Mileage Study Press Conference Highlights: Eric Masters on the Role of Training to Meet the Growing Need for Home Care and Hospice
January 30, 2016 12:02 PM
On December 16, 2015, the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held a press conference (see previous NAHC Report article here) to present the findings of a study documenting that nurses, therapists and home care aides who serve chronically ill, elderly and disabled patients drive nearly 8 billion miles each year. The press conference included remarks from a number of experts in the home care and hospice community, and NAHC Report is publishing a series of articles providing in-depth coverage of their remarks.
Eric Masters is the Vice President of Marketing at Relias Learning, which is partnering with NAHC to address the need for home health nurses and home care aides across the country. NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris introduced Masters by citing recent data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed home health care services is the industry with the fastest growing employment projections. This poses a challenge, Halamandaris said, to recruit and train the needed nurses and aides while continuing to put an emphasis on the importance of quality. “If you lose quality, you lose everything,” Halamandaris said. “It’s so important that we do this and we do it right.”
With 10,000 boomers turning 65 every single day, Masters said, “the concept of how are we going to improve population health, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, and reduce costs all at the same time, is more important than ever.” But one topic that is often left out of the conversation, Masters said, is the importance of training, and the role that it can play in both the quality of care and reducing the overall cost of care.
The importance of training was confirmed by a Relias study released in 2015 called The State of Training in Home Health and Hospice. “What was interesting in that study is over 75 percent of the respondents indicated that their training and development programs had a significant positive impact on their staff’s clinical competencies and the service and program outcomes they provided. But the real story of the study was the challenges that they faced in delivering that training. Respondents said that the two biggest problems were limited time and availability of staff, and that significantly impacted their ability to train as much as they wanted to and the topics they could train on… Extra time is hard to come by,” he said.
The study also found that the limited amount of time respondents had for training was primarily used for regulatory and compliance training, rather than “some of the deep clinical training, patient-centered care training, and other topics that they felt could truly have an impact on the quality of patient care.”
Masters said the partnership between NAHC and Relias will help “ensure that every home care employee and every provider across the country has access to the breadth of training and the quality of training that they need. And that through the use of technology, we can also lower the cost of delivering that training to them.”
To view the final study, click here.
Video footage of the press conference is currently available on the NAHC website (www.nahc.org).