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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Will Home Care Unionize?

Posted by Will Hicklen on Oct 27, 2011 1:50:00 PM

Seattle Times Home Care Unionization

I suppose that my education qualifies me as an economist, but a detailed analysis of the effects of unionization on home care, home health and related services such as HME, Infusion, and home Therapy will not be forthcoming here. What I would simply like to do is to make you aware of this if you are not already: There are very real efforts out there to unionize healthcare services of all kinds.  Home health care and home care is no exception.

Unionizing Home Care

The Seattle Times reported last week on Initiative 1163, which would increase training and continuing education requirements for targeted healthcare workers, and is being led by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 775. Initiative 1163 is largely described as an initiative to improve the quality and welfare of long term care employees, but often overlooked is the fact that it includes those who work in private homes, boarding homes and assisted living facilities.

Regardless of whether you think unions are valuable, obsolete, or inherently good or evil is irrelevant. If you don’t think that unions are paying attention to healthcare, think again. Consider why unions are targeting healthcare and home care:

Bureau of Labor Health Care Employment

  • Union Membership Fell to a 70 Year Low last Year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just 11.9% of Americans are now in unions, and now for the first time in over a century, more than half of them work for the government.  More than 20% of the workforce was in unions just 30 years ago. See related article in The New York Times. Naturally, the decline in traditionally unionized sectors such as manufacturing and construction contribute significantly to these declines.
  • Healthcare remains the largest and fastest growing employment sector, with a majority of that growth happening in ambulatory health care services. Non-medical home care is not even imputed in this statistic, grossly understating the real employment number. Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics report Oct 7, 2011.
  • The one bright spot for unions seems to be healthcare, where membership is actually growing. Fewer Healthcare and home care workers in particular are unionized compared with non-healthcare industries. With many millions of workers in the fastest growing employment sector not unionized, the sector represents a huge growth opportunity for unions.  Fierce Healthcare
  • Segments targeted by Initiative 1163 are among the lowest skilled and lowest paid workers in the healthcare continuum, making them excellent candidates for union membership. As is the case in Washington, unions can point to areas where legislation and ensuing union membership has increased pay dramatically for these workers. In Washington State, after initiative 775, home care wages increased 18%+ and union membership soared from 1500 to more than 40,000 workers, according to the Seattle Times.

Still not convinced that unions are serious about home care? The local 775 of the SEIU spent $2.6 million on Initiative 1163 over the last four years, including more than $1 million on signature gathering alone. This was a business decision to invest in employment segment that will likely provide significant returns for them in growing membership.

Note that I am not taking sides—I’ve simply presented facts to prove that unions are likely to become a new and increasing factor in the areas of healthcare and home care that we serve. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will increasingly have to consider this in developing their Care Coordination models, as well.

The fact is that the business that Ankota’s customers are in is already under significant duress, with threats from payment reform, availability of labor, rising costs, and more.  Unions are entering the mix at an increasing rate and must be accounted for.  Like any disruption, this will present business risks and opportunities.

What do you think? Would unionization ultimately help or hurt your business? Would it help or hurt overall employement in our industry?

Topics: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Health Care Reform, Care Coordination, thought leadership, Home Care Technology, Home Care, NPDA, PDHCA, Leadership, NAHC

Home Care Start-up Best Practices: Systematize Internal Operations

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 24, 2011 11:08:00 AM

Ginny Kenyon has continued her 6 part series on starting a home care agency.  We introduced the series in our post How to Start a Home Care Business: The Fundamentals that you can read here.  Her third post focuses on a topic near and dear to our hearts, which is putting systems in place to streamline your operations.  I'd encourage you to read Ginny's Full Post, but here are a few highlights to entice you:

  • Put people you trust in decision-making positions
  • Choose a solid software package
  • Avoid unnecessary workarounds that make your staff less efficient
  • The major benefits of your software need to be scheduling and ease of billing and payroll
  • Put a collection process in place (focus on receivables to keep cash flow strong)
  • Make your intake process very smooth to create the right first impression.

