By Ginny Kenyon
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 86% of U.S. health care expenditures are spent on the treatment of chronic diseases. This fact has led to a new emphasis in the home health care industry on providing high-quality, well informed care to those suffering from these diseases. In fact, the future of home health care should be directed to providing specialized care for clients with common chronic conditions like CHF, COPD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and chronic hypertension.
Future Home Health Care Success Hinges on Education
Ask yourself, “What will set my home health organization apart from the competition in the years ahead?” The ability to expand and diversify your services to provide the future of home health care for clients with chronic disease would be an excellent answer. In order to accomplish this goal, however, it is clear that your aides would need to consistently deliver the specialized high-quality care to adequately meet the needs of these clients and their families.
Building a sterling reputation for providing specialized care for the chronically ill, and becoming known as the expert in particular chronic diseases, will not happen overnight. Nor will it occur without making a conscious effort to expand the knowledge base of your client care staff.
You will be ready for the future of home health care by investing in the education of your health care aides and increasing their knowledge of chronic disease care resulting in the following:
• Grow the knowledge base and referral opportunities for your agency. You will be able to meet the outcome and process requirements of Medicare’s OASIS program which will positively impact your chronic diseases outcomes. This opens up increased reimbursements from Medicare, meets the needs of your clients and referral sources who are seeking specialized care.
• Improve your client satisfaction rates. Satisfied clients will ultimately lead to new referrals when advertising efforts and personal recommendations combine to build your agency’s reputation as a top-tier chronic disease care provider.
• Improve employee retention rates. When aides receive advanced education in chronic disease, they are more confident and satisfied with the quality of care they are providing. Education often leads to the opportunity for advancement within your organization, an improved working environment and satisfied caregivers which are much more likely to remain at your organization.
The Future of Home Health Care Education Is Online
Most aspects of home health care, including advanced chronic disease education can be learned quite effectively online. Certified aides have only acquired the basic hands on training required to care for clients. Consider the difficultly if your aides had to continue working full time, juggle family responsibilities and then find time to attend an onsite class. Online training is the best, viable option for providing advanced chronic disease education while continuing their work and personal lives uninterrupted.
The best online option for advanced chronic disease education is offered by Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. This curriculum written by home care experts provides learners with the knowledge needed to deliver specialized care to the chronically ill. The content available at Aide University will enable staff to quickly recognize the warning signs of a client’s changing condition leading to a reduction in hospitalization and emergency room visit rates.
Kenyon HomeCare’s Aide University offers disease-specific courses, which are broken into four individual modules. Each module contains client care scenarios, knowledge checks, and a final exam leading to a disease-specific certificate. Courses are 100% online, available 24/7 with internet access which allows your aides to set their own schedules around work and personal responsibilities.
It is estimated that at least 3/4 of the average home health care agency’s clients have a chronic disease. It should be no surprise that the future of home health care lies in the specialized, long-term care of clients who suffer from these diseases. Propelling your organization to care-taking and business success ultimately rests on your ability to better equip your health care aides to tackle the advanced chronic disease challenges that lie ahead.
The Future of Home Health Care: Advanced Chronic Disease Online Aide Education first appeared as a Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog on May 27, 2015.
Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.