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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

The Fallacy of The Satisfied Home Care Customer

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 31, 2012 9:42:00 AM

Today's post comes coutesy of Jason Tweed's publication "Private Duty Today" (www.privatedutytoday.com)which is a website and product of Leading Home Care (www.leadinghomecare.com).  In addition to being an expert consultant in home care, Jason is also a recipient of care and has a lot of first hand knowledge about great vs. not-so-great caregives.  Please enjoy.

The Fallacy of the Satisfied Customer

by Jason Tweed

If your agency provides high quality caregivers, that's good.

 

If your company's caregivers are reliable and dependable, that's good.

 

If your employees are friendly and compassionate, that's good.

 

Unfortunately, if you do all of these things over 95% of the time, you are simply average in the minds of your customers.

 

When people contract for personal care they expect quality caregivers who are reliable and dependable. They expect that your employees will be compassionate and friendly. If you do all of these things consistently you will have lots of satisfied customers.

 

Satisfied customers cannot help you grow your business. Only enthusiastic customers help your business grow and establish customer service as a distinct competitive advantage in your marketplace.

 

 

We define "enthusiastic customers" as any individual who gets MORE than he or she expects during a customer service experience. The principal benefit of an enthusiastic customer is that they share the experience with others. Families talk with other people in their social groups. Referral sources recommend you to other potential referral sources. You are "liked, tweeted, recommended" and otherwise endorsed on social networks. Enthusiastic customers generate word-of-mouth marketing, the single most valuable and effective type of promotion.

 

I'm certain some of you disagree with me. I'm certain that there are many of you who have built solid businesses with consistent growth based on satisfied customers. Unfortunately, there are two problems with relying on satisfied customers.

 

  • First, they help you keep pace with market growth. As the demand for home care increases, your business will grow. Unfortunately, many attribute this to satisfied customers, when in reality it's a function of supply and demand. With increasing competition, this historical growth is likely unsustainable.
  • Second, satisfied customers are better than dissatisfied customers. When you provide satisfaction you will benefit from competitors who lose customers because of negative experiences. You depend on your competition to fail in order for you to grow. Again, with increasing competition and overall quality in the marketplace, becomes unsustainable.

 

To gain competitive advantage through customer service you must be able to deliver beyond expectation.  There are two possibilities.

 

  • Provide additional value -- add-on services and "beyond the call of duty" services generate enthusiasm.
  • Handling problems and unique situations with exceptional skill.

 

When your company actively looks for ways to exceed customer expectations, you will win in the marketplace. Furthermore, you control your own destiny rather than depending on market demand and failures within your competition.

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 Entrepreneurship, Starting a Home Care Business, Elderly Care, thought leadership, Home Care Blogs

Crafting the Home Care Mission Statement

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 29, 2012 1:17:00 PM

Today's article comes courtesy of Alex Chamberlain, Executive Director at EasyLiving, Inc., a fully licensed, private duty home health care company serving individuals and families in Pinellas and Pasco counties in Florida.  EasyLiving was named a 2011 “Top Small Business in the South” by Business Leader Magazine and the 4th fastest growing company in Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Fast 50” of 2010.  Easy Living recently updated their mission statement and wanted to share what they learned in the process.  Enjoy!

You are on a Mission—but what is it?

I believe successful businesses, particularly in the senior care industry, are built around a strong mission.  They have a sense of purpose--something that is bigger than them. A business with a strong mission is able to attract better quality people. In an industry where we struggle with human resources, this is vital—it helps us to build a team who believe in the mission, not just “warm bodies” looking for any job.  A mission statement articulates your organization’s essential nature, its values and work—and serves as a guide and framework for all you do (decisions should be reviewed in context of how they fit with your mission).

Home Care Mission Statement

At EasyLiving, our mission is to create an environment where we set our team members up for success empowering them to provide the best in home care service to the communityWe recently updated this mission statement to better reflect how our organization has evolved over time and more accurately portray the framework of ourAlex Chamberlain Easy Living Florida business. It was vital to us that our mission identified our emphasis on our team members and our belief that they must come first or we will never be able to provide good service. 

