Infinite Home Health Service

Executive Summary

In this capstone project, the analysis of the healthcare industry in the United States will be developed relying on the recent achievements and reputation of Infinite Home Health, one of the local healthcare services in Woodland Hills, CA. During the last 15 years, Infinite Home Health has gained a reputation of a successful and properly organized company, the goal of which is to provide patients with high-quality nursing care and support.

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Every person should have an opportunity to ask for care and be sure to improve health. The citizens of Woodland Hills have to live under certain political conditions, following several acts and legislation. Also, the impact of economic and social factors cannot be ignored in the healthcare industry. Infinite Home Health has its own strong and weak aspects that determine the quality of work performed and evaluated by clients.

To understand the worth of all these issues and requirements, this project aims at developing three main analytical tools: SWOT, Five Forces, and PEST. Each of these models focuses on specific aspects of the work of Infinite Home Health. There are no right or wrong answers in this paper. The task is to understand what the company under analysis has at this moment and what aspects should be developed or improved to stay competitive in the field. The competitive advantage of Infinite Home Health can be achieved in case certain business-unit strategies and change management operations are introduced.

Company Background

Infinite Home Health, Inc. is a for-profit home care organization that is located at 22151 Ventura Blvd. 201, in Woodland Hills, CA. The main areas of services are nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical social services, and certified home health aide (Infinite Home Health, 2013). This company was founded in 2003. About 60 employees are hired at this moment and develop necessary services in an area over 4,000 sqft (Buzzfile, 2018). The number of residents is constantly changing, but, in general, there are usually more than 1000 patients who ask for health and nursing care.

The demographic population of patients is almost equal. For example, 51% are women, and 49% are men, but White patients (85%) prevail over Black (5%) and Hispanic (10%) in this care center (Buzzfile, 2018). Still, gender or racial diversity is never a concern in Infinite Home Health, and every person deserves the right to ask for help and receive necessary treatment and support. Despite the size of the organization and a relatively small number of employees, its annual revenues are about $4,5 million (Buzzfile, 2018). This success can be explained by a properly developed mission statement, effective vision, and strong core values.

Mission Statement

The mission of Infinite Home Health is defined as its employees’ passion that is to meet the medical needs of all patients and provide them with the comfort that is equal to the level of comfort of their own home. It is not enough for a company to offer help and meet the standards of healthcare services. Infinite Home Health aims at exceeding patients’ expectations and establishing new contacts with organizations that have similar goals and can help ordinary people to improve their health.

It is committed to continuous services that are available 24/7. The highest level of skilled and compassionate care is offered to people, despite their age, social status, and race. The only peculiarity that has to be taken into consideration is that Infinite Home Health is Medicare certified, meaning that people who have Medicare coverage may become their patients and use free of charge services.

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Vision

The vision of Infinite Home Health is to focus on patients’ needs because these people are the number one priority of the organization. Such care includes the necessity to uphold every patient’s rights, privacy, and dignity (Infinite Home Health, 2014). Physicians and other medical workers at Infinite Home Health seek to encourage positive relationships with patients and their families by monitoring patients’ physical, emotional, and social needs, developing individualized care plans and recognizing possible equipment and safety demands. One of the most distinctive features of this healthcare organization is the provision of patient and patient caregiver education (Infinite Home Health, 2014). Therefore, patients may ask for care in their own homes and recover close to their families and enjoy familiar surroundings.

Core Values

At Infinite Home Health, people may enjoy the quality of services because the staff identifies its core values and promote them through all their activities. First, patient-centered care is offered at Infinite Home Health, meaning that patients are provided with respectful, honest, and effective services. Second, patient recovery time is one of the top priorities that can be achieved by preventing re-hospitalization and the removal of inappropriate behaviors in a team.

Then, multilingual care is developed to understand and meet the needs of patients with different cultural backgrounds and interests. Safety and excellence are the two crucial factors in Infinite Home Health care which make the staff constantly monitor patients’ conditions and ensure family and social support. Finally, communication and teamwork help to establish clear goals and expectations within the organization.

