The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

Healthcare Reform without Permission - A Recipe

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 24, 2010 12:43:00 PM

Today's post is inspired by a presentation I attended at the Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit last month in Boston.  Dr. Randall MooreThe speaker was Dr. Randall S. Moore, CEO of American Telecare Inc.  Randall's company makes Telehealth equipment, but he caught my ear when he said, and repeated, that he doesn't believe Telehealth should be reimbursed.  As you'll read in the post below, it's not his vision that his company shouldn't make money.  Instead he challenged the participants to think differently about how to get paid.  If, for example, Telehealth can be proven to reduce the cost of hospitalizations and lower the cost of care for an individual or class of individuals, wouldn't the people paying the big bills be willing to pay a much smaller amount for the Telehealth system and for the home health agency who monitors it in exchange for the savings?  Of course they would, but our healthcare fee-for-service system doesn't reward or encourage such behavior, so in many cases it doesn't get done.  Dr. Moore gives us a recipe for getting it done, which we share a glimpse of here.

American TeleCare

Dr. Moore began his presentation by citing a few great books and authors, both of which have been reviewed on this blog.  The first was Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Prescription, which was Ankota's book of the year in 2009.  The other was George Halvorson's Healthcare Won't Reform Itself.  Note also that a video of Kaiser Chief George Halvorson is available here.   But he moved quickly to his formula for reform without permission, by first listing some ingredients:

  • Deliver a compelling return: (Dr. Moore asked for a volunteer to buy a $20 bill for $15 - there was skepticism at first but who wouldn't take that deal?)
  • Solve a critical problem / Address a Top Priority (this will grab attention)
  • Realize that a new outcome will require a new process (Expecting a different outcome from the same process is insanity)
  • Make things better by making them easier - not harder
  • Explain your improvements in monetary terms.  (improving quality is nice, but saving money fosters buy-in)

These aren't the easiest ingredients to get ahold of, instead they require teams (which bridge the traditional silos of healthcare) to work together and they require genuine ingenuity in the healthcare delivery process.  To draw an analogy, the success of the iPod isn't because Apple made a better or cheaper MP3 player than everyone else, but rather it's because they reinvented the music delivery process so that you can get a song for $1 and the record companies and artists can get their share of the profit.  If Apple can do it, so can we, and in fact we can deliver much more value and savings than the iPod, so why not.

How can home care save money, let me count the ways:

  • A hospital day costs $1,800
  • A skilled nursing facility day costs $500

Whereas home care has the "value menu" for under $100:

  • A home telehealth day (equipment and nursing) costs $20
  • A home health aide for 4 hours costs $76
  • Home infusion costs $90
  • Home Dialysis costs $90
  • The cost of an avoided readmission is $0 (free)
  • and the value to the patient of a day outside the hospital is priceless

Given that healthcare reform is not going to happen overnight, let's start reforming it ourselves.

Ankota is very interested in helping agencies to redefine the delivery of care.  If you are having trouble getting your software to support the new models of care you seek to deliver, please contact us and give us a chance to help out.  For Ankota's white paper on transitional care, click here or contact Ankota. 

 

Topics: Home Care Best Practices, Health Care Reform, transitional care

Home Care Nursing to Embrace the Tablet PC - Here's Why!

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 23, 2010 12:12:00 PM

As a technology provider, we need to "place bets" on which Tablet PCtechnologies our potential customers will most want to use, and today's post shares some of our strategic thinking in that regard.  Today we look specifically at nurse's needs for clinical documentation in the home and what they'll most prefer to use.  Our bet is on the tablet PC, and this post explains why...

First let's look at the current state of clinical documentation in home care.  The most popular solutions in use today are paper and laptops.  Most nursing documentation originated as a piece of paper that would be filled out and placed in a folder.  Then came the idea of the electronic medical record, an area where the certified nursing community is ahead of the industry thanks to the OASIS mandate, and the nurses and software vendors started placing their bets on how to get OASIS done efficiently and Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Reportaccurately (with all of the necessary cross checks needed to get Medicare reimbursement).  Some vendors, like Select Data, offer solutions where the nurse gets to fill out the OASIS form on paper and then it gets scanned and errors are checked.  There was a recent article in Home Care Technology Report about how this solution resulted in significant improvements (see the full article here).  The benefit of this solution is that it's natural for the nurse to write his or her notes on paper while conducting a patient exam.  One of the downsides, however, is that the nurse has to bring their paperwork to the office and then they might have to do error correction after the fact (because the scanning and error checking is done when they come in).

