Blogs - Tagged: Home Health


You crossed the finish line … but the path to a successful merger continues

Posted: 06.30.14 | Category: Consulting, Talent Solutions, TCG CHEX eLearning

The amount of mergers and acquisitions increased by 16 percent between the second and third quarters last year, according to a June 19 report by FierceHealthFinance.  “There is a natural momentum right now in … the economy as a whole for merger & acquisition, and people don’t want to be the last one picked at the kickball game,” President and CEO Russell Branzell of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, a non-profit organization designed to promote collaboration by health care leaders, told FierceHealthFinance in June.  The increase means a large set of companies, often with the help of consultants, have identified the risks and rewards of a merger or acquisition and taken the leap.  Now as the consolidations are completed, these businesses are taking the next step … moving forward as one seamless company.

The steep climb in the number of mergers and acquisitions is evident in the health care industry. Although the Affordable Care Act has created an uncertain climate on future growth and profitability for the home care industry, businesses are acting now to meet both the challenges and opportunities, according to a November 2013 report by HomeCare, After Health Care Reform: Developing Merger and Acquisition Strategies.”  The report on “mergers and acquisition options in the new era” emphasizes the vast body of state and federal laws are changing.  Even though the regulatory and compliance requirements can complicate a transaction process, “Every privately held health care business ever created will, at some point, be sold, merged, bequeathed or closed,” Jonathan M. Sadock reveals in the HomeCare piece.

The merger is complete, but the strategic work continues

Click to learn more about the many solutions TCG offers to navigate you through the potential pitfalls on your path through a merger.

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Limit Heat Exposure in the Elderly

Posted: 06.27.14 | Category: Education & Training, Homepage Solutions

Summer is well on its way, and when the temperature heats up it’s imperative to provide your elderly patients with a little extra care. Below are two common illnesses seniors may be at risk for during the warmer months, and suggestions on how to avoid them.

Heat Stroke

heatwave-small-square2.121348According to the CDC, heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature.

Small increases in temperate can shorten the life expectancy for seniors, so limit outdoor activities and instead choose locations that offer cool atmospheres.

It is imperative to seek medical attention immediately if you believe a patient is experiencing a heat stroke. Warning signs may include:

  •  An extremely high body temperature (above 103ºF)
  • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Dehydration

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During the warmer months elderly patients are at a greater risk for dehydration because their bodies do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature. They also lose the ability to conserve water as they age, so hydration is priority.

Steps to stay hydrated:

  • Offer fluids regularly
  • Keep water accessible and available
  • Encourage patients to drink 8 ounces of fluid with medication

Heat Up Your Educational Plan This Summer!

TCG CHEX eLearning offers a lineup of specialty courses that discuss caring for the elderly, including our extreme weather course, which provides an overview of heat related safety issues.

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Part 2: How to Improve Quality Outcomes, Working Toward Quality

Posted: 05.14.14 | Category: Education & Training

Welcome back! Have you been drumming out a rhythm in your head to get marching on the path to quality? In today’s discussion, we are going to identify the starting point and determine where to go from there.

New to the series? Read Part 1: How to Improve Quality Outcomes, Defining Quality

When you’re facing difficulties in working toward quality care, like measuring patient outcomes or compliance, you have two options: problem solving or process improvement. Problem solving means putting out the fires, but does it improve quality of service?

Let’s look at process improvement. Service is made up of multiple processes and the only way to improve service/quality is to improve those individual processes. To start, look at your quality data and use QBQI Manual steps to select two to three outcomes, which may be most relevant for your agency. For the selection we also need to consider:

  • The agency’s mission, vision and goals
  • The patient population served
  • The outcomes that carry greater risk to patients
  • The outcomes that affect more patients
  • The outcomes that affect the agency financially
  • Don’t automatically choose the outcome with the Home Health Compare lowest score – it may not be relevant to the majority of the patient population, or your agency’s mission, vision or goals

Your overarching goal in the process is to improve the efficiency of providing excellent care and this encompasses both process and outcome measures. Before finalizing the “target outcome,” your agency must collect real time data (e.g. UR, incident reports, hand washing, falls). If this current data supports the chosen target outcome, make a recommendation to the leadership team. The agency leadership will then “charter” a performance improvement effort. Thereafter, a member of the management team should be assigned as Champion. This person is the “go-to” for requests and will provide regular reports. They may also sit in on some team meetings and act as liaison with the management team.

To recap, we have discussed outcome improvement, quality and what they mean, and we have started to outline your plan for marching toward quality. Our third and final post will discuss creation of the process improvement team—remember we favor process improvement over problem solving—and how choosing the right team leads to the right processes and outcomes.

For more information regarding Beyond the Data: How to Improve Your Home Health Outcomes, you may purchase the Webinar on CD at shoptcg.com.

Presenter: Karen Persico, RN, MA, PHN, COS-C, HCS-D

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