The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

6 Ways to Increase Referrals for Your Home Care Agency

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jan 30, 2017 10:23:00 AM

As we've mentioned in the past, Tim Rowen and Home Care TechnolRowan_for_printing.jpgogy Report are favorites of ours here at Ankota.  Tim and HCTR are invaluable resources for folks interested in keeping up with innovations in the home care space.  I subscribe to HCTR's email list and I receive regular informational emails from Tim that includes industry news, reviews, and thought pieces. 

A recent email I received from HCTR resonated with me as a marketer because in only a few sentences, Tim provided a number of ways to increrase referrals for home care agencies.

In his email, Tim thanked a home care agency for the excellent level of care that his mother is receiving.  He also relayed a personal story to illustrate why he felt they were worthy of notice.  This seems simple enough, so why did it resonate with me as a marketer? 

Long story short:  It was a sincere and specific compliment based upon personal experience from an industry Thought Leader that was shared to an audience broader than the home care agency had already.  In other words, it was free promotion to a wide audience from a trusted source with direct experience of the service.  

What agency wouldn't want a recomendation from a trusted industry leader sent to an audience that is already requesting the information from that person? 

Given that introduction, the question becomes, what can we learn from the story to help improve and grow our business?  As a start, here are 6 lessons that sprung to my mind thanks to Tim's story:

Provide Exceptional Servicetrust-1418901_640.jpg

For the most part, the success of your agency begins and ends with providing exceptional and personalilzed service to your clients and their families.  Whether it's general word of mouth or a "shout out" by an industry leader, no one is going to reccomend your business if they don't feel that you truly care about the client and their family's well-being.  For veterans of the home care industry, you likely know this better than I.  Beyond that, it's likely that providing excellent service and caring about each individual client's well-being is not an issue for you.  Rather, the challenge is how to get the word out to prospects about all your great work caring for folks?

Glad you asked...  

Request Online Reviews

An increasing number of us look to online review sites such as Yelp to inform us about a new service or product we are considering purchasing.  I know folks in home care are often busy caring for their clients to do anything more than the basics for their online presence.  But based upon how consumers decide to spend their money, having strong online reviews are important.  If for no other reason than it is likely that your competition is working on improving their reviews, it is important that your business does as well.

The easiest way to acheive this is to either ask clients that you feel are particularly happy with your service to write one, or send a mass email with your request can also prove effective.  

Beyond Yelp reviews, here are a few online review resources you should look at.  If you haven't already looked, you may be surprised to find some reviews already posted!

  • Yelp.com

  • Google Reviews (connected to your business' Google search)

  • Facebook Page Reviews

  • Reviews Directly Posted onto Your Website

Build Trust with Influencers and Cohorts

There are a number of industry experts, Key Influencers, Thought Leaders, social media mavens part of every industry who have broad and loyal followers.  If you are active on social media, odds are that you've already connected with them in some way.  

Getting an endorsement, Mention, Retweet, or similar can often increase your web traffic, engagement, and the feeling that you're "in the mix".  Ultimately though, if the goal is to increase revenue and create loyal customers, building trust with both Influencers and others "in your boat" is more important than a social media engagement metric.  

That is, while consumers do tend to look at things like total followers, that's a pretty small part of their decision-making process when choosing their home care agency.  What folks add into their process is outside opinions and Social Proof.  And often what it takes to move the needle is simply providing value, support, and generosity to folks involved in your industry.  Put simply, be a good online Citizen involved in your particular community.

Getting a glowing review by someone who you've built trust with (Key Influncer or otherwise) will be easy because you've proven that you are someone they want to help suceed and that your offerings can bring value to their followers.      

Get Involved in Your Local Business Associations

While being a good online Citizen and contributor to your online is important, I suggest that you do likewise in the real world as well.  I've noticed some folks join their Chamber of Commerce or small business organization, they read the newsletter, and that's about it.  It's unlikely that approach will create dividends for you.

Building trust is the name of the game and that can only happen if you "show up".  So get involved, volunteer to help out on events or committees, get to know the business people both related to your field and outside of it...provide value.