The predominant way that nurses do electronic documentation is on a laptop or netbook (see our previous post explaining netbooks here).  These solutions have the benefit that they do error Laptop versus Netbookchecking in real-time and that they work with or without Internet connectivity (if you're offline, your documentation will synchronize when you are back in coverage).  One of the issues with laptops and netbooks, however, is that nurses generally don't like to type on a keyboard while they're interacting with the patient, so often they do their exam and then they document after the fact.  Another issue is the weight and battery life of laptops.  Other vendors, like Home Care Home Base have placed their bet on Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) technology where the device is like a telephone.  This is popular because of the size and weight of the phone, but many nurses don't like the small screen and small font.

Based on this explanation of the current state, the case for tablet computers begins to emerge.  A tablet has a screen that you can write on with a stylus or use a keyboard.  There are two varieties of tablets, one looks like a regular laptop but let's you rotate the screen and write on it with your stylus.  This let's you use it like a regular laptop or a tablet, but these devices are generally heavy and expensive.  The other model gives you a "soft keyboard" where a full typewriter keyboard is on your screen, and depending on the way you orient your screen, you get a bigger or smaller keyboard (see the pictures below).  Tablets aren't perfect either though...  We've all signed our electronic signature on the credit card pad at the grocery store or Best Buy or Home Depot and will attest that our handwriting isn't as neat there as it is when we put pen to paper.  But the big issue that has held tablets back is their cost, averaging $2,000 for a tablet compared to $650 for a nice laptop or $350 for a nice netbook.

Soft Keyboard Horizontal   Soft Keyboard Vertical

(iPad photos from www.apple.com)

So why are we betting on the tablet?  This is thanks to our friends at Apple who brought us the iPod, the Mac and now the iPad.  We don't think that the iPad (which will start to ship in March) is really ready for prime time, but by announcing iPads starting at $499, they've reset the price point for the industry.  This article in last Thursday's Wall Street Journal explains that the PC makers are all scrambling to compete with the iPad and it is speculated that HP will be coming out with their HP Slate at a very competitive price (note that most people view the $499 iPad as not being capable enough and they're targeting to compete with the $629 model).  To find the Wall Street Journal article, seach on "PC Makers Ready iPad Rivals"; you'll need a subscription to see the full article.

So in the end, we expect that the tablet computers like the iPad and the HP Slate will become more cost competitive and that this technology will take off.  We also beleive that the capability to write in handwriting and have it converted to computerized text will become more popular when the prices become competitive (second half of 2010).  For the future, we expect that the tablets will continue to get smaller and lighter, like the Amazon kindle.

Ankota provides software solutions focusing on home care delivery including a comprehensive software solution for Private Duty Care and adjunct software products such as telephony, advanced scheduling, mapping and family member communications software to complement the home care enterprise solutions (OASIS and Billing systems) referred to in this article.  For more information, please visit http://www.ankota.com/ or contact us.  If you like posts like this one, please see our Home Care Software Geek posts here.

Topics: home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Home Care Mobile Solutions

Medication Adherence is a Huge Drug Problem in America

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 18, 2010 12:55:00 PM

Patients don't take their meds...  and this is not only a huge problem for elderly care but is a broad issue across all ages and demographics.  According to an article attached here from Pharmaceutical Commerce magazine, the statistics are horror stories:

  • 1/3rd of Teen Asthma sufferers take their prescription
  • 1/2 of High Blood Pressure sufferers take their medicines
  • Even doctors don't take their meds 20% of the time

Here are some of the reasons why:

Reasons for non-compliance 

In home care it's a much bigger issue.  According to the investor presentation that accompanied the Amedisys annual report for their fiscal year ending March 2009, their average patient is 82 years old and has been prescribed 13 medications.

We've also read many case studies on transitional care (taking care of patients after a hospitalization) and have learned that medication adherence is among the leading root causes for the 20% readmission rate of Medicare patients within 30 days of discharge.

