The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

Do Brain Games Reverse Alzheimer's?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 11, 2016 12:38:34 PM

brain_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog.jpgMany of our aging loved ones and home care clients suffer from reduced cognitive ability, often in the form of Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.  For a number of years now, I've heard about brain games that can potentially stave off or reverse these conditions, and I've wondered whether they work or not.

I came across a great article in Business Insider, that helps to answer this question

Do Brain Games Work to Prevent or Reverse Alzheimer's?

This is clearly a case where if this is an important topic to you, please read the full article.  But here's my brief synopsis:

  • The research on the efficacy of brain games is not air tight. In fact the full title of the Business Insider article is "The Scientist behind the most comprehensive study of brain training says apps like Lumosity are based on shaky science."

  • The Federal Trade Commission recently cracked down on Lumosity and forced them to pay a $2M settlement.  They claimed that "Lumosity preyed on consumer's fears of age related cognitive decline..."

  • The most comprehensive study on the matter was done at Johns Hopkins by Dr. George Rebok.  His study was based on much more rigorous brain training (they used the words "based on theory" and "very structured") in memory, reasoning, and speed processing.  It was hard to obtain objective evidence in the study except in measuring that those with training had fewer car accidents.  There was positive subjective feedback (patients claimed improvement long after the completion of the study).

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At the end of the article, another doctor, psychiatrist Cynthia Green from Mount Sinai shared that brain health is positively impacted by physical exercise, having a healthy social life, and eating a health diet.

A note about Ankota's blog

At Ankota, we believe that "healthcare at home" can and should play a bigger role in the continuum of care.  Our clients represent the most expensive patients, and often our care givers represent the least expensive providers.  We blog on topics that help home care agencies to compete and differentiate, with an emphasis on avoiding preventable hospitalizations.  You can subscribe to our blog on the upper right hand side of this page.

Speaking of Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations

Ankota offers a highly effective and low cost way of preventing avoidable hospitalizations, called Foresight Care.  We developed this application in partnership with Triple Aim Technologies.  You can learn more here.

 

Avoid Preventable Hospitalizations

 

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

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

Can Your Home Care Agency Compete with the 3 Home-igos?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 9, 2016 4:25:23 PM

Silicon Valley and the venture capital community are bullish on home care, and they think that they can do it better than you.  In particular, there has been $73 Million invested in three home care start-ups, being referred to by some as the 3 Home-igos (a play on the comedy film "The Three Amigos").  The three companies are as follows:Three_Amigos_Ankotas_Home_Care_Blog.jpg

We've blogged about these folks before in our article about $15/hour caregivers.

What Do These Companies Do?

Two of these companies, Honor and Home team, are "high end" home care agencies that have teams to serve their clients, technology such as tablets in every home, and talk about creating beautiful days and wonderful experiences for the aging loved ones that they serve.  They are expensive and will win with affluent clientele. Home Hero, by contrast, is a matchmaker company who matches you with caregivers and manages the process behind the scenes at a lower cost.

Are These Companies an Opportunity or a Threat to My Agency?

The answer is that these companies are likely to be both an opportunity and a threat to your agency.  With their huge war chests of investment capital and their high profile Silicon Valley backers, they will get plenty of attention.  This includes lots of PR, seats of distinction at all of the conferences (for example, they were on a panel together at the Aging2.0 conference in San Francisco and were highly featured in the marketing for that conference).  Also, they can make beautiful marketing pieces and tell a great story.  The narrative is that these companies are providing "tech enabled homecare," and that you're not...A few other example about Honor

  • Honor was started be Seth Stenberg with $20 Million from Marc Andreesen (the guys who started NetScape).  Prior to starting Honor, Seth sold his company Meebo to Google.

  • Honor was invited to the White House and pledged to give away $1 Million in free home care

  • Honor hired a world class application designer named Renato Valdes Olmos, who made a very popular fitness app called Human.

The bottom line is that they will beat you with very wealthy clients, and they will raise the expectation for the technology that you'll be expected to provide.

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How do I Compete and Win?

My perspective is that if you want to beat Honor and Home Team, then you're going to need to step up your technology game.  If you're not planning in the next year (two max) to have applications that connect family members into the process and give them great visibility, feedback and impact in the care of their loved ones, that you will start getting left behind.

