Friend or foe, ally or competitor, partner or opponent – What is the role of a home health agency or that of a visiting nurse association? Are they an active player on the health care team? They certainly are! They are the key team players for us!
The nurses, who are healers at a patient’s bedside, are the best associates for a DME/HME provider, and when we work in tandem with one another, the patient is the winner!
In every community there are both VNA and HHA associations and it behooves you to become their friend. All the many years I was a provider, my first goal was to work closely with them. We became associates on behalf of our most treasured asset, the patient.
When I relocated from outside Washington, DC, to a smaller city to build a new DME/HME company, I realized that I must do more than wait for someone to walk in and say, “Hello!”
I opened the telephone directory yellow pages and found the VNA and the HHAs in a 30-mile radius from my location. I called each, introduced myself and invited them to please stop by and say hello. I also asked if there would be any objection to my visiting them. Invariably the response was positive.
Once we became friends, I prepared a series of demonstrations conducted by key manufacturer reps. These were always SRO. The nurses enjoyed seeing the many things that could be done, even with beds and wheel chairs. We scheduled these every-other as one-hour sessions beginning at .
There was a bonus we received because the nurses told me they bought personal supplies from mail order company catalogues. They were pleasantly surprised we could obtain any items they needed and appreciated the professional discount we gave them.
I will not say any more because it was successful and every DME/HME dealer can do the same! Yes, VNAs and HHAs are your best friends.