The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

The 3 Things That Bring Traffic to Your Home Care Website are Content, Content, and Content

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jul 1, 2015 1:48:28 PM

marketing_traffic_-_AnkotaI recently attended a free home care sales and marketing webinar presented by Valerie VanBooven RN BSN from Home Care Daily and Steve "the Hurricane," from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.  One of the many take-aways I got from it was that 80 percent of home care customers come from their website and their referral partners.

Here on the Ankota blog, we have shared a number of stories that illustrate how important your website/mobile “presence” is to your marketing and sales success.  Here are just a few examples of those articles:

Do You Have Strong Landing Pages on Your Home Care Agency Web Site?

Does Your Home Care Web Site Accept Referrals?

Home Care Software Geek Explains the Importance of Mobile Friendly Web sites

Content, Content, Content

One other key point to learn is how important it is to provide useful and consistent content to your prospects and leads.  This short video from Steve illustrates just that.  Give it a look:

 

Steve also has a Home Care Marketing Bootcamp coming up in August that we suggest you also consider.  You can learn more about it via this Boot Camp sign up link.  

If you use the code: ANKOTA50 (all caps) when you sign up for the Home Care Marketing Bootcamp, you will save $50 off individual tickets.  If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, home care marketing

Don’t Turn a Deaf Ear to Unusual Requests for In Home Care Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Ginny_Kenyon_Home_Care_Consultant-2One 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 temptation for some health care agencies is to decline requests for unusual in-home services because they are out of the mainstream and staff may not be trained to handle such requests. But there are reasons why these requests are worth a second look! In a saturated home care market, there are few things that can distinguish one organization from another, other than providing superior service. So the scramble to secure clients for in home care services should, at the very least, include an evaluation of the special services requested.

Unusual or Special In Home Care Services

bigstock-Business-man-pointing-to-trans-77060912-300x197

While there are countless home health care situations that require skilled medical care, some areas considered to be niche markets are described below.  These should be considered if you specialize in home care services to gain a greater share of the competitive home care market.

  • Safety in the home. Assessments can be done by therapists and caregivers knowledgeable in home safety while providing recommendations for needed home modifications. Understanding specific chronic diseases and how prone these clients are to home accidents is a plus.

  • Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care. Specialized care for these clients requires a high degree of knowledge when providing in home care services. Because these clients require special monitoring and care, your staff will need advanced chronic disease education. Currently, there is a huge market for caregivers certified in chronic disease management.

  • Assisted living. Clients who are safe at home but require various levels of assistance with medications, personal care and other aspects of care usually prefer in home care services as opposed to living in a nursing home.

  • Psychiatric care. These services require caregiver education, expertise and experience in caring for those with psychiatric illnesses. With many institutions being closed, caregivers trained to provide quality in home care services for these clients are in great demand.

  • Pediatric care. Caregivers skilled in specialized pediatric care are in great demand to provide in home care services for ill and high risk children.

Getting a Jump on the Competition

Survival in the fiercely competitive home care industry is becoming more difficult each year as more organizations jump into caring for baby boomers. With most of these agencies concentrating on the traditional areas of skilled home care or private duty, one of the best strategies for expanding your in home care services is to take a close look at niche markets such as those described above.

One drawback is that specialized services require advanced knowledge and experience for the caregivers assigned to those clients with special needs. Staff education is always a good investment and once your caregivers acquire the training and skill sets needed, your organization can penetrate specific niche markets.The education dollars will be money well spent as you watch your referrals soar. For new start-up agencies, researching what specialized in home care services are lacking in your service area is a must. Providing unusual specialized in home care services is a great way to ensure agency success.

DON'T TURN A DEAF EAR TO UNUSUAL REQUESTS FOR IN HOME CARE SERVICES 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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If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just click the link or the picture below to download.

If you'd like to schedule an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing

10 Elderly Care Technologies to Watch per the Huffington Post

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jun 25, 2015 1:13:00 PM

Huffington Post recently published an article, 10 Ways Technology Could Change Aging In The Next 10 Years, that I found interesting.  As the title suggests, the piece outlines where HuffPo sees healthcare and aging tech progressing.  I've posted their list below, but I also strongly suggest that you give the entire article a read to get the full details of the story.

the-huffington-post

What struck me the most about the list was that it illustrated how much technology can both help faciliate elder care and help elders live fuller and more connected lives. 

