How to Work With Many, While Focusing On Individuals

How many times have you heard people say good things come in threes? From the time I was little, this was something I heard over and over again, and—if I’m going to be honest—it never made much sense to me.
Sure, good things came in threes, but they also came in ones, twos and not-at-alls. So, I simply tried to hope for good things at all times. I never waited for more good to complete a set of three. I couldn’t accept that there was some magical property to a number that made it different than the rest.
Fast forward a few years to my adult life … I was speaking with Caroline Breeding, co-founder of the Healthy Living Network, discussing the mission statement and values of our company. Ironically, no matter what way we sliced it, we kept coming back to three components.
We founded the Healthy Living Network on three fundamental truths—that our patients, employees and the families of our patients deserve the utmost respect and the highest quality of care possible.
Taking Care of Patients
Providing effective healthcare is about personalization. Too many medical facilities get caught up in the numbers. These measurements provide important information—like blood pressure and blood glucose levels—but they’re not everything. In a way, numbers are only pieces of the puzzle.   
To best care for our patients, we constantly remind ourselves that we can always learn more about them. While we observe, question, examine and think about them in a medical context, we also take the time to sit by them and look them in the eye.
We want to speak with them and learn about what matters most. Even if they’re nonverbal, we do our best to read their nonverbal cues and provide care in a way that helps the patient feel his or her best.

We talk with our patients about their health beliefs and their overall goals for themselves. We encourage them to be active participants in the decision-making process—reminding them that they have the right to help design their care now and redesign it as time goes on.
Every senior should have the right to have their physical and psychological health regularly assessed and addressed so they can age with dignity.
Supporting Staff
From a business perspective, investing in your employees is a foolproof way to improve your success. Happy employees take fewer brakes and are more engaged while they’re at work. As a business owner, investing in my employees is important.
As co-founder of a company that looks after one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, supporting my employees isn’t just for my bottom line, it’s for the people we serve, too.  

For us, this all starts with the hiring process. When we review applications, we look for more than past job experience. We look for emotional intelligence, the right disposition and a dedication to service. Finding these candidates is challenging, but hiring the right people is a core aspect of our business.
With this team in place, we resolve to treat them in similar ways to our patients. Although we work with many patients, we aim to know every one of them on an individual level. Our employees generally work in teams, but we set out to learn about each employee on a one-to-one basis.
Another skill we focus on is ongoing training. During the on-boarding process, we give everyone the tools they need to succeed in their roles. Then, we continue to touch base. If we implement a new strategy or workflow, we provide education that helps everyone understand why the change is taking place, how it affects the company and the benefits it’ll provide them with personally.
Connecting With Families
Watching a loved one age can be a trying thing. It’s often hard to talk about the changes they experience and decide how to best care for them. This is a time when it’s unclear who’s in charge. Is it still the family member, yourself or medical professionals?
When you’re overwhelmed with these thoughts and more, you need to find a trusted resource that can help you through the process. The Healthy Living Network helps educate, prepare and support families with aging members. With sound medical advice and individualized care plans, we help people come together as a family to make the choices that are right for them.
Many times, we help groups keep their commitments to each other. We understand your commitment to keep a patient at home, and we can help you make this a reality. Our knowledgeable team makes it possible to keep your loved ones out of hospitals and nursing homes if you desire to do so.

Another unique aspect of our company is that we never take over. We provide comprehensive care in an educational and supporting manner. We tell patients and their families about their options and the advantages and disadvantages of their choices.
Once everything is clearly outlined, we allow the people we work with to make the decisions that are right for them. We also continually visit with our patients’ families to ensure that the plans they’ve set in place are still advantageous and improving everyone’s quality of life.
Honoring Groups, Celebrating Individuality
Sometimes, things happen in threes. The reason this happens is unclear, but I’m grateful it does because it’s helped me to better look after the people I work for.  
When individuals are in a group, it’s all too easy to address them as a unit. It takes time and effort to understand how you can best serve communities while honoring every person within the group.
This is why we break things down down into three units—patients, employees and families. With these parameters in place, we learn about the groups as a whole, and we learn about the people that make up each block.
The Healthy Living Network has the large responsibility of taking care of one of our nation’s largest and most underserved populations, and we don’t take it lightly. We work tirelessly to make sure that our patients retain their independence, self-respect and self-esteem throughout life.