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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Growth Hacking Tips for Home Care via Startup Marketing

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 31, 2016 9:21:00 AM

Ankota's marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn't come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, filmmaking, event planning and more.  Jed wrote today's article about a term coined by the startup world, "Growth Hacking" and how its methodology can be incorporated into your home care agency's marketing strategy.  

computer.jpg"Growth Hacking" is a term thrown around pretty heavily in the tech, startup, and marketing worlds.  I've noticed that it's use is quickly extending to a wide variety of other industries as well.  Because it is being adopted by different industries, I felt a primer about growth hacking would be useful to our audience here on the Ankota blog.

What is Growth Hacking?

From my perspective, that growth hacking has become a buzzword is ironic because its intended purpose exemplifies the exact opposite.  Growth hacking is being solely focused on and using whatever means at your disposal to bring in as many users or leads into your sales funnel as quickly as possible.  In traditional marketing, often there is a team leader managing a department with different skill sets who work together to create ongoing marketing campaigns.  But for an early stage startup, there is often not enough money, time, or need for all of that.  

Often, a growth hacker has marketing, coding, and design experience.  But at its core, growth hacking is simply focusing on the quickest, most cost-effective way to grow your business.  That all said, others define growth hacking in different terms. 

Uber growth hacker Andrew Chen offers this as a definition:

"Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product."

An excerpt from an article from Hubspot (one of the leading inbound marketing companies in the world) entitled "The Essential Reading List for Growth Hackers: 15 Experts to Follow" explains growth hacking this way:

"Although I see a lot of different definitions surrounding this buzzword, I like growth hacker Aaron Ginn’s summation the best: 'A growth hacker is someone whose passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology.'"

And famed growth hacker, Neil Patel (who has an irreverent opening line that may shock some folks) describes it as:

"Growth hackers, using their knowledge of product and distribution, find ingenious, technology-based, avenues for growth that sometimes push the bounds of what is expected or advised."

Patel offers this useful resource, "The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking" which I suggest that you take a look at it via clicking the previous link  But as a start, here are some key concepts and tips that the guide offers:

1.)  What is Growth Hacking?

2.)  The Profile of a Growth Hacker

3.)  The Growth Hacking Process

4.)  The Growth Hacking Funnel

5.)  Pull Tactics for Getting Visitors

6.)  Push Tactics for Getting Visitors

7.)  Product Tactics for Getting Visitors

8.)  How to Activate Members

9.)  How to Retain Users

10.)  Tools and Terminology

But What If I'm not a Coder?

And for those of us who are not coders or as tech savvy as others mat be, Kissmetrics (another leader of inbound marketing, SEO, and online marketing,) offers this in their article: "35 Growth Hacking Tools for Marketers Who Don't Code":

"[Traditional] marketers who can’t program are perfectly poised to take on growth-centric roles as long as they have a technical mindset; in other words, they should possess a deep understanding of technology––how people interact with it, the latest developments and trends, how different tools and platforms integrate with one another and what data is important for making smart decisions."

I see a future where traditional marketing, inbound marketing, and growth hacking are all a part of any business' marketing strategy.  I also feel that growth hacking concepts may not be the best tool for every business or industry.  That said, I do feel that it can be a useful tool in your marketing tool box and that the growth hacking mindset will continue its, ah, growth as time goes on.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, November 2016 Newsletter

5 Minutes, 10 Reasons To Invest In Disease Management Training

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 26, 2016 10:13:00 AM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

Many caregivers receive little or no basic training. However, specific certifications such as Home Health/Hospice Aide or Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) require completion of a federal or state approved training program. Always check your state regulations to determine the education requirements for personal care aides and homemakers.

Hiring the best most qualified homecare staff, is not only crucial to your organization’s success but also to the well-being of your clients. So, what can you to do to ensure your caregivers become elite staff dedicated to your mission? First of all, hire the best people available, and then provide them with top-notch disease management training.disease management training

The Benefits of Disease Management Training for Aides

Unfortunately, under trained caregivers leads to negative repercussions for your organization. Disease management training prevents high turn over rates and produces satisfied, knowledgeable staff who provide exceptional client care. Make sure your team is fully equipped to provide the specific care that clients with chronic disease require and demand!

