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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

5 Tips When Considering Furthering Your Education in Healthcare

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 14, 2017 2:49:00 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!

After high school, you may have gone to college without really know what you wanted to do, or perhaps you ventured into a trade that no longer holds your interest. Regardless, you've made the decision to return to school or to procure a higher degree. Some suggestions can help you figure out what to do next.

Assess Your Desires and the Field

pulse-trace-163708_640.jpg

Getting to know where the demand is can prove useful in your decision. For example, the field of health care is now requiring advanced degrees in areas where it did not. Returning to school for this type of degree now can mean that you're ahead of the competition. Of course, you want to make sure you select a path you'll enjoy too.

Consider the Logistics

Once you know the field that intrigues you, figure out how to make taking classes work logistically. Perhaps you have children, and you need to work in order to support yourself and your household. If that is the case, enrolling in a program that offers at least some online courses is a wise decision. On the other hand, you may have the flexibility and freedom to attend a traditional campus full-time.

Research the Payment Options

Now that you're an adult, you want to ensure you're making a decision that doesn't put you in financial disarray. Although it might be frightening to look, start by determining exactly how much tuition is. You can't mak

e a plan for addressing a problem unless you know what the issue is. You may discover that you can pay for some of it. As for the rest, start applying for scholarships and financial aid.

Visit the School

When you're planning to enroll in a program, you also want to see if the school itself is the right fit. A tour of the facilities can provide you with at least part of that answer. While you are there, find out if you can speak with an admissions counselor and the chair of your department to ask any questions that you have.

Allocate the Time

You might think that you're all set in terms of time management because the schedule of the classes works for you, but college is much more than that. You should also block off periods of time in your schedule where you can tackle the assignments as they can require serious effort.

Taking the next step can help you to get started on a path to a career that you love. In many career paths today advanced degrees are encouraged and rewarded. Moving from an RN to BSN program, for example, can create a significant raise in pay.  If you’re serious about making the most of your potential, advancing your degree should be something you seriously think about.

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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

Does Blogging Help Drive More Inbound Leads for Home Care Agencies?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 10, 2017 8:28:40 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.  In today's blog, he offers an introduction on how to improve your SEO, your website performance, and ultimately, how to improve your marketing.  Enjoy his post (below) and feel free to leave a comment!

blogging-case-study.jpgThe short answer: you better believe it!

Take a look at what we were able to do for a staffing client. Our marketing team recently began blogging for a staffing agency with two offices in Wisconsin.

The Goal

This company has two main goals (just like nearly every other home health care organization):

  • Drive more inbound leads from clients.

  • Get more applications from qualified candidates.

Do those sound like familiar goals for your home care company? Most home care clients we talk to are constantly looking for new clients AND new caregivers.

The Solution

To help meet these goals, we developed a content marketing strategy. Each quarter, one of our Social Media Marketing Advisers develops a custom content plan. When developing this plan, we look for topics that are relevant to the company’s core audiences (clients and job seekers) and topics that get a high level of search traffic and engagement. We also take a close look at past content to determine what themes and topics get high engagement and conversion.

Once we develop the content plan, we turn our professional writers loose. Each month we produce four custom-written blog articles. For this particular client, we write two client-facing posts and two candidate-facing posts. Each blog post is search-engine optimized, so that we can drive more targeted search traffic from people and prospective clients in their local markets who are looking for the services they offer.

Once this content is posted on the client’s blog, we also push it to their social media accounts. By sharing this content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles and LinkedIn Groups, we are able to dramatically increase reach and drive traffic back to the website where people can take action.

Finally, we also send out a monthly email newsletter. This allows us to reach a very large audience with the push of a button!

The Results

To gauge results, we pulled website traffic data from the first several months of the marketing program (12/16 – 2/17) and compared that to the same time period one year prior (12/15 – 2/16). By comparing the same time period we can eliminate any seasonal differences that may skew our results. Here’s what we found:

  • Overall web traffic more than doubled: up 127.64%

  • Search engine traffic is up 303.49%

  • Referral traffic is up 115.34%

  • Social media traffic is up 442.86%

Pretty Amazing Results, Right?

Well this is just the start. Increases in traffic are great, but we need to make sure it’s the “right” traffic, going to the “right” places. So we dug a bit deeper to look at visitor behavior and conversions:

  • The first goal was to reach more candidates:

    • Traffic to the careers page rose 132.18%

    • Traffic to the submit an application page was up 21.09%

  • Our second goal was to reach more clients

    • Traffic to their specific services pages increased by as much as 255%!