So in order to fulfill Ankota's mission to improve the quality of care outside the hospital and promote aging in place, we're going to need to follow this issue closely.  In order to help, I found an interesting blog written by Amy Yoffie, the founder of iReminder.  You can learn reach her blog by clicking on the banner below.

Medication Adherence Blog

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of healthcare outside of the hospital.  In addition to offering a comprehensive software suite for Private Duty Non-Medical Home Care, and software to improve scheduling efficiency for home care, medical equipment delivery, infusion therapy and respiratory therapy operations, Ankota is helping to meet the needs of emerging care models such as transitional care and geriatric care management.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota

Topics: Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, transitional care

Home Care Software Geek Explains HL7 Messages

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 16, 2010 8:23:00 AM

The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Home Infusion Care Management or the other topics we focus on regularly at Ankota.  Instead, these posts are intended to keep our readers up to date with technology trends that might be useful to us, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening from the big-boys like Microsoft and Google.

A few weeks ago, I exceeded my normal geekness (is that a word?) and explained how health care software systems are able to communicate with each other using the HL7 protocol.  The original post is here, but the bottom line is that HL7 messages are what make it possible for your hospital bill to know all of the things you need to be charged for (note that HL7 is not only for hospitals, but that's where most of the world's health care software lives).

Well, the nice people at www.interfaceware.com have created another simple and entertaining video to go deeper into how HL7 works.  So now our geekiest post ever has a sequel.  This video below explains what an HL7 message looks like.  Enjoy!

 

What does an HL7 message look like? from iNTERFACEWARE.COM on Vimeo.

You can learn more by clicking on the banner below to visit Interfaceware.

Interfaceware

Ankota uses HL7 to allow external systems to integrate with our Healthcare Delivery Management software.  To learn more about Ankota Products, please click here or contact us.

Topics: thought leadership, home care software geek

Healthcare Won't Reform Itself, writes Kaiser Chief

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 15, 2010 5:21:00 PM

George Halvorson, the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, continues to emerge as one of my heroes.  Since Kaiser is a managed care George Halvorsoncompany, they win by providing the best care at the lowest cost.  If they don't provide the best care, they loose customers.  If they don't provide the lowest cost, they loose earnings.  For this reason, George always offers a fact-based perspective on where the improvements lie in our system of health.  His book Healthcare Will Not Reform Itself might be in the running for Ankota's book of the year.  For information about last year's book of the year, The Innovator's Prescription, by Clayton Christensen, click here.

Healthcare will not Reform Itself

A few of the provocative quotes and facts from Halvorson's Healthcare Will Not Reform Itself, are listed below:

  • "Health care in America is badly organized, highly inconsistent, internally dysfunctional, sometimes brilliant, almost always compassionate, close to data-free, amazingly unaccountable in key areas, too often wasteful, too often dangerous and extremely expensive" (from the book's introduction)
  • US Healthcare costs $2.7 Trillion
    • 1% of the patients consume 30% of the dollars
    • 5% of the patients consume 50% of the dollars
    • The healthiest 50% consume only 10% of the dollars
  • 75% of the money is spent on Chronic Diseases
    • 80% of this is spent by patients with 5 or more chronic diseases
    • Care coordination deficits are a primary driver
  • "We can have a huge impact on care costs and care quality by making care better coordinated for about five percent of our total population. That is entirely doable if we choose to do it"

Ankota is the pioneering company in the field of healthcare delivery management.  Ankota provides software to improve the efficiency, coordination and efficacy of care delivery outside the hospital.  To learn more, go to www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, Elderly Care, Health Care Reform, Care Coordination, thought leadership

Bright Future for Home Care Validated by NPDA and MNCHA

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 12, 2010 8:14:00 AM

We always enjoy sharing good news!  Today we have some good news to share both for the certified nursing community and for private duty.

 On the certified side, we just received news from Bernie Lorenz (executive director of the Maryland National Capital Home Care Association MNCHA), that the VA Home-Based Primary Care program, on which the Independence at Home program is based, not only achieved 24% savings for the VA program but also reduced Medicare costs by 10%. There was some initial skepticism that the 24% savings for the VA was actually shifted to Medicare, but now it's clear that there are savings all around (not to mention better outcomes and happier patients).  Bernie also shared that this year's MNCHA Meeting will have the theme Planning For Our Bright Future which inspired the title for this post.  We've attached the report that this is based on here.