Often the folks that are already involved in these organizations continually meet a lot of other folks in the community or industry, and have built a wide network.  If you do get involved, you might be surprised how often your name is the first one folks mention when others come to them for recommendations in your industry.

Connect with Folks in Your Industry from Outside Your Area

Here's a bit of a confusing mantra for you:  "You don't know who you know knows."  That is, folks you are connected to who you wouldn't assume could help build your business could possibly be connected to a treasure trove of prospects.  

Beyond that, if you do build trust with other businesses in your field but who operate out of your area (or those parallel to your business), they will often be more likely to refer folks to you over your competition.  They get to feel that they are bringing value to prospects who are outside of their expertise or local area and the assumption is that you will do the same for them when a prospect in the opposite situation comes to your attention.   

Build Your Email List

The story behind this blog article began when I received an email from Tim.  Or did it?  Another way to look at it is that this article began when Tim continually provided value to the home care industry to the point where I noticed him as an industry expert.  More to the point, this article would not have been written if A.) Tim hadn't built trust with me to the point where I felt is was valuable for me to be on his e-mail list and if B.) the home care agency that he mentioned in his article hadn't built trust with both him and his Mother.

To tie this all together:

In whatever fashion you can muster time for, build trust through your level of care and your industry/community involvement, ask those who you've built trust with to provide reviews and reccomendations, and finally, build your email list so that you can promote all your new glowing reviews!  How do you build your email list?  That will be a blog topic for another day. 

On a related note, Ankota has a new e-book available for download called, Winning with the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Program, that offers further insight on the discussion.  Just click the link or the picture beow to download.

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

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, February 2017 Newsletter

Healthcare Education Regarding Chronic Disease On the Rise

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 25, 2017 11:38:00 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).

 

Chronic diseases are on the rise among the elderly, and serve as the leading cause of death and disability in the United States – killing over 1.7 million people each year. Approximately half of all adults in the U.S. suffer from at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, or arthritis. It should come as no surprise that these are the most prevalent diseases requiring caregiver assistance in order to help those affected maintain normal function.

It’s imperative that those working in the healthcare industry understand the symptoms, warning signs, and treatments associated with chronic diseases. Healthcare education is the answer, but how do you implement it into your organization? Consider taking part in a chronic disease education program designed to prepare your staff to provide specialty care for individuals suffering from one of these a debilitating conditions.

Healthcare Education and Chronic Disease

Chronic disease education is a form of healthcare education that teaches caregivers how to help their clients manage chronic illnesses while living a full life with their disease. Knowledge gained in this format includes:Computer Keyboard With Key Education, Internet Learn Concept

  • Specialty care clients with specific chronic diseases require

  • How to recognize red flags and warning signs of decline

  • When to report symptoms to a supervisor or doctor

  • Medication side effects and adverse reactions

  • Lifestyle changes or treatments needed

  • How to intervene before hospitalization is needed

Through this in-depth advanced training, healthcare staff members receive a comprehensive education that goes far beyond basic fundamentals of care. Why is this important for your healthcare organization? The benefits are numerous; just take a look below.

The Benefits of Healthcare Education Regarding Chronic Disease

Providing advanced chronic disease education for your healthcare staff is beneficial to your organization. Clients diagnosed with chronic conditions continue to rise and referral sources are looking for organizations with staff trained to provide specialty care. Other benefits include:

  • Improved client satisfaction – When caregivers possess an advanced knowledge of chronic diseases, they’re able to provide the specific care these clients require. This leads to healthier, happier clients with a better quality of life and more revenue for you as a result of increased referrals.

  • Decreased hospitalization and re-hospitalization rates – Before hospital admission, most clients experience symptoms that their condition is changing. With expertly-trained healthcare staff, those warning signs won’t go unnoticed. Your healthcare team will have the ability to catch and report potential problems before they escalate to the point of hospitalization.