Check out these ten benefits of disease management training, also known as chronic disease education.

1. Creation of an Elite Staff

What is considered an “elite staff?” Basically, it’s a team made up of employees who are dedicated, show interest in furthering their careers, and are determined to meet both personal and agency-wide goals.

By providing advanced disease management education, you give employees the tools they need to succeed in delivering knowledgeable client care. And you reap the secondary benefits of increased referrals and improved client satisfaction.

2. Increased Employee Retention

We’ve already mentioned that advanced chronic disease education helps create an elite staff. But what many owners and managers don’t realize is that this, as a result, reduces turnover. Employees well-equipped to perform their jobs, get a sense of confidence and accomplishment—making them happy in their careers and less likely to search for something new.

3. More Competitive Edge

Not all homecare agencies go the extra mile to provide disease management training for aides. Doing so sets your organization apart from the competition, giving you the edge and ability to promote your specialty services.

4. Reduced Rehospitalizations

You know that Medicare is cracking down on rehospitalizations. The more often your clients are admitted to the emergency room or hospital, the more penalties you and your hospital partners face. However, educating your staff on chronic diseases prevents trips to the ER, because caregivers are trained on the warning signs to look for, medication side effects, and when to call for help.

5. Improved Client Satisfaction

This one’s simple! Staff with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of chronic diseases and how to care for clients suffering from such conditions, are able to provide superior care. And resulting in more satisfied clients!

6. Opportunity to Expand Services

If you’ve been looking for ways to grow your homecare organization, expanding the services you offer could be the answer. Disease management training allows you to offer and provide additional services.

7. Community Satisfaction

Chronic diseases are among the top causes of death for US citizens. With the Baby Boomer generation aging and developing these conditions, chronic disease education is crucial.

8. Increased Profits

By being able to offer specialized services after your aides have undergone disease management training, you’ll see an increase in your profits. This happens as you’re able to charge more for these services, and because you can provide care to a larger group of people.

9. More Referrals

We mentioned earlier that chronic disease education improves client satisfaction. What does this mean for you? More friends and family referrals. Additionally, it means more professional referrals, because when other medical professionals in your area hear of your elite staff, they’ll be inclined to send their patients your way.

10. Save Time and Money

Online disease management training is easily accessible for aides—and very affordable for owners. Eliminates outside seminar costs, speaker fees, and time away from work. And, caregivers have the ability to complete the courses at their convenience and at their learning pace

Working with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting for Disease Management Training

When you’re ready to take your organization to the next level, reach out to the experts at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting or call 206-721-5091 for more information on disease management training offered through Aide University.

This article, 5 MINUTES, 10 REASONS TO INVEST IN DISEASE MANAGEMENT TRAINING first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon

11 Tips on Strokes for Home Care from WebMD

Posted by Jed Hammel on Oct 24, 2016 11:36:00 AM

WebMD pubished a useful article entitled, "Tips for a Caregivers of Someone Who's Had a Stroke," that offers a series of in-depth suggestions for how to support a loved one (or client) who has suffered a stroke.

Though the article is written from the perspective of a loved-one as the caregiver, the article provides insight that is very useful to both private-duty home care folks to educate themselves to better serve their clients, as well as a helpful informational tool to offer to your client's loved ones to involve them in the process.

I suggest that you read the entire article here, but to get the ball rolling, here is a taste of the 11 tips that WebMD suggests:

hands-216982_960_720.jpg

  • Be Informed

  • Build a Team

  • Be Ready for an Emergency

  • Watch for Depression

  • Sharpen Your Communication Skills

  • Modify Your Home

  • Encourage Him to Move

  • Organize Your Day

  • Get Your Ducks in a Row

  •  Expect Highs and Lows

  • Get Connected 

For those in the home care/home healthcare field already know, the more informed a caregiver can be, the more effective care the client receives, and the happier the client feels.  Hopefully, these tips and this article adds to all three.  What do you think of their list and the overall article?  Are there any steps you'd add to the list?  

