Strategic Planning: How Home Health Consultants Prepare You for 2014

Have you ever tried to take a road trip without a map? If you know the general direction you will probably get there eventually, but will have wasted a lot of time and gas (money) along the way as you backtrack and redirect your route. Trying to take a trip without a map is a great deal like trying to direct your company without a strategic plan.

Strategic planning is a vital management tool used by businesses of all types and sizes to chart the best way forward and spark growth. A strategic plan puts your home care agency on the right track for the future, makes you more accountable for your agency’s success, and gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. With the home health care industry going through a significant shift, the same old approach simply isn’t going to work. Experienced home health consultants can help you stay ahead of the curve and implement the right strategic plan for 2014.

The Cornerstones of Strategic Planning
Strategic planning isn’t just for huge corporations or even large home health agencies. It’s a critical management tool even the smallest agency should seriously consider. A successful planning session is one that focuses on:
1. Assessment: Find out where you need to improve and what weaknesses put your agency at risk.
2. Direction: Determine the direction for the upcoming year through a strategic step-by-step plan.
3. Goal-setting: Define the goals your home health agency wants to achieve and set milestones for reaching them.
4. Competitive advantage: Evaluate the competition and discover ways to gain an advantage over them.
5. Progress measurement and accountability: Be held accountable for your actions along the way to achieving your goals.

Strategic planning can be done in-house, but it is often most effective when it is performed by an outside home health care consultant. Home health consultants have an objective point-of-view and use proven planning models that are specific to the home health care industry. These processes are customized to suit your unique needs and goals so you can achieve that competitive advantage.

Why Is Strategic Planning Important?
Strategic planning essentially creates a roadmap for the future of your home care agency. This plan focuses on how you can develop your agency in the long-term and could be the difference between thriving and going bankrupt. Without a clear plan for which direction your agency should be heading, you won’t have short-term goals to set and meet throughout the year.

Tips for Getting Started
The New Year is just around the corner, which means it’s time to sit down and plan out your agency’s future. It’s imperative that you be bold in your decisions and assess your agency as honestly as possible. As you develop your plan with home health consultants you will want to include:
• Continuing education: Invest in the education of your employees to improve your patient care and service. Consider training and continuing education programs for all employees, including your home health aides and office staff.
• Upgrading: Using obsolete technology doesn’t put you on the right path towards improving your business operations. Review your software and other internal systems to see whether it’s time for an upgrade.
• Identifying weaknesses: Every agency has weaknesses and one of the goals of strategic planning is to identify and overcome those weaknesses. Review all of your business practices and the current management structure of your team. It may be time to restructure your home health agency to leverage your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Take Advantage of the Expertise of Home Health Consultants
Home health consultants can help you through each step of the planning process. Since consultants are up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices, they work closely with you to develop a comprehensive plan that prepares you not only for 2014, but also for years to come. They have the industry-specific expertise gained from years of strategic planning experience-something most home care agency owners and managers don’t have.

For more information about strategic planning, contact the home health consultants at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. Strategic planning is at the core of our business. It’s the building block for understanding the best way to achieve your goals and ensure your agency can quickly adapt to this rapidly changing industry.