Author: Maxwell Healthcare Associates
Posted: December 5, 2023
With post-acute care transitioning towards a focus in value the industry becomes more volatile every day. At Maxwell Healthcare Associates we believe that if caregiver passion exists within the agency, any organization can thrive with the proper knowledge. The team at MHA comprises many longstanding industry veterans from all aspects of the care process. Through each interview we aim to empower your agency in making the shift from surviving to thriving amid the strenuous post-acute care environment. In this interview, we sat down with Scott Beard, Chief Strategy Officer on the Innovation team at MHA. Beard discusses the current state of post-acute care, pressing technology trends, and the best practices to thrive through a tech-enabled agency. Staying up to date on trends is an essential step towards success in the post-acute industry. MHA is your partner throughout this process, empowering you to make the jump from surviving to THRIVING.
I think there's a lot of opportunities out there, specifically looking at demands on caregivers from communication with patients, to various documentation requirements; there's a lot of opportunity. There's a lot of demands on the back office as well. We look at things like making sure that they're maximizing the productivity of the caregivers - how can they ensure that all the caregivers are meeting productivity expectations? Finally, you look at the patient and understand their needs, open communication channels for them - how are the patients doing on a daily basis? How can we best serve them? Those are all things that come to top of mind when I think about the main concerns in agency operations that can be addressed with technology.
I think when you're looking at assessing needs for technical intervention you need to really look at overall company strategy and make sure your technology and solutions are in alignment. If those aren't in alignment, they're not going to be successful. I think you should rely on experts that know technology, the environment is always changing and it's hard to keep up with everything. Coordinating with people that deal with technical items daily is huge, from there just be willing to think outside the box. I think you always must keep an open mind on things, making sure they are innovative with your solutions. When it comes to choosing and implementing technical solutions, it's very important to be willing to accept some risk, I’m not really talking about cyber security type risk - we're all obligated and need to be safe and safeguard our patient’s data. I mean take risks with new technologies, be willing to try new things, make sure your solutions are out of the box and that they have a great ROI as well.
Users must understand the why’s of implementing certain technologies. If they don't know the background and the reason on why we’re implementing this technology, it's going to fail. Furthermore, they must get to a point where they take ownership of whatever is being implemented - take ownership, understand it, and learn it. The final piece of that is just the general user adoption - unless users really dive into and adopt the technology it's going to fail. In my experience those are the most important indicators of project success.
We must be able to do more with the less. When you think about making users, caregivers, and back-office users more productive, that is the key thing that we need to look at. I also think that we must be ready for the ever-changing landscape, specifically Medicare Advantage. I recently found a stat from a Health Affairs website where Medicare Advantage is supposed to make up 50% of Medicare enrollment this year, under current growth it's going to hit roughly 70%. I think it's prudent upon all agencies to make sure that their EMR systems and their operational processes are ready for these new payors. This preparedness will be essential for success.
Technology is ever changing so it's hard to say for sure. As you look at new technologies, I put them in three groups. One is technologies that let you do more with less and reduce the opportunity for making errors. Some of the technologies that fall into that bucket are things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, RPAs, and speech recognition solutions. The second group is technologies that help you identify areas needing improvement or streamlining, providing a broad perspective of performance. In that group of technologies, I think of things like data warehouse technologies, analytics, and visualization applications. When used appropriately in your organization, they can really help you gain insight into your data and insight into your company. The final bucket is technologies that help you reduce cost. Things like outsourcing certain processes or the movement to cloud based computing is a huge trend over the last several years and I don't see that changing any time soon. It’s difficult to name specific solutions due to change, but I believe these three categories will define the future.
With the uncountable number of nuances in the post-acute space, it makes sense for your agency to feel overwhelmed at times. Our experts at MHA hold a wealth of knowledge and experience within the industry. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re ready to take the next step in achieving your agency’s goals. Contact us today at [email protected] or visit www.maxwellhca.com.