Navigating digital transformation in home health and hospice: Best practices for success

Navigating digital transformation in home health and hospice: Best practices for success

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Digital transformation is reshaping the landscape of patient care across the home-based care industry, including home health, hospice and palliative care settings. As the demand for these care services continues to rise, fueled by an aging population and patient preference, adopting digital solutions is becoming imperative so providers can be efficient, meet patient demands and ensure long-term sustainability.

Navigating digital transformation can be complex without the proper guidance. Here are some best practices to get you started on your journey:

Assess your current state

Before taking on any digital transformation initiative, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your current infrastructure, processes, and capabilities. Ask your team the following questions to help identify pain points, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement.

  • Do we need to stabilize our operations?
  • Do we need repeatable processes with more control over outcomes?
  • Do we need data that we can track, analyze, and report on to improve decision making?
  • Do we need to reduce time spent on documentation after hours?
  • Do we need faster, more convenient ways to communicate with patients and family caregivers?

Establish SMART goals

Based on your assessment, the next step is to establish SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. These parameters help provide clear expectations of the overall objective. Whether it’s reducing readmission rates, improving clinician satisfaction or streamlining administrative tasks, having well-defined objectives will guide your digital transformation efforts.

SMART goal examples:

  • Transform the admission process to paperless within 18 months to save administrative cost and time by digitizing all onboarding documents and forms.
  • Reduce reminder phone calls to patients by 50% within 12 months by using automated messaging reminders.

By understanding how your goal will affect the everyday lives of staff and patients, team members become more interested in working toward those positive results.

Engage stakeholders

Digital transformation involves more than just implementing new technology; it requires a cultural shift within the organization. Engage stakeholders across all levels–from frontline staff to senior leadership–to ensure buy-in and collaboration. Solicit feedback, address concerns and involve end-users in the decision-making process. Creating a culture of innovation and openness to change is essential for successful adoption of digital solutions.

two healthcare professionals work at laptop together

Select the right technology partners

With an increasing number of digital solutions available in the market, it’s important to ensure you evaluate vendors that understand and align with your goals.

  • Do they have healthcare expertise? Clinical expertise allows for a more cohesive relationship because the vendor understands your needs first-hand.
  • Are solutions designed to be HIPAA compliant and SOC 2 certified? Data security should be a top priority to protect your organization.
  • Is the software scalable as your organization grows? Find out if the vendor can accommodate the growth of your census, sites, business line expansions, and other future developments.
  • Does it integrate with your current EHR? Seamless integration reduces duplicate entry and saves time for staff.
  • Is the software user-friendly? Consider whether tasks such as creating a form, videochatting and managing users are simple and easy to train.
  • What resources are available to customers when they need help or need to train new employees? Ensure the vendor offers designated support personnel (such as a customer success manager), provides easy-to-access troubleshooting and user guides, and holds regular trainings for new employees.

Prioritize interoperability

Seamless exchange of data across different systems is essential for providing coordinated, high-quality care. Prioritize interoperability when selecting digital solutions to ensure compatibility with existing systems as well as future scalability. Adopt standardized data exchange protocols and participate in health information exchanges (HIEs) to facilitate communication and data sharing with other healthcare providers.

Embrace the journey

Digital transformation is an ongoing journey, not a one-time event. Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of digital solutions against predefined metrics and goals. Solicit feedback from stakeholders and end-users to identify areas for improvement and opportunities for innovation. Embrace a culture of continuous learning and adaptation to stay ahead of evolving technology trends and changing healthcare landscapes.

Schedule a demo with CitusHealth to learn more about how home-based care providers can navigate the complexities of digital transformation successfully and deliver high-quality, patient-centered care in the digital age.

Valerie Deming
Valerie Deming

With 28 years in healthcare, including a decade in project management, Valerie Deming understands the value of elevating the patient and staff experience through technology. Her credentials include AAS in Respiratory Therapy, BS in Education, Health Information Management certification, Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certification, PMP certification from Project Management Institute, and CAHIMS certification from HIMSS. Valerie lives in Upstate New York with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys golfing, camping, and all things crafty.