The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

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

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

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

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

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 Ways Homecare May Be Affected by Proposed Chronic Care Legislation

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 26, 2016 1:10:00 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).

On October 31, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s chronic care working group released a discussion draft for the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016, which is being introduced this month. The draft includes stakeholders’ comments and feedback released in December 2015.

We’ve got the run-down on everything addressed in the chronic illness management draft and how it relates to home healthcare.

Proposed Legislation and Chronic Care

While the proposed legislation—which does NOT require Medicare Advantage Plans to provide hospice benefits—is complex and includes various providers of Medicare coverage, there are a few specific areas that may affect homecare organizations specifically. Here’s what you need to know!chronic care

1. Extending and expanding the Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration Project.

This demonstration was created to test payment incentives and service delivery models to improve health outcomes for Medicare recipients suffering from multiple chronic diseases. Under the IAH, qualifying providers are eligible for incentives when meeting performance standards.

Originally, the demonstration was scheduled to end on September 30, 2017. The CHRONIC Care Act proposes an extension of two years and an increase in the number of participating beneficiaries. It also gives providers three years to meet standard requirements rather than termination from the program after two years.

2. Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans will offer chronically ill members an increased amount of supplemental benefits.

Meaning, MA chronically ill recipients may be able to receive additional services improving their overall health outcomes. And resulting in little to no out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries.

In addition, MA plan enrollees will have greater flexibility and more benefits for telehealth services. The draft expands home telehealth payments for MA accountable care organizations and for stroke consults.

3. Government Accountability Department will perform a study leading to development of a Medicare payment code for a one-time doctor visit to create a long-term chronic care plan.

This study is crucial for determining and eliminating barriers to skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospice programs for chronically ill patients. Having the ability to better facilitate longitudinal chronic care will promote health care organizations to work together for the good of chronically ill Medicare beneficiary. And in addition, meet the goal of decreasing healthcare costs.

4. Improvement for payment accuracy for those providing chronic care services.

A new payment model will take into account various factors affecting beneficiary’s health, such as:

  • Total number of chronic diseases;

  • Impact of additional diagnosis codes reflecting mental health and substance abuse;

  • Diagnosis of chronic kidney disease;

  • And requires a minimum of two years of chronic diagnosis data.

5. Eliminate Barriers to Care Coordination under Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are collaborations that integrate varying groups of health care providers. ACOs were created with the goal of ensuring patients receive the right care, specifically chronic care, in the right settings to optimize their treatment outcomes.

This proposed new program will make access to ACOs more flexible for beneficiaries and health care agencies. Thus leading to better chronic care across the continuum, and better communication between providers.

Preparing Your Agency to Provide Chronic Care

Chronic diseases are at an all-time high. The creation and proposal of new legislation is occurring regularly to keep up with this health crisis. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to equip your homecare staff to ensure they can properly handle these changes.

In order to take advantage of these proposed programs, such as the IAH demonstration and increased MA benefits, your team needs adequate chronic disease education and training. This allows you to provide top-notch care to clients suffering from one or more chronic illnesses. And also qualifies your agency to better participate in various government incentives.

Work with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting to Improve Chronic Care

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer numerous methods for streamlining your organization and getting the most out of your processes. One effective way to prepare for chronic care legislative changes is to participate in Aide University.

With Aide University, caregivers learn the skills needed to provide clients with the best chronic care available. This knowledge creates an elite staff and ensures employee as well as client satisfaction.

We are here to help! So, reach out to us to start providing chronic care staff education today.

This article, originally titled, CHRONIC CARE DRAFT LEGISLATION AND NEED FOR ADVANCED EDUCATIONC 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

10 Essential Tips for Home Care Startup Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 19, 2016 8:48:00 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).

Whether you’re launching a new business line within your existing home care agency or initiating a startup home care, from scratch, it’s crucial to get all your ducks in a row beforehand. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a list of the ten most fundamentally important factors in pursuing your new endeavor.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals for Success

Startup home care fundamentals go beyond turning on your open sign. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your startup success.bigstock-151264370-300x200-1.jpg

1. Research

Before you can begin planning other aspects of the startup home care process, adequate research must be conducted.

This includes evaluating the competition in various locations, learning the needs of each community you consider, and settling on a final location(s). Doing this before moving forward ensures your organization is in a position to succeed.

2. Business Plan

This strategy maps out the path your agency will take in order to grow. It generally projects where you want to be in three to five years, as well as the steps and funds needed to get there.

Remember, it can take up to a year to secure your license, certification, and or accreditation. So, ensure your finances allow for this low-revenue period. The U.S. Small Business Association is a great resource for learning more about business plans.

3. Legal Requirements

Complying with regulations are a major part of any startup home care process. Obtaining licensure or certification is overwhelming and time consuming. Therefore, it’s always best to be familiar with and understand all federal and state requirements and if applicable, accreditation standards for your specific business type.

4. Resources

You may be surprised to discover how many resources are needed to adequately launch a new home care organization or service line. In addition to the obvious office space, you must also acquire the following:

5. Staff

A home care organization is only as successful as its staff. Consequently, that’s why it’s important to build an elite caregiver team from the beginning.

Before posting job openings, define the different positions you will needed, write a job description for each, and outline their responsibilities. Upon startup, it may be helpful to find employees who can take on multiple roles until you become more established.

6. Processes and Strategies

Don’t wait until you’re up and running before creating uniform processes for the many tasks happening on a regular basis. Part of startup home care fundamentals is establishing these strategies. Among others, you’ll need to plan for:

  • Staff orientation

  • Client admission and services

  • Billing

  • Personnel records

  • Client records

7. Employee Education

Educating team members is more than simply throwing a training manual at them and sending them into client homes. To really soar, your organization needs comprehensive ongoing training.

Determine what your staff needs to know for certifications and professional licenses, what competencies you’ll test for, and who will be charged with managing the education process.

8. Referral Sources

Referral sources are the lifeline of any successful home care organization. So, your startup process should include learning about all potential sources and determining how you can best meet their needs. Consider the following steps:

  • Understand who they are

  • Learn their service needs

  • Brainstorm how the referral source and your agency can partner

  • Set up recurrent meetings

  • Develop services around their needs

9. Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of any startup regardless of industry, including home care. Develop goals and a plan to meet those goals. Implement all avenues – radio, TV, social media and written materials.

When marketing, consider your services, what sets you apart, and what your referral sources need. It’s often best to bring in a marketing expert to get you started.

10. Professional Consulting

A professional home care consultant is helpful in many areas, from guiding the startup process to helping you maneuver through legalities. Look for a consultant who has abundant experience in all aspects of home care, can provide necessary resources, and is conscientious of your goals.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals and Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is your one-stop shop for all your startup home care needs. Our services include everything from interim management to marketing to policy manuals. Give us a call to learn more.

This article, originally titled, 10 STARTUP HOME CARE FUNDAMENTALS I WISH I'D KNOWN  first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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

 

 

 

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