Kenyon Connects

If you are starting an agency, we hope you'll take a look at Ankota's software.  We'd be very interested in helping you meet your needs and growing with you.  And in fact, since our set-up and training is very streamlined, we have some great solutions to help start-ups get off the ground without start-up fees.

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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: Starting a Home Care Business, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care, Home Care Scheduling Software

ACO's - Final Regulation​s Issued: Home Care Coordination Needed

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 21, 2011 1:50:00 PM

Elizabeth Hogue has shared with us a nice summary of the final regulations defining Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  We include her write-up in its entirety below.  The piece that gets us most excited at Ankota is found in the fine print towards the end of the summary.  It's the part that describes the need for ACOs to Coordinate Care.

  • ACO’s must put clinical and administrative systems in place and define processes to promote evidence-based medicine and patient engagement, to report on quality and cost measures, and to coordinate care.

We look forward to helping!

Elizabeth Hogue Esq.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) – Final Regulations Issued

Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.

Office:  877-871-4062

Fax:  877-871-9739

E-mail: ElizabethHogue@ElizabethHogue.net

Section 302 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes provisions related to Medicare payments to providers of services and suppliers that participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s).  Providers of services and suppliers who participate in ACO’s will continue to receive payments under Parts A and B of the Medicare Program, but will also be eligible for additional payments if they meet certain requirements related to quality of care and cost savings.  Proposed regulations to implement these provisions were published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2011.  

Final regulations have now been released and will be published in the Federal Register soon.  The first agreements with ACO’s will take effect on April 1, 2012.  The final regulations generally provide as follows:

  • The ultimate goal of ACO’s is to reward better value, outcomes, and innovations instead of just volume.
  • The purposes of ACO’s are to:         
    • Promote accountability for a patient population,         
    • Coordinate items and services under Parts A and B of the Medicare Program, and         
    • Encourage investment in infrastructure and redesigned care processes for high quality and efficient service delivery.
  • A key concept of ACO’s is the “three-part aim” that includes:-         
    • Better care for individuals,
    • Better health for populations, and
    • Lower growth in expenditures.
  • Groups of providers of services and suppliers that meet criteria specified by the Secretary may work together to manage and coordinate care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries through ACO’s.  ACO’s that meet quality performance standards established by the Secretary will be eligible to receive payments for “shared savings.”
  • The following types of providers are eligible to participate in ACO’s:         
    • ACO professionals in group practice arrangements (ACOHealthcare Reform professionals include physicians, physicians’ assistants (PA’s), nurse practitioners (NP’s), and clinical nurse specialists.)         
    • Networks of individual practices of ACO professionals         
    • Partnerships or joint venture arrangements between hospitals and ACO professionals
    • Such other groups of providers of services and suppliers as the Secretary determines appropriate
  • Eligible groups of providers of services and suppliers must meet the following requirements in order to participate in ACO’s:
    • ACO’s must be willing to become accountable for the quality, cost, and overall care of at least 5,000 Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries assigned to it.
    • ACO’s must enter into agreements with the Secretary to participate in the program for at least three years.
    • ACO’s must have formal legal structures that allow receipt and distribution of payments for shared savings to participating providers of services and suppliers.
    • ACO’s must include primary care ACO professionals that are sufficient for the number of Medicare beneficiaries assigned to the ACO and ACO’s must provide the Secretary with information about participating ACO professionals.
    • ACO’s must put clinical and administrative systems in place and define processes to promote evidence-based medicine and patient engagement, to report on quality and cost measures, and to coordinate care.
    • ACO’s must demonstrate to the Secretary that they meet criteria related to “patient-centeredness,” such as the use of patient and caregiver assessments and individualized care plans.
  • Reports related to quality must address care transitions across health care settings, including post-hospital discharge planning and follow up by ACO professionals.
  • ACO’s may also be responsible for excess expenditures. 

More to come on ACO’s; including tax, antitrust, fraud and abuse, and patients’ right to freedom of choice!    

© 2011 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.  All rights reserved.