SWOT Analysis

There are many ways on how to understand the strong and weak aspects of the work of healthcare organizations. A SWOT analysis is one of the most frequent methods to rely on when it is necessary to identify external opportunities and threats, protect internal strengths, and get rid of possible weaknesses (Spath, 2013). Infinite Home Health has developed and improved its services during the last 15 years, and this organization has something to tell to its competitors in the healthcare field.

Strengths

Infinite Home Health employees develop their services under specific categories being properly explained and evaluated. For example, skilled nursing includes such activities as intravenous therapy, supervision of medications, skilled assessments, wound care, and many other services. The strength of this organization is no intention to cover all possible aspects of care but to identify the most crucial ones for potential patients regarding the skills of the employees and the scope of education and training available.

Another strong aspect of the work of the chosen organization is its innovative nature and recognition of current needs and expectations. The company establishes clear standards and make sure that all necessary equipment is safe and up-to-date. Though care is based on observations and professional assessments, equipment and other supplementary material should not be neglected. Technology is a serious and effective tool that promotes the strength and competitiveness of the organization. The employees understand what they can do to their patients in terms of technological advancement.

The company has a multilingual staff meaning that different people may address for help and be confident to receive clear instructions and guidelines. Not all companies may provide similar services and focus on a multilingual aspect of care. This point plays an important role in the development and success of the company. In addition to the creation of improved standards in the healthcare services in a particular region, Infinite Home Health supports its patients and underlines the importance of professionalism among the employees. Medicare-based certification is a strong step in organizational growth as well.

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Weaknesses

Compared to many modern healthcare organizations, Infinite Home Health does not find it necessary to develop as many different services as possible. There is not an emergency care room for critical patients. Not all people understand when they should visit Infinite Home Health and what kind of help may be offered to them.

Such poor awareness of the population about the services offered by Infinite Home Health is also explained by a weak marketing campaign and poorly developed official site. In other words, if a person wants to know more about a company, a decision to use its official site is made. However, Infinite Home Health’s site – http://infinite.care/ – contains several photos of the same patient and the same employee questioning the actual number of workers and clients in the organization.

There are only five sections with small explanations with them. A search function does not work to find the required information. The only advantage of this site is the presence of its phone number and right address so that potential patients can contact the company. Still, this modern technology-based world requires companies to have interesting and attractive online sources. Therefore, Infinite Home Health is weak in its social media coverage.

Opportunities

Despite evident shortages in the work of Infinite Home Health, this organization has a chance to improve its marketing campaigns and properly focus on online coverage. It does not take much time and energy to develop an interesting website. Organizational improvement is based on the opportunity to change its official website and attract new clients in a short period.

The second opportunity touches upon the work of employees and their intentions to investigate different directions of healthcare services. Regarding the fact that the patients of Infinite Home Health are about 45 years, it is possible to focus on treatment and prevention of such age-related diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and strokes. There is no need to invent new treatment methods, just focus on problems that have to be solved.

Threats

One of the most serious threats Infinite Home Health may face is evident competition in the field of health care. Many profit and non-profit organizations continue offering new services and attract people with interesting campaigns, education, and training programs. Some organizations focus on care for middle- or low-class patients. Infinite Home Health does not indicate what patients may ask for help. Still, the presence of Medicare coverage is important.

Porter 5

Nowadays, it is wrong to neglect the fact that many healthcare organizations face significant organizational problems. There are two main reasons for these problems: the necessity to satisfy progressively aware patients and the expectation to change the internal organizational culture and structure (Speziale, 2015). To understand what kind of change is necessary for Infinite Home Health, Porter’s Five Forces Model can be used. Michael Porter is a brilliant theorist and strategist who introduces a simple still effective scheme through which the investigation of industry and definition of its development and pitfalls are possible (Dobbs, 2014).

Infinite Home Health is representative of the healthcare industry. In this section, the Five Forces Model will be used to identify the threats and powers of different aspects in the healthcare sector of the United States and define the intensity of competition in the chosen industry.

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The threat of New Entrants

To enter the healthcare industry, a company has to deal with several issues. High-quality equipment and professional medical workers are not enough to become a competitive organization. It is also necessary to understand all governmental rules and regulations, identify organizational needs, give salaries, and meet other capital requirements. Taking into consideration such demands and high expectations, it is possible to say that Infinite Home Health, as well as any other organization in the healthcare industry, may experience a lower risk of new entrants. Investments cannot be ignored in this industry.