Perhaps the most telling statistic was actually traffic to the contact us page. After all, we want people to pick up the phone and call or complete a contact form. Traffic to the contact us page alone was up 87.32%!

Want results like these? Give one of our marketing educators a call at 888.229.8057 or get an estimate.

This article first appeared in the Providentia Marketing blog.

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One of Ankota's recent wBlueprint Healthcare Cover.pnghitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Homecare at Home"  is available for download.  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

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

7 Ways Business Consultation can Help Your Startup Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 5, 2017 10:19:50 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).

startup home care

If you’re considering starting a home care business or expanding the services you currently offer, there’s a lot you’ll want to know first. You need the right support to help you prepare for everything that’s likely to come your way.

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.

Contact us to speak with one of our experts!

This article entitled, "Getting Startup Home Care Business Support Will Help Your Dreams Come True Faster With Less Stress", first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's 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

What is EVV and How Does it Impact Your Home Care Business?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 1, 2017 7:19:08 AM

circuit-158374_640.pngThe 21 Century Cures Act, which recently passed through the US congress with strong bi-partisan support is mandating EVV for home care.  Let's talk about what this means and more specifically what it means to you...

What is EVV?

EVV stands for Electronic Visit Verification.  In simplistic terms it means that you need to use technology to prove that you performed your home care visits. Sadly, the reason for this legislation is that our industry has a bad reputation for fraudulent activity, where some bad apples submitted claims for lots of work that wasn't actually done. So, congress has sent a strong message that if you're going to charge for home care work, you have to do the work.

How is EVV Achieved?

While there may be more ways to achieve EVV, we support 5 approaches at Ankota. Here's what they are and how they work:

  1. Telephony: (pronounced teh-leh-fuh-knee) is a time keeping system using old-school home phones. The care provider calls from the client's home phone to clock in and clock out of their visit. The caller ID is used to compare against the client's registered home phone number and it they match, the visit is confirmed. Note that the caregiver need to both clock in and clock out, and the location is verified on both ends/

  2. Mobile/GPS:  "There's an app for that!" The second and fastest growing EVV solution is a mobile app for clocking in and out. The verification is done by comparing the GPS location of the phone at the time of clock in  and clock out with the with the GPS.

  3. FOB: A FOB is a "fixed object" placed in the home of the care recipient and physically connected (e.g., attached to a drawer-pull in the kitchen). Ankota customers generally use FOBs for their (growing) subset of their clients who don't have a home phone and when their caregivers don't use smart phones. The FOB generates a code when the caregiver arrives and when they leave. This code, combined with a unique FOB crypto code allow the software to determine the caregiver's time of arrival and departure.

  4. Kiosk: With the kiosk model, an internet connected device, typically an Android tablet, is placed in the home and used for clocking in and out. This technique is used by some high end private pay agencies and is being considered for some managed care programs as well.

  5. Voice Signature: Ankota has incorporated an amazing voice signature technology that asks the client to speak a phrase and can then tell you if it's a match or not. There is at least one managed care program (in Illinois) that uses this approach.

Help Implementing EVV

Your software vendor may be able to provide EVV capability for your business. In fact in non-medical home care providing EVV capability is one of the major functions that your software should offer, so check in with your vendor about their EVV offerings. If you need to do EVV for the first time and need to make it compatible with your existing software, Ankota would be happy to help. Please contact us.

I Need Help with EVV

 

 

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

The Future of Transportation and Home Health

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 29, 2017 9:29:12 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).

Transportation

Self-Driving Cars?

One of the big costs and barriers for home health agencies is transportation.  How many times have we all lost money on unfilled shifts or visits because of car problems?  At the CAHSAH conference last month we heard that some agencies are solving the problem by using Uber.  While it does cost the agency a bit more, it is more than made up by not having the entire shift lost because the aide or nurse had car problems.

With the projection that in the very near future most of us will have self-driven cars, this will be less of a problem especially if as projected. An article I read that posted on theguardian website provides some insight into this impending innovative approach to transportation. We will not own the cars. Instead, there will be a monthly bill to pay for the use of a car that will be summoned by cell phone to pick us up and drop us off.  No more missed shifts or visits and for those of you with teenagers, no more speeding tickets or totaled cars, as the cars all have sensors that prevent crashes as well as maintain the speed limits and are not driven by the younger drivers.