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, Health Care Reform, Home Care, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO, ACO Technology

Three things Home Care should Know about Connected Health

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 20, 2011 8:49:00 AM

Today I'm attending a conference in Boston called the Connected Health Symposium.  The concept of Connected Health focuses on patient engagement in their own health care and connecting the people to the people involved in their care.  Most of the content presented here is about the ways that health outcomes can improve with care coordination.  In the past years the "tone" of the meeting has shifted from "we don't get reimbursed for care coordination" to "Wow! We can provide better care with care coordination" and now to "We're going to be expected to coordinate care; how do we do that?"  I was a speaker in last year's conference here on the topic of care for the elderly.

Connected Health

Here are three things that Home Care should know about connected health:

  1. Connected Health is becoming a necessity: The way that health care is reimbursed is shifting to a model where there will be a fee for treating a condition and its recovery as opposed to reimbursement for each service provided.  This necessitates the need for connection with the patient.  The biggest factor driving this forward is a policy under which hospitals will lose reimbursement if they have more readmissions than an industry standard.
  2. Connected Health requires better technology: If your home care agency is still doing records on paper and scheduling in Excel, you're way behind.  The leaders in home care will embrace telehealth and telecare and will be putting technologies in place to electronically share information with collaborators in care (referral sources, subcontractors, family members, and more)
  3. Connected Health is an Opportunity: Our industry is poised for dramatic growth based on the population demographics.  So the winners will be those who provide better care at lower cost.  Now is the time to get ahead of the curve.

Ankota isn't, per se, a Connected Health application so let me give an example of another one just launched called www.iGetBetter.com.  I get better takes the care plan handed to a patient when being discharged from the hospital (usually a stack of photocopied papers that don't get read) and converts them to day-by-day checklists that inform the patient what to do to recover and let's them log their progress and stay connected with their care team.  In addition to post-acute recovery, the application is in use for chronic care (like hypertension). For full disclosure, I help iGetBetter with their technology.

IGetBetter Patient Screen

All of your nurses and caregivers will tell you that care is better the more that you connect with your clients and the others who affect their care.  Is Connected Health the way that your agency will differentiate and win?

 

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: Care Coordination, thought leadership, transitional care, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology

Smartphones and Tablets will be the leading Home Care Mobile Devices

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 18, 2011 2:57:00 PM

Last week I heard a presentation by John Halamka, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Brigham and Women's hospital and Harvard Medical School.  John and his organizations are always ahead of the curve on information technology in healthcare, and he spoke about what device his nurses want to use for the tasks in their days - the iPhone.  He rattled off a list of nursing tasks and said "there's an app for that."

Mobile apps in healthcare will take off, and home care will be part of the trend.  According to a story on the site www.emarketer.com based on research by research2guidance, smartphones will be the most popular devices for healthcare mobile applications in the next several years, followed by tablets. Adoption of both is rising quickly.

mobile devices for mobile health applications

Ankota has been predicting these same trends and moving in the direction, as follows:

  • Ankota's mobile apps for nursing and therapy notes run on tablets
  • Ankota has moved our telephony capabilities for home health aides to smart phones (iPhone is running now and Android is coming soon)Today in the US, the majority of new cell phones are smart phones.  Presently, they're too expensive for most home care caregivers, but this will change, and we predict that the "free" phones that you get from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint will be smartphones by 2013.

Even more important for our industry, is our prediction that healthcare will move increasingly out of the hospital and into the home, making mobile health increasingly critical.

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 Health Aide Software, Aging in Place Technology, home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Home Care Mobile Solutions, Home Health Therapy Software

Care Coordination Opportunities for Home Care & Home Health

Posted by Will Hicklen on Oct 14, 2011 11:30:00 AM

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The title of this blog should read more accurately “How Private Duty Home Care, Home Health Care, Therapy agencies, Infusion, Geriatric Care Managers, those providing care for the elderly or planning for care transitions can THRIVE in this era of Health Care Reform” …. BUT that just doesn’t fit in the title block.