The Elephant in the Room

There's one critical fact that is being overlooked, which is that there won't be enough caregivers to service the aging population in the future, and that even with higher rates, care giving is a hard job and some of the tasks aren't all that pleasant.  So the winners are going to be agencies who can provide great care with less face-to-face hours and who can bring technology to bridge that gap.

How Can We Help?

We have a great new application that can position you well for the future.  It's called Foresight Care, and what it does is check in with your clients in between visits to make sure that they're doing well, and alerting you if they're exhibiting symptoms that could lead to a hospitalization.  For early adopters, the pricing is very low, but you should act now.  You can use this feature whether or not you use Ankota's home care software. But if you're home care software is holding you back, we can deliver you the full package.

  Free Foresight Care Demo

 

  Free Demo of Ankota Home Care (including Foresight Care)  

 

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

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

This Little-Known Trick Can Bring Your Home Care Agency Lots of Referrals!

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 4, 2016 10:46:03 AM

Did you know?

  • When people hear of you, they will Google you first before reaching out

  • If you're at the top of a Google search, you're much more likely to be called

  • Referrals (even from complete strangers) are regarded highly by 90% of shoppers

  • Typically, a new private duty client is worth $9,000 to you

There's a Little Trick That's Not Well Known to Many Home Care Agencies 

For a home care agency, you want to get found via "Google Local Search." A local search is a search for a business type and a location.  For example, people will Google "Plumber Philadelphia" or "Maid Service Schenectady" or "Home Care Raleigh." That combination of search criteria leads to a local search.  Google presents the top three results for that area.  Here's an example:

Local_Search_for_Services_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog.png

What you see above is that three acupuncture services are listed, and reviews (see the stars) make a big difference in getting on the list.

Here's How to Get Top Billing on Google Local Search

Here's the bad news: Setting yourself up to win has a lot of steps.  The steps are as follows:

  • Claim your business on Google, and provide the detail that goes with that

  • Claim your business on Yelp and do the same

  • Create a Facebook business page

  • Create a Twitter Page

  • Create a LinkedIn Business Page

  • Post frequently to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

  • Create a program to ask your happy customers to post feedback about your company on Google and make sure that they follow through

  • Monitor your feedback and respondRowen_Reputation_Resources.png

If this seems like too much to do, there is a new service that will do all of this for you, and it's endorsed by Home Care Technology Report editor Tim Rowan and it's branded as Rowan Reputation Resources. To learn more, you can click here.

For more best practices, take a look at our white paper, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.   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, social media, inbound marketing

3 Pieces of Software You Need for Your Home Care Business

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 2, 2016 10:34:26 AM

3-piece-puzzle.gifA lot of the readers of this blog are starting home care agencies for the first time and have questions about what they need to be successful.  To be candid, software is not the first thing that you need.  What's more important for a start-up is to have passion for home care, authorization to run your business (which varies by state), great caregiving skills, and the ability to market and sell your services. If you have these items, you're on the right track.

Once you've made the commitment to get your business going, you need to think about software and there are three primary pieces of software that you need to get in place to run your business effectively.  They are 1) a website, 2) agency management software, and 3) accounting software.  Each of these are described in further detail below:

  • Home Care Agency Website: Your website does several things for you. First and foremost, it helps people find you when they are shopping for a home care service.  Second, it gives you a chance to establish your "brand."  Once people know about your agency, they will look through your website to learn why you are in the business and to think about whether they should choose you versus a competitor.  Lastly, your website is a two-way communication tool.  In addition to letting you share information about your agency, your site should allow potential clients to express interest in your agency and also allow caregivers to apply to be on your team.

  • Home Care Agency Management Software: This is the software that you use to manage your operations.  It tracks your client demographic, plans of care, schedules, Computer_Software_Ankota_Homecare_blog.jpgcaregiver demographics, skills, and availability, and enables timekeeping (generally via voice telephony where the caregivers dial in or via a mobile app) plus tracking of the completion of care plan items.  Lastly, it creates your bills and payroll.  Some of the software also has a component to track your sales process in attaining clients.  This is often referred to as CRM software (Customer Relationship Management). Another feature offered by some of the software vendors is an app for family members to stay engaged in the care of their loved ones (so they can track schedules, see updates and communicate with you).