A new competitor who has to enter the industry should consider several factors, including governmental and organizational challenges. Not all competitors are ready for unpredictable switching costs. Some of them can be easily broken at the initial stages of its development. Regarding the fact that Infinite Home Health has already been recognized as a working and effective health care organization with a list of services and several people, the threat of new entrants for this company remains low.

Threat of Substitutes

The second force defined by Porter is a threat of substitutes or the presence of equivalents and other products or services that may be understood as effective alternatives for the services offered by Infinite Home Health. According to Moseley (2018), a true substitute has to be able to perform similar functions and convince clients in the effectiveness of the chosen products or services. In the healthcare field, there are not many appropriate equivalents that can be used by patients. Still, alternative medicine is one of the main competitive substitutes for Infinite Home Health and its traditional healthcare services (Moseley, 2018).

The goal of this company is to meet the medical needs of patients similar to the way they can do it at home. Alternative medicine is frequently practiced in patients’ homes. Also, the price of alternative medicine may vary, and a possibility to deal with switching costs may be a real threat to the healthcare sphere and Infinite Home Health in particular. Therefore, Porter’s force should be defined as moderate in the analysis.

Bargaining Power of Buyers/Customers

In the healthcare industry where human life and health are the main goals and expectations, certain attention should be paid to the bargaining power of buyers or customers. These are the people who can influence the industry as they can identify what they want to get, under which conditions they may cooperate, and what outcomes they would like to achieve. In case the power of buyers is high, the competitive rivalry is expected to be high as well.

Still, at this moment, it is hard to identify the level of this power in competitions because buyers may vary in each healthcare organization. For example, if buyers are potential distributors, they do not depend on such factors as price and can spend much money to obtain the required number of services and information. However, if customers are the patients who have health problems or just want to improve their health, they focus on organizations regarding such factors like price (the lower the better), reputation (past clients’ feedback), and quality (communication, explanation, and cooperation).

Infinite Home Health is a part of the health care industry where health is the main product and the expected outcomes. Despite their intentions to pay less, many people are ready to forget about the price when the time to improve their health comes. As a result, the bargaining power of buyers in the chosen industry is moderate.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

In health care, different organizations may perform the function of suppliers, including pharmaceutical, logistics, and managerial companies the goals of which are to improve the work of Infinite Home Health. The bargaining power of suppliers is high in this industry because the quality of services and health care usually depend on the number of available medical devices, the access to certain drugs, and even the way of how nurses and other medical workers can introduce their services and provide patients with care and support.

Many healthcare organizations cooperate with insurance companies, and Infinite Home Health is a good example of how this cooperation determines services and patients’ access to care. The power of suppliers influences the intensity of competition through the chosen industry. Healthcare companies have to understand what they may need during their work with patients, what resources they can use, and what sources are available to them.

Industry Rivalry

Taking into consideration the fact that the two forces in Porter’s model are moderate, one of them is high, and another is low, the competitive rivalry of the industry is moderate. Competitions that are developed between healthcare organizations promote competition in the industry. Such companies as Infinite Home Health should focus on the needs of the local population, identify their incomes, and predict possible costs that may be spent on health. The main task of organizations that participate in the industry’s competition is to make sure that people have enough information about all available services, enough suppliers are invited, and clear goals are established.

PEST Analysis

There are many ways to understand the connection between the chosen industry and the country where it has to be developed. In addition to SWOT and Porter’s Forces model, a tool known as PEST or PESTLE can be used. This analysis is based on the evaluation of the political, economic, social, technical, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) factors, though some analytics like to combine political and legal aspects and neglect the exploration of environmental forces supporting the idea of PEST analysis (Chiswell, Cooper, & Pacham, 2016; Gottwald, 2014). In this project, PEST analysis will be developed to comprehend how to improve the quality of health care offered by Infinite Home Health regarding the current conditions in the United States.

Political and Legal Forces

The current American system of healthcare is a product of successfully developed political and legal issues and all their consequences. There are many players in this field, including the President, who promotes and develops new healthcare programs, his Administration, the representatives of which identify threats and opportunities of all new ideas, and the members of the Congress, Senate, and the House of Representatives, who determine the sources for new programs, insurance conditions, and other details with the help of which laws and regulations are created. Today, the healthcare industry depends considerably on the conditions discussed in the Affordable Care Act, according to which all Americans have the right to quality care and support.

