Kenyon HomeCare ConsultingGinny Kenyon, Author at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

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Are You Looking To Roll Out Chronic Disease Education In Your Home Care Agency? Does It Feel Like Beginning A Game Of Mouse Trap For The First Time?

Get Started TodayA chronic disease education program is just that. It is a program.  It isn’t an event or a class.  So, let’s take a look at how to truly advance your chronic disease education program into something that works.

Change Your Mindset:

First of all, you may think if you address chronic disease education as part of the orientation process you have done enough.  That is not the home care of today.  Home care is continuing to advance towards the medical home. There will be things completed in home care that would not even be considered 10 years ago.  So, you have to always think in the future to stay in the home health industry.

Start With Your Operations:

You need to complete a SWOT analysis to determine your internal strengths and weaknesses.  By doing so, you can determine what to change to make your program better.  Here are some things to look at in your analysis:

  • Communication Of The Interdisciplinary Team
  • Knowledge Base of All Clinical Employees
  • Internal Chronic Disease Management Protocols
  • Quality Improvement Metrics

Choose An Educational Program

Look at the educational needs of your agency based upon your SWOT and operational analysis.  What disciplines have what deficits? Also, look at how your employees learn.  Do you need face to face education for staff or is online learning suited to your employee population? What is your follow up plan? A good program should allow you to develop and advance staff as skill levels increase.  Your program should include all disciplines and focus on making the aide staff an accountable part of the chronic care team.

Teaching The Aide Staff About Chronic Disease:

The teaching on chronic disease is not focused strictly on the diseases themselves.  Address practical applications based on what is seen in the home health world.  This is so important to make the application of knowledge relevant for clinical staff.  Textbook data given to aide staff does not mean you will have a better chronic disease management team.  Assess the learning of aide staff in practical ways so you can improve your program.  Use case studies of those with chronic disease on service after training has been completed to see how aides put new knowledge to use.  Address these items in your case studies:

  • Has The Quality Of Documentation For The Aide Changed?
  • Has Coordination Between Skilled Disciplines Improved?
  • Do Care Plans Reflect Not Only What The Aides Do, But Also What To Report?
  • Does Aide Staff Report To Nursing On A Routine Basis As Determined By Agency Policy And Patient Status?

Teach, Re-Teach, And Re-address:

Remember this is an ongoing process and therefore, is not one dimensional.  Just like any quality improvement measure, your disease management program should ever evolve and get better.  All clinical disciplines should become better and better at working as a true interdisciplinary team.  If your clinical staff understand the big picture and why operations need to evolve, your outcomes and entire program can finally change.

Do You Need Help Getting Started?: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, you can get the help you need to improve your chronic disease education and program.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.  Let us get you on the road to disease management success.

Master Your ICD 10 Coding And You Master Your Home Health Program! Maximizing Your Reimbursement And Outcomes All At The Same Time!

ICD-10 CodingICD 10 coding is complex.  It is detailed and specific.  So are the patients that have the diagnoses attached to those codes.  Make sure you take a look at how better coding makes your program better overall.

5 Ways Maximizing ICD 10 Coding Can Mean A Better Overall Program:

First and most important you need coding done by those certified in ICD 10. So, that being said, here are 5 ways to make the most of your diagnosis codes.

1. More Specificity:

A good example of this is congestive heart failure.  ICD 9 used to use a more generic code, but now ICD 10 coding requires the specificity of what type. Looking at the type and patient specific causes means that the clinicians can have a better understanding of what to expect from the patient.  This would include the classes of the disease that determine severity.  This leads into our next reasons for improvement in your program.

2. Patient Specific Intervention:

By knowing the specific diagnosis, clinicians can better make patient specific care plan interventions.  Your interventions for someone with a class 1 CHF are different than those for a stage 3.  Realistic care planning is the only way to improve patient outcomes based on what is specific to that patient.

3. Patient Specific Goals:

Along with intervention, goals need to fit the diagnosis attached to that individual. A class 3 or 4 heart failure patient is not able to complete physical activities without shortness of breath. This may seem like common sense, but it is not uncommon to see goals that are not attainable for a patient regardless of compliance to care plan.

4. Painting A Clearer Picture:

In order to be able to code properly, documentation needs to be clear.  Certified coders know what needs to be present to justify codes as well as Oasis information.  ICD 10 coding requires more information and collaboration between home health and other providers.  Having the proper information in the patient record leads to painting a clearer picture for each clinician that enters the home.

