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

Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Home Care Software Geek Browser Update, Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 13, 2013 8:00:00 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.

Ten years ago this month, Internet Explorer had 87% market share, but that's started to decline and they are no longer the most popular broswer (Google Chrome is).  In May of 2013, Internet Explorer was down to 12.6% of the market, whereas Chrome had 52.9%, Firefox 27.7%, and Safari 4%.  These stats are from W3Schools.com.

I did a blog article around a year ago explaining some of the reasons why Chrome had become the number one browser and my personal favorite.  You can read that article here.  The primary reason was speed - Chrome was much faster than the other browsers, but since then they've been catching up.

Luckily for all of us, the browser market has stayed very competitive and we all benefit from this. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even Internet Explorer are all reasonably good and continuing to evolve.

Home Care Browsers

I found a great article comparing the latest and greatest versions of the four main browsers.  The article looks at several important aspects of browser selection including the following:

  • Design and Ease of Use - Browsers have less buttons meaning more usable space and have become easier to use.
  • Speed - Around a year ago, Chrome had a significant speed advantage, but others have caught up.
  • Extras - Each browser has special and unique capabilities such as software developer tools and extensions in Firefox and the Web App Store in Chrome.  These might sway you towards one favorite over another.
  • Market Share - Looking at market share gives you an idea what the masses are doing and when they move in a certain direction (like towards Chrome and away from IE) it is likely to indicate which browser is making the most forward progress.
Broswer Advice for Home Care and Care Coordination models
Here are my suggestions for  browser use:
  1. Choose a favorite browser, but have a backup: Occasionally your browser provider or the makers of the software that you use will have an incompatibility.  If your software isn't working, try your back-up browser.
  2. Keep up with the latest generation of the browser: In my case working on my PC, Chrome is my prefered browser and Internet Explorer is my backup.  Chrome is updated constantly and I get automatic Internet Explorer updates through the "Windows Update" process.
  3. Be prepared for HTML-5: HTML is the standard computer language used in browsers.  The latest version, HTML-5 enables new cababilities in graphical displays and other functions (e.g., Ankota uses HTML-5 in our solution that allows nurses, home health therapists and others to do their clinical documentation without internet access), so make sure that you're on a version that supports HTML-5. 
Browsers have become the most important and most used piece of software on your computer, so stay up to date...
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Today Ankota services home health therapy, private duty care, DME Delivery, and care coordination in accountable care organizations, behavioral health, dental care in nursing homes, and more. Ankota is always interested to learn about care coordination challenges where we can help. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: Elderly Care, Aging in Place Technology, home care software geek, Home Care Technology, ACO Technology

Ankota on Health Care Compliance

Posted by Will Hicklen on Aug 12, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Compliance is a confusing word in the health care world, but it shouldn't be. Here is how Ankota views this important issue and how we're helping others address it reliably. 

Technology should help with compliance issues today and grow with you as requirements evolve.  

Simply put, compliance refers to your ability as a health care provider to do what it is that you say you are going to do. In other words, have a plan, follow it, and be able to demonstrate that you followed it. That's it. Simple, right?

Compliance steps graphic

People usually think about goverment regulations when they think of compliance, which is a type of Regulatory Compliance. That is, some authority--usually some government agency--has set rules that must be followed by industry participants. There is also Policy Compliance, which is typically a set of rules or operating procedures that your organization implements as a matter of its own policy. A third source of requirements has become more prevalent now than ever before and is just as important. These are the newer, collaborative models that set additional rules and procedures for those participating in the collaboration. That is, individual providers must follow certain policies/procedures that are set by the Accountable Care Organization, the Care Transitions Initiative or some other organization in order to be a participant in the model.

Your technology should be an ally in any of these situations and help you to instantly show evidence of the work you have done, the data you collected, and the procedures you followed.

 

Ankota Compliance Statement

In this era of increasing accountability and need to assure high levels of productivity and supervision, Ankota’s technology helps providers of all types to better Plan, Coordinate & Deliver care.

