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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Mobile Medicine: a Glimpse at How New Technology Is Making Healthcare More Accessible

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 19, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Ankota provides mobile access to our SaaS (Software as a Service) platform as well  as multiple portals for referrals, patients, families and caregivers, etc.  These portals andour mobile app make it easier for home care agencies to deliver the best care possible.

Technology is also making it easier for consumers and healthcare practioners to get the information that they need, when they need it.  Here are a few:

PingMD

If you have an issue that you want to discuss with your doctor, then you can use PingMD. This app allows doctors and patients to discuss medical information without worrying about that information being leaked. The patient’s medical information can also be transferred to the app, which can only be viewed by the healthcare provider and the patient. Doctors can also bill patients and set up appointments with the app.

 

DoctoronDemand

You do not necessarily have to visit a doctor’s office if you have a minor medical condition. DoctoronDemand allows you to have a video consultation with your physician. A board-certified physician can diagnose minor conditions such as influenza, back pain, urinary tract infections, heart burn and respiratory infections and write you a prescription. They can also refill any existing prescriptions that you have.

Video visits are ideal for the busy person who does not have time to schedule an appointment. It is also important to note that most doctors today are extremely busy, so it can be difficult to get an appointment. Video visits may things easier for doctors and patients. There are currently 1,400 physicians in the United States who use this app.

 

Epocrates

Epocrates is an app that is geared towards physicians and other advanced healthcare providers. It has information about different medications and lists interactions. It also allows doctors to stay up-to-date with the latest medical information. This can be useful for many different fields of medicine, from primary practitioners to radiologists.

 

HelloMd

If you need help finding a specialist in your area, then you can use HelloMD. This app not only connects you to physicians, but it will also help you get an appointment. In fact, many people are able to get an appointment in less than 24 hours. The purpose of the app is to help people quickly get a healthcare provider if they need to get a second opinion.

Healthcare is changing for the better thanks to technology. Whether it be scheduling your next appointment, or reading about prescription medications, new tech can help. So take a second before your next appointment and think about using an app. With all of this technology on hand, you don’t need an mha degree to navigate your care.

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Future of Health Care, technology, mobile medicine

Achieving Affordable Population Health Management

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 12, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Population health is a goal that is being discussed more and more, but still seems to be the elusive third leg of "The Triple Aim."  This may be because we're going about it the wrong way. I read an interesting but somewhat disappointing article on openminds.com entitled How Do We Automate Population Management?  The reason that I found the article disappointing is that they really made no attempt to answer the question implied by the title. Instead the article should have been entitled "It's too hard for healthcare organizations to automate population health management because we only know one way to deliver care and it's not automated and requires us to do research and we can't find the data." More specifically, the article cites the age old problem of disparate and unstructured data in healthcare and shares the diagram below as an explanation of why nurses need to spend all of their time searching for data and thus have no time left to do anything about in. We generally try to stay upbeat in the Ankota blog, but I challenge you to read the article and come to any other conclusion.

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A Different Way to Implement Population Health Management?

A new, different and affordable way to management population health is as follows:

  1. Identify the population that you're trying to keep healthy: This isn't hard and people trying to implement population health generally know who their population is. For example, a home care agency's population would be their clients. In the case of an insurance company or a primary care practice, there's likely a filter, such as "all may patients above a certain age or who have cost us more than X dollars in the past year.
  2. Understand why the people in the population are there: This is slightly harder, but not super hard. For clients who are in somewhat frequently in your care, you know why. If the reason that they're in the population is more vague, such as "they're old," start with that. One thing that would be helpful here is to put the population into buckets based on your best guess at how often they are to end up in the emergency department. Again, don't overthink it, Use a high, medium, low scale something like "if they've been there 2 or more times in the last year, they're high, one time medium, and no times low.
  3. Realize that Population Health is not all about health care: Many people who are unhealthy and/or cost the health system a lot of money aren't sick but rather are dealing with other issues related to hunger, shelter, isolation or inability to manage Activities of Daily Living (ADLSs).
  4. Rather than starting from medical history, ask the people how they're doing: Based on the above, we've got a list of people and their contact information, a high/medium/low ranking and in some cases we know their key health risk factors (CHF, COPD, UTIs, loneliness?). Next we can institute a system where we check in on them to see how they're doing. We do this in a way that results in structured data by asking questions like "Are you feeling more or less congested than the last time we called?" These can be asked via phone with live representatives making the calls, or via automated calls or texts.
  5. Instead of Nurses Researching and Trying to Help a few patients per day, have them respond to the exceptions: The method described in the Openminds.com article shows how a nurse, costing on average $10K/month can treat a population of around 100 to 200 people. By automating population health as described, that same nurse can manage a population of 750 to 1,250 people (depending on population acuity).

