No. 87 – Cambridge Home Health Care

The story on Cambridge Home Health Care from Nancy Diller-Shively, chairman and founder

Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

One of the greatest business challenges we have faced has been the recruiting of nursing staff. The nursing shortage has been with us now for well over a decade. We not only compete with other home health care agencies for staff, but with hospitals and nursing homes as well. We continually shop our competition to be certain our pay rates stay competitive. More importantly, once we hire staff, we make certain that we recognize them for their contributions to the organization. Each of our branches chooses an RN, LPN and Home Health Aide of the year. When a patient questionnaire is returned and a particular employee is mentioned, we follow up with a personal thank you letter from myself or other members of the management team and a gift card is sent to that particular employee.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

I believe my innovation actually originates with my staff. They are in the trenches daily, and do a great job of communicating to me what is happening out there. We meet regularly (but not too often…..not a big fan of over meeting). During these team meetings, new ideas are shared as well as what is happening out in the various locations with regards to our competition. Whenever new ideas spark the interest of several, we take this to the next level and hold what we call our story board meetings. This is where we hash out whether a particular idea has merit and if so, we decide how to go about making it happen.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?

The greatest lesson I have learned was from the individual that gave me my first opportunity in the home health industry, Becky Heim. Her motto was: “Inspect what you Expect.” When I first worked for her, I did not really understand what she meant by this. Now, 16 years later, I live every day of my business life by following this motto. The larger the company has become, the more important managing by this rule has become.

We apply this in many ways throughout the organization. We conduct secret shopping calls to our offices to determine how they handle potential new clients or patients calling in. We send questionnaires to all new admissions. We conduct unannounced audits in our branches by members of our management team to verify that all is as it should be with regards to employee and patient files. We make random quality calls to our patients to be sure the staff is complying with the plan of care and showing up on time, etc.

How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

The number of jobs we have provided over the past 16 years throughout the state of Ohio has certainly impacted the economy. We currently employ over 2,800 individuals. In addition to job creation, the actual services themselves that we provide help as well. Home health care, in and of itself, saves astronomical amounts of money when compared to hospitalization or nursing home placements. For an individual to remain at home utilizing the services of a home health aide that otherwise may have had to be placed in a nursing home, that cost alone is approximately $15,000 a year for home care versus over $65,000 for a year in a nursing home.

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