The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

Ken Accardi

Recent Posts

One of the Multi $M funded Tech-enabled Home Care Start-ups Shuts Down

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 22, 2017 1:09:00 PM

electronic-devices-514184_640.jpgIt was announced in the past few weeks that one of the tech enabled home care start-ups, HomeHero, closed its doors. For a quick background, Silicon Valley has become interested in Home Care recently and funded three very well publicized start-ups called Honor, Home Team, and HomeHero. Each of these companies started with more than $20M in funding. You can read some previous articles at these links:

 

Good News and Bad News

On the one hand, as someone who started or grew a home care business without a lot of venture capital, it should be heartening to know that you're still here and HomeHero is not. That's some good news!

The bad news is that our industry faces challenges that can ONLY be solved with better technology. In the coming years the number of Americans over 80 will triple, the pool of available caregivers will decrease, and minimum wage is likely to rise. Technology is the only answer that will make your home care agency viable in the next generation. 

Some Specifics about HomeHero

 

In my opinion, HomeHero was the most "Uber-like" of the tech-enabled start-ups that we discussed. Let me explain:

  • From the passenger perspective, Uber is an app to connect you with drivers that have been vetted by Uber for having a nice newish car and a clean driving record. HomeHero prided themselves on the vetting.

  • Uber pays the drivers most of the money. HomeHero tried to do the same.

  • Uber ran into the issue of drivers wanting to be compensated as employees. Uber faced this too but since it doesn't affect all of their geographies, it only maimed them and didn't kill them. In the case of HomeHero, it did kill them.

A Tribute to Kyle Hill

 

I've read several articles from people I respect about the HomeHero situation, and like most articles about business failure, the articles strongly criticize Kyle Hill, the HomeHero CEO. My perspective is different! I've had the privilege of talking with Kyle and advising him on a TED talk. I've also learned a lot from him about what he was trying to do with HomeHero and how he ran his company. I respect and admire him a great deal, and I'm confident that we'll see him again.

Next Generation Home Care

Above, where I talked about the "bad news," I said that there are inevitable changes in our industry that will ultimately cause every agency that doesn't embrace technology to fail. In order to help make sure that your agency isn't one of them, we offer you our latest free eBook, "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Healthcare at Home" Just click the link or the image below to download it.

 

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

Creating Unparalleled Aide Care With Advanced Education

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 20, 2017 10:42:00 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).

 

For those of you who follow Kenyon Connects regularly, know that Kenyon HomeCare Consulting has developed Chronic Disease University. This online platform targets aides and currently offers advanced education with 9 college level courses focusing on care of those with chronic disease and conditions. Why would I spend so much time and money to create this tool you ask? The simple answer is because health care is heading in a new and different direction. Third party payers such as Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance as well as individuals paying out of pocket are demanding value for the money spent.

Business Education on the Mechanism of Golden Gears. Business Education - Illustration with Glow Effect and Lens Flare. Business Education - Concept. Business Education - Industrial Design. 3D.

The Value of Educating Today’s Aides

What value do you contribute by continuing to staff cases with aides who are ill prepared to care for clients diagnosed with major health care issues? Today, aides not nurses provide “bedside” care equating to hours passed with these fragile clients. Therefore, these aides need to receive education on how to care for, recognize and understand their client’s diseases and conditions. How can we expect aides to report to their nurse managers if they are unable to recognize symptoms and meaningful relay what they are seeing?

My Real Life Example

Let me give you one of my real life examples. Back in the mid 1970’s, I was working for the Visiting Nurses Service, the only home health agency at the time. Most aides were hired as they came in and applied. There were no requirements for basic education, no criminal background checks and no reference checks, as there is now. Consequently, the caliber of aides varied widely.

One of the aides I worked with often was Rose. She had minimal education and was slow to recognize patient issues. Aides were assigned two hour shifts and responsible for personal care, housekeeping and meal preparation as reflected in the care plans. During unannounced supervisory visits, I frequently found Rose eating in front of the television watching her favorite soap opera. Consequently, the patient went without personal care, the house was a mess and no food was prepared.