5. Getting the Proper Reimbursement:

Don’t ever leave money on the table you are entitled to receive.  If you have the documentation and use the appropriate coding, you will receive what you need to care for the patient.  If you don’t, you will provide proper care and go in the whole every time.  That is not the intent.  Proper care planning and coding should provide what is needed to take care of the patient and keep you in the black at the same time.

Many agencies have the nurses coding while doing everything else.  Nurses cannot be the experts in coding and be expected to focus on patient care too.  Coding done by non-certified coders can mean up to $1,000 less per episode of care dependent upon the individual patient.

Let Us Help Turn It Around:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we work with agencies on organizational assessments and process changes to maximize overall operations.  We provide coding services and in-depth on site education to nurses both in and out of the homes to help with Oasis accuracy and documentation.  Call 206-721-5091 or contact us online to receive your 30 minute free consultation.  Let us make a difference for your agency.

Working With New Partners? Let’s Look At Your Home Care Partnerships And How To Be The Sonny And Cher Of The Home Care World!

Home Care PartnershipsWorking with a partner always presents a challenge.  Whether you are in a band, marriage, or a home care business, the partnership is about relationships and meeting mutual needs.  With ACOs and other home care partnerships, you must constantly work on the relationship to make it work. Let’s look at your partnerships and the importance of being a part of the healthcare team.

4 Things To Remember In Being A Strong Home Care Partner:

Sometimes, you can get so focused on your own operations that you forget the comprehensive partnership goals.  Here are 4 things to always consider when working in home care partnerships:

1. Make Partnership Goals Together:

Whether it is a physician office or an ACO, your goals must align.  Of course, all providers want to work to provide high quality care and improve patient outcomes.  However, if you don’t discuss how to best achieve those goals between partners, you may be working very hard and not accomplishing what you both want.

2. Include Staff On Joint Goals:

Again, you are busy and so is staff, but communicating how you will work with partners is crucial.  All clinical and administrative staff need to understand the game plan too.  Don’t decide operational changes without working with those it will directly affect.

3. Measure Progression On A Routine Basis:

Always measure metrics and intangibles that are important to all members of home care partnerships.  Meet up with other partners at set times to discuss the metrics and be willing andopen to address any issues others may have with your agency.

4. EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE:

Chronic disease management is a key in all realms of healthcare today.  In order to thrive in home care partnerships, you have to educate your staff on chronic disease.  This means all members of the team.  This includes therapy, nursing, and aide staff.  All members of the clinical team need to know the best practices to manage chronic disease.  Often times, aide staff is overlooked in the skilled clinical picture.  In home care of today and the future, the home care aide is crucial in keeping patients at home and safely managing chronic disease.

Let Us Work With You On Your Home Care Partnerships:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting works with agencies on chronic disease management programs to advance you and your partnership goals.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation today.

Take A Hard Look At Your Chronic Disease Education And Programs. Are You Part Of The Gold Standard? Do You Want To Be?

paradigm shiftAnyone in home care today knows that chronic disease management is a must, but doing it well is easier said than done.  It begins with solid chronic disease education.  Then, you need a strong internal program for clinical staff to succeed with patient care.

Start With What You Do Now:

So, let’s say the nurse admits the patient who has CHF.  Home care puts in nursing, a home health aide, and physical therapy.   The therapy helps with endurance and aide helps to complete the ADL’s.  Nursing has a packet of CHF education and visit by visit gives it out to the patient after teaching what is on it.  Nursing continues assessment and teaching until the patient is stabilized.  Then, discharge is completed with goals met.  What has been done to manage that disease on an ongoing basis? How will the patient handle it once you walk out the door?

Nurses Cannot Be The Answer To All Things All The Time:

Nurses often feel the need to be all things to all people in home care.  This is not realistic.  The skilled disciplines all have a part in a chronic disease management program.  The important thing to remember is as talk of a patient, you need to communicate there is one care plan for that patient.  Agencies speak of aide, nursing and therapy care plans as though each is a different language.  The tasks related to those care plans may be different, but goals should align. Overlap should be apparent on the task level as well.