MNCHA.org

The other report we share today comes from the National Private Duty Association (NPDA), who have their annual meeting coming up in Philadelphia starting on March 10th.  The 2-page report (available here), shares very positive results including the following:

  • An overwhelming 89% majority of seniors want to age in their own home for as long as possible (according to AARP)
  • In many cases, part time private duty care (20 hours per week) can result in dramatic savings over assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
  • 83% of their member organizations are planning to create new jobs and hire new employees this year

NPDA 

The bottom line is that we're in a growing industry that results in happier and healthier patients at lower costs.  The future is bright indeed!

If you'd like to learn how to help your organization grow profitably without increasing back office staff, we'd like to help.  You can find more information at www.ankota.com or you may contact us

Topics: Home Care Industry, Elderly Care, Aging in Place Technology

Home Care Dispatcher of the Future?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 11, 2010 8:50:00 AM

This video is certainly related to home care scheduling and dispatch, but I'm sharing it mostly because it's a great human story.  Please enjoy this true story of a 5-year old girl named Savannah calling 911 to get help for her dad.

911 Call by 5 year old

(note: this will open in a new window - sorry for that!) 

This is one that I'll definitely share with my kids.  It might even find it's way into Ankota's dispatcher training...

Topics: Elderly Care, Video

Managing Home Care in a Blizzard: Lessons from the Mid-Atlantic

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 10, 2010 10:11:00 AM

My plan for Monday through Wednesday of this week was to pilot the Ankota solution with a top-rated home infusion operation in the mid-Atlantic.  I arrived as planned on Monday morning, and kicked things off with the users, who graciously shared feedback on the system (they loved it - but the credit goes to them because we built our infusion scheduling features based on their inputs and observations of their operations).  They also gave us the information that we needed to configure the pilot.  The group director who was our primary sponsor was only able to participate in a small part of the meeting though, because he knew that this week was going to be defined by mother nature and the mid-Atlantic blizzard that we're in the midst of.

Mid-Atlantic Blizzard

(Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum / February 10, 2010)

Ultimately, the pilot that we had planned needed to be cut short as the remaining key leaders in the operation made rescheduling for the storm their top priority. But, always seeing the bright side, we learned a great deal about how a great home care team executes when the going gets tough, and how our home care scheduling software can help.  We also confirmed, as always, that home care people rank among the best people you'll ever meet. 

Here are some of the things that needed to be done to manage this weeks blizzard and the way our software helps:

  • Pull as many of Wednesday's jobs as possible into Tuesday or push them out to Thursday: Ankota's scheduling board (screenshot below) shows you all of the planned jobs for the week on a drag and drop interface. so moving jobs forward or back is simple.
  • Make Sure that the jobs with critical timing are dealt with at the appropriate time:  Visits such as "chemo finish" visits for a 48-hour chemo infusion have a very specific time frame for completion.  Ankota's scheduling board let's you know if you've violated a scheduling constraint by changing the patient's name to yellow.
  • Communicate the Changes to the Care-Givers:  Ankota's software changes the visits to a different color when you manually reschedule, allowing you to tell your care workers what changed and what stayed the same.
  • Plan for Two people per car (in the event that it will be impossible to park and one person will need to hover): Although the Ankota software doesn't specifically have a feature for scheduling two people in the same vehicle, we have the ability to change the work shifts easily for the emergency workers and mark the others as unavailable (and to make sure that all of the time sheets come out right).
  • Keep non-essential personnel at home: Ankota's web-based software allows your office staff to operate from their home via their internet connection.

Below is a screen shot of the Ankota Drag and Drop Schedule Board that allows you to see status and resolve issues at a glance.

Home Care Scheduling Software

We thank you for all you do to provide outstanding home care, even during a blizzard!  If rescheduling was tougher for you than what's described above, please contact us so we can try to help.

