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How Do You Really Approach A Large Home Care Aide Program When It Comes To Chronic Disease Management? If It Seems To Overwhelming, Then Start With Online Education!

Chronic DiseaseWhen asked about chronic disease education programs, smaller agencies often find the process easier to manage. When you start talking about large agencies with vast numbers, most agencies cringe a little bit.  It can seem overwhelming. And, also really expensive.  If you don’t know where to start, then you are at the right place.

Look First At How You Communicate:

Communication between disciplines is the most important function of a well developed chronic disease management program.  Before you throw money into education, start with opening up communication in a structured fashion.  Make it meaningful and routine between all disciplines. Use your clinical managers or case managers to guide the focused coordination of care. Now, because we are talking larger numbers of employees and potentially multiple branches, test it and perfect it first. Use it with one branch. Get the kinks out and roll it on to another before blasting it to everyone.

Review Outcomes Continually:

After you have developed guided communication, look at what it has done for your outcomes.  Do you see a spike in improvement? Do you see a change in hospitalization rate? You should see improvement in your big picture just from the mere fact that all the clinical players are better informed on each patient. Once communication is better, and staff sees positive outcomes from the effort, it becomes easier to move on to the next step.

Online Aide Educational Platform:

Now, all clinicians need chronic disease education, but often the home care aides are left from this equation.  Make them your target.  Using an online program that allows for access at different times and for different users is really helpful.  You want a program that allows you a number of views for a particular program. If you can use the program over a large period of time, then it is available for training new aides as well. Allow the flexibility for your staff to cover patients and go through the program as it works around a schedule.

What Now:

Alter your care plans to focus on truly managing chronic disease.  Your chronic disease education is a game changer for how every discipline looks at each other and each patient.  Putting all the pieces of the puzzle working together makes a big difference in how your team will work together and with your home care partners.

Let Us Help!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have chronic disease education focused on aide engagement in your clinical process.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can work to make this all come togther! At Kenyon Marketplace, you will be able to purchase the aide chronic disease education program if you have already decided to take that next step.

Chronic Disease Education: Exciting Opportunity For The Future Of Home Care Or The Impossible Dream? Make It The Key To Your Long-Term Survival!

are you readyLet’s say you have a chronic disease management program.  The question of the day is whether or not it consistently manages chronic disease? If you can’t say yes to that question, then you really should look at your chronic disease education.

Chronic Disease Education Is A Plan, Not An Event:

You probably haven’t looked at chronic disease education that way. If you see chronic disease management as a plan, then why wouldn’t the education surrounding it be the same?  It should be.  You need to think through and determine how your agency approaches chronic disease education.  Do you have a program you haven’t changed for the last decade? Is it something addressed on hire? Is it in the orientation process? Do all clinicians receive it? Who is responsible for implementing your chronic disease management plan? These are all questions to consider. Whether starting a program or looking to tweak your current one, know your baseline.

What Type Of Chronic Disease Education Do You Need?:

You need in-depth chronic disease education.  This is not a suggestion, it is reality. Chronic disease management is about the medical home. It is about functioning in a truly comprehensive way.  All disciplines are laser focused on shared goals and outcomes. Every person involved in that care plan knows what to implement when chronic disease is present. If you do not utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to chronic disease management, then your education is just an event.  Aides should be as laser focused as the nurse. And, if you don’t include rehab staff, then you miss a huge opportunity. Make your educational program not just about the disease, but also how it relates to to management in a care plan.  If you have many branches or a large staff, online education can be a great start to your chronic disease education program.  Also, remember to make the education an ongoing process.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help With Chronic Disease Education:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have chronic disease education available to promote aide engagement in your program. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today! We can help with online education in Kenyon Marketplace and also help you streamline processes to incorporate a functional multi-disciplinary chronic disease management program. It can make the difference in your outcomes and improve your referrals.

Chronic Disease Education Is For All Clinical Staff And Not Just Nurses. If Not, Look Why It Should Be The Heart And Soul Of Your Home Care!

dream bigThe world of home care today is focused on chronic disease education.  If you make chronic disease management an everyday focus, then you have the partnerships and outcomes everyone wants. Let’s focus on what you have to gain from true chronic disease management.


Agencies managing chronic disease effectively are great long-term partners.  This increases referral base and ease of working together.  If all providers are laser focused, then the patient and providers all win.

