NEW YORK — Recognizing that care integration models hold enormous promise for the home care sector, PHI has released a practical guide to assist home and community-based services providers in implementing a Care Integration Senior Aide program in their agencies.
The new guide — Implementing the Care Integration Senior Aide: A Practical Guide for Home and Community-Based Services Providers — details 10 practical steps for implementing a CISA role in a home care setting, as well as five steps for making a strong business case to sustain the program long term.
The guide also includes various user-friendly tools and templates that individual home care providers can modify to align with their agency's structure and priorities.
"Our new guide takes the best evidence from PHI's extensive experience and from the broader field to provide home care employers with a step-by-step approach to implementing a Care Integration Senior Aide program," said Jodi M. Sturgeon, president and CEO at PHI, a national research, advocacy, and workforce innovations organization based in the Bronx, New York.
PHI produced the guide as part of a funding partnership with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, a national organization driven by a mission to "collaborate with workers, employers, and communities to advance a skilled workforce, promote good jobs, and invest in equitable outcomes," and the New York City Workforce Funders Collaborative, which funds technical and financial assistance to youth and adult employment organizations, and sector-focused strategies.
"Engaging diverse partners to innovate and test new ideas at the local level is a critical part of what we do at the National Fund," said Amanda Cage, president and CEO of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. "This guide is the direct result of that kind of innovative thinking that is possible when you support taking risks and exploration to discover new and innovative workforce solutions."
"Home health aides are an essential part of the City’s workforce, and we must invest in improving their jobs," said Roderick Jenkins, program director at the The New York Community Trust, and co-chair of the New York City Workforce Funders. "PHI's toolkit takes an important step in that direction by empowering employers to create an advanced role that benefits both workers and their clients."
A growing body of evidence shows that care integration models in home care settings improve recruitment and retention and decrease costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations. For example, a 2012-2015 study by the California Long-Term Care Education Center (now the Center for Caregiver Advancement) found that their training and care integration home care model resulted in cost savings of up to $12,000 per consumer within a participating health plan.
Building on this evidence, PHI created and tested an advanced role for home care workers in 2014-2016 called the Care Connections Senior Aide, which led to an 8 percent reduction in the rate of emergency room visits among the 1,400 clients impacted, reduced caregiving strain among family members, and improved job satisfaction among home care workers.
Advanced roles like the Care Integration Senior Aide and the Care Connections Senior Aide are critical to direct care workers and the health and long-term care systems because they provide a meaningful opportunity for advancement in a job sector that generally lacks such options.
These measures are particularly necessary at a time when long-term care employers are struggling to find and keep staff. Recent research from PHI showed that long-term care will need to fill an estimated 7.9 million total job openings in direct care from 2020 to 2030, which includes new jobs due to growing demand and jobs that will need to be filled when existing workers transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force.
"We're thrilled to have created a much-needed resource for home care providers and to continue partnering with long-term care leaders around the country in strengthening the direct care workforce and improving care for everyone," said Emily Dieppa, vice president of workforce innovations at PHI.
While this guide offers detailed instructions on implementing the CISA model, providers who undertake this endeavor would benefit from contacting PHI for additional support to ensure successful and sustainable implementation. For example, a critical step in implementing this program is training—and PHI offers a comprehensive proprietary training curriculum that equips CISAs with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in these roles, along with a training curriculum for other care team members on how to collaborate successfully with CISA employees.
PHI also offers a range of consulting services for long-term care providers and other stakeholders related to recruitment, retention, DEI, and much more.
Download the guide and practical templates here.
©2022 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. This article originally appeared in Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report. Click here to subscribe. It may be freely reproduced provided this copyright statement remains intact. firstname.lastname@example.org