Topics: Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Scheduling Software

Elder Care Nutrition - The Basics

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 10, 2010 7:35:00 AM

Like many of our posts, this one has little to do with Private Duty Eric DurakSoftware or Home Care Scheduling Software, but instead looks more broadly at Home Care Best Practices.  Today we start a series on elder care nutrition, with the main source of content coming from Eric Durak, MSc, president of Medical Health and Fitness (banner below).  Eric has delivered exercise programs for persons with various medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and orthopedic conditions and has performed over 10,000 hours of exercise and wellness instruction.  Eric is the author of over 100 scientific and general health articles,
24 books and chapters, and internet publications. He is pleased to
introduce Wellness @ Home as the next level of educational programming in healthcare.  Some video of Eric teaching care providers is included in our recent video highlights of the NAHC Private Duty Summit.

Medical Health and Fitness

Basics of Elder Care Nutrition

Starting at the very beginning, when you create and manage a diet for an elderly person, you need to focus on the following:

  • Maximize Nutrition
  • Easy Preparation
  • Mostly Whole Foods
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Address Medical Issues

So far, these guidelines apply to everyone and not just the elderly.  But the way you apply them is different.  Speaking from my personal experience, I generally concentrate on choices that will reduce my calories, but with elderly people you often need to worry about the opposite.  For example, a breakfast of a piece of white toast and a cup of black coffee only provides around 60 calories and very little nutrition, so instead of cutting back you need to have them eat more.  Wheat toast with peanut butter and a glass of juice will provide so much more protein, nutrition and vitamins to start their day.

In addition to under-nutrition described above, here is a list of key areas that need to be focused on for good elderly nutrition:

  • Right amount of fiber
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Digestion and constipation
  • Right amount of calories
  • Mineral imbalance
  • Ulcers and sores
  • Food and eating - social notions
  • High in antioxidants (ORAC score)

We'll continue our series in coming weeks with more information about nutrition for patients with chronic conditions, and we'll also share more about antioxidants and the ORAC Score.

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of home care.  To learn more about Ankota for your Private Duty, Nursing, DME Delivery or Home Therapy business, please go to www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices

PDHCA - NAHC Private Duty 2010 Highlights - the Director's Cut

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 4, 2010 8:17:00 AM

The NAHC 5th Annual Private Duty Home Care Leadership Summit and Exposition was a great success.  We at Ankota met so many great people, learned so much from the presentations and got great feedback on our new comprehensive Private Duty Agency Software.  We also released some video highlights from PDHCA on our blog last week, which got great reviews.  In fact, one of our friends at NAHC shared their photos from the event and asked us to expand the video, so today we present "The Director's Cut".

PDHCA - Highlights of the NAHC 5th Annual Private Duty Summit from Ken Accardi on Vimeo.

We thank all of the presenters for granting us permission to include them in this video and to share some of their best practices on our blog.  We've already shared Five Tips for Providing Better Alzheimer's Care based on the keynote presentation by Dr. Verna Carson Benner, and Establishing a Customer Service Culture in Your Home Care Agency from the great presentation by Pat Drea of Visiting Angels.  You can visit www.ankota.com/blog to get the latest content - there's also an option to subscribe to the blog (which will email you when there's a new post).

Thanks again to all of you for an excellent meeting and for sharing your expertise and passion for improved care with your co-workers, your friends, and the vendor/exhibitors who support you.

Ankota is the pioneering company in the field of healthcare delivery management, focused on improving the quality and efficiency of health care outside of the hospital.  Ankota provides Private Duty Non-Medical Home Care Software, and solutions for advanced scheduling and care management used in other disciplines including certified nursing, DME delivery, Respiratory Therapy, and Infusion Therapy.  For more information please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, PDHCA, NAHC

17.5 Million US Seniors (and growing) are Using the Internet

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 3, 2010 11:30:00 AM

According to a December 10th article published by NielsenWire, the number of seniors using the web grew by 6 million between 2004 and 2009, and their favorite sites are Google, Facebook and YouTube.  Seniors make up 8.2% of unique visitors to social networking sites (like facebook and blogs).  By comparison, teenagers make up 8.3%.    Click on the banner below for the full article.

NielsenWire Article on Senior's Internet Use

Where do Seniors Go on the Web?

The following table shows the top 10 online destinations for US seniors.

Top Online Destinations for Seniors

What do Seniors Do on the Web?

Seniors average 58 hours per month on the web.  Here's how they spend that time.