  • Better employee engagement – Engaged employees are happy employees, and happy employees tend to stay at your organization. Providing the opportunity for staff to advance their careers and secure their futures with chronic disease education is a positive way to improve employee engagement.

  • Fewer legal issues – Because the majority of the yearly U.S. healthcare dollars are spent on chronic diseases, the government closely monitors the way organizations manage the care paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. If the government doesn’t think an organization is managing client care correctly, it issues repercussions. For example, hospitals with too many re-admissions can lose up to three percent of their Medicare reimbursement. Having a team knowledgeable about chronic disease care helps prevent issues like re-hospitalization and is a simple, effective way to prevent penalties.

Clients diagnosed with numerous chronic diseases continue to rise and the level of care these clients receive must match the seriousness of this issue. Through the many benefits of healthcare education geared toward chronic diseases, your organization can provide the advanced care your clients and referral sources demand. To learn more about why you should invest in advancing the chronic disease education of your staff, take a look at Aide University.

This article entitled, HEALTHCARE EDUCATION REGARDING CHRONIC DISEASE EDUCATION ON THE RISE first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" 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

4 Ways to Win Working for In-Home Healthcare

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 23, 2017 2:12:00 PM

 Today's guest post is by Kara Masterson.  Kara is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.  Enjoy Kara's article and feel free to comment below!

In Home Healthcare.pngIn-home healthcare is an inspiring field to work in. Each day leaves open dozens of opportunities to make it easier for older patients to live their limited lifestyles. Without the proper know-how, nonetheless, your output may be seen as a burden rather than help. Here are four ways in which you can help out without delaying your team's work progress and adding up to their workload.

Show Up on Time

Just like with any profession or field you enter, showing up on time is a professional courtesy in the home healthcare field. Many new workers think that, because it's more of a laid-back home-based situation, they can take advantage of the schedule. Showing up late means one of your coworkers or a family member will have to pick up your slack until you arrive, not to mention being tardy looks bad on your professional image.

Focus on Individual Needs

Not all home patients have the same set of needs. Some patients will require help with mobility and range of motion exercises while others are more interested in accompaniment and having someone to talk to about their daily lives. In order to help out without conflicting with the patient's needs, you have to know the specific conditions they are in and what specific interventions must be done to elevate their standard of living.

Learn Continuously

Learning doesn't just end when you get your college diploma. In fact, most of the knowledge taught in schools are theoretical. You'll have to go into the real world and collect applicable experience and information. Learn continuously and stay updated by taking more classes that improve your professional aptitude. Online programs for master's degrees in Nursing, for instance, allow you to handle a wider set of health conditions. (Click here for more information)

Manage Your Time Wisely

Begin your day by listing the specific set of tasks you'll need to accomplish before your shift ends. Use this as a guide to know how much time you can allot for the patient's specific needs. For instance, you can allot 30 minutes to an hour to feed the patient, after which you can give medication, which is given a time allotment of 10 minutes tops.

Helping out others who are in need shouldn't just be part of the job. You want to help them out without being a burden to their families or to your coworkers, if any. The tips above should help you navigate this fairly thin line.

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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, February 2017 Newsletter

Home Care Software Geek Shows You How Google Stores Your Data

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 18, 2017 10:25:00 AM

The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Care Transitions 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 with bigger companies like MicrosoftGoogle and Apple.

sky-383823_640.jpgAbout a month ago, I shared a post about how cloud computing works and some of its advantages. With today's technology and the proven security and reliability of the cloud, there's really no reason for home care agencies to run software on local computers at their offices. You do, however, need to make sure that the software partners you choose are capable of providing you with HIPAA compliant and HITECH compliant solutions. Make sure to ask about this and to have your vendors sign a HIPAA Business Associates Agreement (BAA) with you.

Shifting subjects completely, I love when a movie takes me to an interesting place that I've never been before and will likely never be. If the subject is riveting, the two hours in the theater flies by. I'm not sure that this subject matter is going to be quite as riveting but I highly recommend that you spend up to 5 minutes to watch this video about how Google stores data and makes sure that it is accessible to you and highly available. 