If you're looking for additional ways to expand your knowledge-base or business, consider downloading our free white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  Just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology

When Will Smart Tech Become a Key Part of Home Care Services?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 19, 2016 8:17:00 AM

Today's guest post is from Beth Kelly who has been featured on this blog several times in the past. One of today's big technology areas receiving a lot of hype is the Internet of Things (IoT) and many articles talk about how this smart home technologies will impact home care and healthcare in general. In my opinion most of these articles are over-hyped and the reality is that adoption will take much longer. Beth's article, below, speaks to this reality and provides a balanced view of the likely adoption curves. My recommendation for home care agencies is to read through the post to become more familiar with IoT and Smart Tech for home care.

Smart home systems and objects connected to the “Internet of Things” could engage and support the wellbeing of aging seniors, but their success depends entirely upon how well they fit with their values, life skills and perception of this technology.

Automatic Wifi thermostats can keep temperatures comfortable without any manual intervention, alarm systems connect to a caregiver’s smartphone for remote monitoring, and smart light bulbs mean no more dangerous stumbling around in the dark. While we can see today how these technological gifts might make aging in place a little easier down the road, the reality remains that older individuals are slow to adopt home automation devices in significant numbers. For all the hype and media glory, a mainstream deployment of “smart” systems has yet to truly bridge the generation gap.  

communication-1439187_640.jpgOlder adults represent the fastest-growing demographic worldwide, and the fastest-growing demographic on social media. Large technology firms are eager to gain the trust and loyalty of this valuable audience, producing assistive technologies and sensors that may help contribute to a new sense of security and personal empowerment at the user’s home. However, not enough is done to understand the complexities behind older person’s perceptions of so-called “gerontechnologies” and other new Internet-enabled home products. The reasons for a reticence towards new technology are vast, and depend largely upon the individual, but in the race to make all homes “smart”, we shouldn’t be so fast to banish room for a few dumb questions.

Adoption rates for Facebook, e-book readers and medical alert pendants are high among senior citizens because these solutions address real needs, and provide meaningful social and healthcare connections with little nervous hassle in the process. Other new innovative technologies, perhaps a step removed from a senior’s immediate benefit, risk inducing feelings of frustration, computer anxiety, and negative self-efficacy beliefs.  

Released last month, Apple's Home app interface is intended to make smart home systems smooth and intuitive for users of all ages. But to see how it may fare in the senior market specifically, we need only look at a similar Apple product to see the stumbling blocks that lie ahead. Developed just a couple of years ago, the HealthKit framework and Health app were meant to enable the integration and management of data from fitness trackers, blood pressure monitors and other health-related equipment. Poor support from third-party manufacturers, possible privacy concerns and a couple of launch bugs made HealthKit a non-starter. At that time, consumers could see little reason to invest in a tool that provided neither “convenience” nor positive “connectivity.”

network-782707_640.pngFrom the outside looking in, challenges inherent to the set-up, use, and maintenance of smart home technology may at first seem insurmountable. A bewildering array of incompatible standards, security gaps and confusing installation instructions mean that any would-be user of automated home tech must really do his or her homework before buying any devices. Another barrier to entry for consumers, and especially older people on fixed incomes, is cost. When the Philips Smart lighting system retails for more than $100, and the Nest Learning Thermostat sets buyers back more than $200, many on a retirement budget are opting to just make do with their old, incandescent light bulbs and hand-operated, analog thermostats.

A 2014 report from Pew Research attempted to document the usage of modern technology by those 65 years old or older. It found that broadband internet was used by fewer than half of this population. While 77 percent of seniors had a cellphone, only 18 percent were equipped with an Internet-enabled model. It's likely that these numbers have increased slightly from when the survey was conducted, but it's fair to say that the majority of older folks don't even possess the prerequisite equipment to begin using smart home products even if the other issues with the industry were solved overnight.

