Introducing Care Guide -

An Interview with Michelle Missler, Introducing Care Guide

The role of service coordinators is changing as they become more proactive in linking residents and clients to the services they need to age in their homes. It’s not easy to track the needs of dozens or even hundreds of residents, so National Church Residences now has a new tool to help the service coordinators with this important job.

National Church Residences Service Coordinators:

  • Help residents to Age in Place in their home
  • Link residents to services to help them remain independent
  • Provide cost savings to the resident, property management companies, and the government
    • Benefit entitlement education
    • Reduce apartment turnover
    • Reduce unnecessary hospital visits, 911 calls, and ER visits.
    • Reduce rehospitalizations and premature moving to higher levels of care.

This year, National Church Residences has launched a new online documentation system that allows our Service Coordinators to track the health and livelihood of their residents, in turn catching potential risk factors earlier that could result in less unnecessary hospital visits, a reduction in premature moving to higher levels of care and overall increase in resident’s quality of life.

This new documentation system, called Care Guide, was rolled out to 14 National Church Residences pilot communities in May and then following our National Conference in October the rest of Ohio was trained. By the end of the year, every National Church Residences Service Coordinator at our owned or managed properties will be trained to use Care Guide.

“This is a new way of empowering and guiding the Service Coordinators to be proactive in their work,” said Michelle Missler, Director of Supportive Services for National Church Residences Home & Community Services.

Michelle started her career with National Church Residences in 2003 as a Service Coordinator at Stafford Court and Village in Worthington, Ohio. “I remember sitting in my office at Stafford and I would wait for residents to come to me with needs. I never sought out a resident. This is the mentality of Service Coordination across the board and Care Guide is going to change that.”

National Church Residences Service Coordinators work in communities across the nation that house a large population of dually eligible vulnerable residents, people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. This population is costing insurance companies a lot of money because of unnecessary 911 calls, rehospitalizations, and ER visits.

The Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals when a person is readmitted for the same issue in less than 30 days. Care Guide arms the Service Coordinators with tools that allow them to be proactive. These tools include a Vulnerable Elderly Scale, Mini-Mental Status Exam, and a Geriatric Depression Scale. These tools help identify the highest-need residents who are most likely to end up traveling in and out of the hospital.

“With the addition of this new, proactive approach for providing services to our residents, we will be able to get ahead of a crisis.  Service Coordinators are fantastic at linking residents to great resources when the issue is presented to the Service Coordinator imagine a world where we will get ahead of a crisis and in turn prevent those stressful events in our residents’ lives.  That is the goal of this new approach to Service Coordination.  We want to help prevent these crises and make the lives of our residents happier, healthier and less stressful,” Michelle said.

In addition to those tools, a reporting function allows Service Coordinators to share the findings, showing the impact of the program. National Church Residences has hired a report analyst to categorize and group data into readable information.

“As we begin to gather data from Care Guide, we will be better equipped to tell the success and impact of the Service Coordinator program.  We will be able to see exactly what interactions help a resident to age in place successfully.  The outcomes will show us where we can work to improve the care for our residents and pinpoint those interventions that help save lives and money. Service Coordination has always made a difference in the lives of our residents; we will now be able to show the impact in many different ways to many different audiences,” Michelle said.