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Utilizing Technology as a Differentiator

Utilizing Technology as a Differentiator: A Chat with Recover Health’s John Fraser

We caught up with Recover Health’s Chief Information Officer, John Fraser, to learn about the various technological investments the organization of approximately 1,500 employees has made to improve efficiencies, reduce staff stress, and improve client care.

Here are some of his insights:

Before you started working at Recover Health, had you worked in the home health industry?

Before starting at Recover Health 18 months ago, I worked with another home health care agency. Prior to that, I was in financial services, and before that, I was in manufacturing. It’s been a fun transition because when I think of technology advancement, manufacturing has always been about ten years ahead of financial services, and financial services have always been about ten years ahead of health care. So the past 20 years of my expertise has been really, really fun because I’ve been able to apply some of the same technologies that manufacturing was using in the ‘90s and 2000s to financial services and now to health care in the 2020 era. It’s fun to see the synergy between those industries. At the end of the day, you still need to interface with clients; you still need to have things completed efficiently; you need to document your processes. There are a lot of common themes you can take from one industry and apply to another.

Tell me about advancements in technology at Recover Health.

Our advancements in technology started many years before I got here. Probably the most noteworthy would be investments in both time and energy, co-developing our electronic medical record product. It is the primary platform we use to document our client visits as well as do our billing for those visits.

How do your technology enhancements improve the care for clients?

We have created efficiencies in as many ways as possible for our clinicians so that they can spend more time assessing and promoting well-being for our clients. Our clinicians use iPads connected in real-time. So, we know when a visit begins and ends, and all the data is synchronized in real-time. For example, 5 minutes after that visit has been completed—whether it’s the clinical manager in the back office or another clinician who is going to see that client for a different discipline later that day—staff has immediate access to the data. This clearly helps the health and well-being of the client. Real-time care coordination helps us to make sure we always have the latest information about that client.

How does this new technology impact morale and retention?

We are leveraging some of the newer technologies, particularly audio and visual through Microsoft Teams, and our new platform called Recover Health Knowledge Base is really focused on training our staff from anywhere. We have 30 offices across six states, and most of our employees are not based in our offices—they are caring for people in the community. We use iPads, for example, to host our nursing meetings. We can engage our employees at any time, wherever they happen to be. With Knowledge Base, we have leveraged technology and created a world-class on-boarding experience for our clinicians. This helps new clinicians learn the Recover Health way. Knowledge Base is a real-time, online platform that provides step by step guidance for the first 3 to 4 months of a new employee’s training and on-boarding and ongoing process change for existing staff.

 Where do you see the relationship between technology and the home health industry going in the future?

A more significant reliance on technology is the future for anyone in home health care. Recover Health, especially over the past 12 months, has been very forward-thinking and willing to invest in technology. We’re pushing ahead, have built the foundation, and now have transitioned to a model where we are developing our own technology.

Utilizing technology as a differentiator, it’s clear there are numerous ways Recover Health is approaching and embracing technological innovation and distinguishing itself as a leader within the industry.

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November is Home Care Month

A bounty of gratitude…

November 2019

It seems befitting that home care month occurs in November, nationally known as gratitude month and celebrated as a month of Thanksgiving. What better time to give thought to the caring contributions of the many talented individuals of the Recover Health team! We are deeply touched by the devoted and gifted staff that care for our clients every day; and we are immensely humbled by the meaningful difference you have made in their lives. It is with sincere gratitude that we thank each one of you for your dedication and expertise.

We know that the need for health care will continue to rise and costs will continue to increase, as 10 thousand Americans turn 65 every day. Home care offers the greatest savings and is the preferred choice for most clients. Because of your specific competencies and caring touch, we will be able to continue to help thousands of clients stay in their homes.

We are thankful for the sincere, hardworking, talented and committed staff that share an affinity for learning, laughter and goodwill. We know this will help us to help others and to remain committed to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

In this month of November recognizing home care, gratitude, and Thanksgiving, we hope you all have time to sense an abundance of gratitude and share a bountiful harvest.

Sincerely,
Greg & Kara Von Arx

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Recover Health purchased Nurse Force

DES MOINES, IA., June 14, 2019 – Greg Von Arx, CEO of Recover Health Inc., announces that Recover Health has purchased Nurse Force Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa.

