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Continue Fine Tuning Your Chronic Disease Education Program And Its Potential Will Go Through The Roof! See How To Make It A Whole Lot Easier From Start To Finish!

chronic disease educationOk, let’s say you have been in this process of chronic disease management for a while now. You know it is an ongoing process and that chronic disease education must be a major focus. If it seems like you put all the pieces together, then you should be able to see what the puzzle is.  If you can’t, then let’s look at why fine tuning is so important. 

How Involved Are You? 

This is a good question for owners whether you are clinical or not. What do you see in your work flow of chronic disease management? Does conferencing between disciplines happen the way the program was set up? Or, do you see “report” with nothing related to shared care plan goals. If you don’t know the answer, then it’s time to sit in and objectively listen to communication between disciplines during care conference. Often, conferencing can start out with the best of intentions and clinicians start to revert to old habits. Care conferencing and report are two completely different things.  Make changes when needed and be involved in evaluating the program along the way. 

Make Sure You Have A Clear Leader In Chronic Disease: 

Ideally, your clinical manager should be the gatekeeper for care coordination. If you see format that looks more like report than coordinated care planning, then talk with your gatekeeper. It is important to make chronic disease a main focus for your clinical manager. Do not assume the clinical manager can’t be distracted by everything else going on in the office. It is a busy and big job. You need to make sure the clinical manager role can wholly focus on clinical. Don’t have your clinical manager doing things office staff can. Chronic disease education and chronic disease management are too important.  

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help! 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online programs for individuals and for agencies. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see if our program is right for you.   

From The Bottom Of Our Hearts, We Wish You The Happiest Holidays And The Best Moving Into A Brand New Year!

Happy HolidaysWe at Kenyon Homecare Consulting would like to say Happy Holidays! As we continue working together, I will always be grateful for the people we meet along the way. Thank you for your knowledge, friendships and laughter. For that, the entire Kenyon Homecare team is blessed.  Through development of partnerships, the industry only becomes stronger in bringing healthcare home.

During this time of year, people want to be home with family and friends. As you spend your holidays doing so, remember all the people at home because of home care and hospice. It really is a great mission!  All the hard work both clinical and non-clinical is all about that patient who gets to be right where he or she belongs.

In closing, Kenyon Homecare Consulting has been lucky to work with so many of you over decades and will continue to be here when you need us.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

Ginny Kenyon

Customizing Your Puchased Policy And Procedure Manual Is Very Important. Make It Specific For Employees And Very Specific For Surveyors!

policy and procedureMany of you out there purchased an updated policy and procedure manual. That’s great. You saved time and cost. Now, the next important step is completing the manual edits specific to your agency. This will help you with employees and with survey! 

Get Survey Ready: 

When a company has a manual policy and procedure manual online for purchase, it has the regulations there to make you compliant. If you don’t add or subtract what it specific to your agency, then you will be cited. Read your new manual and see where you need to tweak a policy to make it specific to you. For example, infection control is so huge with all surveys. Maybe you have policy that differs to what is in your new manual. Change what is necessary or alter your clinical operations. If you follow a specific bag technique that adds steps from what is in the new manual, then make sure to add it. Your new manual will have ALL federal and/or accrediation regulations in it, but those policies cannot be so specific as to match every agency in the United States. Individual rules related to states will need added.

Employee Guidelines: 

This is such an important feature for the people you employ. As an administrator, you do not want policy so rigid that it leaves no room for flexibility. However, ambiguity in policy can cost you a lot as well. When considering employee labor, unclear policies will always favor the employee. In these cases, it doesn’t matter what the intent of the policy was. It will be what the employee thought it meant. Clinically speaking, there will be issues if employees follow a vague policy in the field. This can lead to errors and survey deficiencies.  The big picture is, do not take your policy and procedure manual and just place it in a binder on a shelf. This will not help your operations. It will not make things clear for employees.

Need Help With A New Manual? 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for all types of service lines in home care. These can be easily edited online to fit your state and agency-specific needs. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online if you need help.  

