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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. 

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! 

Do You Need To Continue Your Current Chronic Disease Education Or Look At Something Different? Let’s Take A Look Through Objective Eyes.

Chronic disease educationIf you are an agency that values education but aren’t seeing the results from it, then you need to read this. Importance of chronic disease education continues to be huge. Let’s look at why you may struggle even when you invest in education. 

Take A Different Approach To Online Education: 

Often, an agency pays a one-time fee to a live webinar or webinar playback. This allows you one-time access. For many agencies, to purchase a copy is too costly.  If this is the case, then ALL staff must be out of the field to participate. This is difficult. In the age of technology, why restrict your agency to hearing something once? 

As administration, look at programs that allow you bundles of log on options. This will allow flexibility of clinical staff to see patients and still complete additional education. Bundles allow multiple views and agencies to use chronic disease education during orientation. 

Chronic Disease Education Isn’t Just For Nurses: 

Skilled home health chronic disease education has always been nurse driven. It made sense in the beginning since nurses case manage and usually opened and closed the cases. Now, focusing chronic disease education efforts just for nurses hinders overall disease management. How? Well, you potentially leave out every other clinical discipline involved in these cases. There is no reason therapists and home health aides should not be laser-focused on chronic disease too.  It is all about managing the patient with each resource placed in the home. 

Make Sure You Change Agency Mindset First: 

Help skilled clinicians utilize other disciplines for everything within scope of practice. Nurses tend to do it all themselves. Why should this be the case when other disciplines are in the home? Nurses cannot be everything to every patient all the time and shouldn’t be. Change the paradigm in your agency and your education can be more effective than ever. Then, pull your home care aides for education first. This discipline is physically with the patient the most, but greatly under-utilized in helping manage chronic disease. 

We Can Help:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have comprehensive online chronic disease education for your agency and home care aides. This is a great step of integrating all skilled disciplines to manage chronic disease.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to let us talk with you about taking the next step towards improving your program and patient outcomes!

Does Your Chronic Disease Education Program Make Honor Roll Or Just Pass The Test? Grade Your Agency Paper And Upgrade Your Teaching Model To Generate Happier Employees And Better Patient Outcomes!

Chronic Disease EducationThe most important thing in chronic disease education is the overall program evaluation. If you don’t know the overall efficacy of your chronic disease program, then you will miss the mark.  Let’s look at how to grade your own test and make the program better than ever!

5 Things Need To Be On Your Grade Card:

In order to evaluate your chronic disease education, you need to know what to put on your grade card. Here are 5 things that are a definite must to know if you pass the class.

  • What Clinical Disciplines Are Involved?: You should be able to say nursing, PT, OT, and Home Health Aide.  If you can’t, then your program won’t thrive.
  • How Often Do You Train?: If the answer is “on hire”, then you will also struggle. Even though this is important in the orientation process, it is a continual learning process.
  • Do You Connect The Education With Managing The Disease?: This is the key to the kingdom. All disciplines must understand how all pieces to disease management fit together. It is not about hearing symptoms and staff memorizing lists. That misses the point. It is about complex problem management.
  • Do You Include Contract Staff?: Agencies often invest in education for employees, but not the contracted entities that provide service to the patients. This costs you a lot more in the long run.
  • How Often Do Your Clinical Disciplines Communicate Between Each Other?: Is it once a week? Or, maybe it is at admission and discharge only? See how often and the quality of the communication? Is it based upon improvement and optimal functioning?

Let Us Help Put It All Together!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you advance chronic disease education and management to the next level.  We offer online education at Chronic Disease University. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how our program can get you the grade card you want!


You Know Oasis Is Important. This Isn’t New. But How Do You Keep Your Clinicians Excited About It? The Gold Is In Your Trainer!

win-winOasis… Oasis… Oasis… Do you ever find it hard to get staff excited about it?  Then, you are not alone. Keeping things fresh year after year can be frustrating. Let’s look at ways to make your training memorable.

Common Things That Can Make Training Ineffective:

After years of completing Oasis, it can be something that long-term nursing staff can dread. It can also be way too much for new nurses. Here are 3 common things that can make even the best intentions change the outcome of your training:

  •  New Nurses With Seasoned Nurses: This can be a really tough mix. You have long term nurses who have seen a question answered a certain way in one version answered differently in another. New nurses are a clean slate. It can be tough approach the nursing team with the exact same training.
  • Same Method Of Training: So many times, you can have a trainer that methodically reads guidance to staff. Staff begin to zone out and think about all the work they still have to get done that day.
  • No Real-Life Example: Nothing is better than having the nurses see the Oasis completed properly while objectively assessing a real patient. When it is possible to have this type of hand-on example used, it is so much better. When it isn’t, consider getting consent from a patient willing to have the assessment video-taped for training purposes.