Tell me more about affordable population health management

If you'd like to learn more about how to turn your home care agency or other healthcare practice into a population health management agency at a price that's very attractive to payers, let us help. Contact Ankota and ask about Foresight Care.

Free Foresight Care Demo

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Demystifying Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Models of Home Care

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 5, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Some states have authorize home care models where the care is directed by the consumer receiving services. These models are often referred to as Consumer Directed Services (CDS) and sometimes referred to as registry models or Employee of Record models. In many cases these programs are administered by home care agencies, but the caregivers are not employees of the home care agency.  For agencies who are not participating in these models of care it can be very confusing, and even agencies who do participate in these care delivery models often have trouble complying with their expectations.

This article seeks to demystify CDS and Registry Models:

The "Rules" of CDS and Registry Models

  • Grandmother and granddaughter.jpgThe first "rule" is that the rules vary. These programs are generally Medicaid-driven and Medicaid rules are defined by each state.

  • Since the consumer directs the care, it is often the case that the home care agency isn't allowed to "schedule" the caregiver. Having said that, the consumers and caregivers aren't generally good at keeping track of where they stand against their authorization. One approach agencies take is to "earmark" schedules with duration only and not specific times in order to give the caregivers a guideline.

  • When caregivers are employees of the home care agency, the agency is generally required to pay for all time worked, even if the caregiver wworks beyond the authorized units. In the case of CDS programs, this is generally not the case. Since the consumer is directing the care, any payments above the authorization would be the responsibility of the consumer to pay.

  • This is an area where the rules vary by state, but many of these programs allow relatives to provide the care (but sometimes with restrictions such as that the care provider can not be the spouse).

  • There is often a requirement for the consumer to be able to approve their hours. This is tricky given that clients are generally elderly and not very tech savvy.

  • In this model, it is generally the consumer receiving care who is the employer of their caregiver(s) and as such, the home care agency performing the admin role needs to submit tax forms on behalf of the consumer.

  • Often your state Medicaid program administrators will provide legal guidelines so that you can avoid behaviors that would make your agency the employer.

If your state has different rules or different models, please comment on the article or let us know.

Can we help you automate your CDS Program?

Ankota has strong expertise with CDS programs in multiple states. If we can help you automate your program, please ask.

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Electronic Visit Verification and Rounding Rules

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Let's start today's blog post with a provocative statement:

"The adoption of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) means that it will be the end of perfect time sheets"

How can this be?  Shouldn't EVV give us better time sheets?

Great Questions! Here are the answers:

Fotolia_46721763_Subscription_Monthly_M_1-2-2.jpgYes - Your time sheets will be more accurate, and hence better with EVV. However, they won't be quite as perfect. You see, if your caregiver is scheduled for a shift from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you are likely to receive a time sheet each week saying that your caregiver worked on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

The reality is likely to be somewhat different. Perhaps on Monday traffic was good and your caregiver arrived at 9:22, but on Wednesday she got a late start and didn't arrive until 9:41. But then again, on Monday she stayed all the way until noon even though she got there 8 minutes early, so on Wednesday she figures she can leave on time at noon and it will all be fine.


Managed Care Programs require perfect accuracy in your time sheets

For the purpose of this blog article, we'll define managed care programs as programs where there are specifically authorized amounts of time for care, that are based on a set of tasks that have been assessed to be needed by the care recipient. These programs, often funded by Medicaid, require accurate time sheets measured by EVV systems. As we established above, your time sheets will look less "perfect" with EVV meaning that your caregivers will rarely arrive and leave exactly at the scheduled time.  As such, and since the majority of these programs require you to bill 15 minute units of care, you will need to comply with the appropriate rounding rules imposed by your program and your state.

