<img alt="" src="http://www.qpwoei2.com/100802.png" style="display:none;">

Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Why Home Care is a Great Job: Lessons About Motivation

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 30, 2010 8:25:00 AM

Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books about the changing world of work — including the New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive, which together have been translated into 28 languages. His research and books are about motivation, and more specifically about debunking the conventional wisdom that money is the best motivator.  Instead, he creates a compelling case that the most important motivators are as follows:

  • Autonomy - the urge to direct our own lives
  • Mastery - the desire to get better at something that matters
  • Purpose - The yearning to contribure to something larger than ourselves

If these are the motivators, than we can understand clearly why Home Care can be a fantastic profession.

Dan lays out a fairly compelling set of proof of his argument including the results of scientific experiments and real world examples.  One example he uses is about online encyclopedias where he compares and contrasts Microsoft's Encarta - a well managed initiative with pay bonus and incentives, with Wikipedia - an encyclopedia that you contribute to if you're passionate about it and for which you receive no compensation.  In Dan's words, "Ten years ago, no sober economist would have predicted that Wikipedia would beat out Encarta", but as we know, it did.

This first video is my favorite of the two.  While Dan speaks, a cartoon animator depicts his story.  It's 10 minutes long and you can see it by clicking on the picture below.

Motivation by Dan Pink - Animated

The second version is a stage presentation given by Dan which is 18 minutes below.

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Healthy Caregivers, Elderly Care, thought leadership, Video

Is Failure OK in Home Care Innovation?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 26, 2010 8:41:00 AM

One of the bloggers I enjoy is a guy named Seth Godin.  He has a great skill for making a compelling point in just a few words.  Often when I share an article or research with you, I try to give an executive summary or perhaps share a few of the most compelling key points, but in this case I share the full article with all credit (and links) to Seth Godin's blog.

A hierarchy of failure worth following

Not all failures are the same. Here are five kinds, from frequency = good all the way to please-don't!

FAIL OFTEN: Ideas that challenge the status quo. Proposals. Brainstorms. Concepts that open doors.

FAIL FREQUENTLY: Prototypes. Spreadsheets. Sample ads and copy.

FAIL OCCASIONALLY: Working mockups. Playtesting sessions. Board meetings.

FAIL RARELY: Interactions with small groups of actual users and customers.

FAIL NEVER: Keeping promises to your constituents.

Seth Godin's BlogThe thing is, in their rush to play it safe and then their urgency to salvage everything in the face of an emergency, most organizations do precisely the opposite. They throw their customers or their people under the bus ("we had no choice") but rarely take the pro-active steps necessary to fail quietly, and often, in private, in advance, when there's still time to make things better.

Better to have a difficult conversation now than a failed customer interaction later.

As we at Ankota strive to innovate, we're never afraid to make mistakes early in the process so that we can get things right when we make promises to our customers and to the industry.  And as we've shared, we are dedicated to working with the industry to pioneer new and better ways to deliver care.  If you have some ideas and want to partner with a software company that enables your innovation rather than slows you down, let us know - even if you're afraid that your innovation might fail.

Social Media note: In the world of blogging, it is generally acceptable to borrow from articles and blogs of others, but the key is to give credit and provide links into the originating blog.  When I borrow from another home care blog, I get permission first, but in the case of a large blog like Seth Godin's blog, I just go for it - making sure to give credit.  It's like a "retweet" but bigger. 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, thought leadership, Home Care Technology

Home Care Software Geek shares updates from the Cloud Computing Guru

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 22, 2010 10:28:00 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 your agencies, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening from the big-boys like Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Let's start at the beginning and talk for a moment about what cloud computing is...  The general idea is that you don't need all of your software to run on computers that you own or have in your office.  Instead, the software can be hosted outside of your company and you can access it via the Internet.  Another related term is SaaS which stands for "Software as a Service".  Again, the concept is that you don't have to buy software and the computers, instead you can use them online, and generally pay a monthly fee.  Having said this, there are different ways for your software provider to set up the system and these might impact data security and HIPAA compliance.  I'll get more into that below, but first I want to share the article that inspired today's post, entitled "Healthcare Solutions Cloud Up".  Click here or on the image below to read it.

Healthcare Solutions Cloud Up

The article author is Jeff Kaplan, who has dedicated himself to SaaS and Cloud Computing.  Jeff is an analyst, blogger, consultant, and excellent speaker, and he also runs a site called SaaS Showplace where you can go to find a searchable catalog of SaaS solutions that might be useful for your business.