We also wanted the emphasis on community to be an integral part of the mission.  EasyLiving is a local company, deeply involved in local organizations and the business community, and more specifically within the healthcare and senior care communities.  We do not have offices in other counties or intentions to be the biggest company or to dominate the market.  We really do what we do because of our true belief in making a difference in people’s lives (not only the seniors we serve, but the families and professionals we help and the people we employ, organizations we support, etc.). 

If you want to read a bit more about how and why we crafted this mission statement, check out:Pinellas County Elder Services: Driven by a Mission”.  You will also see that we have a visual portrayal of our home care model, which integrates our mission and goal.  This visual depiction has been very successful in communicating our difference to referral sources in the community.

Tips regarding your home care organization mission-statement (if you are just getting started, you may benefit from Entrepreneur’s “How to Write Your Mission Statement”):

  • Review your statement, to ensure it portrays your purpose and principals/beliefs and can serve as a strong guide for decision-making.
  • Does your mission statement resonate with you, your team members and customers/the public?  Get some feedback.  Does it include jargon or “industry speak” or buzz words (especially those that the public has grown to dislike-google “corporate buzzwords people hate” if you’re interested-a few of the “winners” are: outside the box, synergy, value-add and proactive)?
  • A good time to review your company’s mission statement is during strategic planning.  Review the above and confirm relevance.  If some retooling seems necessary, brainstorm with your team by focusing on purpose and principals as well as how you uniquely address needs.
  • When you have an excellent mission statement, share it!  Make sure it is integrated in your orientation/employee training, is visible in your office and on appropriate materials, and shared with clients, families and referral sources.  You might want to write a blog post about it or start a discussion on social media (you may get the opportunity to know what others think this way too!).  Consider simple ways to communicate about what it means and how your carry it out daily.  A visual depiction or example stories/analogies may help you communicate more broadly.
Easy Living Home Care Tampa

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 Entrepreneurship, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care, Home Care Blogs

Employers Look to Direct Contract with Doctors, What about Home Care

Posted by Marc Ottinger on May 27, 2012 4:51:00 PM

I came across a post on the American Medical News web site.  Discussing the issue that more self-insured employers are considering direct contracting with healthcare providers.  The drive health benefits industry insiders say is the combination of upheaval in health care because of reform and continual increases in the cost of coverage.  Self-insured employers say they save the fees they pay plans to put together networks and handle claims and, in many cases, pass the savings along to “their” doctors. 

 

Roger Merrill, MD, chief medical officer at chicken processor Perdue Farms, has been contracting directly with physicians and hospitals for more than 10 years.  He now has approximately 15,000 provider contracts.  Dr. Merrill, an internist by training, said direct contracting has improved Perdue employees’ health, brought better pay to primary care physicians, and saved the company money, all without a health plan’s involvement.  Dr. Merrill goes on to say, “We at Perdue and provider have the same goal: maximize the health of the patient.  Typically, large insurance companies do not have that same goal.”

 

Though there is no official count of employers engaged in direct contracting, people in the industry say interest is growing.  Employers’ direct contracts vary in scale.  For some large employers, such as Lowe’s, the home improvement chain, direct contracting has created a niche side benefit for employees.  Some employers, like Toyota, are creating optional narrow or “high-performance” networks made up of physicians and hospitals with high clinical quality scores and low prices.  Other employers, like Perdue, are creating entire networks, including primary care, specialty care and hospital care for their employees, using a third-party administrator just to adjudicate and pay claims. 

 

Andrew Webber, president and CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health, said “It’s not the same as when we had the managed care wars in the mid-1980s.  Rather than a [network in which] you just signed up a lot of doctors with cheap prices, now we truly have better measurement systems so that we’re first looking at the quality of care.” 

