Top 5 ways to improve communication with patients and their families

Top 5 ways to improve communication with patients and their families

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By: Terri Embry, RN, BSBA, Customer Success, CitusHealth

As the home-based care industry shifts toward value-based care and patients and families have growing consumer expectations on their providers, organizations must adopt new strategies for engaging and communicating with those they serve. Patients and their families are increasingly expecting real-time communication via smart phones, tablets, or computers—can your organization meet these demands?

Here are the top five ways to improve communication with patients and their families, which can lead to improved operations and satisfaction.

Reduce your response times.
By implementing solutions that automatically escalate inbound patient and family caregiver communication to the right care team member via secure messaging, phone, or video chat—patient needs can be addressed on the first outreach, increasing the likelihood of solving a problem quickly and driving early intervention.

Auto-escalation is a powerful tool for all communication channels, but video chat helps to:

  • Reduce cost of care
  • Ad-hoc situational assessments
  • Quicken resolution
  • Avoid readmission
  • Reduce patient and family anxiety
  • Assist a less experienced staff member

Decide to meet customers where they are.
Develop an omni-channel communication strategy that delivers on what today’s tech-savvy consumers expect from home healthcare providers—to engage them in the mode they prefer, including smart phone app, tablet, and computer—just like every other aspect of their lives.

Align technology investments with consumer needs.
As consumers, we all understand the preference to communicate via smart phone, tablet, or computer. These are the devices we use every day, in every facet of our lives, to engage and be engaged in real time. But there are many other reasons consumers in healthcare prefer omni-channel communication, which include:

  • Initiating a group chat with care team members to answer questions
  • Participating in a telehealth video session with nurses, therapists, or physicians
  • Knowing about schedule changes for nurses, therapists, or aide visits
  • Coordinating the delivery of medication and/or equipment
  • Receiving prompt responses to urgent questions
  • Receiving educational information or training for patients and caregivers
  • Receiving and signing paperwork

Providers should choose technology that communicates with patients and families on their terms—ultimately making deeper connections and improving satisfaction.

Turn your real-time technology into a competitive advantage.
Referral sources and prospective patients and families are demanding consumer-centric strategies that offer omni-channel communication. When you implement those strategies, don’t shy away from using that competitive edge to your advantage. Tell the world you’re listening and that you’re prioritizing the patient and family experience. 

Ensure your technology integrates.
As you evaluate your technology options, look for a complete end-to-end solution that solves these consumer needs and creates the efficiency of a seamless integration between each service. Also ensure that your technology vendor supports your organization from the initial onboarding to continuing implementations. As your needs change or your business grows, your solution should accommodate your ever-changing operation.

The demands on home-based care providers today require creative strategies for engaging patients and their families. 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.