Ok, So What Really Makes The Difference:

The proof is in the trainer. You need someone who understands the tool both clinically and financially.  That type of trainer is excited about how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. If you approach staff with this trainer, then training looks so much better. That person needs to be a nurse. This makes the training more credible to those receiving it. This type of trainer puts everything together from the Oasis to how it all fits in the care plan. It becomes a win-win situation for nurses and for administration.

We Can Help!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have onsite Oasis training by the nurse that loves the puzzle of Oasis and how everything fits together.  Our Oasis training nurses are certified coders that bring the coding piece into the mix effectively.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see if our trainers can make a difference for you!

Ring The Bell! School’s Back In! Making Your Chronic Disease Education UntouchableTo The Rest!

chronic disease educationHome care always changes. Agencies deal with changes in reimbursement and regulations all the time. There is one thing that doesn’t change; the need for chronic disease education.  Let’s look at some ways a great program can make you more marketable and help your bottom line.

Wait, Doesn’t Extra Education Cost Me Money?:

As an administrator, you constantly deal with the pressure of finances.  It comes with the territory. But, look at chronic disease education from the big picture. If you have an internal program that leads to better outcomes and better case management, then training cost is minimal compared to the alternative. So, the answer would ultimately be no. Education and incorporating disease management from your agency perspective is home health gold.

So, What Happens First?:

Pick your educational program and start with home care aides. This discipine is most often skipped in the process of chronic disease management. Aides spend the most time with the patient and yet are the least taught by agencies when it comes to chronic disease. This is the first thing that needs to change. The home care aide is much more capable of being part of the goal-oriented care plan regarding chronic disease. Here’s the other thing; the paradigm shift needs the buy-in from your skilled clinicians. If skilled disciplines know you have well-educated aides, then it is easier to make them part of multidisciplinary care plan goals.

Assess Communication:

This cannot be stressed enough when it comes to chronic disease management. Agencies struggle with coordination of care. Clinicians are busy trying to provide care, document in an EMR, and follow up with physicians. The increased communication will actually allot more time for the nurse and therapist in the long run. If communication increases, then additional visits are not completed.  Think about the difference in the number of visits when the therapist and nurse complete the cycle of care with the aide versus the alternative.  Have the aide complete all tasks within scope of practice. Make coordination of care a meaningful discussion of goals and how to get the patient there.  Each discipline needs to play a part.

Make The Investment And Let Us Help:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have comprehensive chronic disease education for your aides. This allows online use when it is convenient for each individual staff member. Check it out at Chronic Disease University or call us today at 206-721-5091 to see how it can work for you!

Are You Freaking Out About Pre-Claim Review? Are You Wondering How To Get The Docs On Board With Your Timeframes? You are Not Alone, But Don’t Be Afraid. Prepare Them Now!

stressed doctorMost agencies know the Review Choice Demonstration to be the new Pre-Claim Review. In order to make things flow smoothly, have all your ducks in a row first. However, you may feel getting your documents back from the MD may be impossible.  If so, let’s look at ways to ease the burden.

4 Ways To Streamline Your Pre-Claim Review Process:

If you do not have your act together internally, then it becomes tough to make it flow to others. Let’s look at 4 ways you can improve the process now so you are ready.

  • Tighten Your Own Timeline: Nothing is more frustrating to the docs then for you to push your timeline out to the very end and expect them to jump to your every need.  How long from admission to printed 485? How long until your face-to-face documentation is in place?
  • Look At Your Documentation Policies: Pre-claim may mean you need to change your workflow.  Are any steps unnecessary? Have you accounted for absences of clinical staff or coders? Pre-claim will absolutely hurt cash flow if you do not prepare properly.  If you complete in-house coding, have an outsourced provider contracted to prevent any gap in billing related to surge or absences.
  • Educate All Staff Involved In Process: As administrators, sometimes you struggle with how much information staff need to do a quality job. Ultimately, as home health spending increases, so has its scrutiny. Medicare must make sure that those providing care are doing so in the way CMS intended. Educate staff to know this is not a punishment from Medicare. Auditing has shown that many claims are paid improperly. CMS is trying to control money going out that shouldn’t.
  • Talk To Your Docs: Ultimately, they are going through auditing themselves. They are also dealing with every kind of provider with their respective audits and reviews. It is a lot. Recently, a physician approached me and stated, “I don’t care about this face-to-face stuff, but I have to do it”. No truer words have been said. Make the education simple. When we look back to face-to-face, it was extremely frustrating for everyone. Now, most agencies have a system that makes things easier for everyone.  Timeframe is the struggle. Illinois providers report better follow through and efficiency than before pre-claim review. So, it can improve.

So, How Do We Get What We Need For Pre-Claim Review:

Start with internal operations. Go to the docs with a system in place that makes things run as smoothly as possible. If you have docs that want to do things differently to help workflow, then do it. It will make the difference in your cash flow, turnover time, and ultimately, the satisfaction of your home care partners.  Don’t wait until you have a date on a calendar of go-time from CMS. Start now to alleviate pressure for everyone.

Let Us Help You Make Things Easier:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants who have been through years of different auditing processes. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation.

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.