As several challenges bedevil the healthcare sector, developing and implementing a potent strategic plan becomes essential for home care organizations who intend to create a balance of effective patient care, employee well-being, and meeting their bottom line, Anchor Group Corp & its CEO, Kevin Howell,  invited a panel of three top experts in the industry to discuss the challenges and best practices for a scalable and effective strategic planning ahead of 2023. The virtual event was titled “Assessing and Revamping Your Home Care Strategy Ahead of 2023,” and sponsored by the Anchor Group.

Opening the session, the moderator and CEO, of Anchor Group Corp, Kevin Howell, MBA elaborated on the importance of effective strategic planning for home care organizations saying “a business strategy is a roadmap that links a company to its destination. The strategy relies on both foresight and goals and encapsulates the company’s vision and mission.”

“The more specific, measurable, timely, and realistic, the greater your chances of achieving results. Your strategic plan should be to strengthen your talent and satisfy your client. It’s not about ‘I’ve done it before’ but about are you doing it right?”  Learn more about the Anchor Group can help your organization with its strategic plan.

In his introductory speech, Kevin stated that “Health care organizations and homecare providers continually have to pivot and adapt to the change in regulations. Many LTC and MTCs are looking for the best agencies to work with. A great agency of the future is an agency that has an integrative approach to care and that could be through partnerships.”

Client Experience

Andrea Brown President & CEO | AB Coaching and Consulting

In our fast-changing world, customer experience is integral to any business’s success. Statistics show that the healthcare sector has one of the poorest reputations for customer service. Many clients have previously recounted their bad experiences with healthcare agencies thereby heightening the need to build quality patient communication and emphasizing the fact that its pertinent home care leaders strengthen their cords by prioritizing excellent client experience if they want to stay ahead in 2023.

For home care agencies to achieve a satisfactory client experience, panelist Andrea Brown, CEO of AB Coaching and Consulting stated that client experience must be a “clear goal”. Home care leaders need to define and communicate the agency’s goals.

The question is, are your goals clear enough? Are you communicating them to staff well enough? Are you monitoring performance and holding staff accountable? Are you collecting the right data? What approach are you using? Is it client-centric, or patient-focused?

Andrea pointed out what home care leaders should watch out for and key things to do to spin the wheel in your favor. Leveraging new technology(s) is the first step.

When was the last time you completed a thorough client survey? Click here to get more information on our client experience survey services.

Develop a strong people culture, and leverage stakeholder relationships to support the delivery of consistent quality service

Thomas Coccoza Director of Operations at VNS Health

At the center of home care agencies’ success is the caregiver workforce. Recruiting and retaining caregivers has become more expensive due to the competitive nature of the market right now. As the home health sector continues to suffer a huge turnover rate, that heart-tugging question surfaces, what can leaders do to mitigate this? How can we keep our workforce from quitting in search of better opportunities in other sectors? Why are they leaving? How do we invest in our workforce without costs skyrocketing?

Thomas Cocozza, Director of Operations, VNS Health Personal Care explored three major components for powerful employee investment and engagement while reiterating the need for home care agencies to improve their people culture, a culture of valuing the caregivers as a vital part of the organization. “You’re modeling the communication, respect, and care that you want your characters to demonstrate in the home. You’re making people feel they are part of an organization that values them and requires who they are and not how many shifts they can do. If your workforce feels valued and recognized, they are going to be your biggest recruiters in a way no HR can be.”

“They’re going to feel incentivized and empowered not to represent your company but their company. And that’s a powerful tool to have to your advantage. Having a cadre of caregivers who are dedicated and engaged is key to successful client outcomes and a stronger bottom line.”  Click here to learn about AnchorWise survey software—a tool you can use to get continuous feedback from your staff.

Compliance challenges, and how to tackle them

Emina Poricanin Founder & Managing Attorney | Poricanin Law, P.C.

A lot of times, home care agencies are aware of existing compliance policies and new ones being developed, however, some struggle to understand these compliance regulations and how to adopt them.

Emina Poricanin, Founder and MD of Poricanin Law, P.C. speaking on this topic mentioned the three biggest risks and key compliance categories as labor and personal compliance, clinical compliance and best practices, and Medicaid compliance and billing integrity. “Policies and procedures must be in place to ensure someone is monitoring, checking, and self-auditing to make sure you’re not billing the state more than you’re entitled to the bill. Every single unit of care that you provide comes with conditions. Conditions that you have to meet before you’re entitled to bill for them or keep that money if it is paid.”