It is really important to consider managed care in this mix. As the industry continues improvements in collaboration, managed care will also come on board. They will need partners in patient care that have comprehensive programs. Think about that for a second. How much have you considered the future of managed care? As Medicare looks at outcomes and re-hospitalization, so will managed care companies. They need laser focused providers. Are you laser focused for the future? Look forward as to what you need to do to be “the home care provider” managed care wants. If you are, then you can get the dollars you need to provide this level of care.  If you aren’t, you will always see managed care as a financial drain.  It doesn’t have to be.

Utilizing All Your Clinical Staff:

Today, agencies focus chronic disease education efforts on nurses.  In this model, rehab and aide staff aren’t part of the mix.  If you were to ask your PT today, would he know your disease management program? Would that discipline initiate a care plan with it in mind? Or, would that be the “nurse’s job” in his mind? If you can say that would be the response, it is time for change. Your rehab staff need chronic disease education too.  Then, you work rehab staff in to how your program works together with all disciplines.

What Does That Training Look Like With Aide Staff?:

It needs to be comprehensive too.  Educate to everything within the scope of practice for the aide. Aide staff should be integral in your chronic disease management program. Regardless the venue, aides generally spend more time in hands-on care than any other discipline. Leaving them out of your disease management plan makes no sense. Aides need the background chronic disease education and what role the aide plays in the overall program. Make objectives and expectations very clear.  The aide should have a mindset that focuses on chronic disease management when it is present in a patient. If chronic disease education is not effective, then the aide is never trained to think that way. Don’t miss an opportunity to move your program from good to great.

Let Us Take You From Good To Great With Chronic Disease Education:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help provide online education and/or on-site work to get your program to great! Call us at 206-721-5091 on contact us online today.  At Kenyon Marketplace, our aide online education can help jumpstart the paradigm shift in your agency.

Let’s Talk About Chronic Disease Education! Are Your Home Care Aides Being All That They Can Be In The Big Picture?

educationThere is a lot of info out there on chronic disease education. There is a lot of focus on bringing home care aide staff into the mix. Today, this article will focus on why this discipline needs the ongoing education just like the others.

Top Reasons Agencies Don’t Include The Aides That Are Not Legit:

Reasons are often given why chronic disease education is not done with home care aides.  It does not mean that the reasons justify not doing it.  If you say any of these, please read why you should reconsider:

  • “Well, We Don’t Have Enough Aide Staff As Is, So We Can’t Afford To Keep Them Out Of The Field”: It is minimal in the big scheme of things. Plan ahead and train accordingly. Using online education will allow staff to complete training after seeing patients.  Allow for multiple training times for operational changes to your chronic disease management program.
  • “Well, It Is Just Too Expensive”: Online educational programs often allow many different time slots and hours at very affordable rates. Purchasing blocks of time as opposed to one time access will save you money to get the job done.
  • “Well, It Is Too Time Consuming”: If you plan the program well, then it will save time in the long run.  Engagement in your outcomes will help the amount of time spent by other disciplines. More on that in the last reason.
  • “Well, Our Aide Turnover Is Too High”: Think of the investment in terms of potentially changing the turnover rate.  If you make the discipline a bigger part of the picture, then the commitment to being part of the team can change. If an aide feels the roll is just giving baths, then the job role is minimized.
  • “Well, We Just Don’t See It Making A Difference”: This may be a big paradigm shift for your agency. A  multi-disciplinary team approach may not be a new concept, but may not be practiced to the extent it should be. Utilize aide staff to complete all they can within scope of practice.

Begin With The Start Of Care:

If the initial instruction to the aide begins with chronic disease management goals, then the focus becomes goal oriented as opposed to task oriented. Yes, communication becomes more important than every between disciplines, but it should. You can decrease nursing and rehab time and visits when you allow the aide to function more strategically.

Let Us Help Get You There:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with online chronic disease education for your home care aide staff.  We can also help with implentation from an operational standpoint with any of our senior consultants who have decades within the industry as leaders of agencies.  Call us at 206-721-5091 on contact us online today to get started.