One Patient Has One Care Plan:

If physical therapy wants range of motion completed on a patient, there is no reason why the other disciplines shouldn’t be doing the same while in the home.  But, we seem to compartmentalize tasks to just one discipline.  Wound care can be completed by a physical therapist as can med reconciliation.  Home health aides can do ROM and ambulate with the patient.  Just think through traditional roles and decide what can crossover between disciplines.  By changing the paradigm of how you see roles in the home, you can change the outcomes.  It makes sense.  It makes all disciplines more comprehensive and more laser focused on the patient status as opposed to the task itself.  Once each discipline starts “seeing” the patient in the same light, the goals and outcomes align.  This also allows agencies to align goals and outcomes with other providers in ACOs or specialty partnerships.

How To Shift A Paradigm:

This is the toughest part of the entire thing, but it can be done and it has been done.  The first part starts with the education piece.  The present and future of home care means more and more completed within the home than ever.  We are looking at medical homes now in certain areas and shifting everything back out of institutional facilities.  So, the industry has to make all patient care time count.  It is a transition and will not be perfect as you begin it.

Chronic Disease Education Programs:

Chronic disease education for aides is often very basic and does not lead to the aide being a key player in the home health plan of care.  This is the first and biggest misstep.  Teaching the aide about disease specific care and looking past the “bath” is key in chronic disease management.  For example, the aide needs to understand what a change in skin color can mean to someone with heart issues. The aides need to be programmed to be cognizant for subtle changes that come with specific chronic disease. Having a better understanding of the disease will improve the quality of care.

Start with your aide staff.  Educate on a systematic approach to recognizing patient changes and looking past the bath and into the bigger picture.  Work with nursing staff to coordinate directly with aide staff more often.  Look at care plans to make sure chronic disease is addressed.  Make looking at a care plan and really understanding it more of a priority for aide staff.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting Can Help Make It Happen!:

Whether you have started the process or starting from scratch, Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help with your chronic disease education.   Call 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation today.

Yoda Was A Very Wise Member Of The Force. Is Your ICD 10 Coding An Asset Or Is It Holding You Back?

timeYou remember seeing Star Wars when Luke Skywalker was with Yoda learning about his role and becoming Jedi the was destined to be, right? When it comes to home health and ICD 10 coding, diagnoses need to truly drive your care plan and make sure you get the reimbursement you deserve.

5 Ways To Evaluate Your Current Program:

As an administrator, you should evaluate your coding for accuracy.  Here are some ways to see if you are on your way or need some work.

1. ICD 10 Coding Certification:

Whether you code in-house or outsource, make sure the coders are certified.  In addition, it is really important that the coders you use have home health coding experience. There is a big difference in the relevance of certain codes dependent upon the setting and where the patient is in the cycle of the illness exacerbation.

2. State And National HHRG Comparison:

Check your state and national averages.  If you are significantly higher or lower, then you need to take another look into accuracy.  You never want to leave money on the table you are entitled to receive caring for the patient. On the same hand, very high HHRG numbers mean you need to make sure you have the documentation to back up the Oasis and codes.  If there is a mismatch, you need to re-evaluate.

3. What Is Your Back-Up Plan?:

Can your current coding system accommodate significant influx of patient admissions?  If you complete coding in-house, can you cover workload if one would terminate employment or go on extended medical leave?  Consider having a contracted agency on hand to help during times of increased census or leave of absences.  It will assist in cash flow management as billing will not be hindered by Oasis and coding review.

4. Check And Balance Systems:

Whether in-house or outsourced, it is always smart to check your current system against another objective source.  Have another coding provider re-evaluate 5 charts. Give yourself reassurance your current in-house staff is coding appropriately.  It can also alert you if additional education or documentation needs completed by staff.  It also helps with your back-up plan as you will have someone in place to cover should the need arise.

5. Ongoing Education:

Is your current coding system keeping up to date with changes as they occur? How do you know?  Discuss this with your current provider and ask how the provider knows when changes to coding rules have changed.  If you have coding in-house, make sure staff knows where to find updates. Make sure state and national resources are available for them to keep informed.

Let Us Re-Code To See If You Are On The Right Track!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you with ICD 10 coding, Oasis review, and staff education.  Call us today at 216-721-5091 or contact us online and let us do 5 re-codes for free!

They Say Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Sometimes Working Together Can Feel Harder! Here Are Ways To Use Your Strengths To End Up On Top On Home Care Partnerships!

teamSometimes, on paper, collaboration looks like it should be easy.  Right?  However, we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect human beings.  So, it is important when you work in an ACO or other home care partnerships to know how to make life easier.