One day I got a call from Rose about one of our patients, I will call him Carl. Rose said Carl didn’t feel well. When I asked her how she knew “he doesn’t feel well” she replied, “Because he says he doesn’t feel good.” I asked if she was looking at him and she replied yes. So I asked, “What does he look like?” She said, “He looks like he doesn’t feel good.” Needless to say I quickly reorganized my day and went to visit Carl.

A Nursing Visit To Carl

Upon arrival, the first thing I noted was Carl’s fruity breath. Although a brittle diabetic, he had been in good control for the last two months. I checked his blood sugar and found a level of 580. Additionally in the fridge, I found three filled insulin syringes containing his weekend insulin doses. While assessing Carl, he admitted to being on a friend’s boat all weekend partying and drinking, forgetting his insulin. This necessitated a call to his physician getting an order for short acting insulin. After picking the insulin up from the pharmacy, I returned to his home to administer the insulin. I gave Carl instructions to check his blood sugar in an hour, call me the results so I could report to the physician. An hour later his blood sugar was under 200 and his primary physician gave the order for me to visit the next day to reassess.

The Difference of Advanced Disease Education for Aides  

This situation would have been much different if Rose was educated to recognize symptom changes in a diabetic patient. She would be able to recognize red flags and call me to report Carl’s elevated blood sugar, fruity breath, and unused filled syringes. My immediate response would be a call to his physician getting orders for short acting insulin with dosage. Saving time, Rose could pick up the insulin so I could administer it as soon as I arrived.  All these tasks would be accomplished in an hour instead of the three it took.  Additionally, Rose could reinforce with Carl past teaching on the dangers of missing his daily insulin and the harmful effects of drinking for a diabetic.

Client/patient care must be a team effort. To be a member of the team, aides must receive disease education. They must be able to recognize symptom red flags and understand what and when to report to their supervisor. To become the agency of choice for referral sources, advanced disease training for aides is paramount.

Agency Rewards of Aide Advanced Disease Education

Think of the sales advantage when informing professionals at your local cardiac clinic that 20 of your 120 aides are certified in Congested Heart Failure (CHF).  And then assuring them that these aides will be caring for all their patients. Think of the value your agency will contribute to the entire health care system. Unnecessary hospitalizations and ER visits will be avoided reducing health care costs. Think of the value you will bring as a partner in newly forming ACOs, Medical Homes and other groups. Think of the marketing and sales advantage over your competition!

Get started today! Provide your aides with advanced disease training. Give the comprehensive in-depth knowledge and skills needed to deliver five-star chronic disease care. Discover Aide University, the only online continuing education program of its kind.

Call 206-721-5091 or contact us to schedule an appointment for more information.

This article entitled, CREATING UNPARALLELED AIDE CARE WITH ADVANCED EDUCATION 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

7 Networking Tips from Startup Institute That Can Help Home Care Agencies Grow Their Business

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 15, 2017 10:25:00 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 to network to get a job or to build your home care agency.   

A while back, I wrote a blog post for Startup Institute about what the phrase "startup culture" means to me.  After giving the topic some additional thought, I also wrote a follow-up piece on the Ankota blog called, "5 Ways Private Duty Home Care is Like Startup Culture."  I wrote the 2nd article because I noticed the ways that the mindset needed to work at a tech startup and the mindset needed to work at a home care agency were similar in a number of ways.

In that same vein, a recent article posted on the Startup Institute blog, entitled, "The 7 Easy Networking Strategies That Got Me a Job Offer,"  shared a series of job-hunting tips that also serve as useful advice for ways for home care agencies to grow their business.

I strongly suggest that you read the entire article, but what it essentially outlines is a series of tips to help optimize your Referral Marketing approach.  The suggestions mentioned are applicable to both an individual on the job-hunt as well as a marketer seeking to increase leads.  Although your sales and marketing strategy should encompass a lot of different approaches, finding ways to create and build a presence within your community is an important part of any business' marketing and sales efforts.   

