The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

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

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

5 Ways to Avoid Asthma Triggers in Home Care Patients

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 8, 2017 11:54:00 AM

Today's guest post comes from Dixie Somers, a freelance writer from Arizona. Please enjoy Dixie's article.

Asthma.jpgWhen serving in the role of caregiver, it’s essential that you be aware of all the medical issues of a patient. You may be coming into the home to provide home and health care services while someone is going through a rehabilitation process or when a cognitive impairment makes them unable to care for themselves. If that patient has asthma, you will need to take steps to prevent reactions in your patient.

Personal Habits

Smoking is detrimental to your health and to the health of those around you. If you are a smoker, quitting will be beneficial to your current and future health. You should refrain from smoking during the time you are in a home providing care giving services.

Fragrances

Perfumes, scented lotions and clothing that retains the scent from dryer sheets can trigger asthmatic reactions in people who are sensitive to fragrances. It’s best to avoid wearing any type of perfume while on the job. It’s also essential that you use unscented lotion and personal care products yourself and with your patient.

Outdoor Allergy Triggers

While taking a patient outside for some fresh air or to soak up some sunshine may seem like a good idea, it isn’t always a positive experience for someone with asthma. You need to be keenly aware of air quality conditions before taking a patient outside. Asthma triggers change as the seasons change, so you’ll need to be very selective regarding outdoor activities. Air pollution from factories, cars and other sources can also adversely affect those who are sensitive to pollutants. Foggy days, humidity and other weather-related aspects can play a role in how profound outdoor pollution is in a certain area.

Food Allergies

If part of your caregiving responsibility involves preparing meals for the patient, you must be aware of any foods that could cause acid reflux or heartburn. These can be a trigger for asthmatic reactions.

Pets

If you have pets, be sure to keep clothing or uniforms that you wear to work in a location in your home that your pet doesn’t have access to. Don’t pick your pet up and hold it against you before leaving for work. In doing so, you can inadvertently carry pet allergens into the home of your patient.

Awareness and prevention are vital when working with patients with asthma. Consult with an expert like Aerospan RX if you have questions. You’ll want to take all steps possible to prevent triggering an asthma reaction in a patient.

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

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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