“Medicaid corporate compliance and billing integrity is a big issue that will become even bigger in 2023 as OMIG finalizes their proposed regulations. You’re going to need people to oversee these compliance areas, and if you’re accused as a provider for not doing them correctly, you’re going to need to retain an expensive legal counsel to get you through that storm.”

“Compliance must be part of the organization’s culture and fabric.” The question is, how do you ensure everybody understands these terms, and how to implement them? Emina provided several recommendations for tackling compliance challenges. One of them being staff training and engagement surrounding compliance.

Digital Transformation

Kevin Howell CEO, Anchor Group Corp

Despite technological advancement, some healthcare agencies still ‘use paper” (manual processes) for data management. And that is poor for business. Technology is advancing every sector and making work easier. How do healthcare organizations harness digital solutions in boosting business operations and growth?

Digital transformation in healthcare’s primary objective is to adopt cutting-edge healthcare IT solutions in order to streamline key workflow procedures and regulatory requirements, enhance patient care, and cut costs.

Kevin Howell, the Anchor Group’s CEO, explaining its importance, stated, “Digital transformation in an organization is critical. Healthcare data must be leveraged to strengthen business growth, advocacy, and patient-centered processes. Growth is impossible without client experience, talent management, and data management.”

“How do you increase revenue? The customer drives revenue. Customer price x quantity = revenue. If you have extreme overtime, or when you have costs in your organization you’re not maximizing, it’s a problem. When you’re not maximizing talent, that’s a problem too.”

“Find your KPIs in finances and create customer-centric KPIs. To be successful, you must build systems to support processes, be effective in data management, and monitor KPIs.”

UPCOMING EVENT: Webinar on Digital Transformation on January 11th, 2023.


How are you LEADing your strategic planning and data management culture? What are some of the measures to be taken to ensure the workforce excels?

Need assistance with client experience, strategic planning, or compliance? Reach out to us today.

Developing Efficient Processes to foster Healthcare Success

The healthcare industry is facing several challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic—the great resignation of the workforce, the impact of changes in regulations, and the limited access to care for many vulnerable populations. Today, many healthcare organizations do not have the modern technology, optimized processes, or the capacity to retool to meet the needs of this new age. Healthcare processes are key to quality actions and outcomes across the care delivery continuum. In addition, technology is being positioned at the center of client engagement, especially as many clients are relying on handheld devices to communicate with their clinicians.
The solution? Process improvement. This article demonstrates that process re-engineering is a key component for transforming the healthcare industry.

What does this mean?

Process improvement is an essential part of improving patient outcomes and simultaneously lowering costs in any industry. This can be done by identifying efficiency gaps in the existing processes by assessing the current state against desired future—which should be aligned with the organization’s priorities. Additionally, a manager’s responsibility is to build/change processes to close the gaps, monitor the result of these changes, and tweak as necessary to achieve the intended objectives.
Healthcare professionals have been using tools like Six Sigma for years now, but it’s only recently that we’ve seen an increase in its use within the healthcare industry—maybe this is being influenced by the widescale introduction to the value-based care model. Process improvement and optimization are inextricably related to better results and lower costs.

The roles of strategy, skillset and competency, culture, and sophisticated analytics in a healthcare organization’s ongoing readiness and transformation cannot be overstated. Below, we have outlined eight steps to nurture and optimize the processes in the healthcare organization.

8 Steps for Managing an Efficient Health Care Organization:

Step 1: Develop a shared vision for process improvement
Step 2: Establish a shared understanding of process metrics
Step 3: Create a common language for the process improvement
Step 4: Engage and train employees in the shared vision
Step 5: Build employee’s knowledge and capabilities to advance the program
Step 6: Leverage technology to improve data capture and analysis
Step 7: Generate data to assess the level of success of the program
Step 8: Use analytics to support continuous improvement

Step 1: Develop a shared vision for process improvement

A shared vision is a clear statement of what you want, why it’s important, and how you plan to accomplish it. It’s a good idea to start by identifying the most important business problems that your process is trying to solve for your organization. Then consider what the ideal outcome would look like in each case. Your team needs to be aligned with the goals of your improvement process. This means that everyone understands what changes need to be made and why those changes will help them do their jobs better—and it also means that they understand how their part in the process fits into the bigger picture.
You can accomplish this by clearly identifying what success looks like at each step, and then creating a plan for reaching those goals. It’s also important to understand what success looks like for your organization as a whole. This means looking at the company from different angles, such as customer satisfaction, employee retention rates, and productivity levels. A process improvement project is useless if it doesn’t lead to better outcomes in these areas—and it can even be harmful if it leads to negative consequences that outweigh any benefits you might have achieved.

