Relias Provides Support That Avanza Training and Team Select Home Care Can Depend On Finding reliable ways to recruit qualified nurse aides and stem turnover is vital for organizations that have struggled with hiring and retention of qualified candidates. Home care agencies are always looking to find qualified programs that have the highest standards to work with. Team Select Home Care provides Medicare-certified home health care but also has multiple divisions encompassing skilled home health care, pediatric and adult long-term care, mobile therapy, and mobile physician services. Fortunately, Team Select Home Care was able to find Avanza. Avanza is a nurse aide training program approved by the state of Colorado that has been operational for more than 10 years. As the nurse aide training platforms and environment have evolved over the years, strategic changes are a must. After expanding the organization’s CNA training across several locations, Avanza recognized the need for an online program that could be implemented with a combination of virtual live training and in-person supervised clinical skills training. Having students working with Team Select Home Care after graduation, leadership with Avanza reached out to see what software platform the agency used for continuing education. Fortunately for Avanza, Team Select Home Care pointed program leaders in the direction of Relias, which allowed Avanza to upgrade its CNA training solution. Online Training Provides Desirable Flexibility Specific CNA training needs in Colorado and competition from other providers offering online options spurred Avanza’s move to a blended online and in-person program. Many Avanza students desire the training because they are caregivers for family members who have disabilities. In some states, family members with nurse aide certification can be paid by a caregiving agency as an employee, if a physician orders the services for their loved one. The agency then seeks reimbursement from government and private payers for services provided by its employees — including those serving their loved ones. “A lot of these parents just want to become more educated about their child’s care and the correct way to provide care to them,” says Hollie Thompson, Avanza Training’s Office Coordinator. “But a vast majority of our nurse aides pursue a degree in nursing or focus on employment with traditional home care clients, hospitals, or long-term care facilities.” Relias provided the online curriculum and hosted learning environment that the agency needed to make the transition to online courses. The flexibility of the online program allows students to complete course work at times when they’re able to take a break from family caregiving and other duties. “Having the curriculum online is a huge, important component,” Colby Kostur, Team Select Home Care’s Area Director of Operations notes. “It’s been really positive.” The Relias training allows Team Select Home Care to build teams with professionals that have completed extensive training, enabling them to focus on important company procedures, values, and culture with their new hires from the start. With Avanza leveraging the Relias program, Team Select Home Care has seen a greater percentage of students hired and a higher percentage staying with the company at the 90-day and one-year marks, as the graphics show. Higher Retention Equals Lower Turnover Costs As home-based care operators know, turnover costs are an ongoing pain point. From 2015 through 2020, Team Select Home Care has hired an average of 300 CNAs per year. Retention naturally saves organizations money. To replace a CNA, an organization could spend between $3,000 and $6,000 on indirect costs such as overtime and on direct costs such as recruiting and onboarding, notes Vince Baiera, Principal of Post-Acute Care at Relias. To put Team Select Home Care’s retention percentages in perspective, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario in which two organizations hire 100 CNAs per year. Let’s imagine that Organization A had the 65.6% one-year retention rate from the traditional training and Organization B had the 78.8% retention rate calculated from the Relias training. Looking at the low end of the turnover cost estimate, Organization B would save $39,600 over the year. At the high end, Organization B would save $79,200 in turnover costs throughout the year. “Being able to show a correlation between the training program and employee retention helps the agency better compete in the marketplace because it shows results,” Kostur says. Clearly, retention is important for many other reasons as well — staff competence and confidence, care quality, risk reduction, and family satisfaction. “Being able to show a correlation between the training program and employee retention helps the agency better compete in the marketplace because it shows results.” —Colby Kostur, Area Director of Operations, Team Select Home Care The Switch Brings Consistency and Robustness When Avanza made the transition to the Relias training program, switching to the new platform was “super smooth,” Thompson recalls. “We were able to easily plug it into our system, which was great.” Currently, Avanza is building a CNA training program in Arizona, and the Relias support there “has been phenomenal,” Thompson notes. The Relias program has ensured consistency in curriculum delivery because the classroom time is aligned specifically to the state’s requirements. “Hires trained through the Avanza program confirm that the system does a really good job of approaching it from different angles and different scenarios, which reinforces learning and provides variety,” Kostur observes. For the classroom portion, he says, “It allows for a little bit more robust training.” The Avanza CNA certification program runs on a quick, two-week cycle, with options for day or evening classes. The flexibility allows participants to schedule around current personal or work commitments. For family members seeking certification, this schedule makes it easier for them to provide the critical care their loved ones depend on and take required classes at the same time. “With many family members wanting to go to school, they don’t necessarily have the time with a disabled child to go and sit through 40 hours a week of education to become certified,” Kostur notes. “Although they still have the same requirements to meet, having the flexibility is what makes this opportunity a reality for them.” Team Select Home Care continues to work with multiple states to initiate family member care programs, once legislators approve the option. Kostur says, “I hope this kind of program can be approved nationally in the near future.” In the meantime, the ease of online training and higher nurse aide retention rates have Thompson at Avanza Training and Kostur at Team Select Home Care feeling pleased with the results.