This article entitled, "The Future of Transportation and Home Health", first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's 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, July 2017 Newsletter

3 Home Care Population Health Lessons from the Dutch

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 24, 2017 4:09:27 PM

windmill-384622_640.jpgI always found "the Dutch" confusing... If we're talking about "the Spanish," the country is called Spain, the language is Spanish, and the people are either called "the Spanish" or Spaniards. It all makes sense.  By contrast, the Dutch people are from the country sometimes referred to as the Netherlands and other times referred to as Holland. It's all quite confusing...

Nonetheless, the Dutch have come up with an interesting "neighborhood care model" that I learned about in this article.

Neighborhood Care Model

In summary, the neighborhood care model in the Netherlands works as follows:

  • There is a self-managed team of nurses providing the care

  • Rather than only providing the nursing portion of the services, the nurses are performing all needed home care tasks related to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

  • A team of about 10 nurses is able to manage the care needs for a town of around 10,000 people. Of course only a small number of residents need care.

  • On average a nurse sees 4 patients per day

  • One factor that makes this model possible is that all citizens have the same government provided insurance, so the nurses can collaborate easily with the associated physicians and don't have the burden of marketing and sales.

What Can Home Care in the US learn from This Dutch Model?

At Ankota, we focus on the "next generation of home care" and a big aspect of that is driven by demographics. Most importantly, the population of Americans over 80 (a good indicator for the home care market size) will triple in the next 20 years. We believe that, by necessity, the US model will need to change to a home care model where caregivers are providing services for multiple care recipients in a neighborhood model. 

Here are some specific points to ponder and items we can learn from the Dutch model:

  1. The care focuses on a community and embraces "population health" (which we don't seem to be embracing here in the US as explained in this article about The Triple Aim).
  2. Today in the US model, there are multiple visits to the home by specialists (nurse, aide, etc.) whereas in this Dutch model one person (a nurse) is doing all of the services. We believe in this model but don't think we'll have enough nurses and will instead want a model where home health aides are providing the care (and doing more med related tasks like loading pill-boxes under the training and direction of nurses)
  3. We further believe that by having a caregiver provide services to multiple proximate care recipients instead of the current norm of seeing one care recipient per day, that we'll be able to pay caregivers a living wage with benefits.

Next Generation Home Care from Ankota

When your agency is ready to explore readiness for the next generation of home care including growth in the elderly population, moves to managed care delivery models, and optimizing care for population health, you'll be ready to meet with Ankota. If that time is now, please contact us.

Contact Us!

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, August 2017 Newsletter

5 Finance Tips for Healthcare Administrators

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 19, 2017 8:17:00 PM

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

To operate a successful medical institution, healthcare administrators are required to keep accurate and meticulous financial records. However, economic challenges often make it harder for healthcare administrators to effectively meet the hospitals financial obligations. The following tips can assist a healthcare administrator in effectively operating a health center.

Have Clear Guidelines

Healthcare administrators should advise the hospital staff to be keen on checking the patients’ insurance eligibility before each visit. While hospitals have different policies on evaluating their patients’ insurance, it is advisable to make sure that a patient’s insurance information is always updated. Furthermore, you can ensure that non-insured patients are advised to always have a form of payment when coming for their appointment. Make certain that all the financial policies are communicated clearly to the patients so that they are not caught off guard.

Updated Records

In a busy medical establishment, it is easy to overlook some minor details in the records. For instance, medical equipment that is no longer in use should be removed from the hospital and also clearly indicated on the records to avoid paying unnecessary insurance. Thankfully, electronic records are much easier to manage than they used to be.

Staff Turnover

Those with a PhD in nursing know that staff turnover can have negative impact on a medical institution. It takes a lot of resources and time to train new employees. Therefore, it is better to address underlying issues within the organization and seek effective solutions.

Easy Payment

To efficiently operate a healthcare center, you must adopt various forms of payment methods. For instance, patients should have the option of using credit, debit, or cash payments for their appointment. To avoid delays and inconveniences, make sure that the medical facility accommodates variety forms of payment methods. Patients will opt to go an institution that has no limitations in terms of payment methods. The payment options can be communicated to the patients prior to their appointment.