Home care agency owner/operators and caregivers tend to be drawn to the industry because of a personal interest in helping clients and their families.  More specifically, helping clients and their families through what can often be a not-so-easy time for those involved.

Ankota as a company was born not just out of the founders belief in the fundamental need and value of our products to our customers, but also because of the founders' personal experiences with their families in the area of healthcare.

We are a healthcare technology company, but what drives us is the desire to improve healthcare, homecare, and the lives of the aging population and their familes.

Sometimes, technology can remove "the human element" from our lives.  Because we can communicate electronically, we don't always have an obvious need to connect with others face-to-face.  And since we don't need to connect in person, or an a personal level, often we don't.     

Future_of_Healthcare

What I enjoy about working at Ankota is that our technology not only helps streamline and manage the day-to-day business of so many caring folks, but it doing so, it allows them to focus more on caring for and improving the lives of those they care for.

With that, here is the list from the Huffington Post's article:

10 Technologies That Can Change Care for the Elderly

1. Talking street signs.

2. Cars that drive themselves.

3. The doctor will see you now -- on Skype.

4. Remote patient monitoring.

5. Online medical records.

6. Robots as caregivers.

7. Lights, lights and more lights.

8. Safety monitors that go way beyond nanny-cams.

9. Homes will age along with us.

10. More apps -- for everything.

What are your thoughts about the use of technology in home care?  What do you think of HuffPo's list?  Let us know by posting in the comments section below.

On a related note about the future of healthcare, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the furure-facing opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

Home Care Software Geek Explains the Internet of Things (IoT)

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 23, 2015 12:33:00 PM

The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Care Transitions or the other topics we focus on regularly at Ankota. Instead, these posts are intended to keep our readers up to date with technology trends that might be useful to your agencies, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening with bigger companies like MicrosoftGoogle and Apple.

Over time, there are always a few macro trends in technology that become buzz-phrases and drive the industry in a new direction.  A few years ago, it was "the cloud."  At the time, the idea that your software applications don't need to live on computers in your buildings was to some degree revolutionary, and since that time "cloud services" have resulted in job growth and billions of dollars of revenue.  In 2015, the two prevalent macro trends are Big Data (which we blogged about in April) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which we'll explain today...

The Internet of Things (IoT)

nest-thermostat-auto-awayThe Internet of Things, referred to as IoT, describes the concept of connecting devices other than computers and Smart Phones to the Internet.  One example that gets a lot of attention is the Nest thermostat.  This thermostat, in addition to being very attractive from a design standpoint, is noted because it "learns" how to optimize the temperature of your home, without programming and can be controlled remotely with your smart phone.  It detects when you're home or away, alerts you if your home gets too hot or cold, and even regulates humidity.  This is a great example of how a "thing connected to the internet" can bring value.

The IoT and Healthcare / Home Care

In order to explain how Internet of Things can impact home care, and health care in general, here are some highlights of an article by Jennifer Bresnick on June 16th in Health IT Analytics, entitled Three Ways the Internet of Things can Improve Patient Safety.  Please read the full article for details.  Here are her three things:

  1. Drug surveillance and preventing adverse effects: Although Jennifer's article talks mostly about linking patient monitoring devices together in the hospital so that drug adherence can be monitored and adverse reactions can be detected early, the home care context here is to use electronic pill boxes or other med tracking devices to ensure that meds are being taken when required.  I did some projects a number of years back with a company that makes a smart inhaler.  The inhaler (pictured) is connected to the internet (it literally has a built-in cell phone) and tracks doses plus some versions have ways to alert the patient when it's time to take meds.

    smart_inhaler

  2. Hand Hygiene: The article describes how IBM developed a hand hygiene monitoring solution using RFID sensors.  At present, this solution sounds more applicable to hospitals than to home care, but it's a good IoT example.

  3. Monitoring for Vulnerable Patients in their home environment: This is the one that we can relate to most in home care.  In order to balance cost of care with the large and growing demand for home care services and the declining caregiver workforce, deploying IoT monitoring devices in the home will become much more prevalent.  Your agency might think of offering this as a service (installing and monitoring such devices).