 

Among the reasons Perdue chose direct contracting was the company’s belief that primary care physicians should not be at the bottom of what Dr. Merrill calls the medical network “food chain.”  Perdue pays primary care doctors well, he said, and that’s intentional.  “We want the doctors to smile when one of our employees come through the office,” Dr. Merrill said. 

 

We know the most cost effective delivery model is healthcare delivered in the home.  My question is have you approached companies in your area.  Even if they are not self-insured employers healthcare insiders say direct contracting structure is gaining acceptance, so a marketing initiative contacting companies should be a worthwhile exercise for those of you interested in new payment arrangements.  Even if company is not self-insured at this time, this exercise should set you up for being first on employer’s minds as they move to start direct contraction.  The use of a care coordination portal and other communications tools could and will bring huge value to the self-insured company.  

Topics: Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, thought leadership, transitional care, Home Care, Care Transitions

Why Mom wants to Live at Home

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 25, 2012 9:32:00 AM

Today's blog post comes with few words and instead let's a video do the talking.  Produced by Ankota's partner Be Close, this video expresses the benefits of aging in place and living at home from the perspective of elderly moms.

Sometimes being in home care every day we can forget the value of what we do.  We keep peoples loved ones in the surroundings where they're comfortable, where they made their memories, and away from the institutional feel, high costs and infections that come from aging in facilities.

BeClose Video

Pretty nice, huh?  

Be Close provides a way to help you monitor how your mom is doing.  TheyBeClose Logo make sensors that go in mom or dad's house and keep track of things like when they use their favorite chair or open the refrigerator.  The sensors are hardly noticable.  Then they provide a monitoring service that let's you make sure mom's ok with her routine.  You can learn more at www.beclose.com.

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: Aging in Place Technology, Home Care, BeClose, Video

Risk Management: Patient Data and Your Liability

Posted by Will Hicklen on May 22, 2012 1:59:00 PM

Risk Management Education Series brought to you by Ankota and IronRisk Strategies, LLC 

IronRisk logo

“In an insurance industry study, healthcare providers reported a 32% increase in the frequency of data breaches in 2011, and the average financial impact of a single breach was $2.2 million,” according to IronRisk President Lock Curtis, a risk management strategy consultancy based in Baltimore, Maryland (article attached).

HealthcareIT News

Additionally, in this recent Healthcare IT News report by Diana Manos, which is published under a partnership with HIMMS, recently reported that health data breaches increased 97% in 2011, compared to 2010, and affected more than 19 million individuals.

It’s not all bad news. While 96% of healthcare providers who participated in the study reported at least one data breach in the last two years, the majority of these were caused by employee errors and careless or sloppy actions. Still, a large number are caused by malicious attacks by those who would commit insurance or Medicare fraud. You need to address each of these risks.

What should healthcare providers do? “This is a perfect example of the types of risk that can be mitigated through a good strategic plan,” reports Curtis.

  1. Familiarize yourself with rules such as HIPAA and the Hi Tech Act’s data breach notification requirements.
  2. Develop a strategy to make sure that you and your staff are educated and trained regularly. Much can be done to prevent problems by training staff how to protect information. Ignorance is no defense.
  3. Require technology partners to sign Business Associate Agreements and to provide you with formal documentation of their security practices. If they don't have it, don't do business with them. Contact Ankota for a copy of our Patient Privacy & Compliance Statement to see what one should look like.
  4. Understand what your current insurance coverage includes, and, perhaps more importantly, what is not covered. Consult with an expert like IronRisk, LLC to understand what options exist to address cyber liability. This is an insurable risk.
  5. Report a breach immediately and cooperate fully with authorities. 

What should providers expect? As providers focus even greater efforts on managing Care Transitions to reduce avoidable readmissions and lower overall costs, models will get even more complex. Accountable Care models and Care Coordination initiatives will drive the demand to share more and more data among providers. The proliferation of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets are also raising the stakes on an already complex issue. These devices need not be a threat, and should bring immediate boosts to productivity.  