This focus is founded on principles of operating efficiency, coordination, and compliance that have been well developed in other industries and are long overdue in health care. Ankota has married these principles with extensive healthcare and software experience, developing a software platform that supports clinical best practices and innovative delivery models while ever mindful of security and patient privacy. This approach to managing roles and responsibilities, plans of care, and tracking work against stated objectives as it is performed, provides full transparency of both performance and outcomes. It also allows providers to provide better, more consistent care less expensively.   

Technology has long been leveraged in other industries to assure consistent and highly efficient operations. Tasks are executed according to plan and in a timely manner. Work performed follows proven best practices that assure cost advantages and predictable, improved results. Technology provides an effective “command and control” infrastructure for highly collaborative models in other industries, and is now available in Ankota’s platform that is designed to support today’s healthcare delivery models. These approaches revolutionized industries like aerospace and automotive manufacturing and proved that operating costs can be reduced dramatically in the process. Operating costs were commonly reduced 20% to more than 30% throughout the supply chains of these organizations while simultaneously improving quality and reliability. Many of these examples are highly analogous to today’s Accountable Care and Care Transitions models, among others.

Ankota’s technology utilizes a similar approach that assures consistent care delivery and oversight and enables high levels of care coordination among providers. The result is a high performing healthcare ecosystem—supporting collaborations of providers—that can track performance and measure results, while operating efficiently and with full transparency. Built only for healthcare, it is an especially flexible and configurable platform that supports virtually any process or any type of care, and always puts the patient first. 

describe the image

 

Topics: Compliance, Care Coordination, transitional care, Will Hicklen, Care Transitions, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO Technology

The Picture of Health and the Rise of Care Coordination Models

Posted by Will Hicklen on Aug 8, 2013 8:00:00 AM

From our friends at Top Masters in Healthcare - see below for an interesting analysis (and great graphical representation) of important health care data, both financial and operational. Scroll down through the (rather large) graphic to reveal increasingly detailed information about costs, chronic disease, and the increasing demand on staff and IT. Perhaps this will be useful information as you consider investments in new care delivery models.  

One tremendous inhibitor today is that technologies are not in place to enable these models, and worse, technologies that are in place actually present huge obstacles.

There may be some surprising information here and some not so surprising. The fact that chronic disease accounts for such a large number of deaths (7 in 10) and has increased to now effect 1 in 2 people is one of the greatest economic forces driving reform and the creation of new health care delivery models. Previous reports claim this number to be 1 in 3, but the message is the same: this population is extremely expensive and requires immediate, proactive care to make them healthier and keep them out of hospitals. These approaches result in healthier patients and lowers costs rather quickly.

Do you receive alerts when new articles are posted to Ankota's blog? If not, simply enter your email address in the top right window on this page.

Programs such as Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Accountable Care, Avoidable Readmissions and Care Transitions are all developed to address these costly and difficult patient populations. From a business or operating perspective, these programs simply incorporate a "best practices" approach to care: identify patients at risk and proactively follow proven care plans to mitigate the risk of adverse events. This invariably requires the marshalling of several resources that must be well timed and coordinated. This is something that other industries mastered long ago, and that health care is only starting to address. When patients are cared for in this fashion, they are healthier and less costly, but they require new care delivery models to be successful. 

With new models come new roles and responsibilities. New roles such as Health Coaches and Case Managers work closely with hospitals, physicians, and post acute providers to assure better care and follow through, better outcomes, and lower costs. With a "coach" in place, and a model of care that is effective, we can address many of these problems.

Existing technologies did not anticipate these new models of care, or new payment models such as capitated pricing, bundled payments, or accountable care models. Your existing technology vendors did not anticipate new roles such as Health Coaches, Navigators and Care Coordinators. Nor did they anticipate the coordination that would be required among multiple providers simultaneously. That's where Ankota comes in!! If you are looking at new care delivery models like those above, then you need technology that allows you to coordinate care with other providers and operate efficiently along the way. Don't throw out your existing EMR systems or other IT invetments, simply make them better by using Ankota's technology to make them extensible.

Contact us now and see why Ankota's is the fastest growing and easiest to use Care Coordination Network in existence.
Manage Population Health Models with software from Ankota

 

Health in America
Source: Best Masters in Healthcare

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

Home Care Software Geek Prediction about Droid Came True

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 6, 2013 8:00:00 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.

