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6 strategies to improve your client-centered care

Dec 11, 2023 · 6 minutes to read

For home care businesses, clients are at the center of what you do. Building strong relationships with your patients is essential. Not only does it help keep patients happy, but it can also help you grow your business and make it a success.

Homecarer preparing lunch for elderly woman

Here are six ways to build strong relationships in home care settings that can benefit your business and your clients.

Why is the patient-carer relationship so important?

Building positive relationships in your home care business could help foster your success in many ways, including:

Better patient outcomes – Relationships where patients feel listened to and respected by their home health team can lead to faster recovery and increased wellbeing.

Business growth – Happy clients may be more likely to recommend your home care business to others. These referrals could become a way to grow your business.

Avoiding claims and lawsuits – Dissatisfied clients (or families) can lead to negligence claims. Positive patient-carer relationships may help you avoid frivolous lawsuits that could cost you thousands.

6 Ways to improve your patient-carer relationships

So, how can home care businesses build relationships with their clients that benefit everyone involved? Here are six caregiver tips to help improve the patient-carer relationships in your business:

1. Put your patients first

Without patients, your home care business won’t last long! Putting their care and wellbeing first can help them feel respected and safe while working with you or your staff. This applies every time you interact—from initial contact to daily care activities.

Ways to put your patients first:

  • Hire adequate staff to avoid staffing issues or long response wait times.
  • Provide staff with proper personal protective equipment to show that you value safety.
  • Encourage clients to provide feedback or lodge complaints about their care.
  • Respect patient privacy and take steps to secure your computer systems against breaches.

2. Hire the right types of people

Not everyone is cut out to be a personal carer or home health aide. Those with a true passion for caring will put that enthusiasm into everything they do. They may find ways to provide patients with better and more efficient care that improves each client’s wellbeing and benefits your business.

Excellent carers tend to be:

  • Empathetic
  • Clear communicators and active listeners
  • Positive and have a good sense of humor
  • Creative thinkers and problem solvers
  • Good with conflict resolution

3. Provide ongoing training

Carers who are confident in their on-the-job skills are likely to provide better care and build strong relationships with their patients. In turn, clients feel more comfortable being cared for by someone with the necessary skills and knowledge. This shared trust is the basis for many strong patient-carer relationships.

Ongoing training to consider in your home care business includes:

  • Business policy reviews and updates
  • Patient safety and carer skills refreshers
  • CPR, first aid and other required certifications
  • Changes to relevant laws and regulations in your area

4. Set clear expectations

Misunderstandings are often the cause of poor patient-carer relationships. Ensuring that clients and their families are clear on your business responsibilities can help you set clear expectations from day one.

Establish expectations by:

  • Include a breakdown of available services on your website (and update it when there are changes to your business)
  • Writing clear contracts that patients must sign before delivery of your services
  • Following up patient calls or conversations with written notes by email

5. Improve communication and transparency

The internet continues to revolutionize the home care industry. Patients want more ownership over their care plans and data. They may also expect to be connected to your business 24/7, every day of the year.

Ways to improve communication and transparency:

  • Hire enough office staff to field client calls, emails and messages in a timely manner.
  • Consider using apps to track patient care and outcomes that are accessible to clients and other healthcare professionals.
  • Make it easy for clients and their families to contact your business through a variety of methods (phone, email, text, messaging apps, etc.).

6. Ask for patient feedback

Every client is different, with their own care requirements, personalities, and expectations. Getting feedback from each patient on an ongoing basis may help you identify issues before they become a problem. It can also help you tailor care plans and build the relationship between a client and their home care team.

Ways to get feedback from clients:

  • Run patient surveys by email, phone, or printed versions periodically (i.e., monthly or quarterly).
  • Ask carers to report back client comments or complaints that are shared while they are working with patients.

What if a patient-carer relationship breaks down?

While you may strive to provide excellent service every day, there might be times when you miss the mark. Unfortunately, one bad experience can ruin a patient-carer relationship. That’s why many home care businesses have an insurance safety net.

Professional Liability, a type of home healthcare insurance, can be especially useful for home care businesses. Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, this type of policy protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentations, or mistakes. Professional Liability claims are typically made by clients who allege some form of financial damage as a result of your services, products or employees.

A negligence lawsuit can be devastating for a home care business. Even if you are not at fault, defending your business and reputation against a claim can be expensive. But Professional Liability insurance can help you shoulder the cost of legal fees so you can avoid dipping into your business accounts or savings.

Protecting your home care business

Professional Liability insurance can help you manage costs should relationships in your home care business between staff and clients turn sour. And with BizInsure, you can get covered in minutes!

Compare Professional Liability policies online or over the phone and choose coverage that fits your home care business needs. You can also sort other essential coverage—General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, and a Business Owner’s Policy—at the same time.

Protect your home care business instantly today with BizInsure!

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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