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Chronic Disease Education

Chronic Disease Education: How Do You Invest The Time And Money When You Haven’t Seen The Outcomes From It? It Starts Here And Now!

education and successChronic Disease Education continues to be a hot topic as homecare moves into further payment reform. In the past, you have probably done it on hire and maybe something at a yearly competency, right? Well, today, we need to talk about it being an effective part of transition and change within your agency. Here are the steps to make your chronic disease program successful and cost-effective.  

5 Steps To An Effective Chronic Disease Education Program: 

If your program is giving employees a self-study with a test, then you probably haven’t seen changes because of your investment. Maybe you teach it once and that’s where it ends. The bottom line is there must be something to follow-up the teaching to make it work. Here are the steps to make sure your education dollars make a difference.  

Alter Work Flow Of Clinical Staff:  

If you want to make a difference in outcomes, then how the clinical function in the fields and out of it are crucial. Without changing job roles or case conferencing objectives, you really haven’t changed a thing.  

Clinical Documentation Needs To Reflect Chronic Disease Management Collectively:  

We want to see a one patient one care plan methodology. If your nursing, aide, and therapy EMR do not address these items as part of routine visits, then it won’t happen. Examine your EMR for what is currently there. Most therapy notes do not have anything specific to address chronic disease management. This means every individual must remember to document certain things that are not part of what is routine. The same exists for aide staff.  The care plan should address specific chronic disease items within the scope of practice. Make chronic disease management present for all disciplines in a meaningful way that can lead to real-world practice changes.  

Educate Staff Before You Provide Chronic Disease Education:  

This means let your staff know the endgame. Explain the changes to communication and work flow. Instruct as to how the documentation will flow between disciplines to show a collective effort towards chronic disease management. If you don’t make it clear what you expect the difference to be, then don’t expect staff to achieve it. 

Pick Your Program:

Consider something online to allow the training to remain consistent and relevant over time. Many excellent programs allow agencies a certain number of uses over time. This allows the agency to have any clinician complete or repeat the training. Online access allows clinicians the flexibility to access the information around client visits.  If you want to consider onsite, then have a way to obtain a copy of the face-to-face education so it can be used in the future. 

Let Your QI Program Show What Needs To Change:  

As with any clinical process, you will measure this for efficacy. Your agency needs to track items related to chronic disease management. Consider Emergent Care/ Hospital Admissions related to chronic disease exacerbation. It also means looking at specific clinical items such as shortness of breath. Check your congestive heart failure and COPD patients. Did staff initiate effective intervention at times according to your disease management program? Or, if it wasn’t addressed properly, determine why. If it is a lack of knowledge, then train again on your protocols.  

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Has The Online Programs You Need:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online chronic disease education programs for both the individual and the organization. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation and see how our program and be the change you need.   


Check Your Watch Because It is Time! Clinical Education In Homecare Is The Beginning Of Future Success. Don’t Wait Any Longer!

clinical educationSo, let’s talk about your clinical education. How do you approach it? Have there been changes in the last 10 years? Also, how does staff evaluate it? There are many reasons that agencies hold off on educational programs for staff. Let’s first look at those and then consider why to change the current role clinical education plays in your agency.  

Reasons Agencies Don’t Invest In Clinical Education: 

There always seem to be reasons not to invest in clinical education, but in the long run it is worth it to do so. Let’s look at 5 reasons agencies don’t take that step. 

  • Money: We understand budgets are tight and sometimes education takes the back seat to other money spent.  
  • Time: When your agency is busy, it may seem tough to schedule training and still get patients seen.  
  • Understaffed Already: If you are down staff, then the time factor is more difficult. 
  • Doesn’t Improve Retention: If this is your goal, then losing staff despite additional education is frustrating. 
  • Didn’t Improve Outcomes: Ultimately, this is the goal. Improving outcomes with better prepared nurses is a no-brainer.  

Now, Why You Need To Reconsider Each Of These Reasons: 

Even if the previous list checks several boxes in your agency, it is time to take a second look. Consider the following and why you can justify every dollar and minute spent.  

  • Money: There are economical ways to provide staff training today. Consider online webinars or purchasing training you can use more than once. Training on-site at conferences is always great for staff but is not always affordable for agencies.  
  • Time/ Understaffed: While time spent on training does not generate direct revenue at that moment, it does for future referrals. Specialty programs, well designed chronic disease programs, and clinical teams running as well-oiled machines generate referrals. 
  • Doesn’t Improve Retention: Here’s the thing. If you have been burnt in the past with staff leaving after receiving specialty training, then have them sign an agreement to remain on for 2 years post training. If they are invested in your agency, then it will not be an issue. Now, if they are unwilling, then they probably never were and maybe you train someone else. Staff will be more dedicated when administration invests in a meaningful way to make them better.
  • Doesn’t Improve Outcomes: This is a big one. Maybe the training program is the problem. If you invest in the clinical education, there should be some way planned to incorporate what was learned into practice. Many times, the agency spends the money and that is it. So, you need to be clear what you expect as an agency to change with the direction of the training. Let’s look at how to integrate your clinical education. 