Making an IoT Action Plan for Your Home Care Agency

Hopefully this article has convinced you that the IoT is a real thing and not that complex to understand.  While I don't generally expect home care agencies to be early adopters of technology mega-trends, I do suggest that you look into strategies to offer medication adherence devices and home monitoring devices to your clients.  For other home care best practices, please download our free white paper, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just 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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, the internet of things

How to Start a Home Health Agency in Today’s Competitive Marketplace

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 17, 2015 10:50:00 AM

Ginny_Kenyon_Home_Care_Consultant-2One 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).

How to Start a Home Health Agency in Today’s Competitive Marketplace

Do you want to start a home health agency? It’s a booming industry due to an aging population, the need for increased health services, and clients’ desires to stay in their own homes. It can be a smart business choice for you.

However, there may be some challenges ahead of you. The home health agency landscape is filled with competition. You need to know how to start a home health agency that’s going to be successful — one that’s going to survive the initial start up, stands out from the crowd, and attracts clients.

Determine your business’ structurehow to stare a home care agency

What kind of business will you be? LLC? S Corporation? C Corporation? Partnership? Consult with an attorney who specializes in corporate structure to figure out which  one is best for you. It’s complicated to revise your business structure once you’ve chosen, so choose carefully.

Take note of the competition and the estimated number of potential clients in your area

One of the biggest mistakes with starting a home health agency is overestimating how much your services are needed in a given area. If you’ve got a lot of competition,  and/or if the area you intend to serve doesn’t have enough clients to support you, rethink your strategy and set up in an area that needs you.

Size up any competition, take note of their pricing and the services offered.  Differentiate yourself as much as possible.

Make sure you’ve got enough working capital

One of the major reasons new home health agencies fail is because they don’t have enough working capital to fund their start-up phase. It’s not worth it to try to cut corners “until you have income coming in.”

Ideally, you should have about:

$40,000 to $80,000 if you are a private-pay homecare agency with nonskilled employees

$60,000 to $100,000 if you are an agency that specializes in licensed home health care but don’t accept Medicare

$150,000 to $350,000 if you want to be Medicare-certified (costs vary depending on the state you’ll have your agency in)

Make a budget that will include expected costs for the first year

Include realistic costs for things like:

– Your “brand” development (name, logo, etc.)

– Development of policies and procedures if applicable for Medicare and licensing

– Sales and marketing costs

– “Office” costs like computer hardware and software, furniture, filing cabinets, phones, pens, paper, and the necessary connectivity (telephony, Internet) for proper function

– Recruiting, paying, and retaining employees and management staff

– Rent or mortgage payments for office space

If you’re going to serve Medicare clients, you have to have paid clinical staff able to care for a minimum of 10 patients. You will NOT be reimbursed by Medicare for these start-up costs.

Your budget must also include a necessary, specified “cushion” of money in your bank account to prove that your organization is financially viable.

Don’t forget to pay yourself

This is an often overlooked part of the budget by new owners, but absolutely necessary and an important element as you consider how to start a home health agency. You’re undertaking a full-time job and need to be paid in order to survive. You cannot wait until your agency starts to generate income to pay yourself.

Need to know how to start a home health agency and not sure where to begin? Kenyon HomeCare Consulting can help you. Contact us today. 

HOW TO START A HOME HEALTH AGENCY IN TODAY'S COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE 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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If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon, home care marketing

The Compelling Need for Private Duty Care After Hospital Discharge

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 15, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Case_Management_Ankota_Homecare_blogToday's article is a guest post by noted Home Care Attorney Elizabeth Hogue, esq, and is republiished with permission here on the Ankota blog.  As our readers know, our vision at Ankota is to transform healthcare so that its main focus is avoiding preventable hospitalizations.  We see collaboration between home care and the hospital-centric healthcare world as critical to that vision. In fact, I believe that if home care were empowered and focused on the 10 percent of our population that drives 75% of healthcare costs, and they were given the tools to detect the warning signs that lead to preventable hospitalizations, that this can single-handedly solve the healthcare crisis in America.  Having said that, most of the medical community don't yet regard private duty home care agencies as even being part of the continuum of healthcare and many agency owners agree.  

I like Elizabeth's article because it describes the legal and ethical reasons why hospital discharge should be referring private duty care.

What Hospital Discharge Planners Need to Know About Private Duty Home Care

By Elizabeth Hogue

Hospital discharge planners and case managers need to know more about private duty home care.