This excerpt from an article by the Nielsen company sums up the importance of referral marketing, or "word-of-mouth" within your community to generate leads: 

According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.

 I'll let you read the entire article here, but to start, here are a few nuggets to get you started:

Play The Long Game

Building relationships take time.  When it comes to increasing your business' leads, one might think "the sooner the better" when it comes to locking in or qualifying a lead.  That said, if the shoe were on the other foot, I'd bet that most of us would prefer to not rush into doing business with someone or vouching for a business you are only recently getting acquainted with.  

Don't Stop Networking

Getting to know people in your community or your industry is a great way to increase leads.  Even if you are a veteran in the industry and you've "been there-done that," their are always new folks to meet who could be your next big client or who might connect you with them.

Get Out

Find ways to meet up with people in your industry in a casual setting.  Remember, sales are built on relationships, so scheduling a coffee chat can often be a great way to build trust with a prospective client or connection.

Nuture

The "Hard Sell" is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Consumers today prefer to not be hit over the head with sales pitches.  Take time to nuture your leads the way that you'd personally like to be approached if you were in their shoes.

50/50

Networking is a two-way street, go into each networking interaction bearing in mind what you can offer others rather than vice-versa.  

Do Your Research

No prospective lead wants to offer time to a someone who hasn't done their research on the industry or the reasons why you want to connect with them.  Stay current with industry terms, the "players" in the space, and both the history and current trends of the industry you're working in. 

For the seventh and final tip, please read the full article, but what do you think of the first 6?  What would you add or expand on? 

One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Healthcare at Home" 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:

Blueprint Healthcare Cover.png

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, home care marketing, inbound marketing

Care Transitions Expert Dr. Eric Coleman Advocates for Home Caregivers

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 13, 2017 1:09:00 PM

Eric-Coleman-Care-Transitions.jpgThere is a growing body of evidence that non-medical caregivers can play a key role in helping their clients avoid preventable hospitalizations. A pioneer in this regard is Dr. Eric Coleman whose website is www.caretransitions.org.  Dr. Coleman has an evidence-based methodology for managing care transitions from hospital to home and reducing preventable readmissions. 

We've written about the "Coleman Model" in the past and you can read more detail here, but for a brief recap, Dr. Coleman's methodology involves visits with the patient before they are discharged, a visit shortly after their arrival at home, and follow up visits or phone calls. The content of these interventions is based on four pillars of focus as follows:

  1. Med Management

  2. Creating a Personal Health Record

  3. Following up with Primary Care

  4. Understanding the Red Flags

You may be tempted to stop reading because you don't do med management but you can partner with the hospital on this one. The discharge nurse can document the med requirements and your non-medical team can make sure that the prescriptions are filled and that the client is following the hospital's instructions.

Dr. Coleman Advocates for Caregivers in the Journal of Hospital Medicine 

Seeing articles published in medical journals about the importance of caregivers tells us clearly that home care's role in healthcare is growing. You can read Dr. Coleman's full article here, but here's a synopsis:

  • The Caregiver Advise Record Enable (CARE) Act has been promoted by AARP and passed into law in 30 states. An additional 12 states are evaluating it.

  • The law requires the following:

    • The caregiver* be recorded on the medical record

    • The caregiver be informed of discharge

    • The caregiver needs to be informed of the medical tasks that they need to fulfill 

  • *Important note - a lot of this is focused on the "family caregiver" as opposed to the caregiver provided by your agency, but in some cases including Consumer Directed Services (CDS) they are one and the same. Even if not, your caregiver is likely to be working under the direction of the family caregiver.

The purpose of Dr. Coleman's paper is to inform and encourage hospitals to understand this act and to work with you and the families you care for to make it happen. This does, admittedly, show that there remains a need to educate the healthcare world on the importance that home care can bring.

Please note that the Care Transitions Intervention and the Care Transitions Program are registered trademarks copyrighted by Dr. Eric Coleman. For more information to to be trained on this methodology, go to www.caretransitions.org.