5 Finance Tips for Healthcare Administrators (1).jpgAvoid Outstanding Balances

For a healthcare to operate smoothly, there has to be sufficient cash flow. In most cases, the major cause of limited or inadequate cash flow is unpaid patient fees. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your patients’ insurance premiums are fully paid. In case of outstanding balances, you can give the patients a grace period of a few days to clear he debt. Most importantly, communicate to the patients the importance of paying up their medical insurance.

Conclusion

As a healthcare administrator, you should ensure that you clearly communicate the hospitals financial policies to all the relevant parties. Perhaps the most important policy is financial regulations. It is important for the staff of the hospital to understand the financial policies so that they can clearly communicate it to the patients.

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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

2 Question to Ask to Improve Your Home Care Website

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 17, 2017 3:12:00 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 offers an introduction on how to improve your SEO, your website performance, and ultimately, how to improve your marketing.  Enjoy his post (below) and feel free to leave a comment!

backlinks-for-home-care-websites.jpgYour home care website is responsive. Fast. Secure. And delivers an amazing user experience.

What else should you be doing to ensure it generates solid leads and attracts more qualified clients?

You need a plan – for content and backlinks, that is. In this final installment of our SEO in 2017 post series, we’ll explain why an ongoing content plan and a plan for obtaining relevant backlinks are critical to your home care website’s ongoing SEO.

Missed the first two posts in this series? Read them here:

SEO in 2017: A Checklist for Your Home Care Firm

SEO in 2017: Boost Website Rankings and Conversions with Speed, Security & UX

Part 3: You Need a Plan

Well, two plans, actually, if you want to rank well with Google:

Do You Have an Ongoing Content Plan?

Back in 2011, Google made a core algorithm change to reward websites that were regularly providing fresh and relevant content. Not only is fresh content seen as a plus by search engines, it tells humans you’re alive and well.

Every home care agency should have a long-term content plan in mind based on specific goals. Do you need more clients or do you need more caregivers? If you need more clients, are you creating content that appeals to those in need of care? If you need more caregivers, are you writing information that is helpful to job seekers?

For ongoing SEO, content creation is key to your survival. Your content is an asset, and the best way to get people started down the sales funnel.

Do You Have a Plan to Obtain Backlinks from Niche-Relevant Websites?

Backlinks are, and will continue to be, a core part of Google’s algorithm. It’s the one thing that cannot be easily manipulated, but it’s perhaps the most powerful ranking signal.

Not all backlinks are created equal. Obtaining links from irrelevant nameless blogs may not do anything for your rankings. In fact, low-quality links may actually harm your ability to rank well. The real movement happens when you obtain quality backlinks from authoritative, niche-relevant websites. There are many ways to obtain high-quality backlinks legitimately, but manual outreach and custom content creation is still the most effective approach. Please note, this post isn’t meant to be a comprehensive approach for link building. It’s simply intended to highlight the importance of having a backlink outreach strategy within your ongoing SEO plan.

Final Thoughts for 2017

As Google becomes more sophisticated in its ranking criteria, so does the job of an SEO expert. Building a home care website for both search engines and humans can be a challenge if you don’t have the proper experience. At Providentia Marketing, we can guide you through the process of building a modern and engaging website that leads to conversions. Contact us today and let’s talk about your goals!

This article, originally titled, "SEO in 2017: Create a Plan for a Long-Term, High Performing Website (part 3 of 3)" first appeared in the Providentia Marketing blog.

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One of Ankota's recent wBlueprint Healthcare Cover.pnghitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Homecare at Home"  is available for download.  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

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, August 2017 Newsletter

Homes of the Future - Home Care Ready

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 16, 2017 11:12:59 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).

Universal Homes

The Universal Homes Of The Future

I am hearing more and more about Universal homes these days and it is beginning to appear in home health related news. “Universal design, also called barrier-free design, focuses on making the house safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature. True aging in place!

When thinking of home design for disabilities, most of us think immediately of ramps and grab bars when we think of accessible housing, but universal design goes far beyond that while remaining largely invisible to the casual observer. In fact, applying universal design concepts such as wider doors and hallways makes a house feel more spacious.”

As Fred Astaire said, “Old age is like everything else,”. “To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” These same principles apply to home design: Plan for all stages of life when remodeling or building, even if you are in perfect health now. You never know what life may throw your way, be it be a minor mishap (breaking your leg) or something more serious (being confined to a wheelchair)”

The most important aspect of Universal Design is flexibility. Remember that technologies are always evolving and your lifestyle is similarly inclined to change at a moment’s notice. Universal Design allows your home to transition with you as life happens rather than forcing you to work around frustrating barriers.