 

See also:

e-Liability: What Are Your Risks?

Cyber Security for Your Small Business

Five Keys to Discovering Hidden Data Security Risks, HealthcareIT News

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules, Department of Health & Human Services

Healthcare Data Breaches Up 97% in 2011, Healthcare IT News

Topics: Patient Data, Patient Data Security, Care Coordination, Care Transitions, risk management

The Top Ten Competencies of a Highly Effective Home Care Leader

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 22, 2012 10:30:00 AM

Today's article is a republication of a story by Stephen Tweed from Leading Home Care (www.leadinghomecare.com).  The story ran in their May 16th email news letter and as described below, it is part of the training that Stephen presents in their Academy for Home Care Leadership.  The title is reminiscent of one of the management books I read early in my career, entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (originally released in 1989 by Stephen Covey.  I guess the expression "Great Stephens think alike" holds here (or maybe that was "great minds"). 

The Top Ten Competencies of a Highly Effective Home Care Leader

I was on the phone today with the Vice President of Business Development for aTop 10 Listnew client of ours in Canada.  The company has engaged me to speak for their annual conference in the fall, and we were talking about the two presentations I will be making.  The opening general session will be our newest program, “Serving More Patients”, based on the results of our home health, hospice, and private duty sales and marketing survey.

The second presentation will be a leadership track from our Academy for Home Care Leadership.  I was describing the Top Ten Competencies of a Highly Effective Home Care Leader.  My colleague asked me to tell him more about the ten competencies.  I listed them:

1.  Seeing the Bigger Picture

2.  Communicating Expectations and Directions

3.  Making Decisions

4.  Coaching and Counseling

5.  Setting Priorities and Managing Time

6.  Planning

7.  Recruiting and Selecting Good People

8.  Measuring and Managing Team Performance

9.  Inspiring others to follow you

10. Solving Problems

He asked me how we arrived at the top ten, and how we would present this information to their conference participants.  I described the research we did, starting back in 1997 where we surveyed 200 home care CEOs across the country.  Then we conductedStephen Tweed from Leading Home Care interviews and focus groups, and narrowed the results down to our top ten list.  Then we conducted further research into exactly what each of those competencies means in home health care and hospice. 

In our survey, we found that the CEOs who responded felt that the first three … seeing the bigger picture, communicating expectations and directions, and making decisions … are most important by a significant margin.  In our workshops, we present all ten top competencies, and then focus on a few depending on the time available.  In a one hour conference breakout, we’ll have time to go in depth into the top three. 

If you would like more information on the Top Ten Competencies, you can order a copy of our Academy for Home Care Leadership Learning Guide.

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, Elderly Care, thought leadership, Leadership

Future of Home Care Technology - Research Survey

Posted by Will Hicklen on May 21, 2012 11:06:00 AM

Future of Home Care Technology Research Survey

Aging In Place Technology Watch logo

Sometimes the Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management blog is just a good medium for pointing our readers to something important going on. Today, we'd like to share this research effort and encourage you to take a few minutes to participate. If your "civic home care/home healthcare duty" isn't enough, there's even the chance to win a free tablet PC just for completing the survey!

To be clear, this is not an Ankota survey and Ankota will not see your responses. We're just incredibly supportive of the efforts of Aging in Place and Laurie Orlov.

Click me

As Laurie Orlov explains, "This survey of managers and supervisors is about the use of technology among skilled home health providers, geriatric care management and non-skilled/companion care in their teams. Each survey will be uniquely identified by e-mail address to avoid duplicates -- but will not be shared. In addition, at the end of the survey period, a drawing of one e-mail address will be used to enable awarding of a new tablet computer. The participants will also be e-mailed the final report. The survey will be available for 6 weeks, beginning on April 2, to obtain 500-1000 completed responses from all three job groups. The results will be presented in a report, first delivered to the sponsoring organizations and then made available online for all."