Integration Of  A Clinical Education Program: 

Look at staff education that is relevant to all clinical staff. If you train nurses, but not therapists and aide staff, then how can you expect to have a meaning change in outcomes? Look at programs that tackle clinical issues such as chronic disease management for all clinical staff as well as your agency. This way, it gives you the next step of how to integrate the education into meaningful clinical practice. Online purchases will allow you access to train staff as they come on board and everyone remains on the same page when it comes to clinical approach.  

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help! 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we offer a wide range of educational programs to help your agency. Whether you are looking for integrated chronic disease programs or adding specialty programs, we can help you through the process.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant today to see how we can help you meet your goals.  

Positive Clinical And Financial Outcomes: Do You Realize How Clinical Education Is The Most Important Cog In The Wheel? Let’s Put It First And Foremost In Your Head And Strategic Plan!

chronic disease educationToday, positive and clinical outcomes are crucial for long-term survival in homecare.  However, often we don’t see how the basis for success with both begins with clinical education. Now, you may not see the connection at first. So, let’s look at how you need to visualize the future of your agency. 

Clinical Education: 

Even the most skilled clinical staff needs education. No one will disagree that homecare is different than any other type of institutional care. Only those who live in the world of home and community-based care understand the complexity of putting all the pieces of patient care together. You may have clinical staff who are excellent in the acute care setting, but struggle with all that must be considered in a successful care plan at home. It takes programming specific to our industry. If you miss this step, your clinical staff won’t be comprehensive and set the patient and your agency up for success. This will be despite best efforts by all concerned. There must a training into homecare that deals with more than computer documentation or Medicare regulations. It is about the paradigm shift to a true integration of care. 

Now, that may seem like an impossible undertaking, but it isn’t. Consider the interdisciplinary team functioning in hospice. There is more communication and collaboration in hospice than with skilled care. However, it shouldn’t be that way. None of us know what the payment system will be down the road, but is it so hard to believe that agencies may be responsible for all aspects of covering patient cost much as hospice does now? Imagine your plan for care if this was the case and let’s look how that effects clinical and financial. 

Clinical And Financial Outcomes: 

Hospice nurses manage patients at home. Whether the visits are at 2:00 am or noon. Symptoms are managed by working closely with physicians to keep the patients at home. The home health side does not always approach the proactive nature of care the same way. But, if the mindset was different going into care and care planning, it could be. If you consider the same hospice type approach to finance, then outcomes would also improve. Hospice nurses often have a better understanding of costs related to visits, treatments, medications, and dressing supplies since it all comes out of a per diem.

Other members of the clinical team such as physicians work differently with orders when the patient is under a hospice program too. Ordering IM Lasix for a patient at home at the beginning of a CHF exacerbation with an additional nursing visit to administer it can easily avoid a hospitalization. This type of treatment would be ordered in a heartbeat for a hospice patient. Let’s get there on the skilled side collectively. It begins with chronic disease education and a paradigm shift to care planning. 

Start With Your Clinical Education Process:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have chronic disease education for clinicians as well as facilities. It helps to train staff individually and the agency to work towards competency and organizational change. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your consultation today. Let us help you meet your clinical and financial goals. 

Not Getting The Results From Education And Training You Want? Make Every Penny Count To Get The Outcome You Need From The Money You Invest!

Game ChangerHomecare education is so important, and no one argues that point. Making sure all clinicians have the critical thinking and technical skills is vital to proper patient care. If you put the dollars into education and training without the seeing the benefit, then you need to change something. Let’s look at ways to transform your education and training. 

What’s Your Current Approach? 

Do you have an education and training program for staff above orientation or a typical yearly competency? Is there an educational fund in the agency and if so, is staff aware of it? Also, do you provide additional education based upon outcome data to determine clinical weaknesses? Is the training usually just for an individual discipline? Why do you think there was a lack of return on your investment? 

These are all good question to ask yourself, but also consider how the education and training is delivered. Is it all the same format? Online education, conference attendance, self-studies and internal programs are all good approaches. However, keeping your education and training fresh can be tough if the format is always the same. 

Change The Educational Paradigm: 

Make education and training dynamic by making it inclusive to all clinical disciplines. Now, this doesn’t mean the level of clinical education for the home care aide is the same as the nurse or therapist, but it doesn’t make sense to provide education that doesn’t span the clinical spectrum. If you want to improve chronic disease outcomes, then chronic disease education must be for all those clinicians who see the patient. So, start with your processes first and then seek education that is inclusive of all clinical disciplines functioning as one clinical unit. It is the key to making clinical education successful and not fragmented. It means fully integrated care plans that make sense to everyone providing care. 

Let Us Help: Webinar text

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we understand all that goes into having highly skilled staff to provide patient care. It is also important to spend money on education where it makes sense for your agency moving forward. Whether you need chronic disease education for individuals or for your facility clinicians, we can help. We also have the trained and seasoned consultants to help with organizational change to help make it happen. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free consultation with a senior consultant. 