Rounding may be different for Billing than it is for Payroll

Rounding rules for Billing are most likely to be defined by the managed care payer (e.g., the Medicaid, VA or other payer who has authorized the service). Note that if you are providing services that are paid privately (e.g., by the payer or their family) then you can typically define your rounding rule as you see fit (and perhaps as required due to competition).

By contrast, rounding rules for payroll are most likely defined by the Department of Labor (DoL) and may also vary from state to state.

The Typical Rounding Rules:

The most common rounding rules that you'll need to support are as follows:

  • Round Down: For example, if a caregiver works 55 minutes, and you can only bill for completed 15 minute units of care, then you'd have to round down, and in this case bill for 45 minutes (3 units) of care.
  • Round Up: If you are permitted to round up, then a 55 minute visit and even a 46 minute visit would be rounded up to a full hour. This rounding rule is hardly ever used in managed care (in fact I've never seen it)
  • Round to Nearest: Rounding to the nearest 15 minutes is a rule that is permitted by some programs. They rationalize that sometimes you'll be rounding up and will be paid for an extra few minutes, whereas other times you'll be rounding down and it will all pretty much even out over time. The "round to the nearest" rule is often called the "rule of seven eighths" meaning that if you are over by 7 minutes or fewer you round down and if you are over by 8 minutes or more you round up.
  • No Rounding: As it's name implies, no rounding means that you don't round. This is typically the way that labor laws want you to handle rounding. You pay the caregiver for every minute that they work (whether you're able to bill for it or not).

Special Processing Helps:

There are some cases where a little bit of extra processing can help your EVV efforts. Here are a few of the special processes that we offer in Ankota to help with EVV: 

  • Letting the Caregiver Know when to clock out: In most cases it's the duration of the visit that matters, so if a caregiver clocks in 7 minutes late or 3 minutes early, we can tell them through voice telephony or the mobile app when they should clock out. We also let them know when they're trying to clock out early (to encourage them to complete their whole shift)
  • Accumulated (aka Accrued) Minutes: Some states such as Missouri require you to round down for billing and to pay for all minutes worked, but they also let you keep track of those extra minutes and when the same caregiver crosses a 15 minute threshold of care for the same client and the same service, you can bill an additional unit.
  • Titration: Often states provide an authorization that corresponds to a 31 day month. For example, if they would like you to provide care 7 days a week for 2 hours a day, they'll authorize 62 hours (or 248 15 minute units). But in a typical month it's unlikely that service will be delivered exactly in accordance with that plan. For example, it may be a 30 day month or a 28 day month or the client might not need care on some days because they are with family. Titration is a process that spreads the unused units onto different days so that the client can receive all of the care that they're authorized for.

Successful Agencies will be ready for managed care

The future of home care will largely require care to be delivered in accordance with authorizations. Even if you mostly serve affluent private pay clients today, if you want referrals from health systems who are engaging you for population health management, you'll need to be ready for managed care.

Learn More About Managed Care

Ankota's team has managed care experience dating back to the 1990s. If we can help you prepare for the managed care future of home care, please contact us.

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Pennsylvania Institutes New Reimbursed Home Care Program

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 22, 2018 11:00:00 AM

There's a lot of discussion in the media about the defunding of Medicaid. We can't say that home care is exempt from this concern, but from what we're seeing most states are supporting and even enhancing their medicaid programs.

PA Community HealthChoice Program

pennsylvania-40430_1280.pngPennsylvania's Community HealthChoice (CHC) program has embraced the reality that putting an elderly or disabled person into a care institution like a nursing home will cost $62,000 per year, and home care can cost a good deal less. If for example, the state provides 2 hours of home care per day, the cost will be less than $15,000 per person.

A great deal of information on the CHC program is available on the PA state web site here. A more consolidated overview is available thanks to Home Healthcare News here.

