We all want to get to a place of personal and professional success in life. Mevlude “Mev” Markashi is a home healthcare consultant who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare. While she now spends her work days helping companies grow and develop into well functioning successful businesses that care for patients at home, she’s worn many hats throughout her career that have given her a sense of fulfillment we all could learn from.
The home healthcare industry is responsible for taking care of patients from the comfort of their own homes. In this line of work, organization and knowledge is the key to giving patients the best level of care that they need to live. So when it comes to the companies responsible for taking on this task, having a consultant who’s well versed in healthcare as a whole can be crucial.
Mevlude “Mev” Markashi runs Markashi Home Health Consulting, making her a Clinical Operations Consultant with 25 + years of diversified professional experience. She’s also a licensed RN in the state of New York and New Jersey, a member of Healthcare Financial Management Association and a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional with broad organizational experience leading teams and home healthcare companies through process improvements, clinical operations management, audits and compliance, and procedure development services.
Mev’s journey to the position she’s in today is truly inspirational, and has given her an immense amount of tools and techniques to help home care companies thrive which, as a result, gives patients in home care the highest quality and quantity of care they need.
“Your company is not producing or growing. Your company needs better processes. You need clarification in interpreting regulations. You have all the pieces, but they are not coming together. It’s my job to bring it all together to provide quality and results.”
Mev’s growth in her career started from a place many of us can relate to; not a lot of direction, but the determination to work hard and a passion to thrive.
“When I graduated high school, I didn’t really have a lot of direction in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. I chose to become a medical assistant, which entails completing an externship in order to become certified. I had to complete 160 hours in the emergency department (ED) at Staten Island University Hospital. I was 19-years-old and was just in awe of what I was experiencing and seeing every day in the ED.
I tend to be a very adrenaline-run person, so right away I was hooked by the energy of the ED and the amazing work the staff had to do in these emergency situations. Everybody told me that I had to become a nurse because of how connected and driven I was during that time. It was such an astonishing feeling, in a good and bad way. I mean at 19-years-old, it’s hard to process death in that type of environment when you’re not used to it, but there was also so much good that came out of it.
From there I went right into nursing, completed my associates degree, and became a RN at 21-years-old. My first job was in a detention facility. I tell people often that my entire career has been like a baptism by fire because of how much I just threw myself into these roles. While I was working there, I also was completing work to gain my bachelor’s degree.
Eventually I found myself in the acute care setting, working in medical oncology, and from there I became a float nurse.”
A float nurse serves as a flexible resource of nurses who are ready to adapt to versatile roles in a healthcare system.
“It sounds cliche, but I genuinely loved nursing because of how much I was able to help people. It was truly such a great experience, but I also have to clarify, my personality is very outgoing, which is a double edged sword because it allowed me to jump into new roles head on, but it became easy for me to feel restricted, I always wanted to do more. So I ended up breaking out of my comfort zone with nursing and went into pharmaceutical sales.
I was about 26 years old at the time working with sales for Astrazeneca, specifically their gastrointestinal and cardiovascular team, and it was truly fun. Once I learned how to sell and what my own style was, it all just fell into place and became such an engaging experience. My background as a nurse was the key to my selling process as well, I always was able to dissect and explain the medical aspects of prescriptions to our clients and have genuine clinical conversations with doctors who eventually asked for me specifically when it came time to make a sale,” Mev explained.
It was at this point in her career that Mev began utilizing all of the experiences she had to wear multiple hats and contribute in a multitude of ways to the healthcare industry. She began teaching medical assistants who were in the same position she was at 19, as well as nurses. Her enthusiasm for the industry not only guided her down a path of success, but inspired a new generation of healthcare professionals.
In 2005, Mev entered the homecare sector of healthcare, starting as a coordinator. She described how, like most of the positions she held up to that point, she went into it inexperienced, but motivated to learn and adapt to whatever the job needed from her, and she would do so optimistically.
One of the reasons Mev was able to become such a quick learner when thrown into these new jobs is her lack of fear when it comes to asking questions, because she always had confidence in her ability to be the best she possibly could. So when it came to learning new skills, her energy was consistently motivated, which is infectious. Asking questions, remaining open minded and confident in your ability to adapt is a major part of finding success, and she’s proof of that.
Within her job Mev audited what’s known as an Oasis for certified home healthcare. The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) is the patient-specific, standardized assessment used in home health care to plan care, determine reimbursement, and measure quality outcomes. Through this she learned that there needed to be more education in the field among healthcare professionals, regarding the data she needed to collect from them to determine reimbursement values.
“From there I became a patient services supervisor, and eventually climbed the ladder to become director of clinical operations, covering 1,000 patient census.”