Some of the key points of Jeff's article, are as follows:

  • There is an ongoing debate about whether On-Demand computing is OK for health care.  Concerns are primarily related to patient information security and availability
  • On the other hand, improved communication and shared information are key factors in improving the quality and cost of care
  • There are now several big examples of healthcare applications on the web.  Jeff talks about Microsoft Health Vault, Google Health, Dossia and the IBM/U. of Missouri Life Sceinces Research Project, plus others
  • The bottom line is that there are still questions to overcome, but more and more services are becoming available and adoption is fast

For the especially geeky ones among you, there are multiple ways for your software vendor to host your application.  One is via dedicated hardware, and the other is through virtual shared hardware (where software Vendor A's software runs on the same hardware as Vendors B, C, D and more) where the potential advantages are that you have more computers to help when there are spikes in traffic and less computers sitting around idol wasting electricity.  Some people call the former SaaS and the latter Cloud Computing.  At Ankota, we use the dedicated hardware approach because not all of the security risks of shared computing have been retired to our satisfaction yet. 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Home Care Scheduling Software, Product Information

Reducing Home Care Nurse and Caregiver Burnout

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 21, 2010 2:31:00 PM

Does this picture of a caregiver remind you of yourself or someone Tired Nurseon your staff?  Home healthcare nurses, private duty caregivers, and other home care providers often work long shifts and deal with adversity throughout their days.  As such, we've added a "Healthy Caregivers" focus to our blog with articles such as Monday's piece on nutrition which you can read here, and today's write-up about reducing stress for care workers.  Today's content comes from the article "Seven Strategies to Reduce Nurse Burnout" that was published on the Media Health Leaders website.  We encourage you to read the full article by clicking here or on the banner below.

Media Health Leaders

The article offers seven tips for reducing care giver stress (note that the full article elaborates on each point, so check it out here if you're interested in learning more):

  • 1. Stress reduction classes
  • 2. Create a space for relaxation
  • 3. Mentor and buddy programs
  • 4. Recognition and reward
  • 5. Manager involvement
  • 6. Training and education
  • 7. Counseling

To add a small personal editorial, I continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and cool, calm and collected demeanor of the caregivers that I meet.  Although I do bet that many of you are able to be this way on the outside while you internalize the stress that you encounter.  So try one of the above tips to get some relief!

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

 

Topics: Healthy Caregivers, Elderly Care

Home Care Innovation requires "Reframing" the industry as we know it

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 20, 2010 9:48:00 AM

According to this new article in the Harvard Business Review blog, Harvard Business Reviewthere's a quiet revolution unfolding in many industries.  We may be completely unaware of it because we can't see it in the streets, nor watch it on the news. This new revolution is actually happening inside the heads of the leaders running your rival firms.  We would be wise to presume that home care, private duty care, DME and other forms of care delivery outside of the hospital are part of this revolution.

The article goes on to explain that "reframing" the market or industry is the key to unleashing this disruptive innovation.  Examples are given of three leaders and industries where this is going on, including at PepsiCo (where they are starting to think about nourishing people rather than feeding them), at GE Healthcare (where they are launching the "More for Less for More" initiative MLM), and at Tata in India (where they are conceiving the $2,500 car).

The above examples might not apply directly to our plight in care delivery, but it goes to show that the movement is widespread.

The key behaviors described in the article are as follows:

  • Reframers dare to question well-ingrained business truisms and industry paradigms
  • Reframers think not only with their minds but also with their hearts
  • Reframers catalyze massive social innovation

To prove that this reframing and innovation is happening in home care, we don't need to look any further than our own blog. Some of the mini-revolutions we're observing are captured in these articles:

So the bottom line is that this is not the time to be complacent, and we can't always define what we do based on what we've always done in the past...

innovation

If you're innovating in home care delivery and you're software isn't keeping up, perhaps Ankota can help.  Please contact us!

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Home Care Industry, thought leadership, Aging in Place Technology, Home Healthcare Delivery Management

Expert Nutrition Advice from KC Hayes: Home Care Bonus

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 19, 2010 8:03:00 AM

Over the past few years, I've gotten to know a very nice and KC Hayesinteresting gentleman named KC Hayes.  KC is a PHD Nutritionist and a professor at Brandeis University.  One of KC's claims to fame is that he invented the concept for the product "Smart Balance" which is a buttery spread that helps to balance cholesterol.  KC is also a highly accomplished photographer and shares his photography, usually once a week with people on an email distribution list that he maintains.  His photography also contains inspirational messages that he shares to encourage his friends and former students.