How Do You Operate And The Partners Operate?:

Internal operations are so important in working in an ACO.  If you don’t collaborate well between your own disciplines, you won’t work well with other healthcare providers.  On the same hand, you may be working with partners who are not as efficient as you are and this can be frustrating for your agency.  Both are equally important to make things work correctly and efficiently to improve patient care. Think about ways you can help staff with the frustrations on both sides of that coin.  Work with the other administrators on improvement of communications and processes.  It will make both providers better if you work through the bumps collaboratively.

How Do You Analyze Your Quality Data?:

There are some truly fantastic quality programs out there.  But, a QI program is only as good as what the agency does with the data.  The process is a continuous loop.  Look at what you track and what the data really does for you.  Are you tracking things you don’t really need to because the data has been consistently high ?  Or, do you have items you track, but are really doing nothing to actively improve numbers?  If so, your quality program is costly with no real return on your investment.

Chronic Disease Programs/ Education:

In order to function well in an ACO, you must have a chronic disease management program that is on top of changes in patient status.  You have to have proactive care plans and not those that react to issues after exacerbation of illness.  This may seem like a common sense statement, but take a look at your care plans for a patient 5 years ago that has CHF.  Does it look just like a patient admitted yesterday?  If so, then evaluate your program and what education staff is doing in the home.  How often is the patient being monitored? And, ALL disciplines need to be involved in the education and the proactive care plan approach.

We Can Help You Get There!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, our senior consultants can help with program development and education to staff.  Kenyon has great online education for the management of chronic disease.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to schedule your free 30 minute consultation on home care partnerships.

The Super Bowl of Home Care is Chronic Disease Education. Train Your Aides Or You Will Drop The Ball Without Any Time Left On The Clock. Train Your Aides Or You Will Drop The Ball Without Any Time Left On The Clock!

Chronic DiseaseYou know that if you want to succeed in home care moving forward, you must manage chronic disease.  But, how much attention are you paying to chronic disease education?  Better yet, how much chronic disease education do your aides get?

Why Your Aide Staff Need To Be One Of The Prime Movers In Chronic Disease:

There has been a big shift in home health over the years.  When Medicare Episodic management came into play, agencies had to look even closer at how many times patient were being seen.  40% of agencies closed in the U.S. when CMS when to the PPS system.  Now, CMS wants the silos of healthcare to go away completely.  In order to make that happen, every discipline must be on the same page for a disease true management program. Leaving the home care aides out is missing a huge piece of the puzzle.  Let’s take a look at how your aide staff should be key players in your program.

  • More Frequent Patient Contact: Your aide staff see these patients more often and have more direct contact on a routine basis.
  • Provide Comprehensive Portion Of The Care Plan: Aides can take vitals and be directed to more in-depth reporting etc.
  • Aides Often Know More About The Patient’s Routine: The aides see so much that is unobserved by other clinicians.

So, What Does That Mean For The Agency?:

This means the home care aide can be an invaluable resource for management of the disease.  Care plans need to include them for routine parts of monitoring and reporting that are within the scope of practice.  Don’t underestimate the value of routine questioning from the RN to the aide about the patient.  As the RN learns to dig in with routine questions, it will also gear the aide into things that need to be observed during visits.  This creates a teamwork environment and teaches the aide how to be more comprehensive in patient care.  It means a change in your process as well as education.

What Education Do You Need To Provide?:

This means you have to take a hard look at your disease management program.  Has it been updated or are you doing the same things you did 10 years ago or longer.  Have you tweaked chronic disease education to staff based upon outcomes?  Also, are you looking to make the aides active in participation?  Many agencies do a basic chronic disease education as part of orientation.  Think back to the last orientation for your job.  How much do you remember?  Probably not a whole lot.   It is no different for the aide staff.  Education on chronic disease management needs to be ongoing so staff keep it in front of them at all times.  It isn’t a one time thing and then you become task focused again.  It is a way to address items with each patient visit to quickly recognize changes as they start to occur.

How Do You Get The Aides To Think About Patient Care Differently?:

You must start with making them a part of the process.  Think about what you do with the patient.  You teach what to report and to address it quickly with the nurse before it is emergent.  The same things you teach the patients should be addressed with the aides so they are aware of what changes may be problematic.  Unfortunately, this is not usually done.  This is a very common sense approach to patient care.  Yes, you will have bumps in the road and things will be not perfect, but outcomes will improve with team engagement.

It IS Possible: 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Works with agencies on comprehensive disease management programs for aide staff and can help to get your processes in place.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation.