She transitioned to a larger licensed homecare agency that was more Medicaid driven when it comes to personal care. She became the regional director of patient services, and then a regional vice president of operations, which was yet another new hat that she had to adapt and learn about as she grew within the company.
Within the home care industry, “we aim to support the home healthcare industry to be in full compliance, increasing quality of care. Often during an audit, we identify policies that inadvertently create non-compliance due to misinterpretation. It can be a quick fix such as your current paperwork is not designed to meet standards. At times, we identify “extra” steps in the processes which in turn results in a negative impact on onboarding, yearly employee requirements as well as clinical visits. Is it time to invest in automation and integration? Compliance at the forefront will increase value, quality and decrease cost.”
Mev’s work today would not be possible without the growth she’s endured not only professionally, but personally. After her own personal experience as a patient in the hospital, Mev was able to do what she does best, always see the silver lining and use her experiences to grow her expertise: “I got to a point where I had to take a pause, personally. I was driven and enjoying my work, but I just wasn’t feeling well overall, I felt like I needed to find my peace. I shifted to working per diem as a school nurse.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which gave me some insight into why I wasn’t feeling great overall in those interim years. As nurses, we never really take the time to look at ourselves and check in with our own bodies, even when our bodies are giving us the sign to slow down. You just keep going, and my personality in general has always been motivated, regardless of the circumstances.
My career was put completely on pause as I underwent massive surgery, I was out of commission for around a year. However, my optimistic nature gave me some new insight into my situation at that time; I got to be the patient. After working within the healthcare industry for so long, I never experienced what it was like from the patient’s perspective, and although I was going through such an intense time myself medically, I couldn’t not think about the knowledge I was gaining from being in that position.
I remember laughing with one of my nurses once who was shocked that I’ve never experienced life as a patient before:
‘You’ve never broken a bone or had any kind of health scare? Wow you really saved it for one big one huh?’
‘Well, if you know me you know I do it big or not at all,’ we both couldn’t stop laughing.
When it was time for me to come back into the world and start working again, I was met with a lot of roadblocks. Even though I had so much experience, being out of commission for a year was viewed as a detriment unfortunately.
I developed a relationship with a homecare agency throughout the years who reached out to me asking for my assistance with staff development and processes which was one of my strengths so of course I said yes. I spent my time doing odds and ends and eventually one of the Administrators asked me if I ever considered getting an LLC so I could work more than the role I was in at the time, and that sealed the deal for me.
So about two years ago, I went solo. What made me the professional I am today is a genuine desire to help people, combined with the supportive people around me, and the amazing treatment I received as a patient myself. I could not ask to be treated better than I was throughout that time in my life, maybe it was partially because they knew I was a nurse as well so there was a level of professional understanding from both sides, but compassion truly goes a long way in this life.
As a Clinical Operations Consultant, her focus has been in quality and results. She is innovative, focuses on company development and leadership coaching. She has expertise in coaching leaders ranging from new managers to senior executives to ease their growth and efficacy. She excels at implementing employee engagement strategies and leadership development to build high performing cultures that drive business results. Her services address issues related to client care, adherence to policy and regulations, and executing growth strategies.
According to Markashi Home Health Consulting: “Mev has in depth experience at the creation, delivery and facilitation of activities focused on team alignment and effectiveness, leadership development, change management, employee engagement, and strategic planning/goal setting.
Her approach is not a one size fits all solution approach. She does not re-invent the wheel but will use your current resources and build on them to ensure outcomes are stronger and better. Her solutions are individualized and specific to company goals.
We analyze your current and past data, with the objective of improving strategic decision-making across your company. Additionally, we utilize clinical business intelligence to help improve patient outcomes, optimize profits, and improve operational efficiency.”
Markashi Home Health Consulting assists companies of all sizes. Mev described her initial focus to always be about the framework of the company, because without a solid structure, there’s no room for compliance.
“8/10 times the companies aren’t properly set up in terms of policies and procedures in line with federal or state regulations. These policies aren’t designed to be your enemy, they’re wonderful! I’ve worked with companies who have spent thousands on books of operations that go barely touched, and I always push them to implement the work within them and experience the shift in operations for themselves.
“We use Quality Improvement initiatives as the foundation to evaluate results that identify the need for process improvements. Improvement initiatives are necessary tools to better process improvement. Adopting transformational performance improvement approaches and techniques translates into better patient outcomes and patient experience and better, more efficient operations.”
One of the techniques utilized at Markashi Home Health Consulting is known as a SWOT Analysis, which stands for “Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats, all relating to business and project planning. This technique allows Mev to analyze company’s core strengths and weaknesses to better determine what changes need to be made to help the company grow.
