Rhonada Cutts Q&A

February 23, 2023

Introduction: Throughout the year, it is important to recognize direct care workers, and the support they provide to patients who may not have caregivers themselves. Rhonada Cutts, Vice President of Home Health Services at onehome, discusses the incredible role these clinicians contribute to patient outcomes, and discusses how onehome’s exceptional training programs support its clinical […]

Introduction:

Throughout the year, it is important to recognize direct care workers, and the support they provide to patients who may not have caregivers themselves. Rhonada Cutts, Vice President of Home Health Services at onehome, discusses the incredible role these clinicians contribute to patient outcomes, and discusses how onehome’s exceptional training programs support its clinical teams.

Q: Prior to joining onehome, you worked in home healthcare for over twenty years. Why did you choose onehome, and what has been the most rewarding part of working with onehome clinicians and direct care workers?

RC: Over the course of my career in home health care, I have managed operations for several home health care, hospice, private duty, and outpatient rehabilitation organizations. Across the nation, home care organizations are preparing to establish a more resilient home healthcare system focused on delivering equitable health outcomes. After meeting with the founders of onehome, it was clear they had already made a model that places the patient at center stage in its care delivery model, known as “value-based care” (VBC). I knew that I wanted to be a part of the solution to healthcare’s fee-based model that creates an incentive for a higher volume of services, which may or may not lead to the best outcome. The home care industry is adapting to this transformation by moving away from the fee-for-service (FFS) model and toward a more value-based approach.

Q: Caregiving is a complex process that often creates stress and burden for patients and family members. If a patient does not have an official caregiver, or has an informal caregiver, this burden on the caregivers is often worsened, leading to higher costs and greater hospital readmissions. How does onehome alleviate this burden, and develop trustworthy relationships with patients and their family members?

RC: Caregivers extend well beyond the medical field. Caregivers deal with various challenges, and looking after someone with diligence is often highly stressful. Some caregivers feel like they are living two or more lives as they help their family member or another person in need with things like grooming, feeding, dressing, bathing, walking, and keeping an eye on their medications. Onehome alleviates this burden and develops a trustworthy relationship with patients and family members when our clinicians visit the home to deliver customized, physician-prescribed care after a hospital stay, illness, or injury. Our goal is to help the patient get well and be as independent as possible or to help them manage their chronic conditions so they don’t have to go to the hospital when they don’t have to. We are able to reach this goal by providing many services, such as nursing care visits for medical needs. Home health aide visits to aid with bathing, grooming, dressing, and light housekeeping—medical social work visits to help clients and their families connect with community resources. Physical therapy visits to help restore mobility. Occupational therapy visits to improve the ability to perform everyday activities. Also, Speech-language pathology visits to help with speech, language, voice, cognition, and swallowing issues.

Q: Demand for highly skilled direct care workers is projected to increase in the coming years. How does onehome train its direct care workers to support family members and patients, and ensure they are delivering high quality care in the home?

RC: Our direct care staff work in unique environments that offer a distinct subset of challenges and patient needs. Our Care staff must complete training annually with One University. This training includes home health care, patient care, safety, pain management, Alzheimer’s disease, infection control, infusion, wound care, care coordination, cultural competence, diabetes education, and more. Our direct care workers eagerly participate during our annual clinical skills fair and specialty education provided by our pharmacy and Durable Medical Equipment departments. Our nurses are available around-the-clock to answer any questions patients may have, and our medical directors supervise our specialized wound care and therapy programs.

Q: Onehome’s direct care workers not only supply patient support, but also provide support for family members or informal caregivers. What are some benefits to having the support of a onehome direct care workers?

RC: Onehome direct care workers work hand in hand with the patient and family, teaching and training the best way to care for the patient after discharge from the agency. With a direct care worker in the home, the patient and caregiver gain confidence and the required knowledge needed for the patient to stay safely in their home. For example, direct care workers ensure that the patient and their caretakers understand what medications have been prescribed and when they should be taken. They also ensure that the patient is safe when moving, bathing, getting ready, using home exercise programs, and much more. Once the patient no longer needs clinical care, the staff ensures that the patient and family caregivers are comfortable with the continued care necessary to prevent hospitalization.

Q: What innovations and programs has onehome created to ensure it still is on the cutting edge of value-based home healthcare?

RC: Our mission is to change a patient’s health journey by improving access to quality healthcare through strategic clinical and technological innovation. Our value-based care approach uses modern technologies to deal with many problems. Onehome has invested and is enhancing our cloud-based platform by adding micro-services, API-enabled integrations, optical character recognition (OCR), and more. We are bringing the payer, provider, and patient closer, enabling, improving operational efficiency, and reducing the total cost of care delivery. Patient engagement, sustainability, and quality outcomes are the pillars of our value-based delivery model. The speed of delivery, increasing innovation capabilities, and our value-based model of care drive our efficient business operation. We are strategically committed to a long-term value-based care model, and our patients reap the benefits when done right.

Q: How can organizations recognize the incredible role and contributions of direct care workers?

RC: I do not believe you can take a cookie–cutter approach to recognizing a diverse group of dedicated and selfless people and assume one size fits. The first crucial step in recognizing direct care workers’ incredible role and contributions is for an organization to understand what motivates them. An organization that listens first and understands can adopt an inclusive and diverse culture. This culture touches the heart of its caregivers, inspiring them to continue to serve. And in turn, performed by the organization by paying fair wages, standing up recognition and retention programs, succession planning, investing in education and certifications for staff, acknowledging attitudes and soft skills, work anniversaries, and milestones. Caregivers are the backbone of all healthcare organizations, and there are so many ways to say thank you!

Thank you to all the Caregivers, we appreciate your hard work and dedication.

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