In Chronic Disease Education, Don’t Forget Your Contracted Therapies. Without Making Them A Part Of The Disease Management Picture, Outcomes Will Suffer.

changeLike many agencies in the United States, you may use contracted therapy services.  It is very important that contracted services are considered no different than employees when it comes to education.  Let’s look at why your chronic disease education is worth the investment to contracted entities.

Promoting Partnerships:

This is a day and age where partnerships are vital to home health survival.  If you do not invest in your therapy partnerships, then how do you they become invested in your success? Chronic disease education can be key here.  Anything that makes your own staff better will also make your therapy better.  So, it only makes sense to extend your educational process out to them.  It allows them to receive better information in caring for patients and will promote communcation with staff.

Streamlines Careplanning:

In chronic disease education, there needs to be a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. Meaning, all disciplines need to work towards the goals of the care plan.  Interventions are going to be different between disciplines, but the majority of the goals should be universal.  This is where the industry still struggles.  When you work with contracted staff to understand the link for all disicplines together, a visit from a therapist is more than a home exercise plan.  It becomes a coordinated effort to address what is truly meaningful to patient outcomes.

Improves Coordination Of Care:

Your disease education and management program allows the therapists to work proactively with aide staff too.  A contracted therapist may not even feel like the aide has anything to do with them. When, in reality, the therapists can provide specific coordination to improve the content of aide visits as well.  If your therapy staff are part of chronic disease education and your chronic disease management, it will enhance all levels of service.  If therapy staff needs for specific education to be reinforced, nursing should be doing that on visits.  However, if contracted therapy isn’t involved is disease management, it won’t happen. Whether it is something specific to therapy or something nursing needs to have therapy address, coordination of care is more than report.

Patient Outcomes:

If everyone functions toward the same goals, then outcomes will improve.  Goal specific interventions completed by all discplines increase the chances of success.  Whether you are part of an ACOs or looking to join one, the outcomes are key to getting referrals. If you don’t see state and national averages on your functional status improvements, you need to take a hard look at your teamwork with therapy.

Ok, So How Do You Make It Happen:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help you on chronic disease management and how to shift your agencies work flow to improve outcomes between disciplines. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Chronic Disease Education: If You Consider It A Work In Progress, You Have a Much Better Shot Of Crossing The Finish Line In First Place!

WinningThe title of this article may seem like a contradiction.  How can you always be a work in progress, but still cross the finish line? In home health, the industry and operations are continually changing.  Since this is the case, why does the majority of the industry approach chronic disease education like a class as opposed to a process? Let’s look at why chronic disease education needs to be on a continuum for your agency.

Nursing Roles:

As the industry evolves with the rest of health care, the role of the nurse continues to get bigger. Nurses have so many things to document and address with patients that the role becomes less of a skilled clinician and more based on tasks. If the pendulum swings too far towards the task aspect of operations, then disease management with true outcome improvement gets lost. You need to consider all skilled disciplines for what is within scope of practice and utilize it to achieve goals.  Chronic disease education as a process between disciplines working toward a one patient, one care plan model will move the pendulum in the right direction. Nurses need to case manage, not be responsible for every detail.

Chronic Disease Education To Every Discipline:

Often times, agencies teach disciplines on chronic disease at hire.  Aides learn the very basics. Nurses are taught chronic disease by showing them how your agency policy relates to chronic disease management.  Therapy may not even play a role in chronic disease management.  It can be confusing to clinicians.  Plus, if you function this way, then everything continues on the shoulders of the nurses.

Any education given to staff must be applicable to day-to-day patient care.  It needs to include how the roles of each skilled clinician work together as a piece of the puzzle.  If disciplines don’t know how each other fits in the puzzle, then it only makes sense that the program won’t work as well.

Chronic Disease Education On A Continuum:

Managing chronic disease is ongoing education and processes that are part of quality improvement.  Old or unchanged approaches with limited outcomes need changed.  Case conferencing is so often under-utilized between disciplines.  True effective case conferencing involves the flow of information as a constant driver towards functional goals and outcomes. Is this where your agency falls short? “Report” is not a case conference.

If your chronic disease education program focuses on outcome management and functional goals, it will be ongoing.  You will address your program as you monitor outcomes.  Education will become more frequent and you should definitely be hearing how your agency works together.  If you pull the therapist, the aide, and the nurse together, would they all have the same goal for the patient? If there is a one patient, one care plan model there should be.  More importantly, there can be.