CHC Key facts:

Here's a summary of the program:

  • The program makes it easier for PA residents to get care in their homes
  • The management of the program has been outsourced to insurance companies
  • There is a phased roll-out with the Pittsburgh area first, then the Philadelphia area in 2019, and the rest of the state in 2020.
  • There will be approximately 80,000 recipients
  • As mentioned above, the cost of nursing home institutionalization would be $62,000 (hopefully avoided with this program)
  • There's a bit of a debate going on where the nursing home side is questioning the program and the home care association is saying that people who don't require round-the-clock care shouldn't have to be in a nursing home

There are 50 States and at Least 50 Approaches

All states are required to comply with the provision of the 21st century cures act that requires Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). Each state has to decide how to go about it. Some states are outsourcing the process to Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) run by insurance companies and others are simply mandating the use of EVV and auditing for it. Many states have issued Requests for Information (RFIs) seeking information on how to solve the issue. The states that have struggled the most are those that have chosen one system that all providers need to use.

Ankota has team members who have been providing EVV solutions since the 1990s. If you need some advice, let us know if we can help.

I Need Help with EVV

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Decentralization of Home Care suggested by New England Journal of Medicine

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 15, 2018 11:00:00 AM

This blog frequently discusses the possibility of a health care system where hospitals aren't in the enter, but rather home and community based care take center stage. Our thesis is that when you avoid hospitalizations and especially emergency department visits, especially for the elderly, that we achieve higher satisfaction with the health system at lower cost...  As it turns out, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) agrees.

The NEJM case for decentralization of the healthcare system

Fotolia_31375793_Subscription_Monthly_M-1.jpgAs always, we encourage you to read the full article, but in summary here's the case laid out by NEJM:
  • Since there were no Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to start from it was historically necessary for you to go to the hospital so that they could diagnose you from scratch
  • Similarly, since there was no way to see or measure the patient remotely, you historically had to go to the hospital
  • The early effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) drove even more hospital visits
  • But hospitals are not a very same place with 1 in 25 hospital visitors contracting infections from other patients
  • There are now technologies for remotely monitoring and seeing patients (even commonplace technologies like Facetime and the ability to measure vital signs on a smart phone)
  • There is also the possibility for community based paramedicine (the article cites the way that the Geisinger system uses emergency response teams to deliver care services under the direction of medically trained staff, though our thought it that home care can play this role).

Shifting the healthcare "entry point" away from the Emergency Department

Imagine a different future where people are supported by population health teams. Here's how it can go:

  • Higher acuity people have ongoing monitoring and check-ins from their community health organization (e.g., the supervisory nurses at home care agencies are checking in).
  • Others who experience an "emergency" make their first call to their community care team (again likely centered at a home care agency). The well-trained person answering the phone can decide in minutes whether the person should go right to the hospital or whether instead they can be seen in the home (cutting the cost from thousands of dollars to around $100) or even coached over the phone (cutting the cost to around $10).
  • Depending on the situation, they might chose to put the person on an affordable monitoring program (costing as little as $20/month)

Bottom Line: Home Care is growing even faster than the population

In addition to having an elderly population that will more than double by 2040, more and more evidence suggests that care outside of hospitals can be the remedy that our health system needs.

The sad downside of the NEJM article was that all of the examples cited for success stories were invented by the hospitals. This means that we in the home care community have not yet made it onto the radar screens of the hospital decision makers. Part of the reason is that we've been told for so long that we're "non-medical home care" and we've largely come to believe that we can't help solve the healthcare crisis. On that front, we're wrong...  Home care can be the solution.

Affordable Remote Monitoring

Ankota has an affordable remote monitoring solution called Foresight Care. The reason that it's affordable is that you don't need to buy or deploy telehealth equipment. But just because it's more affordable doesn't mean that it's not as good - especially for those lower acuity patients who make up 2/3rds of the ED visits. To learn more about Foresight Care, contact Ankota.

Free Foresight Care Demo

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Value of Home Healthcare Proven in Cleveland Clinic Study

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 8, 2018 11:00:00 AM

A study performed by the Cleveland Clinic has proven that discharging patients from hospitals to home healthcare saves a per patient average of $6,433 in the first year after discharge, and reduces readmissions by 18% and deaths by 20%.  The full report is entitled "Impact of Home Health Care on Healthcare Resource Utilization Following Hospital Discharge: a Cohort Study" and will be published in the American Journal of Medicine. 