All ICD 10 Coding Is Not Created Alike. Why You Need To Make Sure You Aren’t Comparing Apples To Oranges.

ICD 10 codingAre you happy with your current coding solution?  How do you know if your agency getting all you need from your coding company?  Here are some things to look at with your current ICD 10 coding.

Do You Receive The Data You Need?:

Let’s face it; some of your nurses are great with documentation and some are not.  Some really put all the pieces of the Oasis tool together properly and some are not the best at completing it accurately.  You may potentially know, but may not have the actual data to back it up. You may have a more cost-effective coding solution, but it may not include accurate Oasis review and allow you to complete focused educational efforts with staff.

Look at data that will be most important for your agency and address these items with the coding company directly.  This will allow you to get reporting you need to make informed decisions on who should complete admissions.  Ask your coding company to supply the numbers for reimbursement before and after the coding and Oasis review are complete.  Ask if clinician accuracy can be reported as an overall percentage. You also may want to receive a breakdown of error by questions.  These are items that allow you to trend information. If you have clinicians with a low error rate on Oasis submission, you can eliminate the need for your outsourced company to need an entire Oasis review.  You would save money if only need the ICD 10 coding needs completed.

How Do The Reports Look?:

Clinicians in the field are busy.  Having reports that are easy to interpret make life much easier for those in the field.  If it is easier for the nurse to review, then it is easier to make the necessary changes.  Often times, agencies will have a coding solution in place, but no way to determine if incongruities in documentation are updated appropriately.

How Does Your Provider Handle Times When Census Fluctuates?:

Home care has always been cyclical.  Some months have higher admission rates. If you complete ICD 10coding and Oasis review in house, it may be tough for you in the summertime when everyone takes vacation.  Do you have a back up? Make sure that whoever completes your coding and Oasis review can manage additional influx of patient admissions.  You need a solution that will not hold back your ability to bill the RAP in a timely manner.

Let Us Give You A Side By Side Comparison:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have ICD 10coding solutions that help with Oasis education and review.  We can complete 5 re-codes of claims to see if you are getting what you need from your coding supplier.  We can also be a back up for your agency if in-house staffing changes and you need additional assistance.  Call us today for 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see if we can help!

You Have Heard Of Integrated Networks, But Can It Really Exist Or Is It Just A Myth? Finding The Perfect Combination of Patient Care When Participation In An ACO is Done Right!

ChangeAs a home care administrator, you may not be part of an ACO yet. Your local hospitals may be putting together networks and beginning to analyze data.  But, it may not be something that has seriously affected you yet.

How Can A Silo Really Go Away?:

This is the million dollar question, right? You know that home care is a cost savings modality to the Medicare system, but can’t understand why there are still so many things being done on an inpatient level that can be done at home. Well, this is where the paradigm shift is heading now.  When we look back historically, care was always provided in homes.  The house call was routine.  Then, the shift became longer inpatient stays and no one made house calls at home anymore.

Reality is, the change to so much care out of the home and by so many providers was the beginning of silo creation.  As an industry, healthcare has come so far and is capable of doing more than ever before, but it isn’t done efficiently. The break down if the silo is the paradigm shift back to the home.  ACOs and medical models at home are working to get there. The future is home care as the prime mover for the day-to-day care of a patient.

What Can You Do To Prepare?:

Whether you are part of an ACO, looking to join one, or in the data collection phase of something integrated on your local level, start with your agency first.  How integrated are you as an agency?  Communication is so huge in a successful network.  Look very seriously at how well your staff communicates between departments.  How well do care plans get updated as the patient condition changes.  How often do you see changes to aide services based upon what is truly happening with patients?  Take a small sample of patients who have multiple disciplines in the home.  Check the charts and trend some information.  Sit in on the nurses meetings.  Is the primary aide included in the report? Is the therapist there? Are disciplines working towards common goals or working only on discipline specific tasks.  There is a big difference between the two.

Manage Chronic Diseases Better Than Your Competitors:

After analyzing your sample data, you may need to change some processes and disease management programs.  Remember to always think goal driven as opposed to task driven.  You may be able to say the aide completed personal care, the nurse taught meds and disease process, and the therapist did the exercises.  But, if you can’t communicate exactly how home care improved the patient, then the agency is still task driven.  Looking at education for chronic diseases from a team approach is the ticket.  Look at making your aides an integral part of the management of the patient.