In order to be appropriate for home health or hospice services paid for by any payor, including the Medicare Program, patients must either be able to care for themselves or they must have a primary caregiver.  Patients’ family members or others may be willing to fulfill this role on a voluntary basis.  If not, discharge planners/case managers should offer patients and/or their family members the option to pay privately for a primary caregiver who can meet patients’ needs in between visits from professional staff from home health agencies and hospices.  These types of services may be referred to by post-acute providers as private duty home care services.

The option to pay for private duty home care services should be offered to all patients who cannot care for themselves and who have no voluntary primary caregivers.  Patients who can care for themselves or have voluntary primary caregivers may also wish to contract for additional assistance, so discharge planners/case managers should offer this option to all patients who may benefit from these services.

Discharge planners/case managers may be reluctant to offer these services to patients and their families because of the cost of such services.  They may also erroneously conclude that patients and their families cannot afford these services.  Discharge planners/case managers should not jump to conclusions about who can afford these services.  Instead, private duty home care services should be offered to every patient and family who may benefit from them.  This conclusion is consistent with legal and ethical requirements that govern the practice of case management.

From a legal point of view, discharge planners/case managers who work in hospitals must comply with Conditions of Participation (CoPs) that govern hospitals.  Specifically, discharge planners/case managers are required to develop appropriate discharge plans, if necessary, for all patients.  According to Interpretative Guidelines for the CoPs, development of appropriate discharge plans undoubtedly includes private duty home care services for patients who may benefit from them.

In addition, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA has published national standards of care for case managers.  They are likely to apply to all case managers/ discharge planners, regardless of whether they are certified as case managers, because they are practicing as case managers.

These standards make it clear that case managers have a duty to advocate on behalf of patients.  As advocates for patients, discharge planners/case managers have an obligation to make sure that patients understand all of the options available to them, including the option to pay privately for home care services.

Case managers/discharge planners also have an ethical obligation to inform patients about the availability of private duty services.  Autonomy is an important ethical principle applicable to the practice of case management/discharge planning.  This ethical principle generally requires case managers to provide information to patients so that they can make informed choices.

Patients cannot make choices about the care they wish to receive unless they have information about all services available, including private duty services.  Discharge planners/case managers, therefore, have a clear ethical obligation to provide information about private duty home care services to all patients who may benefit from them.

Patients are in the drivers’ seat when it comes to decisions about their care, but they cannot make appropriate choices unless they have information about all of the types of care available to them.  Consequently, discharge planners/case managers have legal and ethical obligations to make sure that patients have information about private duty home care services.

(c) 2015 Elizabeth Hogue.  Reprinted with Permission.

Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.

Office: (877) 871-4062

Fax: (877) 871-9739

Twitter: @HogueHomecare

ElizabethHogue@ElizabethHogue.net

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To learn more Home Care industry Best Practices, download Ankota's free white paper called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies Just click on the link above or the picture of the document below to download the paper.

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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing, Elizabeth E. Hogue Esq.

Home Care Agencies That Track Their Referrals Earn 20% More Than Those Who Don't

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 11, 2015 8:00:00 AM

 When I hear advice, I always try hard to listen and consider the advice, but I don't always follow it. One such piece of advice is that I should get 8 hours of sleep every night.  So far, that's not working out for me and I average around 6.5.  I also heard advice recently from First Lady Michelle Obama who suggested that the campfire treat "s'mores" that are made with a Graham cracker, marshmallow, and a piece of chocolate, should be replaced with new s'mores that have a graham cracker, yogurt, and a strawberry.  I don't think I'll be putting that advice into practice soon!

Home_Care_Referral_Tracking_Importance

But sometimes advice is compelling and a picture paints 1,000 words, as is the case with this gem of a statistic from the Home Care Pulse survey.  The graphic shows that home care agencies who track each referral have average revenue of $1.7 million per year, whereas companies that don't track every referral have revenue of $1.4 million per year.  How can a business owner or sales manager see those numbers and not react?  As a business owner trying to grow, losing track of leads seems intolerable.

 

Tracking Leads From Your Website Through your home care software

One feature that we have in Ankota is that we provide a referral form that you can embed right into your home care website.  This way, if a lead comes in after hours on your web site, you have all the information right in your home care software and you can't lose a lead.  The image below shows how the customizable referral form is embedded right into the website of one of our customers.