  • Accounting Software: Accounting software tracks your "receivables" (keeps track of when your bills are paid), and your expenses.  Plus some accounting software also cuts the checks to pay your caregivers and other expenses.  Most agencies use Quickbooks for their accounting software and although quickbooks has payroll management, a lot of agencies use a different software system for their payroll.

How do these 3 Pieces of Software Work Together?

At a high level, each of the pieces described above has its own function, but there are some connections that can be made between the three.  A few examples are as follows:

  • Client referrals on your website should go automatically into your agency management software

  • Similarly, caregivers should be able to apply online and go into your agency management software

  • Once a billing period (most agencies bill weekly) is complete, the bills should be pushed into your accounting software

  • Similarly, once payroll is calculated for your caregivers, it should flow into your payroll software to cut your checks

What software should you get?

Starting with accounting, you can't go wrong with Quickbooks. It's pretty affordable, easy to learn and most accountants are familiar with it.  Although Quickbooks is now available on-line for a monthly subscription fee, it would be less expensive to buy and install Quickbooks on a local computer.  Another trick is that you don't need the newest version (because basic accounting doesn't change that often) so consider buying last year's edition.For your website, there's a wide range of possibilities that you can go with. 

The least expensive would be to do it yourself with a subscription service such as those available for $4.99/month.  On the other extreme, you can have a high end web-site design and a content service that publishes new content for you each week and helps optimize your chances of coming out first on Google searches. One such service exclusively focused on home cSoftware_code_Ankota_Homecare_Blog.jpgare is available from Valerie Van Booven.  A middle of the road approach is to do it yourself with something like Wordpress.  Here at Ankota, we work with website and marketing software from HubSpot, which I highly recommend, but might be too much for your home care startup.

As for Homecare agency management software, this is the business that we're in and we'd love to have you consider Ankota's software.  We have all of the capabilities described above including the linkages to your website and accounting software, and we have some highly differentiated features.  The biggest one is that we have a capability, included at no additional charge, that monitors your clients when you're not there and helps avoid preventable hospitalizations. 

The hardest question for you to answer is going to be "why should I choose your agency over the others?"  Imagine how many more clients you'll get if in addition to providing care you can help keep your clients out of the hospital.  To schedule a demo or start a free pilot of Ankota's software, click here or the button below:

Click Here for a Free Demo

 

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

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, home care software geek, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions

Baby Boomers Represent the Future of Home Care

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 26, 2016 9:25:17 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).

The American Hospital Association (AHA) predicts the number of people over the age of 65 living in the U.S. will triple between the years 1980 and 2030. This increase is a direct result of an aging Baby Boomer generation. What does this mean for our society? It means our healthcare system is facing another potential crisis. As more Baby Boomers age, their need for medical care increases. Are we prepared to take on this extra responsibility? Many professionals answer this question with a resounding “no!”homecare startups In this article, we’ll discuss Baby Boomers healthcare issues, as well as the benefits for homecare startups in helping care for this aging generation.

Causes for Concern

There are several reasons our country’s healthcare system needs to be reevaluated when it comes to elder care. We’re simply not equipped to manage the increasing healthcare needs of Baby Boomers as their ranks grow. Here are a few examples of specific areas that need attention.

Chronic Illness Care

According to Rick Wade of AHA, “…the weakest link in healthcare is the ability to manage chronic illness.” And pondering the rate at which the population is being diagnosed with chronic diseases, there is reason to worry. Consider the following statistics related to the health of Baby Boomers by the year 2030:

  • More than 37 million boomers will suffer from multiple chronic diseases

  • One out of four will live with diabetes

  • Nearly half will suffer from arthritis

  • More than 21 million will be categorized as “obese”

Hospital to Community Involvement

Acute care looks much different today than it did in years past. Recovery time spent in the hospital is shorter, and aging individuals need regular continued post acute care outside the hospital. The need for adequate communication between hospitals, physicians, and the caregivers managing post acute care is vitally important.

Caregiver Support Ratio

In simple terms, a caregiver support ratio defines the number of potential caregivers (ages 45 to 64) for each elderly person (80 and over). In 2010, this ratio was seven to one. By 2030, that number will drop drastically to four to one and then continue falling through 2050, when the last of the Baby Boomers will be in the high-risk late years of life.

These projected ratios mean there will be a great need for more available trained caregivers as boomers continue to age.

