May 19 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By: Melissa Kozak, RN, BSN, President & Co-Founder, CitusHealth
When we think of patients and caregivers within healthcare, we don’t often think of them as consumers. But the reality is that, even though they have serious needs involving their health and wellbeing, they have the same consumer expectations as they would for any other product or service.
The pandemic is largely responsible for this shift. During COVID-19, people couldn’t do normal, everyday things like physically visit a doctor’s office or visit family members at home due to potential risks for exposure. Society had no choice but to embrace technology for every aspect of life—including virtual healthcare appointments. These changes worked well and brought significant convenience to daily tasks. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, it’s difficult to go back to an inconvenient way of doing things.
Let’s consider other consumer-facing industries that have helped define expectations for the consumer experience—and how CitusHealth can help home-based care organizations meet them.
The pizza tracker: Defining expectations for tracking the home-based care journey
For anyone who has ordered a pizza online, you know that you never have to wonder where it is or when it’s going to arrive. Pizza trackers give consumers a real-time view of the exact stage their pie is in—and how long until it’s delivered to their door. So it begs the question: If companies can help us track something as insignificant as pizza, why can’t we do the same in healthcare?
Patients and family caregivers expect the same level of insight into every aspect of their care. Where are their expensive medications, their medical equipment, or even their care team? Technology should track that information to give patients and families a real-time view of where they are in their care journey and where they’re going.
With CitusHealth, patients get notifications when their shipment is being prepped, when it’s left the warehouse, and when it’s arrived. They can also access their tracking number. If they want to know when their nurse is coming, they can send a secure message and coordinate that visit. Patients can access self-service forms and answer assessment questions needed for their provider to process their next shipment rather than playing phone tag with the provider to get routine questions answered.
Mobile banking and airlines: Defining expectations for self-service in home-based care
When is the last time you went inside a bank or up to the check-in counter at an airport? For most people, those are things of the past thanks to technology that provides self-service options to consumers. Banking apps allow mobile deposits and transfers, and airline apps allow mobile ticketing and check-ins. The result is a world of consumers who have discovered the convenience of doing things themselves.
By giving patients and family caregivers the tools they need to self-service, they no longer rely on care teams to respond. CitusHealth allows patients and family caregivers to order supplies, make notes about how their therapies are being tolerated, or access on-demand education materials about their care—all from one simple platform that integrates into the system of record. And if they do need to contact their care team, secure messaging can be auto-routed and escalated to ensure timely responses.
Retail apps: Defining expectations for optionality in home-based care
Thankfully with the peak of the pandemic behind us, we can now physically shop at stores if we choose to do so. But we also still have the choice for mobile ordering, thanks to retail apps like Amazon and Instacart. As consumers, we’re no longer at the mercy of having time to shop—and the same is now true for healthcare.
Instead of having to rely on office hours to communicate with providers or to travel to appointments, CitusHealth makes it possible for patients and family caregivers to securely message their care team and to receive virtual care. This optionality for care and communication empowers patients and families to participate and adhere to their care plans.
Is your organization prioritizing the consumer experience? There’s plenty to learn from other consumer-facing industries and CitusHealth can help you meet the changing expectations among patients and family caregivers. Schedule a demo today to see for yourself how we can help home-based care providers offer a better consumer experience.