By Ivan Moore, Jolt Consulting
Organizations providing patient care at a remote location (e.g., patient home, nursing facility, etc.) with a mobile caregiver workforce have a Business to Customer (B2C) model. While the highest priority is the actual care provided to improve the patient’s health, the patient experience (PX) should also be at the forefront of these care providers’ strategies. As patients interact with other companies in their personal lives (e.g., Amazon, Uber, any home grocery curbside pick-up/delivery, etc.), they have come to expect the same easy and positive experience, regardless of company.
The U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services developed the Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey in 2016 to evaluate patients’ experiences with home health agencies. The HHCAHPS collects patient (or their family or friends’) feedback regarding the quality of care and their experience enabling comparisons among all home health agencies. Patients can search and compare home health agency ratings on the Medicare.gov website to inform their decision when selecting a care provider. The HHCAHPS asks patients a series of questions of how well the company communicated with the patient and asks an overarching Net Promoter type question: “Would you recommend the home health agency to friends and family?”
Patient Experience Considerations
Every patient interaction is an opportunity to positively influence PX. Although many care providers mean well, they may not provide the patient with a frictionless experience; in other words, they inadvertently create roadblocks that impede the patient from easily interacting with the organization.
For example, how many times have you been asked to enter an account or phone number via an automated attendant with the promise of “quickly getting you to the right place,” only to be asked the very same information when you reach a human? This is an example of a process filled with friction that frustrates us all. It started with the best of intentions – streamline the process to reduce call times, yet in reality, has failed miserably because of a disconnect between technology and process that ends up degrading the patient experience. That’s why care provider organizations must view business processes and the supporting technology through the lens of the patient and focus on improving PX.
Some of the trends leading care providers are focusing their efforts on to improve PX are:
- Digital Channels: Care providers are increasing the number of channels the patient can interact with the company (e.g., text, chat, email, etc.). There is also increasing use of patient communities or portals by which the patient can request care, view available time slots, book appointments, and view care history.
- Real-Time Appointment Booking: With a patient on the traditional phone channel, the ability for the care operations teams to book an appointment time slot in real-time that also optimizes mobile care resource schedules.
- Patient Updates and Notifications: Automatically notifying patients based upon mobile care visit status changes (e.g., a reminder of your appointment next Tuesday at 2 p.m., your mobile care resource is en-route, arrived, etc.).
- Access to Health Information: The ability of the patient to access their health information, typically via a community/portal or a mobile-based application.
The Patient Experience is becoming more and more important for home health providers as patients have increasing expectation levels when interacting with these care providers. A patient’s experience from other service-based companies is influencing how they desire to interact with home health providers. With home healthcare providers serving over 4.4 million patients and rising, adopting new processes and technology to create an improved PX should be a core part of a care provider organization’s strategy to separate themselves from others in a highly competitive industry.
About The Author
Ivan joined Jolt in 2013 as Chief Operating Officer working with organizations to better connect with their customers across the complete sales and service journey. Ivan has assisted companies across many industry verticals to improve their customer engagement with assessments of their sales and service delivery, optimization of business processes, operating metrics, and deployment of enabling technologies. Recent engagement includes a process and technology assessment for a global manufacturing company and leading a technology selection process for a large national HVAC company.
·Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced
- National Center for Health Statistics