Not all organizations are satisfied with this act because it helps to decrease costs on care among patients without considering how high care costs can be for organizations. The ACA was the main product introduced by President Obama at the beginning of the 2010s.

As soon as Trump began his presidency, healthcare policies underwent new changes. The majority of Trump’s steps were directed to weaken the ACA and loosen the existing regulations (Amadeo, 2018). New legislation can approve the presence of new requirements in terms of which Medicaid and Medicare recipients can ask for free care. This factor cannot be ignored in the analysis of the work of Infinite Home Health because it is a Medicare-certified organization.

Economic Forces

Political regulations have a certain impact on the establishment of economic forces in the country. The United States is defined as a country with a fast-growing economy and care of the population. Despite such intentions and impressive economic plans, the investigations of the U.S. Census Bureau (2017) show that about 40 million people continue living in poverty, and approximately 28 million people do not have health insurance. US healthcare consumes about 18% of its GDP, with 75% of all services being developed in the private sector (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2018).

It is expected to observe GDP rising to 2% in 2026 and the possibility to spend about $5-6 trillion on health care that can be offered to the American population (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2018). The progress of the system is impressive: 20 years ago, a person spent $2800 on healthcare, 10 years ago, the sum raised to $4700, and in 2008, it was $7500 (Chideya, 2012). Also, such factors as population growth and the necessity to offer home healthcare services can influence the development of the health industry in the country.

Social Factors

Social factors play an important role in the development and growth of the healthcare industry. Despite numerous intentions to improve health outcomes in the United States, this country does not demonstrate positive results and continue falling behind many other developed countries like China or the United Kingdom (Heiman & Artiga, 2015). The socio-economic status of patients, the level of education, employment, and access to social support networks determine health outcomes in the US population.

Though many people want to do everything possible and use any means to improve their health, they face certain challenges as soon as they start evaluating their options (based on employment and income level), addressing different sources (the level of education and social support), and focusing on the lifestyle (racial segregation and attitudes to smoking, alcohol or drugs).

Attitudes of people to health care and services offered by such organizations as Infinite Home Health determine the growth and development of the industry. Sometimes, people are ready to spend their money, and, in some cases, it is hard for patients to find appropriate financial coverage. As a result, they address different communities and search for social support. In the United States, many organizations aim at promoting health care for free. Still, not all Americans can use these services and meet all requirements.

Technological Forces

Technological growth cannot be ignored in the healthcare industry. However, when people address Infinite Home Health or similar organizations, they do not expect to observe high-tech equipment, but to receive high-quality care and develop fair relationships. Medical technological may play a crucial role in treatment and diagnosis. Monitoring and assessment of patients’ conditions also depend on how well health care providers use biotechnologies or information technologies. Therefore, though technology has a loose connection with care and support offered to patients in health homes, this factor should be taken into consideration to increase ratings, improve reputation, and gather enough information for treatment and care promotion.

BCG Matrix

The creation of the BCG matrix is a final tool for the analysis of healthcare services and support within the frames of which it is possible to understand future profits of the industry and the growth of Infinite Home Health in the United States. This matrix is a strategic model that discusses market share and growth through its vertical and horizontal axes (Martin, 2017). Regarding the current progress of the chosen company and the impact of external factors, the following matrix in Figure 1 can be developed to understand the weak and strong aspects of health care services.

BCG matrix
Figure 1. BCG matrix (own design).

Question marks introduce the units that may bring profits for the company and the industry due to investments in this field but remain unclear due to the inability to identify the number of benefits. In this organization, patient-centered education is a questionable issue because it is hard to understand what knowledge about patients is offered and used in practice. The main star in the work of the company that brings profits by its investments is the level of professionalism among nurses.

The stars of yesterday, also known as cash cows, usually generate more cash than it may be required (Berkowitz, 2017). In Infinite Home Health, attention to equipment and safety is such an issue. Finally, poor dog, or an issue that creates a serious cash trap. In this company, the development of medical social services the goal of which remains unclear or poorly explained is such an issue to which more attention should be paid.

