For the past decade, hospice providers have been investing heavily in modernizing their clinical systems, care pathways and staff technologies. However, most hospice providers are falling short when it comes to what really matters to those who make the ultimate decision on choice of provider and serve up hospice satisfaction scores – the hospice consumer. Today’s hospice consumer is the family caregiver or POA, increasingly a tech savvy daughter or son of the hospice patient.
We asked family caregivers about their satisfaction with hospice communication methods and how that impacts their responses on CAHPS surveys. We also asked family caregivers what their most important real-time communication needs are. The results may surprise you.
We found that despite using real-time communication modes like apps and instant messaging in most other areas of daily life, most family caregivers are limited by their hospice provider to phone, email and insecure text messages. This could be a big problem for the hospice provider, as it turns out these communication methods are negatively impacting CAHPS hospice survey results and heavily influencing choice of hospice provider.
What Do Family Caregivers Say?
- Only 43% of family caregivers report being very satisfied with their hospice providers when it comes to four publicly reported CAHPS survey questions.
- Over 90% of family caregivers reported that the hospice method of communication impacts four publicly reported CAHPS survey responses.
- 78% of family caregivers would choose a hospice that enables instant communication through computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
- 80% of family caregivers would give a hospice higher CAHPS scores if they enable instant communication through computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
The Time to Act Is Now.
The good news is that solving for these challenges is completely in a hospice provider’s control. Implementing a virtual patient care strategy that utilizes technology to specifically address the most important communication needs will have a dramatic positive impact on quality of care, family caregiver satisfaction and CAHPS survey results.
To gain a competitive advantage in the market and become the “preferred” choice for families referral sources, hospice providers need to invest in technologies that enable real-time family caregiver communication in the mode these caregivers prefer, including computer, tablet and smart phone.
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