A couple of offers:

  1. If you are a Care Transitions Program partner and need software, please contact us.

  2. You may enjoy our latest e-book, "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Healthcare at Home" Just click the link to download the 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, Home Care Best Practices, eric coleman

New Study Shows RNs Vital to Home Care Technology Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 8, 2017 10:41:00 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).

As home care technology continues to develop, becomes increasingly powerful and more practical, we may be seeing glimpses of what our industry may look like in 100 years. A recent, first-of-its-kind study by the University of California San Francisco is proof. The data demonstrates how cutting-edge home care technology and remote monitoring improves patient outcomes and bottom lines simultaneously.

While the study shows the workability of general remote health care and the need for full staff training for successful implementation, the registered nurses (RNs) were the key. The report highlights the need for RNs who have not only solid basic training and varying experiences but who also receive adequate additional telehealth training.

The Critical Role of RNs in Upgrading Home Care TechnologyHome Care Technology

Remote health monitoring is taking the medical world by storm! And causing a surge in the demand for technology equipped home care organizations. Consequently those agencies employing RNs with telehealth training are able to admit patients who might otherwise require hospital or a nursing home care.

Therefore, these nurses are front and central interpreting remote monitoring data and then moving on-site to verify conclusions and to administer treatments. Oftentimes non-nurses can review data and look for “red flags” before passing this information to the RN. But despite the fact that to a degree all staff members need to adjust to remote monitoring, it’s the RNs who bear the brunt of this transition.

However, RNs need time to adapt and to complete telehealth specific training. Much of this training is on-the-job and program-specific. Most home care technology manufacturers supply training on their products. Some education involves shadowing another RN already experienced in remote monitoring techniques. And there are also modules and online, distance education classes that address this need.

Remote Monitoring, One Piece of the Home Care Puzzle

Many RNs who are familiar with in-home, face to face patient assessments may be uncomfortable with remote monitoring at first. But RNs quickly adapt when given the right tools. However, the second major conclusion of the UC San Francisco study indicates that telehealth care will never fully replace human contact.

The study results show that preventing first-time hospitalizations and reducing readmission rates, were far better when using both remote monitoring and in-home care rather than using just one or the other being exclusively.

It is undeniable!  Advanced home care monitoring, think telehealth, is a useful tool to reduce costs and compliments home visits. Furthermore, there are already moves to incorporate video-conferencing in the near future allowing for remote visual patient assessments. Yet, home visits will always be essential, and RNs with hands-on clinical experience will continue to be the best candidates for remote monitoring training.

Thus, it is no surprise that the UC San Francisco study found the success rates of remote monitoring programs were directly correlated to the provision of supplemental education for RNs.

Patient Reaction to New Home Care Technology

One surprising study finding was that patients were not generally apprehensive or resistant to participating in remote monitoring assessments. Although it had been expected that most patients, especially the elderly would be against the benefits of this technology.

The equipment—highly accurate, reliable, and easy to use—and training participating home care clients, remote monitoring was very well received. And there are other positive facts clients appreciate. Field installers are available to answer follow-up questions and are consistently accessible for troubleshooting and technical support.

In fact, it is providers who worry the most, fearing an unmanageable overload of patient phone calls and follow-up visits. Instead, the most common problem was that many remote monitoring patients were slow to communicate or were unable to adhere to self-management requirements. On the whole, training RNs and patients alike will prevent most bumps in the road and lead to success.

Conclusion

The recent UC San Francisco study only confirms what many of us already know! RN training is a major key to the success of any remote monitoring program. And in-home care will never be 100% replaced.

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer homecare staff training, coding outsourcing, and consulting assistance. Let us help you maximize your reimbursements, improve your service delivery and meet your success goals.

To learn more, call us today at 206-721-5091 or complete our online contact form for 30 minutes of free consultation.