I'll need to do a few posts to adequately cover some of the nutrition advice that I've learned from KC, but here as a starter is a high level list of good advice that he has shared:

  • Take a multi-vitamin and also supplement it with Vitamin D (4,000 mg a day in winter and 2,000 mg in the summer)
  • Eat Smart Balance to eliminate the trans fats that come in man-made oils and balance your cholesterol
  • By ingesting plant sterols with your other foods, you can block bad cholesterol from being absorbed into your system (more detail below). 
  • Eat berries!  Berries contain anti-oxidents that keep your cells healthy and can prevent cancer

Following up on the plant sterols mentioned above, one way to get these sterols into your system is to buy Corozonas tortilla chips which are delicious and help balance your cholesterol.  Note, that you need to eat the chips with your other meal (because the sterols need to be in your system during digestion).  It is likely the case that if you eat 3 Corozonas chips with each meal that you can bring your cholesterol to ideal levels without medication like statins.  KC also told me about a soy milk product that lowers cholesterol and he's currently working on a study that gives you cholesterol reducing benefits in a small cookie.

As a final bonus, here's a sample of KC's photography:

KC Hayes Yellowstone

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Healthy Caregivers, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, thought leadership

Home Care & Operational Excellence in Summary – 6th of 6 parts

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 15, 2010 9:51:00 PM

Question -

When all is said and done what is the impact of Operational Excellence? 

Summary

Today we operate in unsettled times.  What will the impact of the Healthcare Bill be?  History tells us in period of instability positive change results.  The high-performance businesses, those that have put a premium on operational excellence, will excel and gain customers and as a result market share.  For those companies that are stumbling during these difficult times, it is an opportunity to look at business processes and put in place operational excellence initiatives.  Either way to achieve it takes management vision, commitment, and investment. 

The focus of this series has been that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  Below graphically depicts the average Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) between companies using operational excellence to excel and that of the Followers.  Investing in operational excellence has great rewards. 

describe the image

The installments have been the five characteristic of operational excellence.  These characteristics are –

1st – Identifying the “Dominant Vector.” 

Revisit this characteristic by scrolling down to the July 9th blog post.

 

2nd – Establishing a structure to that creates an advantage. 

Revisit this characteristic by scrolling down to the July 11th blog post.

 

3rd – Out-Executing other Home Care Providers. 

Revisit this characteristic by scrolling down to the July 12th blog post.

 

4th – Maintaining the Balancing Act for success. 

Revisit this characteristic by scrolling down to the July 13th blog post.

 

5th – Addressing the Journey to ensure success.  

Revisit this characteristic by scrolling down to the July 14th blog post.

 

It is time to put in place Operational Excellence Initiatives and take advantage of instability.  

 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.


Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Health Care Reform, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, Home Care Technology, Home Care Scheduling Software

The Journey to Operational Excellence in Home Care – 5th of 6 parts

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 14, 2010 10:35:00 PM

Question -

What journey have you chosen to achieve Operational Excellence in your Home Care Agency?

Preface

This fifth characteristic may be the most difficult, because it is about leadership.  Why?  Without leadership the competitive advantage goes away and the associated cash benefits do as well.  Without leadership operational excellence and the opportunity to increase quality, reliability, flexibility, speed, and customer value tend to flash away.  This is the fifth of six blog posts hiliting the five characteristics that facilitate operational excellence. 

 

Creating Operational Excellence

Remember the big picture of operational excellence:  Is the business set up to achieve established goals and is the work organized and executed.  This is the fifth and final characteristic that facilitates this operational excellence - 

5. Choose the right journey; meaning know were you plan on taking your company.  How you choose will have significant bearing on your companies future positioning.  In theory one journey will be most appropriate for your company’s culture; however, in practice market complexities, customers, etc, mean there could be different approaches. 

 

The focus of this series is that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  The installments have been –

1st – Identifying the “Dominant Vector.” 

2nd – Establishing a structure to that creates an advantage. 

3rd – Out-Executing other Home Care Providers. 

4th – Maintaining the Balancing Act for success.  

This fifth installment addresses the journey to ensure success of your Home Care Agency.  To learn about this Characteristics of Operational Excellence click here.

 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, HME, DME, Home Care Technology, Home Care Mobile Solutions, Home Care Scheduling Software

Balancing Act to Ensure Home Care Agency Success – 4th of 6 parts

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 13, 2010 10:57:00 PM

Question -

What in the balancing act you need to execute to ensure the success of your Home Care Agency?

Preface

You have your “dominant vector,” the structure to support it, and you are out-executing all your competitors.  Now comes, shall we say …, the tight rope of high performance businesses with operational excellence.  This needs to be carefully walked to maintain a competitive advantage and generate the associated cash benefits.  In today’s difficult economic times operational excellence offers the opportunity to increase quality, reliability, flexibility, speed, and customer value.  This is the fourth of six blog posts hiliting the five characteristics that facilitate operational excellence. 