What Baby Boomers Want in Healthcare

Baby Boomers are expected to be the most tech-savvy and informed aging citizens the U.S. has ever seen. As such, their requirements for top-notch care exceed those of previous generations. Here are some of what boomers will expect:

  • Personalized care at home

  • Specialized services to help manage chronic diseases

  • The ability to stay healthy and active as long as possible

Although these requirements seem reasonable, they’re difficult to meet as the healthcare systems stands today. Changes need to be made and soon!

The Importance of Homecare Startups

The situation seems dire, but there is something you can do. Homecare startups are one of the best solutions to manage the growing boomer care shortage. If you’re thinking of embarking on a homecare startup or expanding your current homecare services, now’s the time!

Investing in and planning ahead for the services Baby Boomers will demand, is a smart, effective way to avert this healthcare crisis. With more homecare organizations available to provide services, we can combat many of the inevitable issues needed to care for this population.

Planning Homecare Startups and Expansions

You know a possible answer to the impending boomer crisis, but where do you begin? By investing time and resources into homecare startups and expanding current services, you will be ready to provide the care the boomers will need.

There are several necessary steps when getting your homecare organization off and running, from market research to employee hiring. Success is in the details! Learn more about essential homecare startup steps here.

This article was originally titled BABY BOOMERS ARE THE FUTURE: THE VALUE OF HOMECARE STARTUPS and first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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One of Ankota's recent care transitions 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

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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

What's a Bundled Payment and How Does It Effect My Home Care Agency?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 22, 2016 11:36:44 AM

Questions_Ankota_Home_Care_blog.jpg"If I were in charge of bundled payments, I'd look for the lowest cost partner with the best chance of avoiding a readmission..."

I was reading a website's FAQ recently and thought to myself how helpful FAQ's can be at getting to the core of my questions and answers regarding a complicated topic.  

With that in mind, here is something similiar to an FAQ, a series of questions and some suggested answers regarding the topic of bundled payments and how they may play a part in home care.

What's a Bundled Payment?

Great Question!  Bundled Payments are a new way that certain procedures will be reimbursed.  Ultimately, CMS (the Medicare and Medicaid people) will make one fixed-price payment for a procedure (like a knee replacement) that covers the whole procedure and associated recovery.  This differs from the historical fee-for-service model of reimbursement where, for example, the knee surgery would have one payment, the post-acute recovery in a nursing home or with home care would have a second payment, and a readmission would have a third payment.  (Read more about bundled payments).

Who Will Divvy Up the Bundled Payment?

Following up on the knee replacement example, the surgeon and the hospital are the big players and they'll get the bundled payment and decide how to divvy it up.

Won't They Want to Keep Most of the Money for Themselves?

Of course they will!

Today My Home Health Agency Gets Up to $3,000 for nursing and PT. Is That at Risk?

Yes, very much so!

Who Will They choose?

Bundled_payments_Ankota_home_care_blog.jpgAnother great question!  I opened this blog by saying that if I were in charge of bundled payments, I'd look for the lowest cost partner with the best chance of avoiding a readmission...  

This is just logical...  I definitely won't want a readmission because it will come out of my pocket, so I'll do everything in my power to avoid a readmission at the lowest price possible.

Imagine that you are personally paying out of pocket for the post-acute care for people with knee replacements.  What would you do?  Let's say that you had a very healthy young patient not on blood thinners who took personal responsibility for their recovery? (Note - I was this patient in the summer of 2015). Perhaps you'd send them home with no post-acute care except for a youtube video of exercises that they should do and you'd have an automated phone call check in with them every 5 days to make sure nothing's going wrong.  Then you'd have them visit your NP a couple of times to make sure they're on track. 

Hmmm...  My Home Health Agency Might be Cut Out of the Loop!  Any advice?

Yes - I'm glad you asked...  What if you set targets for the number of visits per episode (like 6 instead of 15), personally approved any episodes with more visits and gave the nurse in charge a bonus if they do it with fewer visits?  Then, since you’re doing fewer visits, what if you added automated phone calls (available for a quarter per call) to check in on them and let the nurse case manager if they're off track.  Then I'd keep detailed records of my costs, visits and success rate and I'd use this to market my services.

How Can I Learn More?