This article entitled, NEW STUDY SHOWS RNs VITAL TO HOME CARE TECHNOLOGY SUCCESS 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

5 Steps for Differentiating Your Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 1, 2017 2:12:00 PM

Today's article is by Jason Chagnon from Providentia Marketing.  Jason and Providentia's goals are to help to drive client referrals and attract caregivers to your agency.  In today's blog, he writes about ways to help your agency stand out, online, branding-wise, and in your day-to-day.  Enjoy his post (below).

light-bulbs-1125016_640.jpgHaving trouble differentiating your firm from the 20 other home care firms in your market? Discouraged by trying to compete with the massive multinational agencies who dominate the search engines? Haven’t had a Facebook “like” since 2015?  Don’t give up! There are some pretty easy-to-implement marketing initiatives that can help your private duty home care firm stand out, and stay shoulder-to-shoulder with industry giants.

1. Build a Better Home Care Company Brand

Clients may know your name, but do they really know who your agency is? What do you care about? What are your specialties? How many lives have you changed with your services? Use resources at your fingertips to build a company brand, and above all, a personality. Post testimonials to your blog and social media channels, post write-ups about your caregivers – and put a name to the face with fun company photos. It may seem trivial, but 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service – if you prove you’re the kind of company that people want to work with, you could be catching those same numbers!

2. Focus on Mobile In-Home Care Content

The typical criticism of our society is that we’re all glued to our phones all day. Why not use this knowledge to your advantage? Post content to, and optimize that content for places where it will be seen on a mobile phone. Is your email newsletter responsive? Are your graphics sized for mobile social media pages? Will your website display correctly on an iPhone? How about an Android device? What about inquiries and requests; can they inquire through their phones? If you’re not taking advantage of mobile optimization, you’re losing out.

3. Manage Your Online Reputation

Reviews drive purchasing decisions. Ninety percent of people report that reviews help them determine the quality of a local business, and 72 percent of people report that positive reviews inspire trust. So are you inspiring trust through what’s written online about your company? The harsh reality is that it’s impossible to please every single person, and those who can’t be pleased are not afraid to write very nasty reviews about your company online. What’s being said about you? Do you know? Are you taking steps to proactively manage feedback before it ends up online? If you’re not, you could be losing out to the competition.

4. Start Re-Marketing for Return Website Visitors

Visitors who return to your website are infinitely more valuable than people who visit once and never return again. They are much more likely to interact with your site, share your content, refer your site to other clients, or ultimately fill out a contact form and become an active client. The more you can do to encourage second-time website visitors, the more you’ll see your traffic numbers, engagement, and profitability rise. Use a program like Providentia Marketing’s Re-Marketing program for Facebook, Google and Instagram to drive interested and hard-to-find prospects back to your website, where their potential to increase your bottom line increases exponentially.

5. Create a Better Client Experience

If your clients aren’t happy, they aren’t going to come back. But beyond that, they’re going to spread their unhappiness through word of mouth, online reviews, and social channels – all of which can directly impact your bottom line. Try to gauge client reactions to see how well you’re doing, and where you have areas to improve. The more proactive you can be, the less reactive you need to be when something goes badly.

Need help implementing some of these ideas? Our team of marketing experts is always available at info@providentiahcm.com, or click any of the links below to learn about how our services can help you stand out from the crowd of home care agencies!

 

This article, 5 STEPS FOR DIFFERENTIATING YOUR HOME CARE AGENCY first appeared in the Providentia Marketing 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 Tips for Improving Your Home Care Agency's Marketing and Sales

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 27, 2017 3:55:00 PM

blue-funnel-946886_640.jpgIn her article, Move the Funnel to a Loop: 3 Ways that Marketing’s Role in Healthcare Must Change and Why  Erinne Kovi Dyer offers 3 suggestions for how to build and maintain your sales funnel in Healthcare.  I feel that the topics and approach Kovi Dyer presents in the piece are in alignment with and helpful to those in the home care and home health space.  

I suggest that you read the entire article,but one passage from the article really stood out for me:

"Your goal is not to sell – it’s to communicate and engage. Everyone in the health system is a steward of the customer journey, an advocate for patient experiences at every step. To successfully engage consumers and build loyalty, you need to be an empathic educator, an innovative communicator and a masterful collaborator both within your organization and your community."