 

Creating Operational Excellence

Looking at the big picture of how the business is set up to achieve the established goals, and how work is organized and executed may have the most impact on this the fourth of the five characteristic focuses.  This is the Feng Shui to facilitate operational excellence - 

 4. Balance structure and execution by identifying and articulating that “dominant vector.”  The real challenge comes in determining that balance between structure and execution.  Companies need equilibrium.  Companies that focus to heavily on execution develop processes that create quality and productivity, but sometimes not customer value.  While companies that underplay structural advantage lack agility and resource flexibility to respond to rapidly changing market opportunities. 

 

The focus of this series is that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  The installments have been –

1st - Identifying your "Dominant Vector." 

2nd - Points out the need to establish a structure to that creates an advantage. 

3rd – Out-Executing other Home Care Providers.  The link for this is http://bit.ly/9dFRw8.

This fourth installment addresses the balancing act to ensure success of your Home Care Agency.

 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, HME, DME, Home Care Technology

Out-Executing Home Care Competitors - 3rd of 6 Parts

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 12, 2010 11:23:00 PM

Question -

Do you have the understanding, drive, and alignment to out-execute Home Care Competitors?

Preface

Now your “dominant vector” has been identified and the correct structure is in place to ensure execution; however, you can not just go through the motions of execution to have operational excellence.  Why?  Going through the motions does not create a competitive advantage nor does it generate the true potential cash benefits.  This is the third of six blog posts hiliting the five characteristics that facilitate operational excellence. 

 

Creating Operational Excellence

There is a reason for the saying, “You can not see the forest for the trees.”  You are in the trenches and cannot see the big picture of how the business is set to achieve the established goals, and how is the work organized and executed.  This third characteristic is the most dynamic one to ensure operational excellence - 

 

  1. Seek to out-execute competitors by simplifying, standardizing, and the eliminating waste, which includes wasted time.  Emphasis needs to be on executing correct business processes to achieve significant and measurable performance improvements by improving flexibility, speed, quality, reliability, and customer value.  Those companies that out-execute rivals –
    • Understand what customers’ value and what customers are willing to pay.
    • Drive asset productivity, using return on invested capital to guide value creation for the customer. 
    • Stress process excellence.
    • Ensure close alignment of business strategy, goals, metrics/measurement, and initiatives.  Remember you can not improve what you can not measure. 

 

The focus of this series is that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  The first installment in creating operational excellence was identifying your company’s “dominant vector.  The second points out the need to establish a structure to that creates an advantage.  The link for this is http://bit.ly/bsjKp8.

 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Home Care Industry, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, thought leadership, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, HME, Home Care Technology, Home Care Mobile Solutions, Home Care Scheduling Software

Execute on the “Dominant Vector” of Home Healthcare - 2nd of 6

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 11, 2010 11:29:00 PM

Question -

Do you have the structure to execute on the “Dominant Vector” of your Home Care Agency?

Preface

The focus of the first posting was identifying your Home Care Agency’s “dominant vector.”   What do you need to do now the dominant vector has been identified in order to be that high performance business, and create the competitive advantage that generates cash?  No one needs to tell you Home Care is a highly competitive environment.  Operational excellence offers the opportunity to increase quality, reliability, flexibility, speed, and customer value.  This is the second of six blog posts hiliting the five characteristics that facilitate operational excellence. 

 

Creating Operational Excellence

To achieve operational excellence owners need to take a step back and look at how is the business set up to achieve the established goals, and how is work organized and executed.  This, the second characteristic, brings organization and execution to a more concrete level - 

2.  Establish the correct structure that creates an advantage.  This requires a clearly defined operating model, which in turn needs to describe how the company is organized to execute the “dominant vector.”  

The focus of this series is that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  The first installment was on creating operational excellence.  The link for this is http://bit.ly/cyShNI.  The third installment will ask the question, do you have the understanding, drive, and alignment to out-execute Home Care Competitors? 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, HME, Home Care Technology, Checklists, Home Care Scheduling Software

Operational Excellence Home Care Agency? - 1st of 6 parts

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Jul 9, 2010 4:33:00 PM

Having worked in logistics for approximately fifteen years one of the industry rags I pick up on a regular basis is Logistics Management.  Recently there was an article titled “The Five Hallmarks of Operational Excellence.”  It was written by Mark Pearson, who is in Accenture’s Supply Chain Management.  This article applies equally as well in home healthcare including DME, Infusion Therapy, and Respiratory Therapy. 