Communication from all disciplines should be free-flowing and routine.  The physical therapist can check for orthostatic issues for a patient just started on new blood pressure medication.  It does not require an additional nursing visit.  The aide is also able to take a blood pressure and report the readings back to the nurse.  Utilization of all disciplines to meet goals is just better care.

Call Us For Help!:

If you want to look at process changes or need help with meeting the expectations of an integrated network of providers, Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today for your free 30 minute consultation.

I Know I Need To Educate My Staff For Care In An ACO, But How And Which Employees? I Feel Like I Am Beating My Head Against The Wall Sometimes.

educationWhether you come from a small or large home care agency, preparation for an ACO isn’t easy.   It takes time, resources, and patience.  Let’s take a look at how the proper type of chronic disease education is key for all disciplines involved.

Shift The Paradigm Of Care:

In traditional Medicare models of the past, you see the nurse case manage the patients and other disciplines play a role.  The roles in home health have traditionally been independent of one another.  This was never the intention.  There was always to be a TRUE coordination of care.  All disciplines were to work together to achieve outcomes for the patient.  By ongoing changes to the care plan for all disciplines as coordination took place, the goals should be met and done more efficiently.  Many will read this and think that this can only exist in a perfect world.  Not true.  By shifting the paradigm of care and making it more effective, you can be successful and thrive as an agency independently and part of an ACO.  This begins with education and it is an ongoing process.

Who Should Have Chronic Disease Education?:

The answer is simple; all clinical staff who will touch a patient.  In order to thrive in an ACO environment, you must focus on management of chronic disease.  In order for the team to win the game, you must make sure everyone is on the right play.  Let’s look specifically at some different roles and how they change with a paradigm shift:

1. Nursing:

Nurses are not trained to be task oriented.  Nursing is about critical thinking skills and putting together a whole picture to make the best nursing judgment.  In many cases, the nurse is not able to focus on this because there are so many “tasks” involved in home care.  Chronic disease education doesn’t just consist of pathophysiology of a disease.  That isn’t what chronic disease management is. If the nurse gets to function in true case management, all disciplines take a role in chronic disease management. Chronic disease education is about comprehensive disease management.

2: Physical/ Occupational Therapy:

As healthcare in general has been evolving to a more coordinated approach, therapists have more responsibilities in home care.  Agencies have therapist complete what is within the scope of practice for the discipline.  Physical therapists are looking closer at medication and completing wound care more than ever.  It only makes sense.  You don’t send two nurses to a home to complete what can be done by one.  So, why would the therapist visit be looked at the exact same way.  The point is that many agencies still have nurses complete tasks that can be completed by another discipline.  The skilled physical and occupational therapists are skilled and licensed.  Chronic disease education as part of a paradigm shift for your agency is a must for the rehab staff.

3. Home Health/ Home Care Aides:

Last and certainly not least are the home care aides.  Since aides spend the most time with the patient, then chronic disease education and inclusion is the paradigm shift is most critical .  Because the home health aides can do so much more than give a bath, agencies need to focus on chronic disease education so they can! It was also not the intention for a home health aide visit to mean the employee is a “bath aide” and that is it.  Personal care is so much more than a bath.  However, without chronic disease education and a program that makes the aide a part of the chronic disease management team, an agency can inadvertently silo the role of the aide.

What Is Your Next Step:

Let’s say you have some work to do on your outcomes and re-hospitalization.  Chronic disease education and management programs are your fist step.  You need to look at the size of your agency.  Maybe you want someone to help structure a disease management program for you.  Or, if you have an educational department within your agency, you want that employee to do it.  The first thing is to determine how you want to be educated and what that needs to look like for your agency.  Working with someone who has developed and implemented a successful program makes the process a whole lot easier than re-inventing the wheel yourself.  Development internally often means a lot of trial and error to improve the program and this can be very costly for the agency and frustrating for employees as things continue to change.

You may have a program of education that includes other disciplines, but the home care aides have never been part of the mix.  Chronic disease education for aides is often more difficult to develop because it is new for the agency.  The other disciplines have been educated in the past.  So, this becomes not only teaching about the disease, but also about a shift in the role of the aide.  Conceptually, it requires the aide to see themselves with a different role in care of the patient.  This presents challenges, you know, but it is worth the outcome whether you are part of an ACO or not.

We Can Help!: 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting has extensive chronic disease education.  We can help with the paradigm shift to true disease management.  Call us today at 2o6-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation and let us show you how to move your agency forward!