We Can Help Your Chronic Disease Management Program:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting offers chronic disease management teaching and can help with program development. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today for your free 30 minute consultation.

The Minute Your Home Care Agency Quits Learning Is The Minute You Begin To Lose Your Edge! Always Keep Ahead of The Game.

EducationHome care has always been an industry where you have to look forward.  Whether it is patient care, regulation changes, or the job market, home care is always on the move.  Education in the industry is no different.  As CMS focuses on chronic disease education and management of care through ACO’s, agencies must be in a constant state of learning.  If you aren’t learning as the industry changes, then your long-term viability is at risk.

How To Know If Chronic Disease Education In The Agency Works:

Manage your outcomes.  That means, really manage your outcomes.  These should not be a numbers given in a dissertation to staff on a quarterly basis.  That just becomes about numbers on a spreadsheet.  Look back over when you began to focus more on chronic disease education or when you initiated a new disease management protocol.  What improvements did you see in outcomes?  Were the numbers satisfactory? Do you see that numbers improved only to level off or decline.  If this was identified, then what was done after that to give improvement another boost?  If you say it was reported to clinical staff and that is it, you have to do more.

How Do You Keep Chronic Disease Education Relevant?:

The point of chronic disease education is not memorizing symptoms or pathology.  It is about changing the behavior of the clinicians and the patients.  You want clinicians regardless of discipline to address disease management proactively. Task oriented visits are a thing of the past. A visit cannot be about completing a task and leaving the home.  So, this means that chronic disease education must focus on how to change outcomes on an ongoing basis.  Teaching the patient is also different.  The education provided to patients needs to focus on early detection and intervention as well.  This may seem like a common sense statement, but it means a lot more.  How often do staff go into a home and teach a patient with CHF 5 things to report and then leave? Visit is documented and all the boxes are checked. Does that patient really have any better understanding of how to manage chronic disease than he or she did prior to that visit? Make teaching about something that changes the day-to-day with the patient to understand what is happening.  If a patient has had CHF for a long time, rattling off those 5 things is nothing new.

Make Your Chronic Disease Education Comprehensive For All Clinicians:

Everyone who sees the patient has to see why the visit is not about checking the boxes and more about relevant patient change for your program to be effective.  You clinicians need to understand the numbers in your outcomes. It is also important to know that interventions need to focus on what will change daily life for the patient.  All clinicians need to have that focus when they enter a home.  Patients need to understand where you are going with the care plan.  If the patient understands that you are there to do more than a task, the majority will want to reach that goal.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have seasoned consultants what work with you to achieve your long-term goals.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help you achieve your goals!

Are You Looking At A Home Health Specialty Service? Here Are Some Things To Consider Before You Jump In With Both Feet!

specialty servicesOK, so here you are in a world of specialty services in healthcare.  You want to make your home care agency stand out, but maybe you aren’t sure exactly which specialty to provide or the best way to begin the process.  Let’s take a look at homework to do prior to determining your niche’ service.

5 Things To Consider In Adding A Specialty Service:

In any specialty service, time and consideration are necessary to be successful.  Adding specialty services before checking these 5 things is like jumping in the pool without dipping your toes in the water first!

  • Competition: How many in your service area can provide this? It is great to add a service to make yourself more marketable, but not when there is already market saturation. You need to pick the right specialty for your area.
  • Program Development: Do you have the staff and time available to them to develop a specialty program within the organization.  It takes time.  If not well constructed, staff will be frustrated.  Then, it is tough to gain buy-in from your own clinical people.  You must make the goals and procedures involved in the program clear and work through changes when necessary in a determined process.
  • Patient Population: Dependent upon the specialty, you need to consider how many cases you will potentially receive from adding the service.  You want an agency that meets the needs of the community. If you can’t forecast a patient population from the specialty, then it doesn’t make sense.
  • Marketing: Your marketing staff need to understand the program well to communicate it properly.  This is key for any of your home care services, but especially when it comes to making a niche’ for your agency.  Other providers need to know how you can make things better for their patients and for their process. They need clinical people to help with promotion until they are able to confidently present the program.
  • Financial Investment: Just like anything in your agency, it costs money.  Do background on the cost for your agency.  Remember, this does not just include the training of one nurse in the specialty. It includes all costs associated with all the bullet points represented here.

