Rob Barrow has 13 years of experience in home health care operations.
As the new COO for PurposeCare, a home care and home health services provider, Rob Barrow is emphasizing improving quality outcomes, maintaining a good and productive workforce, and pursuing patient satisfaction.
Barrow may be new to the position, but he’s quite familiar with PurposeCare, as he previously worked with their leadership team as part of Lorient Capital, the investment private equity firm that developed and invested into PurposeCare.
Having grown up in England and moved to the United States in his early twenties, it was while working as an automotive design and manufacturing engineer that he developed the process-oriented mindset that he credits for his success in operations.
"Being an engineer and having that process mindset has really led to the success we've had at PurposeCare because it's really about making sure we've got good processes," he said. "I've learned the skill and craft of managing large-scale people organizations, whether they're caregivers, clinicians, or administrators."
Barrow's experience managing Lorient Capital's other home health agencies prepared him for his C-suite role at PurposeCare. Within those agencies, and now at PurposeCare, Barrow emphasized quality outcomes, a productive workforce, and patient satisfaction.
With more patients preferring to receive care at home, the home health sector is "eroding" facility-based care, he said.
"Patients are looking for a good quality outcome wherever they go, now it’s in the home. I think a lot of agencies that are short staffed maybe take shortcuts around that, but we put our quality outcomes as the top four or five key performance indicators for our business. We have to ensure that we're providing quality care."
This strategy, he added, is twofold as PurposeCare and other home health agencies provide care to dual-eligibility patients. This is why they focus on information about this demographic, such as the fact that patients' health can decline over time, they can develop a changing condition, and are susceptible to minor injuries like falls.
As the home health care sector continues to grow to meet the demand for aging services, there have been numerous announcements of home health agencies merging or being acquired by larger health systems or providers, a trend that Barrow attributes to business' need to scale.
Smaller organizations don't have access to the resources or clinicians that larger organizations do, so scaling up by either merging or selling an agency to a larger business, is a beneficial move.
PurposeCare has more than 20 home health agencies across four states, with more than 1,000 caregivers and clinicians providing care to about 3,100 patients each week.
"We have sophisticated electronic medical records, data systems, and we can hire and attract top talent because it's a big company," Barrow said. "We give a lot of flexibility to our clinicians, but we also provide them with the tools they to do a fantastic job, and I think that's harder to do in a small company."
“Patients are looking for a good quality outcome wherever they go, now it’s in the home. ”
Rob Barrow, COO, PurposeCare
Quality of care must be prioritized, regardless of an agency's size.
The trend of mergers and acquisitions in the home health sector is driven by the need for smaller agencies to scale up for access to more resources.