Home Health Aide Training – Learning From Your Own Room

Careers in the medical field are some of the most sought after positions available. A simple way to get your foot in the door is to consider home health aide training. This is a position one that allows you to work with the same satisfaction of other health care positions but without the hassle of working at the health care facilities.

This position has many other titles such as Residential Assistant, Home Caregiver, and Certified Nursing Assistant. Home health aide training is minimal, but will teach the student to provide personal and basic care, as well as health related services. These professionals provide care directly to their patients. Home health aides receive their assignments from Physical Therapists, Doctors, Social Workers, or Registered Nurses. Part of their assigned duties is to document the patient’s progress and condition at the time of treatment and the services that they perform.

It teaches the student to care for patients who are terminally ill, mentally disabled, patients with long term illnesses, the elderly, and physically disabled. Residential care facilities and private homes are the places that most home health aide work. They provide services such as changing surgical dressings, assisting in exercises, dressing, and personal hygiene, changing the bed, reading and talking to the patient, helping them to ambulate and take medications. This is only a limited list of the services and is not all inclusive as most patients require different treatments.

It is as simple as what is gained in on the job training. Some employers offer classroom training for their employees, but no formal training is really required. To become a home health aide not even a high school diploma is required. Training received on the job from Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and other Home Health Aides can last for a number of days to several months to complete depending on the employee and trainer. There are other types of training such as lectures, workshops, and facility training that can assist in home health aide training. There are frequently tests that an aide has to complete so that they can prove their capabilities to the potential employer.

They also should include familiarization of Medicare reimbursement and Federal Government Medicare Guidelines. If they are working for a company that receives funding from Medicare the aides are required to pass a test with various information that they have encountered in their training as well as about the Medicare system. They can receive additional training that will enhance their career and could possibly lead into other divisions of health care. This is the only occupation in the health care field that does not require formal training, and therefore in order for a home health aide to advance their career they must obtain the required education.

Home health aide training is not something that can be completed online as a majority of their duties are hands on. However the training itself is something easily obtained.

How to Use Organizational Assessments to Grow Your Home Health Agency

The home health care industry is growing rapidly and it’s only expected to rise in the coming years. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of home health and personal care aides will increase 70 percent from 2010 to 2020. To stay competitive in the industry, home care agencies must embrace change and continue to improve both their operations and their services. But before any change can be implemented, it’s imperative that your agency performs an organizational assessment to see exactly what changes are needed.

What is an Organizational Assessment?
An organizational assessment is an in-depth analysis of your agency. It’s typically conducted by a home health consultant and operates like an audit. The professional conducting the assessment will review all aspects of your agency, including your people, structure, operations, recruiting, training, revenue, compliance, and strategic plan. While some of the issues may be apparent, you will uncover hidden risks and problems that can be detrimental to your home health agency’s success.

Why Hiring a Home Health Consultant Matters
It’s difficult to be impartial about your own agency. A home health consultant can conduct an organizational assessment with the right level of scrutiny and emotional distance. Also, experienced consultants know all of the latest regulations, industry requirements, and best practices so they can fully assess every area that needs improvement.

Benefits of an Organizational Assessment
Many home health agencies avoid organizational assessments because of their perceived cost. Unfortunately, many agencies don’t weigh the cost of an assessment against the cost of leaving their liabilities undiscovered. In addition to improving efficiency and finding leaky revenue streams, an assessment helps your agency get into compliance with state and federal regulations.

As these regulations continue to change, an organizational assessment pinpoints areas where your agency needs to fix compliance issues. Failing to do so could potentially result in losing medical insurance reimbursements, licensing, or even facing legal problems down the road. Essentially, an assessment keeps your home health agency viable in an unstable economy–and that isn’t something you can put a price on.

An organizational assessment can also evaluate your quality of service. Knowing that your home health agency’s reputation is critical for your success, an assessment can identify any customer service challenges, help improve areas in which negative feedback has been received, and increase client satisfaction ratings.

Examples of Successful Organizational Assessments
An organizational assessment unearths opportunities to increase revenue, eliminate waste, and boost performance. Some examples include discovering:
Why your agency has seen a dramatic decrease in referrals – You may find that an out-of-state home health agency has been illegally providing services without the appropriate licensing and authority to do so.
You’re losing money on Medicaid programs – Improper management of a Medicaid program can increase your losses rather than revenue.
Why your agency’s referral-to-conversion rate has dropped – You may uncover serious customer service issues that occur when the intake specialist is on break or off.
Your agency is losing funds – You may find that your field staff is not obtaining interim orders to cover the span between the initial orders and the dropping of the RAP. Or, if you are a private duty agency, you may have aging AR that is not being tracked or collected.
Performance issues – You may identify sales team members who are not making enough sales to cover their salaries let alone additional revenue.
Training and education needs -Assessment of your staff’s skills may indicate that performance could be improved with education programs.
Unnecessary positions – You may find that a staff position offers little value and can be removed to free up resources.
Reasons for attrition – You may uncover communication or morale issues that are causing good employees to leave the agency.

An organizational assessment is a valuable tool to identify your home health agency’s weaknesses and areas of the business that are costing you money. But that’s just the beginning of the process. The next step is to create a strategic plan that puts you on the right path to growth.