“A SWOT analysis can help your business identify what it’s doing right and what needs to change in the company. The analysis is a planning methodology that helps businesses build a strategic plan to meet goals, improve operations and keep the business relevant. The analysis is a great way to consider how you compare to the competitors in your market. It is one of the primary methods you can use to prompt the major issues which face your business now and into the future. It is one of the key components of any marketing plan.
“We assist you in identifying your current strengths and weaknesses. Chart clear goals. Build presence in the local community. Expand your marketing strategy. Focus on the recruitment process and constantly improve. Increase client referrals by improving client satisfaction. Identify key sources of applicants and referrals. Identify the clinical team to deliver care.
We will assist you in implementing a plan and solutions to obstacles. Recruit and train qualified caregivers by using a new and innovative approach to recruiting and training and providing customer service-based training. We will design a career ladder development to maximize caregiver retention tailored to the company’s objectives.”
“A crucial aspect of the work I do is understanding how to speak the language, which is easy for me being someone who’s worked in multiple sectors of the healthcare industry. What I’ve realized within the past couple of years of doing this is a lot more energy needs to go into the training of clinical operations management.
A lot of companies go from small to big, but maintain the small company mentality, which leads to a lot of crossover among positions. I tend to do a lot of one on one with company staff to cut out the overflow and set these companies up to be as focused as possible. Every individual acts as a cog in the machine, you can’t have too many or too little or else the machine will fail to function, so to speak.
When a company is not financially stable, they automatically assume that drastic cuts need to be made as well. It’s important for a lot of them to take a step back and look at the smaller pieces that are hindering their growth. While cuts are sometimes necessary, something I notice often is they simply have the right people in the wrong seats, due to their growth which goes back to the small company mentality,” Mev stated.
“One of the best examples of process improvement projects centers around waste. Specifically, if you can identify and eliminate areas of waste within your processes, you can save time and produce higher quality end results, combat redundancies in processes that lead to project delays, employee demoralizing, and productivity decline. It starts with a focus on defining the business requirements of a process rather than contemplating the technology to overcome the obstacles.”
“Process Improvement is a systematic approach to problem solving related to the assessment, analysis and improvement of organizational processes. Process improvement tools are techniques and methods to be used by companies that will drive improvements in quality and performance, targeting the processes of a business. Tools are ineffective unless they are supported by the right people who follow the proper procedures.
The objective in the transition to a value-based payment (VBP) model is to support and achieve integration of care, with a stronger focus on prevention, wellness and population health management. Identifying trends to predict outcomes can determine which processes work and which do not. The focus is on the patient’s care and how well a coordinated care team can improve patient outcomes based on certain metrics. We are a people driven industry that should aim to meet high end Quality targets. The efficiency of processes and the use of technology are integrated within an organization to support and drive positive outcomes.
The aim is to eliminate weak points or bottlenecks in business operations. By identifying those weak points, you help your business: Reduce process completion time. Improve process efficiency and quality,” according to Mev.
“Additionally, there often needs to be the reminder that we’re in the business of helping those who need it the most within their homecare. However, how can you expect a staff of people to take care of hundreds of clients if they’re not taking care of themselves; I experienced that myself with my own health issues. There needs to be a level of staff care and decompression so that everyone can perform to the best of their ability.
It has a lot to do with redirecting energy on my end, because more times than not these companies have everything they need to continue to succeed, but a lot can get lost over time. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job, being able to be a part of, and witness, the transformation that takes place when organized structure is implemented and the staff has a more clear cut image of what their day-to-day should look like to help the company overall succeed.
Most companies that we work with understand the ‘Who, What, Where, and When’ aspects of their daily operations when it comes to working with homecare patients. I come in to show them the ‘How’ and ‘Why,’ because those are integral pieces to filling up the gaps that are causing a lot of these companies to struggle. Again, it goes back to education and training, because a lot of it is unfortunately lacking within the backend of these companies due to constant policy changes and adjustments. Guiding these employees down the path of current practice and the intricacies of modern policy is essential, and it’s my pleasure to help them get to a place of full understanding.”
Mev is in the business of helping the businesses that care for our citizens who require homecare. Her job helps the companies that care for individuals at home run as smoothly as possible so patients are receiving the highest quality and quantity of care that they need to thrive.
“Each hat I’ve worn throughout my professional life has given me all the tools I need to not only succeed in my own right, but help so many other companies grow and develop into what they are now, and thus, help so many patients at home today.”
Mev is constantly evolving in the work she does. There’s never been a clear cut path to the future, but that hasn’t stopped her from growing into the individual she is today, both professionally and personally. Every step she’s taken has been an evolution towards development and helping others in the process. It goes to show that regardless of where we are in life, there’s always a next step, and there’s always room to make an impact on others on the way.
To learn more about Markashi Home Health Consulting, check out Mev’s website by clicking here!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.