Thanks! - from the Team at Ankota and Laurie Orlov

 

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Laurie Orlov


Topics: Geriatric Care Management, Age Tech, Care Coordination, thought leadership, Aging in Place Technology

Health IT, EMRs & EHRs Falling Short in Accountable Care

Posted by Will Hicklen on May 17, 2012 9:31:00 AM

FierceHealthIT logo

We hear it all the time: Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) will solve everything. Patients won't be hurt by mistakes, vast numbers of readmissions will be avoided, and the cost of healthcare will go down.

Uh, yeah...right. 

 Dave Chase EMR quote

The reality is this: EMRs & EHRs are necessary, but they are not sufficient. Why? 

In a FierceHealthIT article Experts Express Different Views of EHR's Future in Accountable Care Health IT expert and former Accenture consultant Dave Chase explains, "The two big problems with today's EHRs is that 1) they were designed for a "do more, bill more" payment system that's on its way out; and 2) they are not nimble enough to cope with a rapidly transforming healthcare environment. In addition, he noted, systems like those of Epic and Cerner 'have their strength in automating internal workflows of hospitals and other clinical settings.' That works fine in acute care, where providers make the decisions, but they are not well-suited to chronic care, which requires a lot of patient engagement, he said."

Eric Coleman Quote

Accountable Care requires a focus on Care Transitions and coordinating providers. Provider "Ecosystems" will rapidly emerge, and will be enabled by technologies like Ankota's Xchange Care Coordination platform. 

"EMRs/EHRs are all about data and billing," says ankota CEO Will Hicklen. "They are a great place to collect and store data so that providers can get paid under the old model. They are even excellent at managing well defined workflows within hospitals." Hicklen adds, "The big limitations of systems like EPIC and Cerner are that they 1) are not well suited to manage chronic conditions, which require a heavy dose of proactive, and community based care, and 2) they never anticipated addressing healthcare delivery models outside of hospitals, on which Accountable Care depends." As more and more care is delivered outside of hospitals, a tremendous need has emerged for systems that can manage these transitions, coordinate many types of providers, and provide oversight and transparency to operations. 

The most effective care transitions initiatives also include behavioral health and even some non-medical services, which presents additional challenges in managing this "ecosystem." For example, the occurance of depression and anxiety has been shown to worsen medical outcomes, yet most patients are never screened or treated for these conditions. By coordinating with medical providers, behavioral health specialists can identify and treat conditions earlier, saving huge amounts of money and helping patients to get healthier faster. The medical community also widely recognizes that certain non-medical care improves medical outcomes. Support services in the home, often called Private Duty Home Care, and even dental services have also been shown to lower healthcare costs and improve outcomes. These models depend on a community of third party providers. These tend to be complex businesses with highly mobile workforces, too. It is important that the providers of these services be well coordinated, and in constant communication with medical providers. "The system has to be transparent, where one hand knows what the other is doing and it's all in a coordinated, deliberate effort," says Hicklen. 

Never before has it been more critical to reduce avoidable readmissions, manage chronic disease, and manage population health. Ankota's Xchange Care Coordination technology is leading the way in enabling Care Transitions programs. 

For more information about Ankota's Care Coordination technology, click this great big orange link 

 Click me

Additional Reading:

Dr. Eric Coleman, Care Transitions Program 

FierceHealthIT, Experts Express Different Views of EHRs... 

iHealthBeat Health Systems Spendingn Billions to Prepare for the 'Last War'

Topics: Care Coordination, transitional care, Care Transitions, Accountable Care Organizations, Avoidable Readmissions, ACO, ACO Technology

Occupy Health Street: Health Care's Top 1% (the Chronically Costly)

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 16, 2012 4:03:00 PM

We heard a lot on the news about "Occupy Wall Street," a group who contend that the top 1% of wealthy people have too much money and power and how that's unfair.  I'm not a politics guy, but thought that our home care readers might like to know and see some data about health care's costliest 1% of patients.  Thanks to a great article in American Medical News (amednews.com) you can learn a great deal about the costliest 1% of health care recipients.  Their March 5, 2012 Article is entitled Who are the Chronically Costly?  Health Care's 1%.