What should we do as a result of this study?

Fotolia_29564617_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpgThese results are not a surprise to any of us, but it's great to know that our industry is reducing the cost of care and improving health outcomes.

Here are some steps we can take based on these results:

  • Take a step back and enjoy the good news!

  • Thank our people! It's our staff who make this all happen

  •  Think about how to make home care even better

How do we make home care even better?

Our industry has many advantages, including the "tailwind" of a growing market. Here's what we should be preparing to do next:

  • Prepare for ongoing chronic care and population health: We will be increasingly asked to manage ongoing care for higher risk individuals

  • Add non-medical care to your portfolio of services: Most readers of this blog provide non-medical home care services, but since the study results above come from the certified home health side we're taking the opportunity to promote the concept of combining home care with home health. This can be a blog article of it's own, but in short, having non-medical caregivers provide more frequent in home services under the direction of nurses rather than fewer nursing visits can provide a better care experience at lower cost.

  • Be ready for "managed care": In order to compete in the emerging models of reimbursed care, you will need to manage against authorizations. This is a standard practice in certified home health but rather than managing a 60 day episode of care, you'll be asked to manage ongoing care with specific care plan items (combining both health care management tasks and tasks that support activities of daily living [ADLs])

Congratulations to all on this study. To learn more, please download the free eBook Blueprint for the Next Generation of Home Care.

Next Generation of Homecare eBook

 

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Home Care Combined with Healthcare can be Transformative

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 1, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The landscape for the home care market has always been shaped by the available reimbursement for care. This won't change, but the care models of the future will evolve and will move to a model that requires the combination of skilled care services, with non-medical home care services and monitoring.

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Why will Home Health and Home Care need to combine?

The value of the combination of home health and home care is significant. Here's why:

  • The health of populations is only 20% related to health care matters. The other 80% is related to shelter, food, companionship and activities of daily living (ADLs). Non-medical caregivers can focus on the 80%.
  • With the growth of the elderly population, there simply won't be enough care providers (on both the medical and non-medical side). Organizations that can provide both can identify synergies and reduce overall cost
  • In a combined organization, there is an opportunity to train non-medical caregivers to perform healthcare oriented tasks under the direction of skilled staff. This creates career paths and allows skilled resources to cover broader populations
  • Non-medical caregivers can observe patients/clients and escalate early warning signs of issues that can lead to hospitalizations. Read more here.

Bonus predictions:

Despite all of the great benefits described above, it still won't be enough to deal with the growing elderly population that is more than doubling in the next 20 years. Two additional measures will need to put in place to close the gap, as follows:

  • Affordable Patient Monitoring: We will need to check in with patients between visits, but telehealth is too expensive. The affordable way to do this is via automated phone calls and text messaging. Whereas telehealth generally costs over $100 per patient per month, new approaches (including Ankota's Foresight Care [tm]) can be deployed for under $10/month.
  • More Care will need to be delivered via phone: A home health nurse in an efficient home health organization sees up to 6 patients per day. By contrast, a nurse in a call center can outreach to 30 or more patients per day

Free Foresight Care Demo

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

7_habits_effective_home_care.jpg

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Home Care Best Practices, Home Care, Care Transitions, Home Health

An Evolving Profession: a Quick Look at the Modern Development of Nursing

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Over the past 150 years or so, the nursing profession has changed enormously. At one time it was a a limited vocation. It’s now a respected career for thousands of dedicated, trained and well-educated people of both genders. If you’re attracted to nursing as a career, take a few minutes to think about how it’s evolved, as well as some more current trends.

Lady with the Lamp

For most of history, nursing was done in the home by family members. It wasn’t even recognized as a distinct profession. Many people feel that modern nursing began with social activist Florence Nightingale. During the Crimean War of 1853-1856, the British government asked for her help managing the deplorable conditions in their field hospitals.

Along with a band of compatriots, she saw to it that practices for sanitation, fresh air, healthy food, and distribution of medicine were followed. An admiring world saw the wisdom in Nightingale’s insistence on the need for trained and experienced nurses. The first nursing school in the U.S. opened its doors in 1873.