Preface

The focus of the article is that high performance businesses put a premium on operational excellence.  Why?  It creates a source of competitive advantage and generates cash benefits.  In today’s difficult economic times operational excellence offers the opportunity to increase quality, reliability, flexibility, speed, and customer value.  Home healthcare operates in a very competitive environment.  How do you create operational excellence? 

Creating Operational Excellence

In order to achieve operational excellence owners need to step back and look at the big picture.  First, how is the business set up to achieve the established goals.  Second, how is work organized and executed.  There are five main characteristics.  This is the first characteristic that facilitates this -  

 

  1. Identify your companies “dominant vector,” defined as that internal capability that creates customer value more effectively than your competitors.  To put this another way, what mechanism distinctively creates economic value for you and your customer.  This characteristic should change only when the company’s underlying value proposition changes.  

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Recommended Reading, Home Care Industry, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, Home Care Technology, Checklists, Home Care Scheduling Software

Telehealth, Home Monitoring and Home Care Business

Posted by Will Hicklen on Jul 7, 2010 4:06:00 PM

Image courtesy of BeCloseImage courtesy of BeClose

In a related piece, the Veterans Administration Proves Home Telehealth Works for Everyone—Payors, Providers, and Patients. From Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology Report (11/17/09): Titled "Care Coordination/Home Telehealth: The Systematic Implementation of Health Informatics, Home Telehealth, and Disease Management to Support the Care of Veteran Patients with Chronic Conditions," a report detailing results of a four and a half year study should be required reading for every home care agency owner, every clinician and especially every state and federal lobbyist. It declares without bias and without vendor influence that use of home telehealth systems had the following measurable effects for 17,025 patients over nearly five years:

  1. Reduced bed days of care by 25%
  2. Reduced number of hospital admissions by 19%
  3. Added $1,600 per annum cost to per patient average of $13,121 for home-based care
  4. Avoided $77,745 annual nursing home costs with this $14,721 investment

The paper’s onerous title notwithstanding, the lessons from the VA’s success are clear. A proactive program of home-based care and monitoring that allows the patient to spend more time at home results in

Fewer hospitalizations

Less time per visit in the hospital

Lower overall healthcare delivery costs

 

Ankota is not a telehealth company (we develop Healthcare Delivery Management or HDM technology that helps home care businesses better coordinate and utilize staff while cutting operating costs). However, telehealth and home monitoring technologies have been proven to be valuable tools in managing care at home. This VA report is the most comprehensive ever published on the topic, and provides compelling data that will certainly help advance adoption.

Without question, these technologies will be an important part of the home care ecosystem, which includes providers in Home Health Care, Private Duty Home Care, Respiratory Therapy, Home Infusion, DME and other companies that provide staff, equipment and supplies to support patients in the home.

From a simple economic perspective, these technologies offer the opportunity to scale various home care services with less overhead and infrastructure costs such as staff and travel time. In an industry that desperately needs to increase staff utilization and efficiencies, and fuel growth, this is a welcome development.

A few things to consider: As Home Health, Private Duty, and Respiratory Therapy companies—Ankota’s customers—add telehealth and home monitoring services, they should expect that this will also require some new management discipline and add complexity to their businesses. Consider that providers will have to coordinate delivery, implementation, service, and recovery or disposal of equipment in addition to providing or provisioning monitoring services. This brings a component of physical distribution that must be managed, much like a DME company faces today. Staff, delivery and fuel expenses can be optimized through HDM technology like Ankota’s. Consider also that, as these devices proliferate, so will the need to "monitor the monitors." New skills will be needed and new processes managed. Expect command and control interfaces to emerge that allow providers to aggregate disparate monitoring technologies, manage responses, and assign staff for follow up based on established best practices.

Telehealth and home monitoring technologies have been proven effective and present new business opportunities for providers. The benefits to patients and healthcare delivery models will be considerable, but will also require a disciplined approach to process management. Look for tools to help do this job more efficiently.

Related Links

Click here for Tim Rowan’s Home Care Technology Report

BeClose (Vienna, VA) Remote home monitoring, elegant simplicity for family members to monitor home activity. There is a good report on this on the Aging In Place Technology Watch website

Honeywell Hommed One of the better established telehealth companies

GE-Intel related article: http://futureofaging.aahsa.org/2009/04/intel-ge-team-to-develop-telehealth-technology/

Cariocom download a white paper titled "Ten Steps to Building a Successful Telehealth Program"

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, thought leadership, Aging in Place Technology, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, Home Care Technology, Will Hicklen, NPDA, Home Care Scheduling Software

Subscribe to Email Updates

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.

Follow Ankota on Twitter!

twitter bird white on blue

Most Popular Posts

Posts by Month

New Module

Add content here.