CareMore Hospitalization rate

Put the incentives in the hands of those who deliver care and solutions that include telehealth monitoring, wellness coaching, early preventive care, toenail clipping, and free rides to appointments will take over.  When organizations are accountable for the results and the costs, incentives are aligned. Providers are no longer consumed with fee for service and they are rewarded for being effective and efficient.  These models can simultaneously improve the quality of care and reduce overall costs.

CareMore Improved Outcomes without increasing costs

Here’s proof – and every Private Duty home care agency, Medicare certified Home Health agency, hospital, and physician providing Geriatric Care had better get on board:

CareMore logo

CareMore, now owned by WellPoint, started bucking the fee-for-service trend in healthcare decades ago. CareMore’s founder, Dr. Sheldon Zinberg, envisioned a coordinated care model for the elderly that focused on early interventions and preventive care.

A lesson from business: A problem that costs $1 to solve early will cost you $30 to solve if you wait for it to become a big problem. It’s a principle proven repeatedly over the last 80 years or so since Deming first explained it and it is a fundamental axiom of business. Toyota and Proctor & Gamble live by it, and it drives a culture of both quality and cost management. Accountable Care Organizations understand it and will embrace it, as well.

The Atlantic logo

Consider this example, all too common with elderly patients, borrowed from “The Quiet Healthcare Revolution,” in November issue of The Atlantic Monthly and written by Tom Main and Adrian Slywotzky.

“Ellen, an 82-year-old widow, lives in Anaheim, California. One Wednesday morning last year, she got on her scale, as she does every morning. One hundred and forty-six pounds—wasn’t that a little high? Ellen felt vaguely troubled as she poured herself a bowl of oat bran.

Half an hour later, the phone rang. It was Sandra at the clinic. She too was concerned about Ellen’s weight, which had jumped three pounds since the previous day. Sandra knew this because Ellen’s scale had transmitted its reading to the clinic over a wireless connection.

Given that Ellen had a history of congestive heart failure, a three-pound weight gain in 24 hours was a potentially dangerous development, a sign of possible fluid buildup in the lungs and increasing pressure on an already stressed heart. Sandra wanted her to come in for an immediate visit: the clinic would provide a car to pick her up and bring her back home. Ellen’s treatment began that very morning and continued for two weeks until she was out of danger. Had the warning signs not been noticed and addressed so quickly, she might easily have suffered a long, painful, and expensive hospitalization. “

Another example from the same article in The Atlantic:

“Dan, a retired letter carrier, is a patient at a clinic in the same system. At 87, he is decidedly frail, his once-sturdy legs now weak and unsteady. He is a classic candidate for a fall of the kind that has injured many of his friends, in some cases leading to weeks in the hospital and months of rehab. The elderly are prone to falls for many obvious reasons, including weak limbs, impaired vision, and medication side effects. But Dan’s doctors knew that some less obvious causes included shag carpets and long, untrimmed toenails. Because of this, they’d sent someone from the clinic to visit Dan’s apartment and make sure that his daughter replaced the 1980s-vintage carpets with low-pile rugs. Dan also visits the clinic regularly for light muscle-training sessions and periodic toenail clipping. Due to these preventive measures, Dan and his fellow clinic patients are one-fifth as likely as comparable patients elsewhere to suffer falls.”

 

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Ankota's XChange Care Coordination Portal helps providers coordinate roles and assignments in Accountable Care models such as these. The Xchange Care Coordination Portal is part of Ankota's Healthcare Delivery Management technology (HDM), which helps individual providers make their own operations more productive and efficient.

 

Topics: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Marketing Home Care, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, thought leadership, transitional care, Aging in Place Technology, Will Hicklen, Home Care, Therapy Software, Leadership, Home Care Blogs, telehealth, remote monitoring

Care Coordination & Community Based Care Programs

Posted by Will Hicklen on Oct 13, 2011 9:50:00 AM

Johns Hopkins Gazette

"Place, not race, may be larger determinant of health disparities."