Step 2: Establish a shared understanding of process metrics

Process metrics are measurements of how well we’re doing what we set out to do. They can be quantitative or qualitative; examples include cycle time, lead time, and throughput. The goal is to use these metrics to understand how our process works so that we can improve it. When we have a shared understanding of the goals, processes, and metrics in place, then everyone understands what they need to be measuring and why it matters. Process metrics are measures of how well your process is working.
They can be specific to each step in the process, or they can be more broad-based indicators of how well your project is doing overall. For example, you might have a measure that tracks the amount of time it takes from when work enters a queue until it’s completed. Or perhaps you want to know how long it takes for someone to make a decision about whether or not something is ready for release.

Step 3: Create a common language for the process improvement

Process improvement is not a matter of simply taking a process and making it better. Instead, it’s about creating a common language for defining, measuring, and improving processes. The first step to building a common language is to define what it is we mean by a process.
The best way to do this is through the 5-why method, which helps us understand why something happens by asking “Why?” five times in succession. For example, we can ask “Why did the process fail?” to get an answer like “The tool didn’t work.” The next question would be “Why didn’t it work?” and get an answer like “There was a bug in the code.”
We continue asking why until we reach a point where there is no more reason for failure—or at least no more reasons that we can identify on our own without help from those who understand how things really work. This process can be very useful for understanding why a problem occurred, but it’s not always effective.

Sometimes we need to take a different approach and ask “What are the symptoms?” The word symptom means something that indicates an underlying problem, so this question helps us identify what is actually happening in our system without getting bogged down by details. You can also ask why from the opposite direction, starting with a goal and moving backward. For example, if our goal is to ship a product on time, we can ask how the workflows through each step of the process and why it takes as long as it does.

Step 4: Engage and train employees in the shared vision

Process improvement is a team sport. The more people who are engaged in the process, the better it will be. You’ll want your employees to take an active role in identifying problems and developing solutions. Engaging employees in process improvement is important in ensuring that they take ownership of the new system. This can be done through training sessions, which should be as interactive as possible so that participants have a chance to ask questions and offer their own suggestions.
It’s also important for managers to encourage employees to talk about what works well with current processes and how those might be incorporated into any improvements they make. Finally, it’s important to keep an open mind when initiating any process improvement program. You may have a specific idea of how things should work, but your employees are likely to have different ideas—and they may be right! It’s important to listen to their input and take steps toward incorporating their suggestions into the new process.

Step 5: Build employee’s knowledge and capabilities to advance the program

Process improvements can be an important part of any organization’s strategy. However, they can also be difficult to implement successfully. It’s important to take the time to do it right, starting with building the right capabilities in your employees. One way to do this is by training them in the tools and techniques that are most effective for process improvement projects. Build capabilities through your training program.
By building a culture of continuous improvement in the organization and encouraging employees to think about how they might improve work processes on their own, you’re setting them up with the skills and knowledge they need to make improvements on their own. When employees know that process changes are welcome and encouraged, they’ll be more likely to suggest improvements when they see a better way of doing things—and this helps keep your organization agile as well as efficient.

Step 6: Leverage technology to improve data capture and analysis

Technology can help to improve processes in many ways. For example, it can help with data collection, analysis and reporting; identify opportunities for improvement; provide information on the variation between practices; improve communication between staff and patients, and enable better patient interactions. Technology can also help with workflow mapping so that staff knows how their work fits into the overall system.

Step 7: Generate data to assess the level of success of the program

Data is a key input for improving processes. For example, it can help identify the best ways to collect and analyze information; identify where improvements are needed; measure outcomes; and benchmark practices against others. As a rule, the more data you can gather and analyze, the better. Data should be gathered from all relevant sources – including medical records, laboratory results, and clinical outcomes – and it can be used to create dashboards of key metrics. This will enable staff to see how their practice compares with others in terms of quality of care, efficiency, and other measures.

Step 8: Use analytics to support continuous improvement

Analytics is a great way to help your organization perform continuous improvement. By looking at your data, you can see where improvements are needed and develop a strategy for addressing them.

For example, if your company has sales goals that aren’t being met, analytics can help you determine which areas of the sales process need attention—and provide recommendations for what improvements should be made. In addition to helping improve on-the-job performance across all areas of business operations, analytics also provides valuable insight into how effective training programs are working in practice. By measuring how well employees are learning new skills and applying them in their day-to-day work lives, you can identify what types of training strategies work best for different people.
One of the biggest challenges in a business environment is having enough data to support your decisions. You may have a lot of data, but do you know what it means? Do you have the tools and expertise to analyze it effectively? If not, then investing in analytics could be one way to improve your ability to make good decisions about improving processes.