Objective Eyes Looking at Your Home Care Agency Can Have 20/20 Vision For Where And How Change Can Occur

whyHome care owners and administrators are busy. There is no question there. If you aren’t dealing with regulations or chronic disease management, then it is personnel management. Sometimes, you know there are issues, but have been unable to fix them.  A senior home care consultant can give a fresh look at your agency with objective eyes.  

Forest For The Trees Argument: 

Even if you are the hardest working administrator in the business, sometimes, it is not about how hard you work. Working harder may just mean spinning your wheels longer. Organizational issues can be tough in multiple ways. Whether a staffing issue or a need to restructure, it may be difficult to see the forest for the trees.  If you have an outside set of eyes, then the home care consultant can help you put a plan for change in motion based on decades of experience in different agencies.  

Staffing Changes:  

You know your staff. You have been with them for years. Through the good and the bad in personal lives as well as work advancement. This is both good and bad when it comes to organizational changes. Home care consultants evaluate employee capability in current job roles. You may have a fantastic staff but have too many people in roles. It may require restructuring to increase efficiency. That can be a tough thing if you are accustomed to certain cogs in the wheel doing certain things.  

“I Don’t Know Why We Aren’t Making Money” 

This is the most frustrating thing for leaders. You made decisions to control costs, but don’t see the financial reward for it. So many things factor into what you make or don’t make. Turnover, regulation changes, payment reform, and patient census change. All these things affect your day-to-day financial well-being. Is Oasis being done correctly? Is coding being done correctly? How much time is staff spending hunting down orders from other providers? Are staff doing charting in a timely fashion? It can be overwhelming and quite frankly difficult to pinpoint a specific thing. 

Let Us Help Make You Successful: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can offer you an organizational assessment based on your needs. Whether you are looking at clinical, organization, financial or a combination of all operations,  Kenyon has the help you need. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Understand the Difference Between Chronic Disease Knowledge Versus Chronic Disease Education? Which One Will Better Help Your Agency Manage Disease?

make things happenIn home health today, you can’t talk long-term success without chronic disease management. Many agencies have not seen the results they desire from chronic disease education efforts. But the focus has to be true education and not just knowledge. Let’s look at the difference. 

Chronic Disease Knowledge: 

Chronic disease knowledge is memorization. Name 5 signs and symptoms of a CHF exacerbation. Give the definition of Diabetes. These are clinical things you want your disease management team to know. If not, then how will an exacerbation be recognized? It’s important to have certain things memorized and no one would dispute it. But, is this all you need to succeed in chronic care? 

Chronic Disease Education: 

This is your next step in chronic disease management. Clinicians need to memorize the data and move to the next level.  Chronic disease education is about putting all the pieces together clinically. It is understanding how the signs and symptoms work together. It is recognizing small differences in patient data. 

Putting The Pieces Together: 

The home health aide with advanced chronic disease education may hear the patient complain of feeling tired or winded. That home health aide looks at the patient differently because the care plan addresses chronic disease management for CHF. The aide knows to check patient weight and compare or call the nurse to see what it was on the visit yesterday. That aide can catch an early weight gain prior to full exacerbation or emergent care. If not, the aide may just document the patient was tired and move on to the next. It is the therapist involved in best practice who addresses chronic disease care as opposed to just rehabilitation goals. A key in this whole picture is the nurse coordinating with all disciplines to guide focused patient care. 

Move From Knowledge To Education: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online chronic disease education for your organization and individuals. If you want to take the next step, then call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today.

How Good Is Your Policy And Procedure Manual? It Can Only Be As Good As The One Writing It!

Test YourselfA well-written policy and procedure manual is important for your home care regardless the line of service. Here’s the thing: Do you know if yours is well-written? If you aren’t sure, then you need to consider all that goes into a good policy and procedure manual. 

Communication Is Key: 

How well do you communicate with staff? Think about times you have meant to communicate one thing and staff interpretation was different? If that is your reality, then how well does your policy and procedure manual say what you need? You may have other staff that writes your policy.  Regardless of who writes the actual policy, have a policy committee read it and interpret its meaning. There is a fine line between too strict a policy and too vague. 

Is It Electronically Available To All Employees? 

