HEALTHCARE AT HOME:
THE  ROWAN TECHNOLOGY REPORT

Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.

Healthcare at Home Problem #1

Free caregiving by 44 million family members today replaces $470 billion per year in paid care services. These people put in work weeks that would violate every OSHA and overtime rule and are prone to burnout, depression, illness, and never being sure they are providing the right care in the right way.

Healthcare at Home Problem #2:

Recruiting and retention of staff has been named the number one problem facing home care provider companies, inclusive of medical and non-medical providers. 

Until now, there has not been a viable software solution that could help provider companies with either of these problems. Now there is one for each.

e-Caregiving

An elite team made up of Tina Marrelli, MSN, MA, RN, FAAN and Healthcare at Home veteran technology manager Stan Bell recently introduced e-Caregiving, an online resource for families facing the unfamiliar task of caring for a patient away from a healthcare institution. The web site includes education, support, and help understanding their role, including tips to keep themselves healthy during a difficult time. The service educates patients and caregivers about the condition with which they are struggling and what might happen as their loved one's condition declines or improves. 

Marrelli and Bell told us that e-Caregiving explains in clear, non-technical language the kind of care they can expect the patient to receive and what will happen as that care is delivered. Lessons instruct them how to carry out tasks that the caregiver may do, under the philosophy that a better-informed caregiver enhances quality of life for both themselves and the patient. Content has also been reviewed by Marrelli's longtime friend and colleague Mary St. Pierre, RN, BSN, MGA, and former VP of Regulatory Affairs for NAHC.

Content and materials adhere to strict, evidence-based standards, the majority of which is supported by research and reference. Common conditions are covered, including essentials for safety, comfort, and quality. Pages can be printed, text size can be adjusted, and content can be read aloud via a text-to-speech feature.

The team is led by Bill Glass, CEO, who has a long history of executive positions with large companies in various industries. Bell takes on the COO title and brings to the effort many years in product management with McKesson and HealthcareFirst. Marrelli, of course, is the author of multiple books that grace the shelves of most home health and home care agencies, several of which have been reviewed here (type "Marrelli" into the search field at homecaretechreport.com). She serves as Chief Clinical Officer and based e-Caregiving on her essential 2017 manual A Guide for Caregiving: What's Next? Planning for Safety, Quality, and Compassionate Care for Your Love One and Yourself! 

She told us, "In truth, both the book and e-Caregiving are based my experience watching the thoughtful, loving caregiving my husband provided to his 96-year old father. They taught me that, sometimes, more care, more experts, and more specialists are not the right thing."

The team's message to home health and home care agencies that have already recognized the needs of family caregivers is that this type of education and support can lead to better patient outcomes, sooner. When your patients' caregivers join your care team, your quality scores improve, costs decline, and reimbursement rises. You become better prepared for value-based purchasing regulations. 

e-Caregiving makes content accessible to caregivers. The content is easy to navigate. Pages can be printed. Text size can be adjusted. Content can be read with text-to-speech from your browser.

The Missing Element in Your Retention and Recruiting

Bob Roth came up with an innovative idea after dealing with staffing issues in his own agency. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Cypress HomeCare Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona. He describes Retinent as a cost-effective, economically sustainable solution that supports caregiving staff. We found the details behind that relatively general description to be compelling. While testing it in his own agency, Roth saw his retention rate improve from 47 percent to 72 percent.

"Looking at it another way," he told us, "our turnover rate fell from 53 percent to 28 percent. More than 20 percent of our new hires came directly from the Retinent system."

Explained in detail at retinent.comRetinent is a system of internal referrals and rewards. Roth said that one of his employees has earned more than $1,200 in referral bonuses already for bringing friends to apply at Cypress. Smaller, additional payments add to an employee's total when one recruit in turn refers another who joins the staff.

"I know my peers are competing with fast food and other unskilled jobs, especially as the minimum wage rises in some areas," Roth concluded. "Retinent gives them a fighting chance by turning the entire current staff into an arm of the HR department's recruiting effort."

 

©2018 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. editor@homecaretechreport.com