Care_Partners_Referral

 

On a related note regarding compelling advice...

Special Offer from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises:

We recently ran a piece about an inspirational webinar led by Steve "the Hurricane" from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.  I was really inspired by his home care marketing tips and followed up with him.  He gave me some great advice that I can use at Ankota and also was gracious enough to share a discount code for his upcoming marketing boot camp. 

Click here and use the code ANKOTA50 (all caps) to get $50 off tuition.

Home_Care_Marketing_with_Steve_The_Hurricane

To learn more Home Care industry Best Practices, download Ankota's free white paper called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies Just click on the link above or the picture of the document below to download the paper.

 

 

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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing

5 Key Things That Home Care Leaders Should Know About Medical Alert Solutions

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 9, 2015 10:33:00 AM

Our guest blogger, Charlie Kimball, works for MedicalCareAlert.com, a Michigan-based company providing home care monitoring for family members who choose to stay at home despite medical challenges. Charlie is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. She blogs for her company.

Charlie_Kimball_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog

Medical alert solutions have been around since the 1970s, but many people still think the technology is still stuck in the 1970s. There have been a lot of advancements to help elderly people stay safe with medical alert solutions. Here are a few things you should know about if you haven’t considered medical alert solutions for a while.

1.)  GPS

Traditional medical alert systems use a base station and one or more alert devices. These devices had a limited range. Once the user passed beyond that range then they couldn’t signal for help. That made many seniors feel housebound.

Now there are devices that work with GPS. The user carries a device similar to a cell phone along with their alert bracelet. The portable base station will allow communication with the call center, and also will show them where the emergency is happening through GPS technology.

2.)  Sensitivity

One of the reasons that base stations had such limited range was microphone sensitivity. Modern microphone technology enables dispatchers to hear someone even at far distances or behind closed doors. The speakers are also much louder.

fall_detection_pendant_next_to_house_key_Ankota_Home_Care_blog

3.)  More contact options

Early systems used to only contact EMS. These days, people want more flexibility. For instance, say someone falls, but they don’t think it’s severe enough to call EMS. Perhaps they are in an embarrassing situation and they’d prefer to call a family member. It is possible to give a list of contact numbers to the dispatcher that can be called instead of EMS. Dispatchers can also be told to contact certain numbers along with EMS in case of a real emergency so that the family can get to the hospital.

4.)  Better design

Another feature of today’s medical alert devices is better aesthetics. Early devices used to hang off large pendants. It was obvious the user had a medical alert device. This caused some users embarrassment. Thanks to miniaturization, medical alert pendants can now be hidden in bracelets or other pieces of jewelry. Combined with GPS technology, people may not know that someone may be carrying a medical alert device.

5.)  Integration

There are new telemedicine technologies that are extending the traditional medical alert system in new ways. For instance, there are systems that use cameras to track an individual inside their home so that family members can check in on them. Sometimes a medical alert provider will integrate this system with their standard medical alert system. A trusted family member may get an alert message if the button is pressed without needing a dispatcher to call them first. This can reduce worry among the family.

Ankota_Home_Care_Blog_Fallen_and_Cant_Get_Up

If your memories of medical alert bracelets are from commercials from the 1980s, it’s time to upgrade. Alert bracelets still have a big role in helping elderly people live safe and independent lives.

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On a related note, Ankota offers a free White Paper abou the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just click the link or the picture below to download.

 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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, medical alert solutions

Home Care Owners Can Use News Feeds and LinkedIn Pulse to Keep from Falling Behind

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 4, 2015 1:34:00 PM

I'm often asked how I find the content for our Ankota Blog articles and how I'm always aware of the latest things going in in home care, payment reform, and technology.  One of the ways that I'm able to keep up is via News Feeds.  The tricky part, however, is to choose feeds that are interesting to you, your agency, and your audience.  There are a lot of feeds out there, so if you're not careful you'll get overwhelmed and you won't have time to read any of the content, so choose wisely!

A few of the news feeds that I subscribe to, are as follows:

I also follow a couple of other feeds that are not related to home care, as follows:

  • SmartBrief: I follow for briefs on technology and entrepreneurship

  • LinkedIn Pulse: a service from LinkedIn that pushes content from your network and influencers

An Example from LinkedIn Pulse:

home_care_linkedin_pulse

Here's a news feed that I received from LinkedIn Pulse, and what I did with it:

  • Hillary Clinton: Glanced at her ideas on jump-starting more small businesses

  • Sramana Mitra: Looked into what she had to say about funding companies smartly

  • John Hargrave: He described how a couple made their wedding all about the guests and how you should make your business all about the customers.  Great story!

