NEW YORK (June 10, 2021)—Citus Health, a digital health solutions provider for the home-based care industry, announced the results of a brand-new research study conducted in conjunction with Porter Research that captures the voice of the home health care consumer—the patient and family caregiver.

In one of the more dramatic findings, nearly every patient and family caregiver surveyed would (1) choose one home health care provider over another, and (2) give that home health care provider higher ratings on the HHCAHPS survey if the home health care provider enabled real-time communication via smartphone, tablet or computer.

These home health care consumers claim that the most popular methods—phone, text and email—aren’t giving them the immediate response they need, and as a result 57% of survey respondents stated that home health care providers “need improvement” in five critical HHCAHPS survey categories that address provider communication.

“This research delivers the roadmap for home health care providers that want to enable a higher level of communication and increase patient and family caregiver satisfaction,” said Melissa Kozak, cofounder and president of Citus Health. “Just like in other aspects of their lives, home health care consumers demand real-time communication in the mode they prefer, whether it be on the smartphone, tablet or computer, and they will reward providers that deliver.”

The good news for home health care providers is that solving this communication problem is well within their control. Providers can improve the patient and family caregiver experience through real-time communication technology such as role-based auto-escalation algorithms for inbound communication and secure instant messaging.

“The Citus Health platform solution is designed to immediately address the most urgent patient and family caregiver needs through our automated role-based escalation protocols which means care teams can instantly receive and respond to urgent issues without playing phone tag or dealing with voicemail,” said Kozak. “Plus Citus Health is device agnostic; patients and family caregivers can access our entire secure, HIPAA-compliant platform through their smart phone, tablet or computer, and it can be done with or without an app download, depending on their preference.”

What do Home Health Care Consumers Say?

  • 95% of respondents said that communication responsiveness influenced their satisfaction with the home health care provider.
  • Only about 40% of respondents reported being fully satisfied with their home health care provider when it comes to responsiveness on five communications-oriented categories on the HHCAHPS survey.
  • Respondents reported that using phone, email and insecure text messages was 4-5X more likely to fail to produce an immediate response than a mobile phone app.
  • 96% of respondents reported that they would choose a home health care provider that uses real-time HHCAHPS survey scores.

Home health care providers that implement real-time communication technology that enables an immediate response to inbound communications will have a competitive advantage in the market as they become the “preferred” choice for patients and families and may ultimately receive higher HHCAHPS survey scores. Referral sources will recognize the higher HHCAHPS scores and have the assurance that the home health care provider is investing in patient and family caregiver satisfaction.

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