Again, please read the article in order to get the full picture, but as a start, here are the three tips covered in the piece:

  • Start thinking differently about our roles, our tools, our capabilities, our skills and our teams.

  • Work just as vigorously to retain and engage patients as we do to “fill the funnel” with new patients.

  • Commit to understanding the goals of the system and establish partnerships from within (and from the outside) in order to make them a reality.

 What are your thoughts?  Are their any tips or suggestions that you would add to the list?  Please feel free to leave a comment in our comment section!

On the topic of selling, 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, March 2017 Newsletter

How To Get Startup Home Care Business Support

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 22, 2017 1:34:00 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).

 

Start up Homecare Business

Whether you’re considering a startup home care business or you want to expand your current services, the road is often paved with speed bumps. You need the right support in order to see your dreams realized. In this article, we’ll discuss how getting help from a homecare expert is beneficial.

Support for Your Startup Home Care Business

Is it possible to succeed in the home care industry on your own? Sure, but there will be many obstacles along the way.

Working with a professional consultant is a sure-fire way to overcome those obstacles with ease and speed. Thereby helping your dreams become a reality faster with fewer expenses and less stress. Here’s how!

1. Help Getting the Required Tools

Yikes, startups must have employee handbooks, forms and the all important home care manuals. The amount of documents needed for running a thriving—and compliant—home care agency seems to be endless. Going it alone means you’re responsible for creating or compiling these documents, and for finding all the information required for each one.

Instead of spending hours upon hours researching, writing, and editing documents, consider purchasing customizable products from a trusted industry expert. A professional who know exactly what’s required for your business and has experience crafting the documents you need. This helps speed up the process for your startup or new business line so you can focus on other pressing matters.

2. Accreditation and State Licensure Preparedness

Before you can open the doors of your startup home care business, you must be licensed and, depending on your business plan, accredited. An experienced consultant leads you in the right direction, helping you with obtaining your license and becoming accredited.

Through policy revisions, on-site evaluations, and mock surveys, your home care consultant will guide you toward 100 percent preparedness for licensure and accreditation.

3. Industry Knowledge and Professionalism

A world of information is at your feet whether you’re brand new in the home care industry or attempting to grow or save your organization. But wading through all the available info is time-consuming and stressful.

Expert consultants gain extensive knowledge through working with startups and expansions of all sizes and types. They’re in the know about regulations for each type of agency and can steer you towards what works and away from what doesn’t.

4. Hiring and Orientation Assistance

One of the most stressful aspects of a startup home care business is finding the right team to support your goals. The hiring and training process is exhausting, but a trusted expert helps you streamline the process. Thus ensuring you hire people who truly fit your agency’s culture.

Once you’ve secured a team, it’s important to provide sufficient training and orientation. The right consultant offers guidance and tools for turning your employees into an elite staff.

5. Software Expertise

Selecting software that meets all the needs of your startup home care business is a crucial part of success. From client care to billing and scheduling, efficient software is paramount. It helps to keep your organization’s operations running smoothly with as little headache as possible.

When you partner with a knowledgeable home care expert, you receive advice and guidance on choosing the software that best fits your agency’s requirements.

6. Help with All Things Coding

Accurate and efficient coding is vital to the success of your startup home care business. When done correctly, it can mean higher reimbursement for your agency, but when coding falters, so does your revenue.

Obtaining a coding outsourcing partner is a great option for making sure there are minimal errors before billing or submitting claims. It prevents you from needing certified coders and provides documentation and coding education for staff. All while ensuring you receive maximum reimbursements!

7. Guidance for Staff Education

Many home care consulting firms, provide compliant, industry specific staff education and training. This education fulfills requirements, enhances client care, improves employee satisfaction, and sets you apart from the competition.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Your Startup Home Care Business

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer everything outlined here, and more. Our consultants are experienced, professional, and knowledgeable. And our Aide University program is the only online continuing education program of its kind.  Schedule an appointment now to speak with one of our experts!

