/1000 where 1000 is the total survey completed. Any week if we exceed a 800/1000 ratio, then we are performing as expected or better.

I should admit that my wife usually knows whether I am listening or not. She has mastered all my tactics to cover up my answer. She certainly has higher accuracy than a survey. Artificial Intelligent Tone Analyzer also has higher accuracy than a survey. IBM Watson is an example of a Tone Analyzer. What this product does is use speech to text to convert a call. Then analyze the words to determine if the person has anger, fear, joy, or sadness. As previously explained, we need to come up with a call survey formula that gives us results such as anger is 100/1000 where 1000 is the total calls for 3 months. Then we can see the performance in real-time.

“Why did I marry you, I will never know”, that is the response I get from my wife when I fail my performance test – “what did I say?”. In the business world, we give a bonus based on performance. If the performance is below expectations, then we need to make changes. The same applies to getting a divorce. I am happy to say that I am not divorced :0).

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God said, “Let there be light”. In my previous posting, I talked about what a computer can and cannot do, such as come up with truly random numbers. The Terminator movie series attempts to explain the limitations of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI cannot just figure out how the unique gift that God gave us, the right to choose, works. It is unpredictable and random on so many levels. The movie The Devil’s Advocate explains even God’s son, the Devil, could not predict the nature of human beings.

As I help develop On-call Ma, I face the problem of predicting scenarios to find caregiver replacement. There are many scenarios and randomization. For example, On-call Ma text caregiver if she wants a job. The caregiver decided to respond back 3 days later, but by that time we already had found a replacement. We have to teach our AI chatbot about predicting scenarios.  Teach it to send a “?” text after a few minutes to remind the caregiver to respond to us. There are factors such as motivation paying a major role. The post Caregiver: Where is my MONEY explains a little.

These challenges I face to solve on-demand caregiver replacement problems is one out of many reasons to give up. As I face one problem after another, I must remind myself that “Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination.”

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One of Spock’s famous lines from Star Trek is “that is quite logical”. We are in a modern age where Artificial intelligence (AI) is mastering the art of logic. Many people do not understand AI, and even the programmers who are developing AI do not understand the logic AI producing. For example in On-call Ma software, we are using AI to determine if we need to find a caregiver replacement, we are not sure how AI is using the data to figure out when to start the process of finding a replacement. According to our statistics, we know the accuracy is improving over time. The more AI listens to the conversation between on-call coordinator and the caregiver or the client, the more it improves on to determine when a call-out or canceled appointment happened.

One of the issues that On-call Ma have that we as human beings also have is making an assumption. Sometimes we draw a conclusion based on listening to only part of the communication. For example, a caregiver calls in. They leave a message their car is not working and cannot make their appointment. Most coordinators know that caregivers usually use the car scenario to cancel the visit because they do not want to go to work. However, there are cases where caregivers would call back, state the car is fixed, and able to make the visit. By the time the caregiver notifies the agency of their status, On-call Ma already found a replacement.

This type of assumption can cause issues where the client feels they are receiving poor service. However, On-call Ma is still young and it has a lot of time to learn. As Spock would say “live long and prosper.”

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“Manny, can you install Microsoft Office on my computer? When can you come by?”. The fact is most things have moved to a cloud model and does not require installation like before. Moreover, browser technology is maturing and can do anything a common person does . All you need is a link and credentials, such as username and password. For example, do you need billing software? Maybe your should try QuickBooks or Freshbooks online. Similarly, is there a need for word processing? In that case, sign up for the online version of Google doc or Microsoft 365.

“Marie, there is no installation need. Just go to and use the username and password I provided to you before”. And that was the end of the conversation.

One of the projects I am working on is tracking and monitoring cloud-based application software: The application keeps on-call coordinators and caregivers accountable by using artificial intelligence (AI). It is 100% online based, no installation required. If a coordinator needs to find caregiver replacement, On-call Ma will find you one. Similarly, if clients need to chat with you, as a coordinator, the SMS feature is built-in with an automatic chatbot. It is a fact that most new software deployments are online. As a result, software can be used on any device that has a browser such as:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Tablet
  • Laptop
  • Desktop PC

Next time you are looking for software, do not limit yourself by forgetting about web applications.

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Quality Assurance is always listening in

It was 3:31 AM in the morning and Miss Begum called the home care agency.


Ringing …

Cindy (not her real name) was the on-call coordinator for that night. ”Emergency line, may I help you?” Miss Begum sounded like she had a cold. “Hey Cindy, can you cancel all the upcoming visits for my mom? She passed away about an hour ago.”  On-call Ma software flagged the call as a “sad” 😢 mood, automatically generated an email, and sent to the coordinator’s supervisor.

Are you OK with AI for QA?

Tone Analyzer is one of the features I am working on for a home care agency software app. “1984” by George Orwell (also not his real name) is about policing society by limiting and controlling language. Big Brother from “1984 is here in the form of Artificial intelligence (AI). On-call Ma AI-based software provides quality control or quality assurance (QA). While some may dislike this form of quality control, in reality, it is hypocritical.

Imagine buying a car where your brakes do not work because quality control was not taken seriously. That means the manufacturer did not test all the brakes on the car before sending it out to the consumer. Would anyone buy the car? We know that product owners want QA because it ensures customers get what they paid for. Customers, who also work for the producer, dislike being monitored to provide the QA. It is also important to note that both caller and on-call coordinator consent to the QA as soon as the phone system broadcasts “this call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance”.

In 1984, the big brother or the government used humans to do more of the work. In our case, we use AI (replacement of humans) to provide monitoring in real-time. The fact is it is very expensive to have someone listen in to the call at 3:31 am because we want our beauty sleep. In the past, we have done an email survey to try to accomplish the same goal, but AI seems to provide better results. As the books explained “The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”
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