In my most recent cloud computing article, I suggested that you are likely to have higher uptime, better security and lower costs in the cloud today and not only that, it's better for the environment.

You'll probably never have the occasion to go to a data center like the one shown in the video, but hopefully now that you've seen it, you have a better impression on the safety of your information in the cloud.

I hope that you find the Ankota blog informative and useful for your home care business. It's a free resource to help educate you and your teams. If you have questions about home care software or any of the items we discuss on this blog, please Contact 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 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, February 2017 Newsletter

5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Sell Your Home Care Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 16, 2017 1:07:00 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).

 

Iseptember2-partners.jpgs your home care agency selling its services to other vendors, programs, and providers? This is a valuable step in your growth process that can generate more revenue, but only when it’s done right. While it may take considerable time (and possibly monetary) investment, selling your services will maximize your ROI. But before you start, you need to make sure you’re not committing these costly mistakes.

Be a Partner — Not a Vendor

Position your home care agency as a partner, not a vendor. Being a partner is a very different relationship than that of a vendor. If you market your services as a vendor, you won’t show the other company what a valuable asset your agency can be. Also, if you position yourself as a vendor, negotiating pricing and obtaining referrals can be a lot more difficult because you are just one of many options. That is not the case when you are a partner who is there for mutual benefit.

Don’t Do All the Talking

While you might have a great sales pitch, now is not the time to use it. Instead, you need to listen to the needs and wants of your referral source. Find out what is important to them (e.g., if they are an independent/assisted living building, keeping their apartments full is crucial to their success). Helping them see you as a partner that can enable them do that is the right way to position yourself. This is a critical step and, if you cannot demonstrate this, you may not be appealing to your referral source.

Pair Your Services With Your Partner’s Needs

Once you know what the referral source is looking for, you can now pair your services with their exact needs. The goal is to fill the gap so that you’re the ideal choice for them. If you just sell your services as a general package, you won’t fulfill what they’re missing and they may be inclined to partner with another agency.

Don’t Guarantee What You Can’t Deliver

While you might have some services that align with your partner’s needs, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Overpromising and then not fulfilling your promises will make you look unreliable. Also, if you promise a specific service to your referral source, you better be able to provide it. For example, if you offered Alzheimer’s care services, you should have adequately trained staff and the capability to provide the service before your partner starts referring business your way.

Be An Expert

If you advertise that you are a specialist in a disease like Alzheimer’s or CHF or Diabetes, provide the training and ongoing education to make it true. A one-hour in-service on the subject in orientation does NOT make your staff experts in the disease. Be sure that you are providing a strong basic education and ongoing education throughout the year that demonstrates your commitment to ensuring that your employees are indeed the experts in that area.

Partnerships are integral to the success of your home care agency, as long as they’re setup properly. If you position yourself as a valuable partner and help your referral source where they need it most, it can be a highly profitable relationship. If you’re not sure how to market your home care agency, schedule a consultation with a consultant at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. Our team can help you sell your services and appeal to referral sources so that you can continue to grow your business.

This article, 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN YOU SELL YOUR HOME CARE SERVICES first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" 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

7_habits_effective_home_care.jpg

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

3 Natural Ways To Improve Your Home Health Patient's Well-Being

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jan 10, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Home Health 3 Natural Ways To Improve Your Patients Wellbeing.jpgToday's guest post is from Emma Sturgis.  Emma is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, you can connect on Twitter via: @EmmaSturgis2

If you're a home-based caregiver to a patient who is sick or terminally ill, there are a few steps you can take to increase the health of their environment naturally and easily. Let's explore 3 natural ways to improve your patient's well-being at home:

Install A Whole-Home Water Filtration Unit

Water is essential to your patient's health, and they need to drink plenty of it every day. Unfortunately, the tap water in many areas also contains chemicals and may not be the purest or cleanest for your patient. It's beneficial to install a whole-home water filtration unit to ensure that any contaminants in the water are removed before your patient drinks or bathes in the water.

