Nov 30 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Byline: Terri Embry, RN, BSBA, Customer Success, CitusHealth
Home-based care is experiencing many shifts. Hospitals and facility-based care are shifting to the home, patient expectations are shifting to those of consumers, and fee-for-service is shifting to value-based care. As organizations evolve to adapt to these changes, they must navigate the staffing shortage and find creative ways to do more with less. Those that fail to do this are finding poor satisfaction among their patients and family caregivers — and it all comes down to communication.
According to a Porter Research study of 300 patients and family caregivers who experienced home healthcare in the last 12 months, providers are failing to meet growing expectations. In fact, 57% claimed providers need improvement on the five communication-related HHCAHPS survey questions:
60% of study participants said the method of communication played a major role in their HHCAHPS survey responses. So how can home-based care organizations streamline their communication to better connect with those they serve? A mobile messaging solution is the answer to breaking down communication barriers through secure, real-time collaboration.
Here are five ways the right digital communication tool can impact patient and family caregiver engagement, satisfaction scores, and growth:
1. Response times can be reduced.
Improved response times can be the difference in preventing an emergency room visit that was avoidable. By implementing communication solutions that route and escalate inbound patient and family caregiver communications to the right care team member, patient needs can be addressed on the first outreach — which increases the likelihood of solving a problem quickly. Timely communication also decreases anxiety for patients and their caregivers.
2. Consumers can be met where they are.
With an omni-channel communication strategy that delivers on what today’s tech-savvy consumers expect from home healthcare providers, patients and their family caregivers can be engaged in the mode they prefer. This includes smartphone apps, tablets and computers — just like other aspects of their lives. Often, the patient will have more than one person listed as their alternate contact, each with their own role to play in the patient’s plan of care. When you have a communication platform that allows the entire group to collaborate and be informed, through structured and non-structured messaging, the patient is better served.
3. Technology investments can be aligned with consumer needs.
Consumers identified seven priorities for communicating in real time through a smartphone, tablet or computer, which should be used as a roadmap for technology investments that improve patient and family caregiver satisfaction:
4. Real-time technology can be turned into a competitive advantage.
Once you implement a consumer-centric strategy that offers omni-channel communication, tell the world — including referral sources and prospective patients and families. Also, the ability to white label the technology can mean your brand is what your patients and referral sources will see when interacting with the technology.
5. Technology should integrate.
As you evaluate your technology options, look for a complete platform solution that solves these consumer needs and creates the efficiency of a seamless integration between each service.
The benefits of a digital patient experience
Patient engagement can mean different workflows for any company. For home health, these could include:
The value that can come from the right technology can not only better engage patients and family caregivers, but it can also help to reduce re-hospitalizations and reduce revenue at risk. Request a demo today to learn how CitusHealth can impact your organization’s satisfaction scores, engagement and growth.