Von Arx stated, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Nurse Force in Des Moines, Iowa the very same weekend we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary as an organization. By bringing our support and expertise, we feel we can thrive in the Des Moines and surrounding communities. Our strength lies in our ability to adapt and respond to the needs of the marketplace. We currently operate 31 locations in 6 states. The depth and breadth of our service offerings make us unique as a home health care provider and this uniqueness will serve us well in Des Moines.”

Recover Health will acquire the Nurse Force office space and clients, and the acquired business will operate under Recover Health leadership effective immediately. The purchase will better serve the needs of Recover Health’s clients along with the home health care needs of the Des Moines area.

Nurse Force and Recover Health are working together to ensure a seamless transition of home health care services for all clients. Recover Health has a total of 31 locations across Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Serving over 11,000 clients per year and employing over 1,400 team members, Recover Health is proud to provide patient-centered, quality home health care services and to be expanding its expertise throughout the Midwest.

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2018 ICARE Excellence Award

We would like to congratulate Shelley Colvin, a Home Health Aide from Council Bluffs, as the 2018 Annual ICARE Excellence Award Winner. Shelley is a marvelous asset to the Recover Health team. She always shows great respect to our clients and proves to be a wonderful mentor to new HHAs by sharing her vast knowledge through training. In the almost five years that Shelly has worked with Recover Health, she has shown that she is dependable, kind, passionate, always willing to help out, and committed to the well-being of our clients. Shelly strives to make a meaningful difference in every interaction and is an all-around perfect example of what ICARE and Recover Health stand for.

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Meet our CEO Greg Von Arx

Meet our CEO Greg Von Arx

Education:
Bachelors of Accounting – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire CPA (inactive)

Family Status:
Married, three children

Leisure time:
Exercise, hockey, golf, fishing, hunting, and work

Affiliations:
Wisconsin Association for Home Care (WiAHC) – Board Member
Iowa Center for Home Care (ICHC) – Board Member
Minnesota Home Care Association (MHCA) – Legislative Committee
Living at Home Network – Board Chair
Point Click Care – Home Care Market Advisory Committee

What about this company are you most proud of?

I’m most proud that we take care of so many people and allow them to stay at home. We have at any given time, on any given day, around 4,000-4,500 clients that we take care of.  I’m wildly proud of the volume of people we are able to help. I am most proud of our employees and their persistence and passion that allow us to continue to take care of more clients.

Do you have any advice for people starting their career in home health care?

I have a lot of advice for people who are starting in home care but the main piece of advice I would give is if you want to come to work every day and do the same thing, this is not the place for you. Home care is constantly changing, it is a dynamic environment. If you enjoy embracing change, solving problems, solving new issues whether it is new payers, new programs or new rules, Home care is the place for you.

What is the greatest challenge at Recover Health?

The greatest challenge the company faces is finding enough staff to take care of all the demand out there.  I always say demand is not our issue. There is a demand for our services. More and more people want to stay at home and understand their options for staying at home.  Finding staff in an economy with record low unemployment rates is the biggest challenge for the company.

My personal challenge with the company is to continue to grow personally and understand the role of the CEO. As the size of the company continues to grow, I have to be less hands-on and more of a leader and visionary.

What is most important to you? Our mission, our core values, our vision?

They are all tied together. I think at its core, I would say our mantra as an organization has come to me more clearly over the last months. We have to stay focused on our mission, continue to be passionate about what we do, and always be persistent. If we do that, people will feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. That is the greatest thing we can accomplish as an organization.

What are our priorities for next year?

There are always the foundational things we have to focus on: client satisfaction, clinical outcomes, employee satisfaction and engagement, financial performance. We have to focus on our mission, passion, and persistence and try to create an environment where people are in fact proud of the organization and feel like they are part of something greater than themselves.

What can employees do help drive long-term growth?

We are in the business of people and when people are involved there are a lot of different dynamics. Some of the main things we can do are to give people the benefit of the doubt, assume positive intent, and seek to understand before reacting to things. If we do that and work as a team to solve problems and again seek to understand as opposed to seeking to be understood we can drive long-term success.

What inspires you every day?

Personally, I am inspired by the constant change and the dynamic of the industry. I am also inspired to try to solve the puzzle of homecare and how we can do it efficiently, with outstanding customer satisfaction, exceptional clinical outcomes, and excellent employee engagement. Obviously, this is an area that we will always be focused on but the constant dynamic of trying to solve that puzzle continues to inspire me.