Study: Most home health patients experience avoidable hospital visits

Study: Most home health patients experience avoidable hospital visits

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Patient engagement is currently a crucial topic in home health. And rightfully so — it makes sense that better engagement between the care provider and the care receiver results in better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.

Despite the importance of patient engagement, a new home health consumer study reveals that most agencies are falling short when it comes to engaging effectively with patients and family caregivers.

Let’s explore the financial impact of this shortfall, which is substantial.

The current state of patient communications

Home health agencies are still highly dependent on outdated communication methods for engaging with patients and family caregivers, according to a previous study of 300 home health and hospice provider organizations:

  • Phone calls often result in voicemails and lengthy games of phone tag.
  • Agency staff often struggle to monitor and respond to patient portal messages, leaving any urgent messages unread.
  • Text messaging has emerged as a growing communication channel across all post-acute care sectors, but there are many data security concerns.
  • Only 20-21% of emails typically get opened.

Better understanding the impact of patient engagement

This study had the goal of helping home health agency leaders better understand the impact true patient engagement can play when it comes to patient/caregiver satisfaction, avoidance of costly complications, and growing patient census.

These numbers paint a clear picture of why patient and family caregiver satisfaction levels have dropped. In 2020, 57% of patients and family caregivers were less than fully satisfied, compared to 73% in 2023.

The far-reaching impact of ineffective patient engagement

Avoidable hospital visits and other costly complications that occur when care teams, patients, and family caregivers are not tightly connected make patient engagement solutions a must-have for home health agencies.

But when agencies lack the ability to stay connected with patients and family caregivers in real time, they also lose the opportunity to meet patients’ needs, discover new operational efficiencies, and grow the patient population.

Talk to a CitusHealth expert to learn how our digital tools can keep you more connected to patients.



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