Now, on its next go-around, the Home app sends fresh appeal to all Apple smartphone users. Installed in all phones as a part of the most recent iOS 10 Apple software update it points the way towards greater convenience and comfort for everyone, including older users. Additional steps in this direction are being taken right now with five major home-building organizations announcing support for HomeKit in their newly constructed houses. More companies are sure to follow suit.

If we can’t understand our own needs, how can we expect to program for them? We're not quite there yet, but as prices come down and more Baby Boomers take “smart” tech in stride, the next generation of seniors will push for the IoT market to grow relative to their individual desires and demands.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, November 2016 Newsletter

5 Diseases That Homecare Caregivers Should Know About

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 17, 2016 11:55:00 AM

Today's guest Blogger is Lizzie Weakley.  Lizzy is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  Twitter: @LizzieWeakley.  Her article shares some ailments that private-duty homecare caregivers may come across with their clients.

Elder Care

Many seniors face health challenges in the form of conditions and diseases. Several of these diseases can be prevented when steps are taken early or can easily be managed with the proper care. Take the steps now to stave off these diseases and enjoy good health in the senior years.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that causes memory loss, problems with carrying out a conversation and the decline in the ability to care for oneself. The disease may be able to be slowed down or prevented by taking steps to keep the brain healthy. Just like the other muscles in the body, the brain must be exercised. Reading, crossword puzzles and word problems help strengthen the brain. Additionally, eating a diet high omega-3 fatty acids can help boost brain function, keeping it healthy.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes bones to lose their mass, making them brittle and fragile. Seniors with osteoporosis are more susceptible to broken bones and serious injuries during falls. Health professionals, such as those with an online gerontology degree, work to find solutions to elderly diseases, such as osteoporosis. Eating a diet rich in calcium and doing weight-bearing exercises can strengthen bones and prevent bone loss from occurring.

Heart Disease

Heart disease affects the heart and blood vessels and can stop the organs of the body from receiving vital oxygen and nutrients via the blood. Taking care of the heart with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent heart disease from occurring. Smoking causes the blood vessels to narrow and puts individuals more at risk of heart disease. Stop smoking now to help prevent heart problems in the future.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

One of the leading cases of blindness in seniors, age-related macular degeneration causes blindness in the center part of the eye in the macula. Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent the disease from occurring. Sunglasses that block ultraviolet and HEV light should always be worn outdoors in order to protect the delicate vessels in the eye.

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body no longer is able to use the insulin that is being produced, causing excess glucose to remain in the blood. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to kidney problems, blindness and nerve problems. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates can prevent the body from becoming insulin resistant, a precursor to diabetes.

The senior years should be spent enjoying the freedom of retirement, rather than the stresses of poor health. Take steps today to prevent these diseases from occurring and enjoy the senior years in good health.

For more Best Practices, you can download a free eBook Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just click the link or the picture to download.

If you're interested in scheduling a live demo of our software solutions, just click the button below:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 
If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, November 2016 Newsletter

Is Nurse-Tech In Home Care's Future?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 13, 2016 8:16:17 AM

Today's guest post comes from Dixie Somers, a freelance writer from Arizona. Her post highlights several ways that technology is impacting the role and practice of nursing. I've had the privilege of meeting many home care nurses and have experienced a mixed set of reviews when it comes to technology. Most nurses pride themselves on their strong combination of medical knowledge and skill in care delivery and don't want technology to get in the way. This conversation has mostly come up when discussing point-of-care documentation where there is a strong preference for most nurses to focus on the patient and their health at the point of care and not to encumber that care or make it impersonal with a laptop. I do believe however that technology that improves care will be embraced by nurses. Please enjoy Dixie's article.

How_Changes_in_Nursing_Technology_Will_Affect_Healthcare.jpgTechnological advancements are tantamount to the growth of any industry, especially the healthcare industry. These advancements in technology are especially prevalent in the nursing field. Technology has visibly changed the way registered nurses (RNs) administer patient care, made their jobs less physically demanding and safer, and limited human error while improving workflow.

However, with all that current technology has done to improve the field, more technologies are being adopted to improve it even more. This technology includes, Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR), Tech-driven Drug Delivery, Real Time Locating Systems, Advanced Diagnostic Tools, and Advanced Communication Systems.

Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR)

Filling out patient charts and having to obtain patient medical records from doctors is time-consuming, and can take a nurse away from more important duties. However, EHR technology is changing this. EHR gives nurses instant access to patient information through the use of a computer or tablet. Extensive patient history is stored in one file, which can help reduce human error. The technology is useful in keeping track of diagnostic test results and alerting the nursing staff to possible drug interactions.

Tech-Driven Drug Delivery

The implementation of drug delivery systems in the form of implantable devices is growing in popularity amongst hospitals. These devices release medication into patients in certain intervals. Nurses can use the devices to schedule complex dosing, which ensures medications are administered at the right time and in the right amounts. This is paramount to reducing human error, as well as allowing nurses to give more time to other aspects of patient care.

Real Time Locating Systems

Real time locating systems (RTLS) are a lot like GPS except that they're designed for medical equipment. This technology is designed to create a system of tagging and tracking medical equipment for hospitals and other facilities. The goal is to increase efficiency in medical facilities. Ultrasound and/or infrared, and radiofrequency identification tags are used to help nurses find the equipment they need by locating machines that are closest to them. Being able to centrally monitor equipment will improve patient care routines and bed management, which is a great responsibility for nurses.

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

Diagnostic exams can be invasive, but advanced tools can change this while making these procedures more comfortable for nurses and patients. Advanced tools have given nurses even more options for performing minimally invasive treatments and tests. This will make exams and treatments more cost-effective and will reduce a patient's risk of future infections. Some examples of these tools or the nanotechnology of an ultrasound to place a peripheral IV (PIV) and handheld biosensors to detect diseases from small body specimens.

Advanced Communication Systems

Advanced communication systems are being adopted by some hospitals to help nurses communicate with other staff members. This advancement will allow nurses to speak, text, and receive patient alarms through a smartphone outfitted with specialized apps. Smartphone devices will effectively replace outdated paging systems. They are also a more effective way for entire nursing units to communicate, stay in touch, and allocate and supervise duties efficiently.

Although these technological advancements in the nursing field have great potential for improving the healthcare industry, they merely scratch the surface. Other technologies, such as smart alarms and improvements in patient lifting technology are also improving the industry. Thanks to these improvements, the jobs of those in the healthcare industry are becoming more efficient with more opportunities for career advancements. You might consider earning a master’s of science in nursing if you’d like to make a career of utilizing technologies like these for the benefit of others.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, November 2016 Newsletter

5 Ways to Differentiate your Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 7, 2016 11:22:15 AM

Today's guest blogger is Christine Rudolf If you're looking for a way to illustrate to folks the value of home care, here are some tips: 

PeasWhen it comes to health, there is no compromise in this department and hence the rising trend of home care agencies has made this market highly competitive. With the old-age desire to age gracefully and preferably within the comforts of your own home, the in-home care agencies are expanding at a rapid pace. Hence it goes without doubt that you need to set yourself apart from the crowd and give your customers the reasons to trust their old one’s health in your hands and service.

Customer Specific and Health-Targeted Services

Not every elder patient has the same ailment or is going through similar health conditions such that they can fall under a general category and be treated like everyone else. You need to convince your prospective clients that they understand your loved one’s condition and will serve them to the best of their abilities. A quality home care agency prides on the fact that their services are customized as per the patient’s mental and physical conditions. For instance, you could create meaningful exercises for patients with dementia to improve his cognitive skills but treat a heart or diabetic patient in a different manner.

Customer Care Service of Utmost Importance

It goes unsaid that happy clients lead to positive word of mouth, which can do wonders for your business. The service industry relies mainly on client satisfaction as without them you are nothing. Sometimes, one gets so involved in taking care of the substantial part of the service that we often forget to make the client feel at home with the personalized feeling you add to your services. Your clients will only recommend your personal care and assistance services to their friends and relatives if you effectively manage it and do not leave any stone unturned in creating that feeling of intimacy and interpersonal touch. Placing your clients on a pedestal is what drives you to success.

