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Featured Client: Partners in Care

March 7, 2012

PHI has added a new employer case study to its library. Published jointly with the Pioneer Network, the newest case study features long-time PHI client Partners in Care.

An affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Partners in Care is the largest licensed home care agency in the country, employing 9,500 home health aides and providing services to 20,000 clients annually.

The profile explains how Partners in Care — where growth had outpaced the ability of supervisors to effectively support the frontline staff — set about transforming its culture using the PHI Coaching Approach to SupervisionSM.

Training in Coaching and Communication Skills

Partners in Care’s culture-change journey began in 2006, when several managers were trained in the core skills of PHI Coaching SupervisionSM, including active listening, nonjudgmental communication, self-awareness and self-management, and collaborative problem solving. Those managers in turn trained several hundred of Partners in Care’s supervisory staff.

These skills resulted in improved relationships between coordinators and the aides they supervised, according to CEO Marki Flannery. But the impact went deeper. Partners in Care’s aides are more comfortable approaching their supervisors with suggestions or concerns. Supervisors, meanwhile, have been far more active in soliciting their aides’ opinions. Consequently, clients have noticed a positive difference in the quality of care they have received since Partners in Care implemented PHI Coaching. “Coaching Supervision has transformed the culture of this organization,” Flannery says.

To sustain that change, Partners in Care decided to train all 9,500 of its home health aides in the same communication skills taught to supervisors. These skills, which underlie the ability of organizations to implement and sustain change, are what the PHI Coaching Approach is all about.

Quantifiable Benefits

The infusion of the PHI Coaching Approach into Partners in Care has produced clear benefits, detailed in the case study.

Supervisory staff turnover has dropped dramatically to around 14 percent, down from more than 32 percent in 2006, the year Partners in Care began its involvement with CCSL.

Home health aides are also experiencing stronger relationships with their supervisors, according to both survey data and anecdotal evidence. “Supervisors now listen to you more,” said Pauline Smith, a home health aide who has been at Partners in Care for 12 years. “You’ll have a complaint, and the supervisors are more attentive to you and what you have to say. That way, we get better results.”

Flannery believes that the PHI Coaching Approach has prepared Partners in Care for its next expansion, into the private pay market. With improved communication skills, the entire staff is working together to provide quality person-centered services that truly meet the needs of each individual client. Flannery notes, “If the aides feel more valued…their whole approach with their clients is going to be [changed], and the clients are probably having a better experience.” That gives Partners in Care a competitive edge in the marketplace.

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