You Give Chronic Disease Education To Your Home Care Staff, But Things Don’t To Improve. Is The Training The Problem? Make Sure Your Training Hits It Out Of The Park Every Time!

hit it out of the parkIt is not new information that chronic disease education is important. Chronic Disease Management is so expensive for the healthcare system and for providers of care as well. Sometimes, you may provide chronic disease education and not get the outcomes you want. It may be the approach of the program you use. Let’s look at why an integrated program is so important. 

You Are A Team: 

The clinicians in the field are members of one team. It often doesn’t present this way. Many times, the aides do their thing as do the therapists and nurses. When each discipline completes “their part”, the patient is discharged. One month later, you receive another referral for the patient who exacerbated the same disease you worked to stabilize. The revolving door of chronic disease begins with a chronic disease program that looks at your care plan differently. 

Chronic Disease Education: 

Teaching on Chronic Disease is not just about teaching each discipline about signs and symptoms. Chronic Disease Education needs to be facility-based and not just on discipline. It needs to pull together a collective management program addressing care planning as well as employee intervention. Many programs are just specifically to teach the aide or nurse what the signs and symptoms of the diseases are and that is it. If you teach something that only deals with memorization, then how do you expect for clinical staff to critically work with facility processes and patients? The two items need to go hand-in-hand. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting’s Chronic Disease Program: 

This is where Kenyon Homecare Consulting comes into help. We have the facility and clinician-based trainings to move disciplines into a more focused outcome-based model of care. It involves interdisciplinary care and all members of the clinical team provide a vital piece of making a true difference in keeping the patient home. The medical home models need this kind of comprehensive chronic care management. Are you ready? Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for questions regarding our chronic disease online education. 

Chronic Disease Program Management: Are You Ready To Make It Work Instead Of Treading Water Doing The Same Old Thing?

PDGMChronic Disease Program Management is one of those things that is sometimes put on the back burner. You worry about finances, referrals and staffing to cover the patients you have as well as being able to staff new ones. Coding and Oasis and compliance are in there too. It may seem one takes the front burner until it boils, and it just becomes a juggling routine. Sound familiar? It is time to make chronic disease management the answer to it all. 

Moving Into PDGM: 

With ACOs and Value-Based Purchasing, agencies got a taste of outcome-based care. The goal was always for a more coordinated effort to manage care in a cost-effective way. The process always meant managing chronic disease related to the costs associated with it. Process changes meant optimizing all disciplines to function at full scope of practice. It also meant coordinating all those moving parts, so everyone worked together. 

Now, with the 2020 initiation of the new payment rules, agencies will have 30-day payments for care. If your payments significantly drop once a patient is on more than 30 days, what do you think happens to the average length of stay for a patient? The goal from the beginning of skilled care was to get the patient independent and back to previous level of function. Only a small number of patients were intended for multiple episodes of care.

Putting Everything Into Place: 

A more coordinated effort into chronic disease management fits directly into an agency’s fiscal survival in PDGM. In order to make this happen, agencies must move full steam ahead with chronic disease education programs that work. Education for disciplines independently don’t address the coordinated effort towards the care plan. It is the difference between disease knowledge versus a true education about disease. Look at programs designed for the discipline itself as well as the agency. This will help you move operations into a coordinated model focused on the care plan and not on tasks by a discipline. 

Chronic Disease Management With Kenyon: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online chronic disease education programs to help you move in the right direction. We also have senior associates who can help you alter operational process if you want on-site assistance. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior associate. 

Chronic Disease Education For Your Team: Online or Live? Which Way Is The Path To Success?

chronic disease educationChronic Disease education is a big decision. You know how important management of chronic illness is. If you know it, then educational choice is just as important. There are definite advantages to both methods, but you must find what works for you. Ultimately, chronic disease education is a must. So, here are some things to consider in your decision. 

5 Things To Consider In Choosing Chronic Disease Education: 

One size does not fit all in chronic disease education. If you are unsure which is best for you, check out these 5 things. 

  • Size Of Staff 
  • Education Budget 
  • Plan For Subsequent Education 
  • Breakdown of Nurses, Therapists, And Aides 
  • Strength Of Current Chronic Disease Management Program 

What Now?

The bottom line is how you want to implement your program based on the abovementioned factors. On-site is great from the standpoint of the live person in front of a captive audience that can ask questions. However, that happens only when the person comes on-site. That individual is not there for new hires. Re-evaluating your program may mean more education to expect improvement. It means interventions that are immersed in all disciplines. This is where online education can be so effective. It allows agencies to focus on the individual as well as the agency overall. If you need to train in multiple shifts over a longer period, then online education is a great way to make it happen. If you decide to train in person, then transition for maintenance in an online program works well. 

We Can Help With Either: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with online chronic disease education by agency and discipline. If you want a senior consultant on-site to assist with putting together an interdisciplinary program, then we can help. If you aren’t sure, then call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant. 

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.   

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.

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.