Going One Step Ahead with Accountability Checks

What you need to do is to make your clients know that their health concerns and safety comes first even before your business or profits. Trusting a loved one’s responsibility in your hands is not an overnight decision and you have to give them all the reason not to regret their decision. If you value your caregivers and train and equip them in the best possible manner, the same value will automatically be conveyed to your clients, helping them place greater confidence in your services.

Carry out background checks and advertise specialty trainings that your caregivers undergo. Hire the most polite and eloquent caregiver, whose personality will create the major effect. A true caregiving agency that cares for its customers will go above and beyond to guarantee the clients the tailor-made services that they require. Let your client choose the personality and caregiving style of the caregiver so that they are most satisfied with your services. 

Home Care Technology 

The most important determinant when choosing a home-care agency is the quality of care provided. A vigorous home-care system who is dedicated to deliver unparalleled services may rely heavily on home care software that can provide substantial proof to your clients regarding their credibility. Displaying to your clients what your home care system is capable of offering will entice them into signing up for your services and will help you better manage and deliver as per the expectations of the client. The other agencies which are deprived of proper software will obviously come out as less organized and hence people will prefer you over them.

Align your day to day operations and activities at work with simple software and home-care technology which can integrate various types of information regarding locations, environments and different customer preferences and requirements. Knowing your patients personally and keeping their medical history in mind will prevent any mistakes on your part.

Giving Back to the Community 

Associating your home care agency with a social cause can bring your business into limelight. Nothing surpasses the joy of serving your community selflessly. You are already doing the elder generation a great favor by providing them with the best of what you can. Sponsor concerts, or football or baseball matches for fund-raising to support a health care cause. Not only will you be portrayed as a proactive agency but your care and concern for the community will also shine through.

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If you're looking for other ways to differentiate, you may want to download our white paper, Why Care Ankota_New_White_Paper.pngTransitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry If you're interested in learning more, just click the link to download.

Click Here for a Free Demo

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, November 2016 Newsletter

5 Ways Home Care Brings Value to Clients

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 6, 2016 12:22:04 PM

Today's guest blogger is Anica Oaks. Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.  Today's blog outlines 5 ways that home care and home healthcare can help your prospective clients.  If you're looking for a way to illustrate to folks the value of home care, here are some tips:

Elderly_Care_How_Home_Healthcare_Can_Help_Your_Loved_Ones.jpgCaring for an aging loved one can be a full-time obligation, and that is why so many families have turned to home caregiving. Here is a look at just a few benefits that a professional in-home caregiver can offer you and your loved ones.

Protects Their Personal Freedom

One of the biggest fears that many retirees have is losing their independence. As they become more reliant on outside help, they often feel as if their personal freedoms are stripped away. By receiving care in their own home, they will have more control over the daily activities that give them a sense of purpose and keep them satisfied.

Avoid Injuries

Over 2.8 million seniors are treated for serious fall injuries every year, and falls are just one of the many types of accidents that can take place in a home. Professional caregivers know just how dangerous homes can be, and they will carefully watch over the property to limit the chance of an accident taking place. That includes simple maintenance such as changing out old light bulbs and cleaning up clutter on the floor.

Professional Training

Even though you want what is best for your loved one, you might not have the skills that are needed to care for them as they grow older, especially if they have complicated health conditions. In-home caregivers undergo extensive training and are often overseen by medical professionals who have degrees from in-campus and online nursing schools and other relevant certifications. They also have specialized training to deal with medical emergencies, and that could save your loved one's life in the event of an accident.

Save Some Money

A number of different factors are taken into consideration when determining the cost of in-home care, but it is often much more affordable than a caregiving facility. For those who live on a fixed income, in-home care could be one of the most cost-effective options. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can easily cost thousands more per year.

Personalized Care

We are all going to have different needs as we grow older, and there is no single style of care that is right for everyone. When hiring a home caregiver, you and your loved ones can come up with a personalized plan that all parties agree to. This includes details such as when errands will be run and what days the caregiver will be there.

By staying in their own home with a professional caregiver, your loved one can enjoy their days in a comfortable and safe environment.