  • Jeff Haden: I read both of his articles.  One was about making small talk and the other was about how to deal with overcommitment by using the two words "I don't" as opposed to "I can't"

  • Ann Handley: talked about thinking at 22 it was all about coming up to speed, becoming an expert, and then coasting...and how wrong that turned out to be

  • Bruce Kassanoff: encouraged people to answer the question "what do you do?" with what you aspire to do...He then talks about how it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

Glancing at all of those articles took me less than 10 minutes and helped inspire me to think differently on some important topics.

Bottom line: choose a few news feeds that inspire you, and read them.

Special Offer from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises:

We recently ran a piece about an inspirational webinar led by Steve "the Hurricane" from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.  I was really inspired by his home care marketing tips and followed up with him.  He gave me some great advice that I can use at Ankota and also was gracious enough to share a discount code for his upcoming marketing boot camp. 

Click here and use the code ANKOTA50 (all caps) to get $50 off tuition.

Home_Care_Marketing_with_Steve_The_Hurricane

To learn more Home Care industry Best Practices, download Ankota's free white paper called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies Just click on the link above or the picture of the document below to download the paper.

 

 

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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing

4 Easy Ways to Make Homes Safe and Convenient for the Elderly

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 2, 2015 2:09:00 PM

Our guest blogger today is Jane Blanchard, a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA.

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Making modifications to better accommodate an elderly individual can help keep them accident-free. Whether your elderly loved one lives alone or in your home, taking certain safety and convenience measures will keep the stress and worry off their mind--and yours. If your elderly guest is only staying temporarily, or you don’t have the time or budget for structural renovations, there are a few simple ways to make the home a more welcoming place for individuals with physical limitations.

1.)  Safe and Accessible Lighting

Accessible_Lighting

 

Adding lighting fixtures to frequented areas is a small fix that can a big difference to an elderly resident. If the individual is still able to walk up and down stairs, make their journey a little easier with stair lights. Adhesive touch lights and motion sensor lights are also a great option for dark stairways and hallways. Wireless remote controls for lighting fixtures can save your loved one the harrying trips in and out of bed or on and off the couch.

(Just click the the picture or the following hyperlink to be taken to the Amazon.com page to learn more.)

2.)  Intercom System

If your loved one lives with you or is often accompanied by a paid caregiver, a sophisticated intercom system can help meet their needs on a day-to-day basis. It can also allow them to alert someone in case of an emergency or potential emergency. Whether you choose a wireless intercom system or a wall-mounted system, the knowledge that the elderly resident can easily get in touch will put everyone’s mind at ease. Make sure the intercom can be easily accessed from both inside and outside of the house, and especially in places where accidents could easily occur, such as the bathroom and the kitchen.

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3.)  Hardware Updates 

Take a good look around your house--a feature you don’t even think twice about might present an obstacle for someone with physical limitations. Thankfully, there are straightforward solutions to many hardware issues. Grab handles on the bathtub can make the simple task of bathing much easier and safer for a person with physical limitations. Cabinet handles that are more comfortable to grasp can lessen the struggles of those with arthritis. Hang hooks to make must-haves like kitchen utensils easy to get to.

(Just click the picture or this hyperlink to be taken to an Ebay page to learn more)

 

4.)  Clutter Management

Falls are the foremost cause of injury among elderly people. Keeping potential stumbling blocks out of the way will increase your loved one’s mobility, and therefore, independence. Electrical cords are one of the greatest hazards, so make sure that you either organize them with binder clips or run them along the wall whenever possible. Another major hazard is rugs or bunched up carpet, so make sure to flatten staple loose carpet and remove rugs that do not grip firmly to the floor. Make sure other objects usually found on the floor like plants, pet bowls, and box fans are safely out of the way. Taking these small but important precautions can help everyone in your house live harmoniously in a safe environment.

For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

To learn more Home Care industry Best Practices, download Ankota's free white paper called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies Just click on the link above or the picture of the document below to download the paper.

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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing, home safety

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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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