Back in October of 2010, I wrote a blog article entitled "Home Care Software Geek Predicts DROID will win the Smart Phone Wars."  This was back when pretty much everyone was moving from their Blackberry to an iPhone, and DROID commercials had just started.  I based my prediction on two factors: 1) Apple's seemingly dominant fan-base was mostly American and mostly wealthy, and Apple tended to cater to this fan-base, whereas 2) Google was willing to give Android away for free to multiple phone vendors (whereas iPhones are only made by Apple).

It turns out that the prediction was right.  Out of the 230 million smart phones shipped in 2Q 2013, 80% were Android whereas iPhones were down to 14% (according to this article).

Android in Home Care

So What Does this mean for Home Care and other Mobile Healthcare Delivery Models?

The popularity of Android results in a number of relevant takeaways for home care technologists, as follows:

  • Part of the reason for Android's popularity is that there are free Android Phones available from the wireless carriers.  This is relevant because you can potentially equip your caregivers with Android smart phones affordably.
  • As a result of the previous point, and with access to GPS in the phone, you might be able to migrate over time from telephony to equivalent or superior functionality on smart phones.
  • In addition to working on phones, Android is available on tablet computers that look and feel like iPads but cost half the price or less. Ankota has built our new mobile software to work on either Android or iPad (in addition to PCs).  We already have a majority of our tablet users on Android.
Are smart phones, tablets, and/or Android factoring into the plans of your home care agency or care transitions initiatives?  Please let us know if we can help.

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Today Ankota services home health therapy, private duty care, DME Delivery, and care coordination in accountable care organizations, behavioral health, dental care in nursing homes, and more. Ankota is always interested to learn about care coordination challenges where we can help. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

Topics: transitional care, home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Home Care Mobile Solutions, Home Care, Care Transitions, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO Technology

A Silver Lining for HME Providers per Dave Cormack, Brightree Chief

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 5, 2013 10:00:00 AM

Brightree is a leading provider of software for DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Providers.  Their software manages orders, billing, inventory management, and fulfillment for retail and home delivery DME companies and they have been a market share leader for the past several years.

Just like the home health industry, the DME industry has become subject to reduced reimbursement and related pressures under a measure called competitive bidding.  While this would generally be construed as bad news, Dave Cormack, the president of Brightree, has published an article discribing the "silver lining" for DME providers.

Brightree CEO Ankota Blog

I strongly encourage you to read the full article on the Brightree site by clicking here, but the key points are as follows:

  • Dave explained that the number of successful DME providers is declining
  • But at the same time, the demand is growing
  • As a result of decreasing competition and increasing demand, the opportunity for the surviving companies is bright
  • This is the "Silver Lining"
  • The key to survival is efficiency
The following diagram is the proverbial "picture that paints 1,000 words."
HME Delivery Silver Lining
Why is this on the Ankota Blog?

First of all, the consolidation and demographic growth factors being seen in the DME space is analogous to the Home Health market and it creates some food for thought in home care.

But secondly, in addition to the software Ankota provides for care transitions, home care, and home health therapy, we have a product for optimizing the delivery of home medical equipment.  The software is complementary to the Brightree software and other players in that market including Mediware, TIMS (from Computers Unlimited) and CPR+.  Ankota's software optimizes the assignment and routing of of delivery tickets that come out of these systems and tracks the actual deliveries with GPS or other means.

Ankota agrees with Dave Cormack's main message that the survivors will be those who are most cost efficient, and Ankota can help.  To learn more about Ankota's DME Delievery Software, please contact Ankota.

HMEs Find Ways to Do More with Less - Click Here!

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Today Ankota services home health therapy, private duty care, DME Delivery, and care coordination in accountable care organizations, behavioral health, dental care in nursing homes, and more. Ankota is always interested to learn about care coordination challenges where we can help. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

 

Topics: HME Delivery Operations, HME Delivery Software, Elderly Care, Health Care Reform, HME, DME

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

Posts by Month

New Module

Add content here.