So, what will the home of the future look like?  The following is just a beginning of what I am seeing architects begin to incorporate into home designs:

  • There will be limited use of stairs,

  • lighting systems will be automatic, coming on when someone enters a space and turn off when they leave [motion sensors]

  • large windows, French doors, placed throughout the house to maximize natural lighting. Additionally, the use of skylights and solar tubes to bring in natural light

  • Curbless showers, grab bars designed to look like part of the feature not like an addition, towel and robe hooks next to the shower, recessed storage in the shower for soap, shampoo and conditioner

  • Faucets throughout the house that works with touch or movement

  • Levered handles on doors

  • Soft slide cabinet and drawers that require little effort to open and close

  • Slip resistant floors

  • Cabinets that sit on the counter space for easy access

  • Increased space between areas especially in the kitchen that accommodate a wheelchair or a walker

These are a few of the elements that we will be seeing in all home designs and remodels.  

This article entitled, "The Homes Of The Now And The Future; The Universal Home", first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon, August 2017 Newsletter

3 Tips for Homecare Agency to Improve Website Rankings and Conversions

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 10, 2017 1:12:00 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 offers an introduction on how to improve your SEO, your website performance, and ultimately, how to improve your marketing.  Enjoy his post (below) and feel free to leave a comment!

home-care-website-speed.jpgWant your home care website to rank better, generate more leads and attract more qualified candidates? Then this series of posts on SEO is a must-read! In our first installment, we explained how responsive design and AMP technology make both Google and your site visitors happy.Today, we’ll explain three more factors which dramatically impact your home care website’s SEO and overall effectiveness as a marketing engine.

Speed, Security and UX Matter.

Is your home care website fast?

Here are some facts about website speed that will surprise you about the behavior of your fellow humans.

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

  • A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Now consider this…

  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

If the customer is always right, then most of us have a lot of work to do. Building a fast website starts with a solid framework. You can always optimize an old site to make it faster, but that’s like putting a turbo on an old Civic. The fastest cars (Ferrari and Lamborghini) are built from the ground up with performance in mind. To get the most out of your website, consider the following:

  • Do you have fast web hosting?

  • Do you have proper caching implemented?

  • Did you minify JavaScript and CSS files?

  • Do you utilize a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

  • Are your images properly compressed?

  • Does the website use clean code with lightweight plugins?

Is your website secure with SSL?

In 2014, Google encouraged webmasters to use SSL encryption on their websites to improve data security. Google’s initiative to create a secure web prompted them to provide slight boosts to SSL compliant websites within the search results. In 2016, Google told webmasters that unencrypted sites would soon be marked as “unsafe” by displaying a red “x” over a padlock in the Chrome browser. Although this has not officially been rolled out yet, it’s on Google’s timeline. Many consider this to be a form of shaming for unencrypted websites, but the truth of the matter is, HTTP is not secure, and HTTPS is secure. If you are not utilizing SSL encryption, you’re two years late to the party, and this should be at the top of your list for 2017.

Is it built with user experience in mind?

The ultimate goal of your website should be to drive new business. This means conversions should be the main priority. Each page should be designed with user intent in mind. For example, ask yourself, “If a user looking for home care services lands on this page, will they find what they are looking for?” If the answer is no, you have two choices:

  • Fix the page, so the answer is yes.

  • Optimize the page using different terms that are more relevant to the page’s content.

With user engagement slowly becoming a core part of Google’s algorithm, gone are the days of keyword stuffing to rank. Your website must offer value to the user and answer their query. It’s that simple. Of course, keyword optimization is still a large part of whether a page can “stick” for a query. But more weight should be given to the following items:

  • Encouraging users to stay on your website

  • Encouraging users to visit more pages on your site

  • Encourage users to contact you

Keep in mind that Google will not be a paying customer. It’s the humans that find you through Google will want to do business with you!

This article, originally titled, "SEO in 2017: Boost Website Rankings and Conversions with Speed, Security & UX (part 2 of 3)" first appeared in the Providentia Marketing blog.

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One of Ankota's recent wBlueprint Healthcare Cover.pnghitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Homecare at Home"  is available for download.  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

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

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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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