 Now, You Are Ready To Add A Specialty Service; What’s Next?:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with an organizational assessment that can focus based upon your goals of adding specialty services.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to set up your free 30 minute free consultation with a senior associate.

How Do You Even Begin To Tackle Chronic Disease Education? Why Online Education Can Eliminate The Bumps In Your Agency And While Working With Other Other Providers!

So, if you have been looking for how to improve your agency processes, then you have inevitably considered how you handle chronic disease education.  It is at the forefront of outcomes as well as episode management.

Why Online Chronic Disease Education?:

There are so many approaches to educating staff and standardizing information given out is key.  Now, if you consider how any classroom works, then you understand that the flow and information disseminated can vary.  Class size, questions, individual competency in the material, and time all make a difference.  Ask any experienced professor or teacher! The main concepts are always the focus, but things can branch to multiple relevant topics and change the overall course of a lecture.

When you consider these items, online education allows for staff to all receive the same information.  It is presented the same way and with questions being addressed collectively. It also allows administration to determine where knowledge deficits continue to exist after receiving the training.  Standardizing your chronic disease education becomes very important when striving to speak the same language within your organization.  It also allows you to better determine what your quality improvement program needs to focus on if everyone approaches the management of chronic disease the same way.  The flow from the classroom to the patient home needs to remain consistent.

Can Home Care Really Standardize?:

From day one, home care has been different that other types of providers.  So, standardizing how we function becomes tough when home care doesn’t exist in a controlled environment.  Right? Each patient has a different home situation and it has to be considered when a plan of care is created.  In order to succeed in provision of chronic disease care, these things have to be considered.  So, your internal programming considers patient variables while your education remains the same.  This is how you standardize.  Make sure all clinical staff are involved in the process.

How Does This Help With Outside Providers?:

Chronic disease management is something all providers deal with regardless the venue. So, if all types of providers focus on a standard approach to education, then everyone can be taught the same.  If you, the local hospital system, and SNF use the same educational tool to include staff in chronic disease management, then each can care planning similarly.  This allows the patient to transition to a different level of care without changing the  focus of each individual discipline.

We Can Help With The Transition:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have chronic disease education to help move staff in the right direction.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation today.

Is It Time To Go Back To School? Using Your Home Care Agency’s Chronic Disease Education To Become The Head Of The Class!

EducationChronic Disease Education is undoubtedly a must for every home care agency.  You maybe heard the title of this blog and thought of the 80’s movie with Rodney Dangerfield.  However, if you treat education as he did, then your agency will not achieve the outcomes it desires.  Let’s look at ways to approach chronic disease education so your students are always ahead at the finish line.

Look At Your Approach To Chronic Disease:

Is your chronic disease management the same as it was 20 years ago? Or, are you newer to home health and aren’t sure how to construct an effective chronic disease management program?  Models today that advance to the medical home mean all members of the clinical team are vital to managing patient care.  As you want to eliminate the silo between your agency and other providers, it also needs to happen in your agency.  So many times, an agency wants to expand with partnerships before righting its own ship.

Education Is An Ongoing Process:

Just like anything else, repetition is key to retention.  Your clinicians reinforce teaching with your patients consistently to make it stick.  The same concept needs to happen with anything you approach with your clinical staff.  This means your home health aides, nurses, and therapists. Also, since many agencies have contracted therapists, rehab clinicians are often missed in your management of chronic disease.  If all members of the football team don’t know the play, then how can it be successful? And, how many times is a particular play practiced over and over to perfect it?  Why consider management of a chronic disease any different? In order to achieve optimal clinical outcomes, the steps of the process must be analyzed and staff must be educated at every juncture.

Who Spends The Majority Of Time With Patients?:

Your home care aides spend the most time on average with patients.  So many times, chronic disease management lies with the nurse and the care plan attached to nursing intervention.  The care plan manages the patient with chronic disease.  This should mean that all disciplines should have interventions that can lead back to achievement of appropriate goals.  It is understandable that certain goals are attached to the discipline based on license, such as a nurse completing an IV. But, this should not be the majority of goals.

Start Education And Process Change With Home Care Aides:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online training programs to educate aide staff on chronic disease management. This can help begin your transition to comprehensive and successful disease management with improved outcomes.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation with a senior consultant.