 

 

This article entitled, HOW TO GET STARTUP HOME CARE BUSINESS SUPPORT 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

Using a Blog to Grow Your Home Care Business

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 15, 2017 11:11:00 AM

Today's article is by Jason Chagnon from Providentia Marketing.  Jason and Providentia's goals are to help to drive client referrals and attract caregivers to your agency.  He writes on how to utilize regular blog content to build your business.  Enjoy his post (below).

sapling - growth.pngAs your home care business grows, your to-do list likely includes networking, advertising, recruiting and generating leads and referrals. All of these tasks warrant your time and your best efforts. But if you really want to maximize the results of your work, you must have a blog. Now you might be thinking “Really? Do I need a blog?” The answer is NO. You don’t NEED a website either. In fact, you don’t really need a sales staff or home care software for that matter. You get the point. If you really want to be successful and grow to your full potential, a blog is a must have!

Why Should Your Company Blog?

The list of benefits of blogging is a long one, but most benefits fall into two categories: branding and lead generation. As you blog, you’re providing valuable information to your current and potential clients. Essentially you’re adding value to your services by giving readers information free of charge, as well as giving clients a piece of who you are as a company and what you stand for. Your blog also establishes your business as an authority and expert in the home care industry. This in turn elevates your credibility and bolsters your reputation, both of which are encouraging to potential clients shopping for home care services.

Blog posts are also a great opportunity for self-promotion. Each blog post will have a subject that ties in with your services in one way or another. For example, if you write about the various responsibilities of home care workers, you could mention that your home care employees receive ongoing training and are well equipped to provide the services you discussed.

If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe some statistics will. According to Hubspot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (meaning more potential clients). Plus, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI (more profits). Aabaco Small Business says that small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not.

What Should You Write / Blog About?

Now that you’ve decided to seriously consider blogging, what topics should you cover? The possibilities are endless, but it is always a good idea to discuss industry news, innovations or any legislation that impacts home care. You can also use your blog as a platform to announce company news, events, new services or new employees. Your readers are likely reading your blog because they either use your services, or could potentially do so, so they will appreciate being kept in the loop about what is going on in your home care business. Finally, any tips and advice you can offer readers is valuable to them.

Example Ideas for Tips and Advice:

  • How to decide if a family member needs home care

  • How to discuss home care with a loved one

  • How to determine which home care service is right for your mother

How Can You Promote Your Blog?

Once your blog is up and running, you need to tell people it exists so that they can check it out! Your blog should have a link on your website (preferably in a main menu or header) so that readers can easily access it. Your next step is to announce your blog on all of the social media accounts that you created after reading our last post!  This allows your followers to read the news firsthand—don’t forget to provide a link that goes directly to your blog. Don’t be afraid to post this every few days, as a reminder to read your posts. You can also pay social media sites to promote your post that announces your blog. This ensures that more people will see the post. Of course, don’t forget that word of mouth has a lot of value, so let all of your employees, clients and referral sources know. Tell anyone and everyone that your company now has a blog. 

7 Ways Blogging Helps Your Home Care Agency

  • Blogging increases traffic to your home care website.
  • Blogging improves your rankings on search sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  • Blogging helps with social media marketing by providing more content to share.
  • Blogging demonstrates your expertise in home care services.
  • Blogging helps your sales team by giving them more to share and talk about.
  • Blogging informs your caregivers by keeping them updated.
  • Blogging educates your clients by giving them tips and advice.

If you are not sure where to begin, give us a call at Providentia Marketing. We can help your home care company start a blog and can even provide content to keep it relevant and current. Even if you want to do it yourself, we would be happy to talk to you and point you in the right direction.

This article, USING A BLOG TO GROW YOUR HOME CARE BUSINESS, first appeared in the Providentia Marketing 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, March 2017 Newsletter

Education: Proven Key To Health Care Organizational Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 13, 2017 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).

All administrators in health care acknowledge that education is one of the keys to assuring quality care.  Educated staff are more effective and this ultimately leads to reduced costs for the entire health care system.

