If you want to retain your client base and reduce churn, you need happy clients. But keeping your clients happy has an added benefit. Satisfied clients become passionate advocates who weave the threads of your reputation. Their contentment not only keeps them loyal but transforms them into ardent promoters, spreading the word about your services within their circle of family and friends. 

A recent paper published in the Gerontologist by Taylor I. Bucy et al. sheds light on the need to understand consumer, provider, and stakeholder satisfaction with Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to assess its quality. In this blog post, we’ll delve into their key findings regarding client satisfaction and discuss actionable strategies homecare providers can take to retain their clients. 

Key Drivers of Client Satisfaction: A Statistical Lens 

The researchers conducted a scoping review spanning 21 years of research. After analyzing countless studies on this topic, they identified a range of factors influencing client satisfaction with HCBS. 

Clients Want Consistent, Reliable, and Respectful Care Providers:  

Multiple studies found that homecare clients who were satisfied with their care also expressed that their paid caregivers demonstrated consistency, reliability, and respect. While this shouldn’t come as a shock, it’s a testament to the fact that above all, clients’ main concern is that they get the care they need, when it’s needed. 

Mistreatment of Consumers and Staff Turnover Had a Major Impact:  

Conversely, the factors that affected client dissatisfaction the most were lack of professionalism, specifically caregivers who showed up late, or didn’t arrive at all, and caregivers who didn’t listen to their clients’ requests.  

Clients were also upset when there was high caregiver turnover. When there weren’t enough caregivers available, their needs were left unmet.  

Clients Prefer a Diverse Workforce:  

Two studies in the review found that the lack of diversity in the HCBS workforce contributed to dissatisfaction with services. HCBS waivers serve a diverse population, from various cultures. Having a diverse workforce can help meet the needs of this population. 

Adoption of Person-Centered Models Were Well-Received: 

According to CMS, the person-centered care model is all about honoring the individual and their goals, values, and preferences. It’s a care model that supports good provider-patient communication and empowers the individuals receiving care and their providers to make effective care plans together.  

According to the review done by Taylor I. Bucy et al., person-centered care was consistently a big driver of client satisfaction. HCBS consumers preferred to choose whom they spent time with, and the level of family involvement, privacy, and agency over how they spend their day.  

The review also found that self-directed care reduced unmet needs and allowed clients to consume the quantity and frequency of personal care services that best supported their needs. 

Training Gaps Create Unhappy Clients:  

Unmet functional needs (activities of daily living/instrumental activities of daily living) were associated with poor satisfaction. This is why it should come as no surprise that clients who experienced under-trained caregivers reported being dissatisfied with their care. When a client doesn’t feel as though they’re getting good quality care because their caregiver doesn’t know how to care for them, they’ll be unhappy. This highlights the need for consistent and well-trained care teams.  

Their Own Health Can Lead to Dissatisfaction: 

Individual health and functioning also play a role in service satisfaction, with differences by age group. Younger consumers with significant health problems were less satisfied with services, while adults who suffered from incontinence were more dissatisfied.  

Practical Strategies for Homecare Providers: Translating Statistics into Action 

Understanding the results of these studies is one thing, but how do you take this information and transform it into actionable strategies that’ll move the needle when it comes to your client retention? Explore these steps you can take to elevate the quality of care you provide and keep your clients happy. 

Invest in Training and Support for Caregivers: 

One of the best things you can do to improve your client satisfaction is implement a robust caregiver training program. Give your caregivers the tools they need to successfully meet your clients’ needs. That means going beyond required training and offering them courses on specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Not only does upskilling your caregivers improve the quality of care they provide to your clients, but it’s also been shown to improve caregiver retention.  

Through HHAeXchange’s Partner Connect program, agencies can access integrated cutting-edge eLearning technologies such as Showd.me and Nevvon.  

Adopt Person-Centered Care Models: 

Tailor your services to the individual client’s needs. If your agency is looking to provide care to self-directing individuals, you will need to follow the following guidelines: 

  • Person-Centered Planning Process– The individual participant must direct the process with assistance as requested from representatives of the individual’s choosing.  
  • Service Plan– There must be a written service plan that specifies the services and supports required to meet the preferences, choices, abilities, and needs of the individual, as well as a plan for contingencies.  
  • Support Broker– A support broker (also called a counselor, consultant or service coordinator) can be made available to the self–directing individual. This person supports them in directing their services and maximizes their success in the program.  
  • Financial Management Services (FMS): This function is required by CMS and supports the participant and payer. FMS helps individuals hire employees in compliance with rules and regulations, acts as powerful fraud detection and control, supports documentation requirements, and performs payroll and other administrative duties.  

Ensure Consistency and Reliability: 

Minimize staff turnover by creating a positive work environment and following caregiver retention best practices like supplying caregiver rewards, training, and benefits. 

It’s also important that you prevent service interruptions. Using a scheduling tool and taking advantage of features like case broadcasting will allow you to quickly fill last minute shift openings. 

Further, ensuring your caregivers are clocking in and out using electronic visit verification will give you oversight into any late or missed shifts and allow you to rectify that before it threatens your clients’ satisfaction with their services. 

Enhance Communication and Transparency: 

Regularly seek feedback from your clients and caregivers to identify specific areas for improvement. Consider having a designated member of your team who reaches out to clients and their families to check in on how they feel about the care they’re receiving. This type of proactive engagement will establish your agency as one that values client experience. 

Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion: 

Building a diverse workforce with various language and cultural competencies can be difficult during a caregiver shortage. Yet, there are steps you can take to improve your recruitment process and get more applicants. We cover these strategies, like how to create a great job posting, and how to get more referrals in our Guide to Recruiting High-Quality Caregivers

We also recommend using a caregiver-patient matching tool to automatically match caregivers and clients based on important preferences such as spoken language. 

Implement Value-Based Care Initiatives: 

While you may not be able to fix your clients’ chronic health conditions, there are things you can do to improve their health outcomes. A value-based care solution like the HHAeXchange Care Insights tool allows caregivers to gather real-time clinical data and make client observations directly at the point of care. This makes it easier for agencies to track the early warning signs of readmission and be more proactive in the care of their members.  

When clients are healthier and able to spend more time out of the hospital, they will be more satisfied with their care. 

Achieving Success through Client Satisfaction 

In the world of homecare, success boils down to one thing: happy and safe clients. By focusing on practical strategies like robust caregiver training, personalized care models, reliability, open communication, diversity, and value-based initiatives, providers can not only retain clients but also elevate their reputation. These aren’t just checkboxes; they’re the keys to creating homes where clients aren’t just satisfied but genuinely delighted. It’s a straightforward path — prioritize client satisfaction, and success will follow. 

To learn more about how HHAeXchange can help you improve your client satisfaction, request a demo today!