What women want

HME Breakfast Club addresses how women want to be treated as patients, caregivers and professionals
Friday, February 20, 2015

Sometimes the most overlooked problem is right there in plain sight. For HME providers, it’s a potential disconnect with serving and working with women.

Getting a better understanding of the female gender is the theme of a new Medtrade Spring program called The HME Breakfast Club on Wednesday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Sponsoring the event are Laboratory Marketing, Strategic A/R and Wheel:Life.

Anna McDevitt, owner of Atlanta-based Laboratory Marketing, says she got the idea for the program by simply looking at the demographics the industry serves.

“The majority of patients, caregivers, case managers, social workers, nurses and home health aides are women,” she said. “It requires a sense of empathy and compassion that may be overlooked. Approximately 66% of women feel misunderstood by healthcare marketers.”

The breakfast session is led by Pamela Kaehler, executive director of Fairmont Home Medical in Morgantown, W. Va., president of the West Virginia Medical Equipment Suppliers Association and a member of the AAHomecare Regulatory Council. Her presentation is based on her experience as a wife and mother of four—soon to be five—adopted foster children.

“If I find challenges, then I am in part responsible for contributing to the solutions,” she said. “I feel it’s my responsibility to get involved—everybody brings something unique that can serve the cause.”

Because the HME audience and supporting professionals are predominantly female, it just makes good business sense to try and understand them better, McDevitt said. One of the most common missteps companies make, she said, is in communications.

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” she said. “Avoid speaking in a critical or corrective tone—especially when dealing with women patients. This program is for people who want to tackle the landscape with a positive and collaborative spirit. It is an opportunity to learn how to build better relationships.”