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As PDGM looms on the horizon, the home health care industry is not alone in realizing that a vast percentage of its workforce is ill prepared for the magnitude of change it will bring.

Recently Amazon announced a $700-million retraining initiative as they endeavor to update the skills of one third of their U.S. workforce.   Amazon’s representatives told the Wall Street Journal that they felt this training was necessary for the over 100,000 employees deemed poorly equipped to handle the changes technology was bringing to their business. 

Amazon isn’t alone in dealing with a need for worker education.  The home health industry is about to experience a fundamental shift in the form of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM).  

Unlike routine changes of the past, PDGM has already gained the reputation of a black swan event for the industry, impacting nearly every process and system from referral to billing. Given the increasing financial demand of an aging population, this shift to value-based care may be the only sound way to evolve. 

In this changing landscape, the words of Charles Darwin ring evermore true: 

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” 

PDGM carries a level of change that can’t be resolved by a couple of new-hires or in-services. It demands a process and knowledge modernization that can only be equated to a complete cultural shift. And much like Amazon, home health agencies have to break the cocoon to transform their workforce. This is not possible without a serious upgrade in oversight and intelligence. 

Looking at the existing landscape, it appears that regardless of the amount of time, money, and energy agencies put into education, they have to keep going back to retrain, revise process, or outright discipline staff because of poor retention or an inability to apply what they’ve learned.

Clinicians who lack understanding of the financial impact of their decisions, sales reps who lack the clinical expertise to land referrals, and office staff who are disconnected from the realities of patient care all contribute to a model that will fail to push the bar under PDGM. 

With those challenges in mind, home health agencies should be looking to innovative solutions for worker training and policy management. Companies such as ClinicalHQ are delivering comprehensive agency PPS to PDGM bridge training and testing that validate knowledge retention and provide management the analytics needed to address knowledge gaps and risk. 

ClinicalHQ’s solution allows for real-time remote testing and reporting at the individual and departmental level.  With this level of insight, agencies can target the most critical training needs and provide the necessary ongoing testing to ensure compliance with their standards. 

Because PDGM directly impacts the financial viability of agencies it is important to consider whether the traditional “in-service” or “fail until you pass” testing methods are really going to be sufficient to address an organization’s needs.  

Thankfully, these innovative solutions are also highly cost-effective, so you won’t have to pay as much as Amazon to still get the improvements your agency needs.