Mar 8 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By: Melissa Kozak, RN, Co-Founder, President, CitusHealth
Patients in home infusion, home health, and hospice settings, as well as those using specialty pharmacy, are getting care because they have a series of chronic illnesses or an acute illness. That kind of care can be a lot to navigate and it’s hard to coordinate that care with providers.
A day in the life of a caregiver.
Consider these challenges through the lens of a mother taking care of their sick child. She has a career, she needs to manage the household, and above all, she has a child who might need medication three to four times a day. They might need an IV, wound dressings, feeding tubes, etc. All of this is stressful on its own. Add in navigating insurance coverage, medication, supplies, physician orders, and clinician schedules—it’s not easy.
Multiple phone calls need to be made to coordinate all these elements of care, including trying to reach clinicians to answer urgent questions. It creates unnecessary friction to an already stressful process, but the right technology can help.
Technology needs a nurse’s point of view.
I started as a home infusion nurse in 2009 in New York City, seeing seven to eight patients in their homes each day, five days a week. And for many years, I answered phone calls in the evenings, on call four to five times per week. I was immersed in patient care. And from early on, the friction and challenges that came with delivering quality care and finding satisfaction as a clinician were glaringly obvious.
I was frustrated because I didn’t have the tools to provide what my patients needed. And patients were frustrated because their care was so disjointed.
An infusion alarm going off in the middle of the night, waking the patient and a spouse that needs to work the next day, is a great example of a simple question that needs an urgent response. They likely called an 800 number they were given, were directed to a call center, which tried to reach a nurse who was probably busy with another patient. This phone tag was a common occurrence. It caused stress, delayed care, and would ultimately end with the patient unplugging their machine out of frustration.
More than a decade later, these challenges are still relevant for patients and family caregivers who want more engagement and for organizations that lack the appropriate tools to help streamline communication.
Needing care is hard enough, so let’s not make getting care harder.
Caring for loved ones is already a stressful time, and there are things your organization may be doing that is making it even harder. Here are three things patients and family caregivers do not want when receiving care:
Lack of knowledge about their care.
Patients and family caregivers don’t want to be left in the dark about their care plan. Be sure to provide all the information they need to know including coverage, medications, and anything they need to be doing to ensure positive outcomes or a smooth process.
Dependance on clinicians for daily care needs.
Wound dressings, equipment operation, medication doses—when it comes to small, daily tasks, patients and family caregivers want the ability to participate in their care independently without the need to contact their clinician.
Constant reminders of their situation.
Patients and family caregivers don’t just want information and support. They also want the system to disappear between those two things. By having a digital solution that facilitates care coordination, they can access information and communicate seamlessly, without the daily hassle of phone tag acting as a constant reminder of their stressful situation.
With CitusHealth, organizations get a single digital platform to better engage patients and their caregivers—making high-quality care more accessible through a solution built for the unique challenges faced by these health settings.
We’d love to show you how CitusHealth is making care easier for patients and family caregivers. Schedule a demo with us today.