Hospital Era

Over the ensuing decades, urban populations soared and infectious illnesses became a universal threat. Civilian and medical authorities saw the need for facilities where the sick and injured could be efficiently treated. But the level of care in early hospitals could vary enormously, depending on their resources and quality of staff. Women from religious orders were known to provide some of the most effective and compassionate care. This example, the poor conditions, and the need for women to find employment led to the rapid increase in professional nurses by the end of the 19th century.

Modern Healthcare

By the 1930s hospitals were becoming a staple of society. Instead of relying on relatives for care, people in even smaller communities were able to turn to doctors and seek treatment at medical facilities. Professional nurses were on hand to perform a variety of functions. These included assisting physicians in their tasks, administrative duties, providing for patient needs, offering comfort, providing medication, and much more.  Technology increasingly has become an important part of the nursing role.

Changing Technology

Over this time and right up to the present, one of the major influences on healthcare and nursing came from technology. X-rays, new pharmaceuticals, and finally computers, DNA, and automation have become standard. Training in constantly-changing techniques and technology has become part of the nursing profession. Nurses today fulfill any number of critical positions and a variety of specialties. Part of this advancement nursing professionals are using and benefiting from agency management systems like Ankota to reduce paperwork, allowing them to focus on patient care and satisfaction.  In addition, agencies are seeking to have the nursing professionals more efficient and seek to move from assigning caseloads to more detailed schedules for service delivery while taking into account patient requirements, continuum of care and other agency and care priorities.

As it’s become a more exciting profession, the turnover in nurse staffing has dropped by 12 percent recently.

As people live longer lives, modern hospitals couldn’t function without a highly trained, technically savvy nursing staff. That makes it a more secure and respected career choice filled with opportunity. If you’re considering this career choice, it might not be a bad idea to look into mba programs. With all the advances in nursing, someone with a solid knowledge of business and technology would be sure to go far.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

Planning for Imperfection: 4 Ways Healthcare Agencies Should Protect Themselves

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

No matter how careful you are as a healthcare organization, it seems that a legal claim is always at the back of your mind. While you cannot eliminate this possibility, you can take steps to help ensure that your exposure to risk is minimized. In the end, your primary objective is to help your patients. You should be free to do that without worrying about baseless legal claims made against you from patients, workers or family members. With that in mind, consider the following four ways that your organization can protect itself in the litigious environment in which we live.

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Make Sure You Adhere to the Standards of Care

No matter what type of practice you are in, there are rules and regulations in place for a reason. Work hard to follow a set protocol, no matter what type of situation you might encounter. To do otherwise is to encourage a lawsuit if something were to go awry. Make sure that you follow proper procedures, best practices, and adhere to the current standard of care.

Communicate across the Board

All healthcare facilities need to ensure proper communication among all personnel that interact with the patient. This is how patient information flows, and it is how mistakes are minimized. If you fail to communicate properly, patient care can suffer. To protect yourself, you want to ensure that you communicate all important patient information to other practitioners who are also involved in the treatment of individuals in your charge.  Be sure that you document as required and where needed.  This may involve forms at the point of care.  You will want the ability to deploy new forms quickly or modify them quick as the need arises as well as have patients sign them, for example.

Retain a Lawyer

In the event that a legal challenge does come up, you will want to have  legal representation that understand healthcare and is ready to defend and protect your rights. It is better to have this arranged ahead of time, Firms like Obradovich Law are a good option. The right attorney can help you safeguard your interests.  By reviewing where you are in advance could save you significant time and money in the long term.

Document Everything You Can

Your motto should become that if you didn’t write it down, then it didn’t happen. This will get you in the happen of documenting everything pertinent to the care of your patients.  Your agency management system can play a key role in reducing paperwork, while increasing your efficiency, all the while providing you with additional protection if a legal does arise.  Electronic Visit Verification, known as EVV, will soon be mandated for Medicaid and Medicare across the US.  This type of electronic time clock helps to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in the post-acute care market as well as documents when a worker is in the home or facility, a critical piece of independently documented data needed in determining and documenting where and when a worker was in the home if an issue where to arise.

If you will follow these four pieces of advice, you will be well-positioned to protect your organization. Remember that it is all about doing what is best for your patients.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, April 2017 Newsletter

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About Ankota

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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