With forty years of experience, Hospice of Washington County is no stranger to change. As COVID-19 impeded traditional modes of care, Hospice of Washington County embraced innovation and recalibration, pivoting practices to ensure low risk of infection, while providing the same standard of care synonymous with the organization.
To support staff along this uneven terrain, Hospice of Washington County first looked to increase communication, sharing an abundance of information regarding policies and procedures. Hospice of Washington County shared the ‘why’ behind decisions made, the ‘what’ behind new protocols.
“People felt confident and comfortable, said Ernesto Lopez, chief executive officer. “They had a lot of great questions and really good points that made us go back and think “this needs to be retailored.”” This collaborative mentality was echoed in a recent town hall meeting that saw nearly 100% participation from attendees. This level of communication doesn’t exist in a vacuum; Lopez noted that this connectivity has been replicated in the experiences staff are providing to families as they conduct care virtually.
In addition to these communication avenues, Hospice of Washington County debuted a vlog with comedic undertones and is launching a text message initiative to share vital information and words of encouragement. Outside of digital strategies the organization’s leadership is committed to maintaining connection with staff, sending handwritten notes and birthday tidings. While the modes may be different than their pre-pandemic counterparts, the message remains the same: “We care for our staff,” said Lopez. “We want to continue to engage and keep them engaged in our organization.”
As employees continue to work from home, Lopez also stressed the importance of eliminating traditional models for productivity assessment. “Trust your staff, he said. “Think about productivity in a different way. Are your patients getting what they need? Are you experiencing service shortfalls? Those are the measurables I would use to see if I am holding my staff and our team accountable.”
Collaboratively, all of these measures yielded an impressive outcome: Washington County Hospice experienced virtually no staff turnover during the pandemic. This statistic assured the organization what they already knew; staff were engaged and receptive to change, always ready to act in the best interest of their patients.
Monday, September 19 | Human Services,Thought Leadership,Value-based Care
In our most recent blog, The Role of Peers and Mutual Support in Alcoholics Anonymous, we discussed the fascinating history of Alcoholics Anonymous and its contributions to today's health care continuum. Evolving in parallel to the mental health peer movement, AA and its affiliate organizations, e.g., Narcotics Anonymous came to identical conclusions about the unique value of mutual support. Join Denny Morrison, as he unpacks how often peers are used, how they are credentialed and how they affect the economics of health care in the United States.More
Monday, September 12 | Post-Acute Care,Thought Leadership,Netsmart in the Community,Legislative/Policy
Ready access to quality home healthcare services is critical to the future of our nation’s healthcare system and the millions receiving these services today. Jen Sherman, community strategist, Netsmart will be a voice for home health providers in Washington D.C. at the upcoming NAHC Advocacy Day and shares why the proposed rate cuts by CMS will leave a devastating negative economic and operational impact on home health and post-acute providers.More
Wednesday, September 07 | Thought Leadership,Post-Acute Care,Value-based Care
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), more than 64 million people are enrolled in Medicare. The fastest-growing segment of the government’s national health insurance program is Medicare Advantage (MA). In case you missed the podcast, hear from Netsmart leaders Dawn Iddings and Mike Dordick join Home Care Technology Report Editor Tim Rowan to discuss demands and strategies agencies can use for success.More