A perfect manual is not useful if staff can’t easily access it.  In this technology-driven world, a policy and procedure manual should be simple to view. In addition, the manual should be easy for you to update. Clinical staff need the ability to access procedures in the home during patient care. Staff also need to understand bonus payouts, leave time, and disciplinary policies. The clearer you are, the more defensible policies are in employee disputes. 

How Organized Are You? 

Consider that a well-written policy and procedure manual is organized and easy to follow. So, if you aren’t organized, you may want to have someone else methodically write your policies. You would still be integral in communicating what needs to be in them, but that detail-oriented employee is usually a good choice for policy writing. 

Do You Have The Time It Takes To Keep Your Manual Up-To-Date? 

New regulations, personnel issues, and clinical policy take a lot of time to create and update. You must be careful to hit all the regulations. Make sure you have a work product and processes that avoid confusion.  It is time intensive trying to keep up with regulation changes, so you need to decide if it makes more sense to buy a manual you can edit instead of starting from scratch. 

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals ready for download and edit today! Whether you need accreditation-ready, skilled, or private duty. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to discuss if this option is right for you!

Use Psych Nursing To Improve Patient Care And Your Profit Margin. Mental Health Management Is More Important Than Ever To Keep Patients Safe In The The Home Where They Want To Be!

Specialty ServicesThere is a shortage of almost every type of specialty nurse today. This is true in home health specialty services. To improve patient care and boost bottom line, market what makes you different and better. Hiring top talent in psych nursing and developing a streamlined psych program makes you elite.  

Special Care Is Needed With Mental Illness:  

Mental illness needs specialized care. Don’t assume every nurse can effectively handle this type of care without specialized training. If you wouldn’t do that with other specialty services, then why consider it with mental illness?  This is even more complex in patients with both mental and physical illness. This patient needs special consideration formulating a care plan. Someone who suffers from mental illness may be able to manage self-care when stable but need a completely different type of care with an exacerbation of mental illness.   

Psych Nurses Will Enhance Care From Other Nurses: 

The point of a specialty RN is not to minimize the education or expertise of the RN, but to differentiate the training. A psych nurse can better develop a care plan balancing the mental with the physical considerations. Your patient census may consist of certain mental health categories of illness. Are you in an area with a large pediatric mental health hospital? Are you near dual-diagnosis treatment centers? This means a higher population of those with both substance abuse and mental illness issues. If so, then this makes a big difference which psych nurse you add to your staff. In the end, adding one or more psych nurses to your homecare team will improve patient outcomes (of psych patients) and boost this type of referral which can lead to increased profitability.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting Can Help: 

Contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form! We can help you work through development and improvement of a specialty program while marketing it effectively.

Do You Need To Analyze Your Chronic Disease Management Program On A Routine Basis? Absolutely! Let’s Look At What Your Program Needs To Consider To Be Top Of The Line!

education and successChronic Disease Management is a big deal for home health and the healthcare industry in general. But, with all the industry initiatives and regulations, it is sometimes on the back-burner in home health agencies. If you are planning long term success in home care, then you must analyze and improve your program. 

Evaluate Chronic Disease Management Success: 

This is an ongoing process and begin with what you do well. Look at outcomes. Are they improved? If so, what made the difference in those with chronic disease? It is just as important to know what is working well as it is to change what isn’t. If not, you may alter something that was already successful. Conjecture is not a good thing here. 

What Should Be On The Checklist? 

This should start with basic items and transform much as your CQI program does. Once things have improved to your gold standard, then maintenance then becomes key. Let’s look at what is important. 