Top Online Activities for Seniors

At Ankota, this helps us validate that seniors are willing and able to use the web.  Ankota offers web screens for patients to see their calendar for care, set up alerts (e.g., medication reminders), and to interact with their care givers by marking their care items as complete.  We are also able to provide information to remote family members about how their loved ones in care are doing.  For more information about Ankota's Home Care Software, please contact us.

Topics: Senior Demographics, Home Care Technology

Establishing a Customer Service Culture in Your Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 2, 2010 5:58:00 PM

Today's post is another in a series of best practice sharing from the Private Duty Home Care Association Summit and Exhibition held last week in Phoenix.  Whether you work in Private Duty non-medical home care, a certified agency, or any other specialty of care, you'll find this advice useful.

The content for this session comes from Pat Drea, COO of Visiting Angels, and her presentation entitled 7 Veteran Strategies to Realign Your Business in a Tough Economy.  Before moving on let me share some observations about Pat.  When you first meet her, you're taken by how elegant and put Pat Drea, COO Visiting Angelstogether she is.  She's a compassionate person and speaker, who was able to identify and acknowledge by name at least 8-10 people in the room during the presentation.  Her compassion really shines when she tells stories about interacting with clients (a snipet of one of these stories is included in our PDHCA highlight video).  But when Pat gets down to business, she can really talk business.  She knows the processes and the numbers.  We'll share more from her fabulous presentation in future posts (including some great advice she gives about maximizing the value of your Home Care Software).

Critical Steps to Establishing a Customer Service Culture

  1. Customers are the reason for work, not an interruption of work
  2. Train office and caregiver staff - train, train, train
  3. Empower your office and caregivers to serve
  4. Make service personal
  5. Its okay to say yes to approaches that will retain customers
  6. Solve Customer service problems
  7. Recognize your staff for outstanding service
  8. Ask your customers what they think of your service

Thanks to Pat for this great advice!  To learn more about Pat's organization, click on the banner below.

Visiting Angels Banner

Topics: Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices

Home Care Software Geek explains how to manage your Social Media

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 1, 2010 10:07:00 AM

The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Home Infusion Care Management or the other topics we focus on regularly at Ankota.  Instead, these posts are intended to keep our readers up to date with technology trends that might be useful to us, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening from the big-boys like Microsoft and Google.

Today's post was inspired by one of our readers named Oxford whoDesign that Speaks works for a company called Design that Speaks (a provider of website, inbound marketing, and search engine optimization services in Tulsa).  Oxford suggested that out home health agency readers look at tools to help them manage their social media interactions.

We've posted in the past to explain Twitter and LinkedIn, and we also recently added a Facebook fan page for Ankota (if you use Facebook - type Ankota in the upper right search box where you would normally search for a friend - then you can go to the Ankota page and become a fan).  Anyway, with all of these social media outlets, your job in communicating your company message can become a big time consumer, so you need to find ways to keep them in synch, and the best way is to use a management tool (or tools)  that do it for you.

Here are some tools to consider (links are below):

  • Seesmic helps you to manage multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook® feeds, sorted by the categories you choose.
  • TweetDeck consolidates and sorts Twitter and Facebook feeds and also manages Facebook and MySpace® conversations.  Oxford said that you can put your company profile changes in one place and it will propogate them.
  • HootSuiteTM lets you manage multiple users and Twitter accounts, while also offering analytics and monitoring
  • CoTweetTM is designed for marketing professionals and is a high end tool that is free for now but will likely have a charge soon

 Seesmic    TweetdeckHootsuite     Cotweet

At Ankota, we have things set up so that our news and blog posts go automatically to twitter and facebook.  In the case of twitter our website's content management system (CMS) does it.  Whereas for Facebook, we pull in what's called an RSS feed.  For LinkedIn, we post manually and answer questions on LinkedIn answers.  So far we haven't used any of the four tools listed above, but have received endorsements of both Tweetdeck and HootSuite.

If you find all of this technical jargon confusing, let me share some good news and great advice.  The good news is that there are many other people trying to figure it out too, and the great advice is that when you want to set it up, just google it.  For example, the other day I googled "Facebook Fan Page RSS feed" and instantly found a site telling me how to do it (look here).

Stay tuned for more updates on social media.  I recently read that more seniors are joining and using Facebook than teens, so this becomes an important medium for Home Care companies to market themselves.

Topics: home care software geek

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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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