On a related note, you may want to check out our white paper, Why Care Ankota_New_White_Paper.pngTransitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry If you're interested in learning more, just click the link to download.

Click Here for a Free Demo

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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices

5 Tools Everyone In The Homecare Industry Should Be Using

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 3, 2016 7:34:17 PM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

Resources are the foundation of any homecare organization. Whether it’s a policy and procedure manual, an employee handbook or a competency test for aides, the tools you use in your agency are crucial to running a smooth operation. These “must haves” ease the stress of day to day activities, provide reference points for any crises and make succeeding in the homecare industry possible.

Homecare Industry Tools for Success

Every industry needs specific tools to get the job done. Doctors require stethoscopes, mechanics need wrenches, and accountants need calculators. Without these instruments, work would be much less effective and take significantly longer. This is also true of the homecare industry.Business competition, Leadership and Key To Success Concept

While devices needed for homecare include physical apparatuses, they also include intellectual means. Here are five must-have tools for every organization in the homecare industry.

1. General Policy and Procedure Manuals

A policy and procedure manual is essential for any homecare organization. The items required for a compliant manual depend largely on what type of agency you run. For example, non-skilled agencies have different regulations and follow different requirements than does hospice or Medicare home health.

The four major categories of homecare industry policy and procedure manuals are: non-skilled homecare,licensed home health, Medicare home health, and hospice. The good news is that there are numerous pre-written, electronic, customizable manuals on the market. They meet government requirements, help you remain compliance, and save time and money when compared with writing policy and procedure manuals from scratch.

2. Specialized Policy and Procedure Manuals

Similar to the general policy and procedure manual, a specialized manual incorporates accreditation standards and state requirements, making passing surveys simpler. An additional benefit of purchasing this manual is the assistance you can receive from an expert consultant who helps you prepare for accreditation survey. This is accomplished through a mock survey and staff education prior to the actual survey.

Additionally, the purchase of a specialized manual allows consultants or your staff to incorporate state standards and customize the manual to fit your existing internal processes. If your processes aren’t where they need to be to meet accreditation or state requirements, a knowledgeable consultant will work with you to improve your systems in preparation for survey.

3. Aide Competency Testing Kit

Hiring employees who aren’t truly qualified for their positions is a bitter disappointment and a waste of valuable time. When the work you do involves clients’ health, it’s vital that the aides you employ are the best possible. For that reason, with the aide competency testing kit, find out before you hire if the employee is competent to provide the care you expect.

Once you’ve taken full advantage of this kit, be sure to continue creating an elite staff by providing advanced education. Chronic disease education for aides is a simple and effective way to improve client care and increase employee retention. With the ever increasing rise of chronic disease in the U.S., this training is essential for your organization’s growth.

4. Employee Handbook

This customizable resource includes everything you need to efficiently manage your team. Important HR considerations incorporated in complete employee handbooks include:

  • Equal employment opportunity

  • Employment policies

  • Timekeeping and payroll

  • Job specific matters

  • Employee health and safety

  • Client care policies

Using a customizable employee handbook has several benefits, including more efficient training, better HR compliance, improved client satisfaction, and increased employee retention.

5. Non-Skilled/Skilled Home Care Forms

This category is comprised of a comprehensive set of personnel, client, and miscellaneous forms benefiting both new and existing agencies in the homecare industry. Here are just a few examples of the 49 documents included in the Kenyon forms package:

  • Application for employment

  • Disclosure statement

  • Employee complaint form

  • Employee warning notice

  • Sexual harassment policy

  • Case orientation log

  • Client bill of rights

  • Discharge information

  • Evacuation plan

  • Accident/incident report form

  • Infection control log

  • Marketing information sheets

Working with the Best in the Homecare Industry

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, the tools we provide are completely customizable and benefit all aspects of your organization. Purchasing resources from us allows you to ensure thoroughness and competency while saving your agency time and money. Reach out to an experienced consultant today to get started.

This article, 5 TOOLS EVERYONE IN THE HOMECARE INDUSTRY SHOULD BE USING first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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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 Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon

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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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