Health Care Education of the Past

Chronic Disease Educations

Fifty years ago, when I first started nursing, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) were the focus of education as they were caring for patients at the bedside.  Nurses, as the primary care staff occurred in hospitals, nursing homes and home health.  Both home health and nursing homes had aides, but there were no standardized training requirements and each agency or organization developed and trained as they saw fit.  RNs and LPNs were still the primary caregivers in these areas.  But in the late 1980s, Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS), established basic training for all aides. Training and certification in fundamentals of care, was now a requirement for all aides in federally funded agencies. Then as now, very little education about diseases or care specific to individuals with primarily chronic diseases is thought necessary.

Is Health Care Education Any Different Today?

Fast forward to today.  RNs and LPNs are no longer the primary caregivers at the bedside, particularly in nursing homes and home health.  The Certified Nursing Assistant or aide is the primary caregiver working under the direction of the RN or LPN. Yet they still receive only minimal training and education in the most basic fundamentals of care.

Over the last ten years the readmission rate for hospitals, home health and nursing homes has been climbing. The data indicates that many of the readmissions are due to chronic disease. Some agencies or facilities have managed to reduce those rates with restructuring their delivery system, yet a total reduction eludes everyone.

When looking at data, the one missing link seems to be adequate aide education or lack thereof.  To address this issue, Kenyon Consulting developed a series of WA DSHS certified eight-hour chronic disease specific courses, appropriate for both aide and nursing education. While the initial focus was on aides, we soon learned the courses were equally valuable educational tools for RNs and LPNs.

Education Test Subjects

To test to see if chronic disease education would have an impact on care and reduce readmission rates, staff caring for patients on a nursing home subacute care wing agreed to test 2 courses, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).  The sample group of 32 full time staff includes RNs, LPNs and aides. For the first half of 2015 prior to completing the courses, the readmission rate for this unit was 32. Of the patients readmitted from the pilot unit, 13 were due to CHF and 3 for COPD. For the entire 164 bed facility, the readmission rate totaled 57 for the same time period.  Since 50% of all readmissions were for the two diagnosis of CHF and COPD, all 32 caregivers were to complete and pass CHF and COPD online courses to receive certification.

Chronic Disease Education and Hospital Readmission Results

Course completion and CHF and COPD certification occurred in June, July, and August of 2015. Data shows a decrease in hospital readmissions for the subacute wing during that quarter. By the end of the next quarter through December 2015, only 15 subacute readmissions were recorded with none for COPD or CHF. However, an unexpected result showed the entire facility experienced a marked reduction in hospital readmissions. Facility total readmissions for the last two quarters of 2015 was 29, with all 2015 readmissions equaling 87.

Nursing home data for 2016 indicates readmission reductions continue. From January through December 2016, only 27 readmissions occurred on the subacute wing, with none for COPD or CHF. During the same time, the entire facility also saw a reduction in readmissions totaling 71 or 13.4% for the entire year of 2016, with only one patient admission for COPD.

Chronic Disease Education Effects More Than Hospital Readmissions

The data demonstrates a significant benefit in educating all caregivers. However, to really improve care, all members of the caregiving team need chronic disease education. Nurses report that current education greatly updates their baseline knowledge. Aides report that the learning initially was difficult because the subject matter was entirely new.  We found it best for nurse educators to be available as aides complete their course work to assist with questions and areas difficult to understand. This is particularly true for aides for whom English is a second language.

After course completion, the aides expressed feeling much better prepared to care for the patients with COPD and CHF diagnoses. And all wanted to know when they could take other online courses! Management staff reported staff morale improvements. But best of all, readmission results prove that advanced chronic disease education, makes a difference in quality of the care!

Kenyon and Chronic Disease Management

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we make it simple for you to provide chronic disease management training. Aide University online courses deliver the knowledge and tools necessary for caregivers with to provide expert care to clients suffering from one or more debilitating conditions.

Give us a call at 206-721-5091 or schedule a time at your convenience to learn more about our chronic disease education program.

This article entitled, EDUCATION: PROVEN KEY TO HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS 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, March 2017 Newsletter

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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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