The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with Homecare Homebase. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of home health, hospice care, senior housing, skilled nursing, and behavioral health. To see this year’s Future Leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.
Chase Potter, the vice president of professional services at AlayaCare, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Home Health Care News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors, and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Potter sat down with HHCN to talk about how the home-based care space can save health care systems in the near-term future; why providers and vendors should not underestimate caregivers’ abilities; and much more.
HHCN: What drew you to this industry?
Potter: Many folks have a deep initial connection that drew them into home care. For me, that that came a bit later on.
I was a consultant at IBM, and struggling to find real meaning in that space. I stumbled upon a post on a ball hockey message board about an opening for a role at a new tech company focused on on home care, and it piqued my attention.
I met the founders and I dug more into the industry content. It became clear to me there was this huge opportunity for technology to partner with providers to solve some of the biggest problems our society is facing and will face. So I took the leap, and I joined joined AlayaCare.
Then, a few years later, it really hit home for me. My father had what was thought to be frontal temporal dementia, and his ability to care for himself gradually deteriorated until he needed to move into a long-term care home. And every time I visited him, I witnessed the relationships his caregivers had formed with him, and how they built a meaningful life for him in that home. That really hits deeply with me, around the importance and the impact that providers can have on society and individuals.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in home-based care?
I’ve learned a lot. But I would like come back to one thing. A colleague of mine likes to say, ‘If you’re not caring for the person in the home, how are you supporting the people who are?’
That is something that continues to resonate strongly with me. We’re not the ones in the homes, but everything we can do to facilitate better care for clients – whether it’s making it easier for a scheduler to match a client with the right caregiver, or ensuring that there is the ability for real-time communication between care teams – that all makes a difference in the level of care that a client receives them at home. It makes a difference to the experience of the caregiver.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of home-based care, what would it be?
I’ve implemented a lot of technology in home care over the years. And one thing I’d like to call out is that we shouldn’t be underestimating caregivers and clinicians and their capacity for change and innovation.
We are often really quick to throw away a big change as impossible and too big a change management risk. Caregivers and clinicians adapt to challenges in the home every single day. And it’s a mistake to immediately discount their ability to embrace change at a different level.
I’ve seen 80-year-old caregivers pick up smartphones for the first time, and upon realizing why this change will make a difference positively in their lives, adapt. Let’s not underestimate the folks that are in the homes and their ability and capacity to change and innovate.
What do you foresee as being different about the home-based care space looking ahead?
Technology as an enabler for home care providers.
When I entered the the industry, that enablement was really focused on digitization, and how we can get off of paper – technology just as a mechanism for replacing what was done on paper.
But, in 2023 and beyond, the focus is shifting towards how technology can empower staff to form deeper and more meaningful connections with caregivers and clients. At AlayaCare, we’ve been talking a lot about this war on repetitive tasks. What are things that technology can do to reduce the administrative burden and allow coordinators and caregivers to focus more on the deeper personal connections?
In a word, how would you describe the future of home-based care?
Revolutionized. That’s maybe a really weird thing to say about a traditionally slow-moving industry. But the time is right.
We’ve exited the pandemic with fragile health care systems all around the world. And one piece that has come through clearly is, not only do people want to age in the place that they call home, but we need to be able to support that or these fragile systems are going to crumble. That sounds really bleak. But it’s not.
We’re seeing AI beginning to hit primetime. We’re seeing a focus on caregiving as a career and elevating it as a profession. Larger scale systems are beginning to understand the impact that home-based care has on the entire health care system. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say, as we look at the future, there’s an opportunity for a revolutionized system.
What quality must all Future Leaders possess?
The need for empathy. Being able to understand the different stakeholders that live in this industry, whether that’s being able to put yourself into the position of the caregiver, the coordinator or the client when you’re thinking about decisions that impact your business and the industry. Leading with empathy, and not just looking at the dollars and cents.
To learn more about the Future Leaders program, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.