Improving communication in home-based care: A guide for providers

Improving communication in home-based care: A guide for providers

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As value-based care becomes mainstream and consumer expectations rise, effective communication between home-based care providers, patients and their families is crucial. It ensures that everyone involved feels understood, respected and engaged in the care process.

Even with advances in technology, many home-based providers still fall short of providing convenient, real-time communication. Studies have shown the impact this has on satisfaction across multiple care settings, including:

  • 96% of home health patients and family caregivers would be more likely to choose a home health agency (HHA) that communicates in real time through mobile phone, tablet or computer. Access the white paper
  • 98% of home infusion patients said their pharmacy’s method of communication plays a role in their level of satisfaction. Access the white paper
  • 91% of hospice caregivers said the method(s) of communication have an influence on overall satisfaction with their hospice provider. Access the white paper

With these significant stats in mind, let’s look at ways to improve and enhance communication, while also ensuring that care is coordinated, clear and compassionate.

Reduce response times
Improving communication and reducing response times can greatly enhance the quality of care and satisfaction.

Secure, real-time messaging tools, such as CitusHealth, enable two-way communication between providers, patients and family caregivers. This allows for quick exchanges of information, immediate intervention, and prompt updates on patient status.

Automated message routing and escalation

This innovative feature can automatically escalate inbound patient and family caregiver messages and route them to the appropriate care team member through secure messaging, phone or video chat. This allows patient needs to be addressed on the first outreach, increasing the likelihood of solving a problem quickly and driving early intervention.

Video chat

Video chat, or video conferencing, allows providers to evaluative care more immediately so they can provide diagnoses and treatment plans more quickly than an in-person visit. This tool also saves time and costs  for both the provider and patient.

Benefits include:

  • Reduction in cost of care
  • Ad-hoc situational assessments
  • Faster resolutions
  • Fewer avoidable readmissions
  • Decreased patient and family caregiver anxiety

Establish communication preferences
An omni-channel communication strategy can help meet consumer expectations of home healthcare providers. Learn each patient’s communication preferences during the admission process so you can connect with them the way they prefer, increasing their engagement rate.

Automatic language translation

Communicating in a patient’s preferred language has many benefits, ranging from proper education to improved adherence and higher quality of care. CitusHealth uses automatic language translation to accommodate users with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Digital assessments

More than likely, your routine health or medication check-ins are currently conducted via phone calls–which include voicemails and call-backs. Digital assessments can streamline this process for patients and caregivers, while also making it more efficient and compliant for staff. These customized forms can improve communication workflows throughout the entire patient journey, from admission to discharge and beyond.

Learn more about digital form workflows for hospice providers and specialty pharmacies.

Educate and empower

Don’t underestimate the power of education. Use it to empower your patients in their care journey with resources that are accessible any time, from nearly any device. On-demand, digital resources are more convenient for patients to access from their phone or computer and more efficient for staff to update and distribute.

A study by the University of Michigan suggests that post-acute patients desperately need better education, especially as they transition into the home. The study revealed that:

  • 90% of patients were confident they could remember details from their patient stay.
  • Less than 60% of patients could accurately remember the diagnoses addressed during their inpatient stay.
  • Less than 45% of patients could remember medication changes that happened during their inpatient stay.

The next step

The demands on home-based care providers require fast response times, preferred communication methods, and improved education – all while providing high quality care. Schedule a CitusHealth demo to learn how our modern approach to communication improves overall operations and satisfaction.


Terri Embry
Terri Embry
RN, BSBA, Vice President of Customer Success, CitusHealth

A registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing, Terri’s career has spanned almost three decades in regional and national home, specialty and long-term care infusion operations, sales, and informatics leadership. Her experience with cutting-edge workflow optimization has allowed her to understand the challenges both customers and their patients face. With CitusHealth, she leads the adoption and retention team helping to bring the voice of customers to the product development roadmap.

Terri has been in leadership, sales, and nursing roles for companies such as BioScrip, Omnicare, and Olsten-Kimberly Quality Care.