A few resources that can help you are as follows:

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, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, February 2016 Newsletter, bundled payments

What Does Home Care Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Really Require?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 19, 2016 7:06:09 PM

As a business oValerie_VanBooven.jpgwner and website owner, I get a lot of marketing emails from people who want to help improve my website and provide me with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services.  You probably get these too.  Doing SEO well can make a big difference in how easy it is for your agency to be found in web searches.  But there are a lot of so-called experts who don't do it right and will be a waste of money for you...

Beware of So-Called SEO Experts

In the past, we've featured home care marketing expert Valerie Van Booven with articles like 4 Home Care Marketing Myths and The Three Things that bring traffic to your homecare web site are Content, Content and Content.  Valerie and her team, particularly her partner George Novoson, are true home care web site optimization specialists.

A 2.5 Minute Video on How to Tell Good SEO from Bad

Valerie recently released a short Explainer Video that tells you how to tell whether the SEO help you're getting is worth it or not.  Please click on the image below to be redirected to Valerie's video.

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Some Key Take-Aways

A few key take-aways from Valerie's video are as follows:

  • One blog article a month won't cut it...

  • Pay-per-click and optimizing "static" pages are not good SEO

  • Good SEO has targeted key words to optimize and shows progress in those rankings

  • Good SEO is optimized for consumers and not for job-seekers

There's a lot more in Valerie's Video and it's worth the 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

How Can We Help?

Our focus at Ankota is to help home care succeed and thrive in the world of health care reform.  Whether you're just starting out or looking for ways to differentiate, we'd be happy to help.  Please fill out our Contact Us page and ask anything you'd like.

Contact Ankota

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

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, social media, inbound marketing

10 Questions for Home Care Prospects to Ask Their Aging Parents

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 15, 2016 12:52:58 PM

I found an interesting article on Phyllis Quinlan's blog, which is at: www.careforthecaregiver.me.  The original title is, 10 Essential Questions to ask your Aging Parents.  I think that this post is useful to our home care agency audience for several reasons.  First of all, if we're still lucky enough to have our parents or grandparents, this list can be useful to us personally.  Additionally, this might be a good set of information to provide the family members of prospective clients who come to us for advice.  In fact, it would be useful perhaps to family members of our current clients.

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I suggest reading the original article here, but here are the questions for you:

10 Essential Questions to Ask Aging Parents

  • Do You Have a Durable Power of Attorney?

  • What Are Your End-of-Life Wishes?

  • Do You Have a Will or Living Trust?

  • Do You Have Long-Term Care Insurance or Another Plan in Case Long-Term Care is Required?

  • Have You Made Sure That These Documents Are Current?

  • Where Can I Find These Documents If I Ever Need Them?

  • Is Someone Advising You on Financial Matters?

  • If You Can No Longer Take Care of Yourself, Have You Thought About Where You’d Prefer Living?

  • Do You Visit the Doctor Regularly?

  • Do You Feel Like You Understand Why You’re Taking the Medicines You’ve Been Prescribed?

Who Is Our Home Care Prospect?

Who really is our home care prospect?  Our client will, of course, be the family member in need of care, but often our client is a family member (in many cases an adult daughter) of the person we'll care for.  As such, we need to think about selling our agency to the actual client and also to their family.  The above list might help the family and by helping the family, we might be helping ourselves to win a new client.

For more best practices, take a look at our white paper, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.   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, social media, inbound marketing, February 2016 Newsletter

8 Mistakes Avoided by Your Home Care Competitors

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 11, 2016 12:43:21 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).

Change is inevitable in business, just as it is in life. What makes an organization successful is how it deals with that change. Have you ever wondered how your competitors always seem to be at the top of their game, even in the face of a major transition? Maybe they’ve discovered the biggest secret to success in the homecare industry: interim management.Decision At A Crossroad - Right Or Wrong

Mistakes Interim Management Prevents

There are certain mistakes that are unavoidable in the homecare industry. But if your competitors constantly outshine you, we can guarantee they are NOT doing these eight things during times of transition.

1. Decreasing Productivity

When a key employee leaves an organization for whatever reason, it often causes a severe case of “overwork-itis.” The work the former employee was responsible for still needs to be done, so it gets distributed among remaining team members. This overload causes discouragement and feelings of being overwhelmed. These feelings lead to a lack of productivity.

Interim management prevents this overload by providing a “stand- in” employee to cover the vacant position efficiently and effectively.