"Community-based care models" are emerging rapidly, and this article by Natalie Wood-Wright of Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health underscores one of the reasons why. In community-based models, healthcare professionals bring healthcare to the people, not the other way around. It's healthcare outreach and these groups would do well to study home healthcare delivery to make sure they do it effectively and efficiently.

Example: Rather than hoping that an expectant mother will seek pre-natal care in a clinic (or at greater expense, in a hospital) and follow doctor's recommendations throughout the pregnancy, a community based care model employs a mobile healthcare worker in a home health care model to meet with the expectant mother, educate her on things like nutrition and pre-natal vitamins, and follow up with her regularly to monitor her progress. In such a model, compliance tends to be higher in part because the mother and healthcare provider develop a relationship in the mother's home, taking less time and expense for all, and the occurance of premature births is greatly mitigated. Premature babies are extremely expensive, consuming tremendous resources at the time of birth and for the rest of their lives. It's a simple model that shows terrific financial and health advantages to the familes and health systems alike.

Wood-Wright writes, "Where you live could play a larger role in health disparities than originally thought, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health."

"Thomas LaVeist, lead author of the study and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School states, “By comparing black and white Americans who are exposed to the same set of socioeconomic, social and environmental conditions, we were better equipped to discern the impact of race on health-related outcomes and have concluded [that] social factors are essentially equalized when racial disparities are minimized."

While the study originated in a group at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that seeks to understand disparities in health among racial groups, a key finding is that where you are has more to do with your health and access to care than your race.

This post is not intended to weigh in on disparities in rate of disease or access to health care among races or ethnicities. Moreover, this post is intended to illuminate the fact that location--geography--has a tremendous impact on the health and well being of populations. Understanding where diseases occur as well as why they occur can allow Johns Hopkins and other health systems to design community based care programs that make an impact, improving the health of the populations they serve and reducing overall costs to the system.

Community based care models are driving the need for more advanced Care Coordination among providers and technology to enable it. Technology must address new complexities that are introduced with scheduling, route planning and mobility requirements. Community Based programs present great opportunities for providers to cooperate and deliver better services at lower costs. Home Health care agencies must coordinate with hospitals, and other services and systems must be developed to support coordinated networks of providers. Providers can expect that factors such as this and the rise of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will drive the need for new technologies such as Ankota's XChange Care Coordination Portal.

To learn more about Care Coordination technology, Community Based Care Models, or Ankota's XChange Care Coordination Portal, visit http://www.ankota.com/care-coordination/

Topics: Care Coordination, transitional care, Will Hicklen

How NOT to buy Home Care Software

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 11, 2011 10:30:00 AM

One of the email newsletters that I read comes from the Home Care financial advisory firm called Boyd and Nicholas who market themselves as "The Cost Report People".  We've shared content from their email newsletter before and most recently included them in our post Six Home Care Social Media email newsletters to Learn From.  Their website is http://www.boydandnicholas.com/. In their September 21st edition, they shared an article on the subject of how to buy home care software.  The article is pretty long and I can't find it on line, so I need to bring you the highlights here.  Since the article is a bit too big, I'm going to break it into a few posts.  This first one is about how NOT to buy home care software.  From here, (in italics) you're reading their article:

There are at least a dozen wrong ways to go about finding the best software product and vendor for your home care agency or hospice. Perhaps you have been guilty of one or more of them:

  • Page through magazine ads and make a list of five or six 800 numbers to call.
  • Post a question to a public listserv, “Does anybody know of any good software?”
  • See 20 or 30 product demos, 5 minutes each, at a trade show.
  • Follow the sales person who sold you your first system and buy from him again when he moves to another vendor.
  • Answer a cold call from a sales person and decide impulsively to have them in for a sales pitch.
  • Ask a colleague, with an entirely different business model from yours, what software they use.

We'll come back with the sequel article that outlines how to do it right, but in the mean time, think about things that you've done wrong in making software and other technology purchases and what you could have done to avoid those mistakes.  If you're like me and don't like to dwell on the negative, you can look at this article about home care software that I did for Ginny Kenyon's blog here.