Replace Chemical-Based Cleaners & Personal Care Products With Natural Organic Alternatives

Most cleaners and personal care products are loaded with chemicals that could potentially be harmful to your patient's health. There are safer alternatives readily available that may make your patient feel more comfortable. 

For basic cleaning tasks, natural substances like organic vinegar, organic castile soap, baking soda, water and essential oils are often all that's needed. If you’re having trouble finding natural cleaners, it's a good idea to source personal care products at specialty retailers like health food stores. It's also possible to find organic cleaners and personal care products online.

It's particularly important to pay attention to the ingredients of any product that your patient could accidentally ingest by breathing, such as sprayed-on cleaners.

It's also critical to be aware of any ingredients that will come into direct contact with your patient's skin. Anything that gets on your patient's skin is likely to be absorbed into his or her body, so soaps and skincare products must be free of harmful ingredients.

Detoxify The Air In The Home With An Air Purifier

An air purifier can help to rid the air in the home of many contaminants including cigarette smoke particles, airborne mold particles, dust and more.

 Since breathing secondhand smoke is harmful, this is a particularly important step to take if your patient lives in a household where a smoker is present. It's also a high priority if your patient lives in a home or apartment building where nearby neighbors smoke within close proximity of your patient.

These are just 3 simple steps home-based caregivers can take to help improve patients' well-being at home. If you're interested in caring for those who are sick or terminally ill, you may want to look into receiving further education and skills with an mha online

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, February 2017 Newsletter

5 Takeaways from a Deliotte Survey on Healthcare Tech

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 9, 2017 10:17:00 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.  We hope you enjoy this article recapping an article from Deloitte University Press on some in-depth findings pertaining to their 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers.

computer-767776_640.jpgIn Deloitte University Press' recent article, entitled, "Will Patients and Caregivers Embrace Technology-Enabled Healthcare?", a treasure trove a data and findings affecting the home care, home health, and overall healthcare ecosystem are laid out in detail.

I strongly suggest that you read the entire article here, but as usual, here's a taste of what the article has to offer:  To get you started, the article looks at a survey they condcted:

For the 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers, we tested consumer reactions to technology-enabled home care in 15 scenarios covering different types of technology and applications: telemedicine (four), remote patient monitoring/sensors (IoT) (six), and drones/robotics (five). We asked about reasonable cost and any concerns that technology developers, providers, or plans offering the technology should address.

From there, the article goes into their findings topic by topic and offers insight beyond the numbers.  The full article goes through the data with useful key points, graphs, and charts presented.  Again, here's a rundown to get you started:

Some Key Takeaways of the Survey

  • Consumers have an appetite for using technology-enabled care

  • Telemedicine, in which half of respondents show interest, is the most popular technology

  • Caregivers are a key population 

  • Heavier users of the health care system show the most interest in all technologies 

  • Consumers demand high-quality, personalized care and want assurance that their personal information will be safe

As I mentioned above, the article expands on these points further.  What this article continues to prove out is that tech in healthcare continues to evolve and change how we deliver care.  Because of these advancements, it is important for folks in the home care and healthcare space to keep current with the latest technologies, and we hope you find the full article recapped here to be useful to you, your clients or patients, and your business.

If you're seeking new opportunities in the healthcare space, ways to expand your current offerings, or if you are in need of management software to streamine your business, take a look at links below:

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

5 Ways Private Duty Home Care is Like Startup Culture

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 4, 2017 10:21:00 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 planningstartup-1018511_640 (1).png and more.  We hope you enjoy this article about how the home care industry and startups relate.   

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about the differences between working in a traditional corporate workplace and "startup culture." After thinking about it a bit more, I realize that the qualities one needs to thrive in a startup environment are very similiar to the qualities needed to excel as a private duty home care worker or at a homecare agency.