2. Resisting Change

Change is hard. It takes courage. Many homecare agencies resist change because they’re too involved to see a clear path toward success.

An interim manager helps foster new ideas and goals because of the unbiased ability to evaluate organizational strengths and weaknesses from an objective perspective. And from this viewpoint, the road to positive change is unobstructed.

3. Failing to Properly Acclimate New Hires

You can land the perfect fit for your management position. But if that person isn’t properly acclimated to the job or into your culture, their chances for success greatly diminish.

When working with an interim manager, you receive continued support after hiring a replacement. Your interim manager will train and acclimate the new employee, encouraging a smooth transition.

4. Missing an Opportunity to Branch Out

Expanding your organization, adding a new service, or creating a new business line is beneficial to your clients and profits. But, almost impossible when trying to accomplish this feat alone.

An interim manager provides the experience needed to achieve your growth goals. Your competitors aren’t the only ones who have the key to successful expansion.

5. Disengaging Employees

Employee engagement is crucial to the success of any homecare agency. But when unexpected terminations happen, it can affect the way existing employees view their job security, leaving them disengaged.

An interim manager, keeps things running smoothly and assures your team that your organization is thriving during even during a transition.

6. Missing Out on Family Time

One thing owners and managers know: it’s all too easy to lose yourself in the job and neglect your life. There’s always one more thing to do, one more phone call to make, or another email to check.

Surprisingly, the most successful organizations aren’t those whose top-level employees spend 60 plus hours working. They’re the ones who learn to work smarter instead of harder. Hiring an interim manager while searching for a replacement puts this principle into practice. It prevents you from becoming burnt out as a result of picking up the slack.

7. Sabotaging Their Reputation

If you’re not careful, the wrong move during a time of change can lead to a smudge on your reputation within the community. This often results in lost clients, referrals or employees. Engaging interim management helps maintain your reputation and minimizes staff upset during these times.

8. Losing Referrals

Chaos within an agency often leaks into employees’ daily work. In your homecare organization, this could mean the level of client care falls. What does that matter? When clients aren’t satisfied, they shy away from referring their friends and family and tell their physician.

Making Interim Management Work for You

If you want in on this secret to success that your competitors seem to have up their sleeves, schedule a time to speak with a Kenyon HomeCare Consulting expert, or call 206-721-5091.

8 MISTAKES AVOIDED BY YOUR COMPEITORS: ENGAGE INTERIM MANAGEMENT first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog, entitled, "8 Mistakes Avoided By Your Competitors: Engage Interim Management." 

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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One of Ankota's recent care transitions 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

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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, February 2016 Newsletter

Top 5 Reasons Caregivers Choose to Work for a Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 6, 2016 12:12:51 PM

I started working in home care around 2010 and at one of the first industry events I went to, I met a great guy named Aaron Marcum whose company is called Home Care Pulse.  They set out to do a home care benchmarking study so agencies can see how they stack up to their peers.  The survey itself and Aaron's company have been highly successful and I recently saw Aaron give a keynote presentation at the Decision Health Private Duty Conference.

In his presentation, Aaron focused on caregivers with a special focus on retaining the best caregivers.  Among the topics that he covered (and broke down be region) were recruitment sources, caregiver engagement scores, caregiver turnover reasons, caregiver recognition, overtime pay, wages and benefits.

Top 5 Reasons a Caregiver Chooses a Home Care Agency

One point that I found interesting was the top 5 reasons a caregiver chooses to work for a provider, as shown in the following chart.

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In this case, the regional differences were not particularly pronounced, so I think it's useful for all of us to look at these top five sources:

  1. Good Working Environment and Benefits - Number 1 Reason

  2. Working Schedule Met Lifestyle

  3. Company Good Reputation

  4. Company Was Recommended to Them (Peer Referrals)

  5. First Job Applied For - Speaks to Growth in the Market

 

A Plug for Home Care Pulse

Clearly, Home Care Pulse is making an impact on home care, helping agencies learn and improve.  In addition to their annual survey, they also offer a certification program and a satisfaction management program, and since they're all about the metrics, they have clear evidence that agencies using their satisfaction management program are more successful.  You can learn more about home care pulse at www.homecarepulse.com

What Else Are Successful Agencies doing?

We invite you to download our free whitepaper that expresses habits of succuessful home care agenciesSeven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.   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, February 2016 Newsletter

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About Ankota

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

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