Boyd and Nicholas home care cost report

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 Health Aide Software, home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Home Health Therapy Software, Home Care Scheduling Software

Healthcare Software - Security and the Cloud

Posted by Marc Ottinger on Oct 10, 2011 1:29:00 PM

When looking at either a software or a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) application for your Home Care, Home Health Care, DME, Home Infusion, or Private Duty Agency security is an important consideration.  Symantec’s State of the Cloud Survey 2011 came out this past Tuesday.  This survey covered 5,300 IT and C-level professionals spanning 38 countries.  With Symantec's focus on security, as you can image, the major emphasis of this survey was security.  There were a number of interesting points:

  • 75% to 81% of the respondents are “at least discussing all forms of Cloud.” 
  • Despite this interest fewer than 20% reported having “completed implementing in one of the cloud focused areas covered by this research, i.e., email service (management & security), security, security management, and Web and IM security
  • 100% of the respondents said “cyber threats increased in the last year.”
  • 84% of respondents are “confident that moving to the cloud will not impact or will actually improve security.” 

 

The security benefits of SaaS technology, which are in the Cloud include:

  • Data is backed up continuously throughout the day. 
  • Data is transmitted fully secure and encrypted. 
  • IT environment includes fire protection, climate control, and multiple Internet connections. 
  • HIPAA Compliance. 

With security covered in a SaaS application for your Home Health Care or Home Care Firm, this should help leave you free to spend more time doing what you are need to do, build sales and run your business.  

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Healthcare Delivery Management, Home Care Technology, Home Care, Physical Therapy software, Home Care Scheduling Software

Include Care Coordination in Your Next Home Care Technology Update

Posted by Will Hicklen on Oct 3, 2011 8:54:00 AM

Care Coordination technology

The Home Care Software Geek is often a guest blogger on other blogs, and most recently collaborated with Kenyon Home Care Consulting's  Ginny Kenyon on a piece entitled "Include Care Coordination in Your Next Home Care Technology Update." This article is a big hit and I thought Ankota's readers would appreciate seeing it too:

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When you acquire technology for your home care organization, you need to consider a five year life for the technology. As such, it’s necessary to anticipate how care delivery will change in that timeframe and choose technology that prepares you for the future. Some changes in your care delivery operations are merely evolutionary changes. Examples of this are new OASIS forms and new coding rules. While I’m not implying that these aren’t difficult changes, they don’t represent the need for a fundamental shift in the technology systems that you use. By contrast, other changes are revolutionary and may require fundamental shifts in your technology needs.

The need for coordinated care can drive the need for a fundamental technology shift. Today we all try to coordinate care, but in the near future care coordination will be mandatory. This is due to the necessity of sharing electronic medical records, mandates to lower readmission rates, the need to communicate with family caregivers and other family members, and incentives to lower the cost of care, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

You should anticipate the need to share care plans, meds, and visit results with hospitals, primary care givers, home health aides, geriatric care managers and other specialists involved in a care team.

In addition, you should look at consumer technology trends and make sure that your home care technology has plans to catch up. Here are some things you should look for:

  • Will my software run on tablets like the iPad?
  • Will it run on mobile devices like iPhones and Android phones?
  • Will my vendor keep me up with changes automatically the way Google or amazon.com evolves?
  • Will my technology enable sharing (i.e., care coordination) with family members, hospitals, care managers and more, as described above?
  • Can my nurses, therapists and/or caregivers access the system from their homes?

If the answers to these questions are mostly “no” then your technology is holding you back. Technology can be a great enabler for your organization, assisting you to deliver better care at lower cost. Don’t settle for software that will require manual processes outside the system for something as important as care coordination, or software the puts extra burdens on your staff.

click here to read "Include Care Coordination in Your Next Home Care Technology Update" on the Kenyon Home Care Consulting web site.

click here to read more articles from the Home Care Software Geek, Ankota CTO Ken Accardi
 

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Topics: Recommended Reading, Starting a Home Care Business, Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, home care software geek, Checklists, Will Hicklen, Home Care, Home Health Therapy Software, Product Information

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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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