No doubt, Processes are the way things happen in healthcare. They drive actions, outcomes, and financial performance across the health system. Maximizing process quality, which is swiftly becoming more significant as a driver of care delivery and organizational performance in uncertain times, will enhance the success of any healthcare organization.

Importance of caregiver training

In an industry saddled with the shortage of home care workers, you want to lessen the burden by doing all you can to retain your top talent and even attract more talent. Many caregivers complain about a lack of training; this is not good for your agency, given the fact that most workers are likely to stay longer in an agency that meets their growth and development goals. Seventy-six percent1 (76%) of employees say they are likely to join an agency that provides them with opportunities for career advancements and learning. 

To give your agency the edge, it is not just enough to encourage training; you should have an embedded success track into your enhancement program to ensure full participation from your workers. If you have done that, kudos to you! However, if you are struggling to get your caregivers to initiate and complete their training, here are five easy steps you can achieve that – despite their busy schedules: 

  1. Provide a flexible learning structure 
  1. Give incentives for completion of training  
  1. Give them options for specialization 
  1. Make it fun 
  1. Make it about them not you 

Provide a flexible learning structure 

Statistics show that seventy-four percent2 (74%) of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train in order to remain employable. However, herein lies the problem of conflicting schedules that deter several caregivers from racing to the end of their training—especially for the many caregivers who are busy working for multiple agencies.  Providing a learning model that is flexible, self-paced, and suitable for each caregiver is a benefit to your organization. Anchor LMS Benefits cross-link]. This will help caregivers finish their training on time. 

Give Incentives for completion of training 

Rewards are always a great motivator for getting anything done. You can introduce a reward system where a caregiver who completes their training gets a dollar incentive, a prize or a gift, or whatever you have in mind to reward your team with. Celebrate their little wins. Go a bit further and share a certificate of completion or recognize them on your social media. 

LINK: Download Our Anchor Employee Incentive Guide  

Give them options for specialization 

Today, in the highly competitive labour market, home care agencies are facing the same level of competition as many other companies from big-box retail options like Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.  An interesting trend right now is companies providing attractive benefits that will keep their workers and draw in new talent. 

However, companies must know that no matter how attractive their incentive is, if it isn’t helping your caregivers improve in areas they desire to grow, they will accept the incentive and leave anyway. Seventy-six percent (76%) of employees say that a company would be more appealing if it offered additional skills training to its staff. 

Home care agencies can create genuine loyalty by making an investment in the futures of their workers by providing them with the resources and education they require to succeed on all fronts—professional development, interpersonal skills, career mobility, disease-specific training, technology skills, etc. Give them options to specialize and choose areas of interest.  If all your training is just compliance-focused, what is really in it for your caregivers? 

Make it Fun 

If it’s fun, then it will be interesting! Learning is easier when it is dynamic and interactive and speaks to the audience you are training. To motivate your caregivers to learn quickly, attach insightful games they can play and win a prize as part of the learning process. This is a method widely used by online learning organizations. It makes learning engaging and motivates completion. [IMAGE] 

Make it about them not you 

It is easy to force your interests and goals on your caregivers without remembering to stop and think about how they feel, and what they want. It’s important to communicate effectively with your caregivers and get feedback from them concerning the training and their general job execution. They have ideas to share too. 

Their growth is also for the benefit of the organization. Be genuinely interested in knowing your workers personally and individually. Involving them in the decision-making process gives them a sense of acceptance and inclusion. Workers who recognize how much the organization is investing in them and prioritizing their interests will have the incentive to stay and give the job their best shot. 

Ensure you make available learning development programs that are tailored specifically for your caregiver’s growth. A survey is a wonderful way to engage and keep a pulse. [Cross reference: Anchor Blog – “How To Maximize Employee Surveys With 3 Simple Strategies]. 

Final Thoughts 

The importance of training cannot be overemphasized. According to 2022 statistics, fifty-nine per cent (59%) of workers say that they received no workplace training and that many of their skills were self-taught while 70% of workers would be very likely to leave their current role to work for a company that places a high priority on employee growth and development. Training is a vital element in a company’s growth. If neglected, your business will suffer. 

We hope you find this information helpful. If you need professional help planning training for your healthcare workers, call here and we will be happy to help plan and facilitate your training.  

Let’s create a winning strategy together. Learn how you can take our talent optimization assessment to fortify your workforce management Anchor Talent Assessment