 Click me

Here are some summary comments from the article:

They are older patients with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious chronic conditions. Many have multiple health problems, and their relatives might not be helping with their care. Most have private insurance, are white and female.

They are the costliest 1% of patients in the U.S. Caring for them accounts for more than 20% of what the nation spends on all of its health care. In contrast, the least costly half of all patients are associated with only 3% of total health spending, according to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality analysis of spending data from 2008 and 2009 released in January

What is especially cool, however is that they have an interactive graphic that you can click on to get into detail.  Click on the picture below to go there:

Health Care Costliest 1 Percent resized 600

Some of the things I found very interesting are as follows:

  • Although many (42.9%) of the expensive patients are over 65, many are not and in fact 40.1% are between ages 45 and 64.
  • People with high income comprise more (35.2%) of the costlies patients than any other income category

At Ankota, we believe that the key to reducing health care costs is to focus on the costliest patients, and to coordinate their care in order to keep them out of the hospital.  This is why we make software for coordinating care and for delivering home care.

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: Geriatric Care Management, Senior Demographics, Elderly Care, Care Coordination, Home Care Technology

Ankota's Risk Management Education Program for Post-Acute Care

Posted by Will Hicklen on May 10, 2012 2:00:00 PM

IR will provide

“Rapid changes have already introduced new risks to post-acute care providers, and many of them are confused over what to do about it,” says Ankota CEO Will Hicklen. “We already help customers mitigate certain operational and compliance risks through automation and it’s clear that we have an opportunity to help educate them further by connecting them with subject matter experts like IronRisk Strategies, LLC,” adds Hicklen.

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Under the partnership, IronRisk will provide educational content in the form of articles, white papers, and video content that will rapidly become a valuable resource for Ankota’s clients. Customers will be able to learn about topics ranging from cyber-security and breaches of patient information to the consequences of employee-owned vehicles, the differences between subcontracted relationships and referrals, the complexities around professional liability insurance, and everything in between. 

Click me  

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to Ankota's blog by registering your email in the form to the right on this page.

 


Topics: Care Coordination, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO, risk management

Home Care Staffing Best Practices from Ginny Kenyon

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 8, 2012 7:52:00 AM

In a tough economy like we're living in, it's great to be in a position to be hiring and creating jobs, as is the case in home care.  What becomes tricky and stressful, however, is staffing.Ginny Kenyon  The caregivers in your organization are ultimately your product, your face to your clients and the community and even your reputation.  In her post 4 Steps to Reduce Your Home care Staffing Headache, expert home care consultant Ginny Kenyon offers some sage advice and outlines a four step plan to hiring quality caregivers who reflect the values of your organization.

In Ginny's post, which you can read in its entirety here, Ginny recommends four steps and also points you to some additional resources from her company and from Stephen Tweed (also seen often on the Ankota blog).   Here are the four steps:

  1. Assess the needs of the clients your home care agency serves, including identification of the skills and personal attributes the home care aides will need in order to properly care for them.
  2. Develop a profile of the ideal aide. Use the home care aide profile you develop to screen all home care aide applicants.
  3. Require all applicants to take a knowledge test of caregiving (A 50-question test is available through Kenyon HomeCare Consulting.) Additionally, we recommend hands-on skills testing administered on-site or through a local nursing home to establish the presence of the desired skills.
  4. Require the applicant to take an online personality test such as theStephen Tweed Leading Home Care one through Steven Tweed Leading Edge to determine the presence of desired personality qualities once it is determined the applicant has the basic knowledge and skill.

Ginny goes on to caution that between 60 and 80 percent of applicants might not meet your screen.  In the end she explains that if these steps are not enough due to extreme competition for talent in your region, that Plan B might be to build your own caregiver training school.