Recommendations and Conclusion

With the help of a properly developed SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, and Five Forces’ model, a list of recommendations and helpful strategies for Infinite Home Health as a representative of the healthcare industry in the United States can be developed. On the one hand, business-unit strategies help to identify one segment. On the other hand, change management strategies introduce new approaches and certain improvements (Towill, 2009). In both cases, the company can gain certain benefits because it gets a chance to eliminate its weaknesses and make use of the opportunities available at this moment.

Business-Unit Strategies

Business-unit strategies aim at developing several capabilities and resources that may be used to achieve a competitive advantage in the industry. Another distinctive feature of these strategies is the possibility to monitor the industry’s environment and take steps regarding recent changes and existing forces. As a rule, large organizations use this type of strategy to establish new goals and use employees’ enthusiasm and abilities. Though Infinite Home Health is not a large organization with a rather small current staff, business-unit strategies should be effective in case they touch upon one field of work. In this case, social media coverage of the company has to be improved. The following steps can be applied to Infinite Home Health in terms of the business-unit strategy:

  1. Investigation of the ways of how other companies introduce themselves online;
  2. Improvement of online communication between the company and its potential customers;
  3. Evaluation of the needs established by online users (what people want to see on official sites of healthcare organizations and why) through direct communication or online surveys;
  4. Development of new sections on its official website with clear explanations, examples, and illustrations.

Change Management Strategies

The evaluation of the industry rivalry and the connection between the company and political, economic, or other forces prove the necessity to change something in Infinite Home Health. Any change should meet the framework developed by Lewin: unfreezing (when the company’s readiness to change is demonstrated), change (the implementation of new steps), and freezing (the evaluation of changes under new conditions). There is a need to develop a new system of communication between employees and patients. Some people may want to ask additional questions, and the company should promote this opportunity.

Sometimes, calls are not as effective as online chat or forum when people can pose their questions and receive oral responses. Finally, potential clients of Infinite Home Health may want to have additional observational options and illustrative examples. Therefore, all changes and improvements should be directed to its official site and effective representation via social media. At this moment, this change is defined as the cheapest and most effective for all employees of Infinite Home Health.

In general, Infinite Home Health is a company with its weaknesses and strengths. Due to the existing social and economic forces, this company can change its work and stay competitive in the healthcare industry. It does not take much time and many efforts to take the first steps and improve the conditions under which patients may cooperate with nurses and other employees of the chosen company.

References

Amadeo, K. (2018). Donald Trump on health care: How Trump’s health care policies will raise premium prices for you. The Balance. Web.

Berkowitz, E.N. (2017). Essentials of health care marketing (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Buzzfile. (2018). Infinite Home Health, Inc. Web.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2018). NHE fact sheet. Web.

Chideya, D. (2012). Health 5, 10, 20 years in the past and future. Forbes. Web.

Chiswell, C., Cooper, R.F., & Pacham, C. (2016). Healthcare public health. In A.D.M. Briggs, P.A. Fisher, & R.F. Cooper (Eds.), Practicing public health: A guide to examinations and workplace application (pp. 45-66). Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group.

Dobbs, E.M. (2014). Guidelines for applying Porter’s five forces framework: A set of industry analysis templates. Competitiveness Review, 24(1), 32-45.

Gottwald, M. (2014). Exploring quality failings within clinical contexts. In M. Gottwald & G. Lansdown (Eds.), Clinical governance: Improving the quality of healthcare for patients and services users (pp. 45-65). Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

Heiman, H.J., & Artiga, S. (2015). Beyond health care: The role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity. Health, 20(10), 1-10. Web.

Infinite Home Health. (2013). Services. Web.

Infinite Home Health. (2014). Why choose us? Web.

Martin, M. (2017). What is a BCG matrix? Business News Daily. Web.

Moseley, G.B. (2018). Managing health care business strategy (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Spath, P. (2013). Introduction to healthcare quality management (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

Speziale, G. (2015). Strategic management of a healthcare organization: Engagement, behavioral indicators, and clinical performance. European Heart Journal Supplements, 17(1), 3-7. Web.

Towilll, D.R. (2009). Enabling effective change in healthcare delivery systems. Leadership in Health Services, 22(2), 176-188.

The U.S. Census Bureau. (2017). Income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2016. Web.

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