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Innovative caring Featured

8:28am EDT June 28, 2006
Barry Bortz’s vision has changed the look of elderly care in the Cincinnati area with Carespring Health Care Management.

Unlike traditional nursing homes, Carespring centers offer a warm atmosphere, making them a place residents want to be instead of just a hospital where they to be. Amenities include beauty shops, Starbucks coffee, Montessori schools, Jacuzzis, cable TV and other things to keep that vision going.

Bortz’s ideas have, in many instances, become leading practices throughout the industry. For instance, to enhance the nurses’ ability to monitor every patient, he designed the spoke facility layout, placing the nurses station in the center of all activity, giving nurses visual control of all facility activities. That design is now standard for all new facilities built in the industry.

Another of Bortz’s implementations, “need assistance” buttons in every room, has been adopted by skilled nursing centers to better serve their residents. He has also developed a software program that makes it more efficient to order drugs for patients, saving time and money.

To help keep his employees engaged in the highest level of care, Bortz has implemented several internal initiatives. The Angel Award is given each year to the employee who has demonstrated care beyond measure and past the normal call of duty, and service awards recognize years of service at an annual banquet.

Employees also get training via Carespring University, an online program offered to employees on paid time, and a Next Generation Leadership class, in which 12 employees each year are trained in leadership development.

Since its inception in 1986, Carespring has grown from one facility to eight in the tri-state area, with a recently opened facility in Harrison and plans for another in West Chester. It employs approximately 1,200 caregivers — from nurses and chefs to hair stylists and housekeepers.

Bortz plans to double the size of the company in the next five years, but wants to stop growth before the company gets to the size that he is no longer intimately involved with his employees and the patients for whom they care.

How to reach: Carespring Health Care Management, (513) 312-7661 or www.carespring.com