Take a look at the list below and feel free to comment below if you'd add anything to the list: 

“The Prime Directive”

When I worked in and later taught film production to students, mainly how to thrive on a 50+person film set, I always referred to a Core Value I hold, “The Prime Directive”.  A phrase taken from “Star Trek”, what it means to me is simply asking what is the Number One goal of why you’re on set?  Is it to prove that you’re the smartest, or most experienced?  Is it to get people to like or respect you?  Is to make sure you’re proven right?  Of course not.  The number one goal of filmmaking is simply: “Get the Movie Made”  With this way of thinking, you remove all the interpersonal nonsense and you focus solely on the task at hand.  

I feel that filmmaking, startup culture, and the home care industry share this core value...No person too big, no job too small, caregiving is all abut doing what is needed to care for your clients.

Teamwork

Generally speaking, I am comfortable in a leadership role. I also quite enjoy and thrive in a support role, doing whatever is needed, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.  Either way, what I know to be true 100% is that nothing great ever happened without teamwork.  I love it when I’m part of a group of people who work together and achieve something bigger than ourselves.  

In home care, you may be working by yourself and the client, or with a diverse team as part of a broader agency.  But even if you work solo, working together with your client and their family members require a certain level of teamwork.  

Morever, whether you work for yourself or as part of a team, caring for another human being often requires to see the bigger picture and to feel that your work extends beyond just checking off tasks on a checklist. 

Problem Solving

I love looking at problems and finding creative ways to solve them.  Plain and simple.  Startups are based on solving problems as quickly and efficiently as possible so to have this as a skill is a boon if you’re part of a startup business.

I'm confident that homecare veterans can list pages of examples when they needed to use creative problem-solving with their tasks, client requests, maintaining their client's dignity, or navigating client/family interactions.   

Mission Based Work

I’ve been fortunate enough that all the sales, marketing, and promotion positions I’ve held have been for products, services, or events that I believe in and Championed wholeheartedly.  For me to spend all that time, energy, and money to promote a product I’m not passionate about…Well, I can’t see myself being very good at Championing a product, service, or company with a mission I don’t believe in.  The good news is that a great deal of startups are mission driven.  

The homecare folks I've interacted with take pride in and understand the need for the care of their clients.  Home care tends to be task-focused and not highly engaging work on the surface.  That said, successful homecare workers tend to look beyond the tasks themselves to see the value to their clients, and the appreciation clients and their families feel.

A Variety of “Jobs”

For me, reaching the set goal is my focus, what job(s) I need to do to accomplish the goal is of less interest to me. You do what you need to get the job done.  That, and I enjoy the variety, the ever-changing pace, and the different people and skills I can learn about along the way on the journey.

Though there are general work duties and a checklist to follow, day-to-day and client-to-client a home care worker's duties and "jobs" span a wide variety of responsibilities and requests.  Every day is an adventure, as they say.

What do you think of the list?  What would you add or expand on?  Do you have any interesting anecdotes or stories that exemplify the list?  Feel free to comment below! 

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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, February 2017 Newsletter

5 Ways to Improve Healthcare via the Visionary Founder of Athena Health

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 2, 2017 10:09:00 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.  We hope you enjoy this article recapping what one Health IT Thought Leader sees as opportunities for improvement in healthcare. 

CEO and Co-founder at athenahealth, a company that provides cloud-based services for health care and point-of-care mobile apps.  Jonathan wrote an interesting article, entitled, "An Open Letter to Those Who Might Change the World by Fixing Healthcare."  In the piecem Jonathan describes 5 areas that he sees are in need of improvement in the Healthcare tech space.

 I suggest that you read the full article here, but as a start, here's his the list of opportunities:

  • Core Hospital Modalities Lacking Cloud-based Solutions

  • Virtualization of Ancillary Services

  •  Discharge Planning

  • Care Transitions and Handoffs

  • Medication Tracking

Care Transitions popped out to me since Ankota also feels that Care Transitions are a vital component to the healthcare ecosystem.  Moreover, we believe that Home Care can play a part in Care Transitions as a way to improve care for patients, expand home care businesses, and improve the cost and quality of healthcare in this country.

On that note, one of Ankota's 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, January 2017 Newsletter

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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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