  • How Old Are Your Protocols? If the program looks the same as it did 15 years ago, then see if you keep with industry standard. Do you consult with outside sources on what is working for others? 
  • What Is Team Member Understanding Of The Protocols? You may think this isn’t measurable, but the important thing is to check consistency. If Nurse A follows protocols differently than Nurse B, then how can the agency expect to accurately complete the program? Understanding how the protocols are to be executed is key here. This includes what your organization needs documented, reported, and addressed. 
  • Who Makes Up Your Chronic Care Team? If you say all clinical disciplines, then you should be able to communicate how each fit into the puzzle. What within your organization makes each discipline involved in managing chronic disease? This is about your paradigm of disciplines working together managing the overall care plan. It is not specific to nurses. This also means that no individual discipline functions independently regarding chronic disease. Communication on admission should be specific to all disciplines collectively about what is addressed every time someone has eyes on the patient. It should be reviewed and revised during the progression of the care plan. 
  • What Does The Education Look Like? Knowledge is different than education here. The best example is someone that can spell a word but can’t define it.  Think about that. Can your staff memorize symptoms to report, but not practically apply it? If this is the case, then your big start is your educational program for all your disciplines. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help! 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have comprehensive online chronic disease management education for agencies and individual disciplines. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for details. 

So, You Decided To Purchase An Updated Policy And Procedure Manual. Let’s Look At All The Things You Can Do With The Time You Saved!

let it goWriting new policy and procedure manuals is a big job. Researching regulations and making sure you write policies that comply with them is tough. There are so many ways to better use your time managing your agency. Let’s take a look. 

Why Buy A Policy And Procedure Manual? 

Here are 5 reasons a purchased manual makes a whole lot of sense over the alternative: 

  • Electronic: Easy to access and change. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: It’s already done. 
  • Time Saved: This is time saved for you as well as any staff involved. 
  • Cost-Effective: “Time is money” and whether it is you or staff completing the manual, this is time better spent elsewhere on things that can make your agency money. 
  • Accreditation Ready: CHAP and ACHC manuals are available. 

How To Best Use That Additional Time: 

How many times do you leave the office thinking there is so much more to do? If it is daily, then consider things that make your agency better. 

  • Operation Changes: Since the final rule is out there, it is time to think about the changes you need to make now. 
  • Marketing: This is a good time to look at different marketing strategies. 
  • Strengthen Partnerships: When have you last personally touched base with your healthcare partners? 
  • Strengthen Your Team: Time spent with your team is always money well spent. Help them reach common goals. 
  • Take A Deep Breath: Leaders need to take time too. Family, health, and happiness all suffer when you can’t step away from the grind. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Has What You Need: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for different lines of service. Whether you need accreditation ready or not, check out Kenyon Marketplace to download what you need. Senior consultants can work to add state specific requirements should you desire assistance. If not, download your manual and customize specific to your agency. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for any questions or concerns.

 

The Time That Your Home Health Quits Evolving Its Chronic Disease Education And Management Program, The Tougher The Road Will Be. Make Sure Your Program Has The Happy Ending And Outcomes You Want!

advanced disease educationHappy Thanksgiving everyone! When you think of chronic disease education, you may think it is a one-time deal. The key to making a successful program is education that consistently evolves with the staff and the patients. Let’s see what that looks for your agency. 

How Does Your Chronic Disease Program Run Now? 

Here’s the way it normally works in different agencies: 

  • Nurses get education as part of orientation. 
  • Then, nurses are responsible to educate patients and families. 
  • Nurses are responsible for the outcomes related to chronic disease. 

Do you see the problem here? Many times, chronic disease education and programs have the entire responsibility in the laps of nurses. If you think about this, then it doesn’t really make sense.  As the industry continues to improve outcomes at less cost, why not maximize use of all disciplines? Most agencies do not focus on aide education when it comes to chronic disease. When therapy is a contracted entity, they are often skipped over as well. If you don’t use all disciplines effectively, then patient care costs more and it is harder to maximize outcomes.

Time For A Change: 

Analyze your program to include the education you provide. How often do you revisit chronic disease education? It can feel tough since you have so many things you try to focus on and improve. Ultimately, managing chronic disease should always be the focus. Evaluate the current efficacy of your program. Include the entire interdisciplinary team in the management of chronic disease. Nurses should be the case managers, but not responsible for it all.  Home health aides and therapy disciplines are important in this care plan. It means more frequent and effective case conferences. It is a goal-oriented focus as opposed to a task-oriented one. 

Let Us Help Get You There: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have advanced chronic disease education programs to get you there. If you aren’t sure, then let’s talk through it. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how our chronic disease education can help you!