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, Home Care Industry, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, thought leadership, Leadership

6 Lessons for Home Health Care from Fifty Shades of Gray?!?

Posted by Will Hicklen on May 3, 2012 11:48:00 AM

Maybe you don't want to give a copy of Fifty Shades of Gray to your elderly home care patients, but you might just learn some valuable things from the block-buster novel. If you are a physical therapist, you might not want to read from it while your client rehabs with you from a fall. And, if you are an infusion nurse, as tempting as it might be, your oncology patient might not be the best one to share the book with (or maybe she is!!). Either way, here's an interesting twist on the book: 6 business lessons you can apply to any post acute care operation. 

Have you heard that it's a little dirty? You HAVE heard about Fifty Shades of Gray -- right?!?

Fifty Shades of Gray cover

Fifty Shades of Gray quote

In the American Express Open Forum, Rieva Lesonsky writes, "If not, either you’re a guy who has no woman in his life, you’re living in a cave or you’re a guy living alone in a cave. Women everywhere are buzzing about this bestselling erotic novel, which tells the story of a wealthy entrepreneur’s affair with an innocent college student. First-time author E.L. James has been mobbed at book signings, interviewed on TV and given a seven-figure contract with Vintage Books. Ellen DeGeneres read snippets from the novel aloud on her talk show, Barbara Walters discussed it on The View and Time magazine named James one of its 100 Most Influential People of 2012."

American Express Open Forum Logo

Lesonsky explains that, as she read Fifty Shades, she kept drawing lessons from the book that applied to business. Despite my healthy skepticism that anyone can read this book and think about how it might apply to their business, I am a guy, I do have a "cave" of sorts in my basement, and I will defer to someone who has actually read the book. So, I share these with Ankota's readers here along with my disclaimer that says "I don't know much more about this book...though I don't live alone in a cave."

So, what do you think? What can home health care and other providers of post acute care learn from Fifty Shades of Gray? There must be something smart you can say about Physical Therapy or Infusion, at least. 

I think it's time for me to go back into my cave. 

The Six Lessons can be read in its entirety here

 

Six Lessons from Fifty Shades of Gray

 

Topics: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Recommended Reading, Private Duty Home Care Blogs, Home Care Industry, Elderly Care, Care Coordination, thought leadership, transitional care, HME, DME, Will Hicklen, Home Therapy, Therapy Software, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO, Home Care Blogs, Managing Post Acute Care, Home Care Dispatch, Learning

Home Care Software Geek checks whether seniors use the Internet

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 1, 2012 10:35:00 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.

In project kick-off meetings, I've often done an ice breaker exercise that encourages participants to meet one another.  I give them a sheet of paper with statements like "has I car I'd like to drive" and "has been to Disneyworld more than 10 times."  The participants have to find others on the project team who fit the descriptions on the sheet.  One of the questions is "has spent more than $1,000" on the Internet."  It used to be that this was a hard one for people to fill out, because there used to be people, even those working on technology projects, who either feared commerce on the web or in some cases still didn't use the web.  Over time, that has changed and most people use the internet to buy airplane tickets, Christmas presents and many other things.  But has this changed for seniors too?

Here's the answer, according to the April 13, 2012 Pew Research Report entitled "Digital Differences" 41% of seniors now use the internet.  This is up from 12% in the year 2000.  Here are the stats:

Demographics of Internet Users in 2011

What does this mean for Home Care?

My view is that this while 41% is a significant increase, that we can't really count on communicating directly with our home care clients via the web, especially since it's not the 65 year olds, but the 80s and up who are more likely to be receiving care from our agencies.  The good news, however, is that the adult children of the people we care for are likely to be on line and we can likely use the web, mobile and email to correspond with the vast majority of them.  It also means that the next generation (e.g., when the baby boomers get old enough to need our care) will be web savvy.

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: Baby Boomer, Aging in Place Technology, 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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