The Benefits of Patient-Engagement Tech in Hospice Today

This article is sponsored by CitusHealth. Real-time, secure communication between patients, their families and the entire care team can be game-changing for a hospice provider.

The ability to send and receive information about a patient’s care journey, whether it’s through texts, calls or video, ensures there are no gaps in care and keeps key stakeholders on the same page. That, in turn, can improve patient outcomes and boost overall satisfaction, according to Jackie Owen RN, BSN, a post-acute care nursing veteran and a clinical product specialist with patient engagement platform CitusHealth.

“[It] allows for patients and their caregivers to access as well as collaborate as a team with a patient delivery system that is seamless in communication,” Owen said during a recent appearance on the Hospice News ELEVATE podcast.


CitusHealth offers real-time, secure messaging solutions ensuring care team coordination and patient-family engagement. Broadly, its technology helps support HIPAA-compliance and lets patients and families connect directly with RNs, back-office staff members and other pivotal parties.

“Families can engage with the care team of the patient, which is crucial,” said Owen, who has been a nurse for 15 years and was previously a CitusHealth customer herself. “If you have family members who are out of state or hard to reach, they can be engaged and pulled into these conversations by utilizing our platform.”

The power of a strong patient-engagement strategy is in the numbers.


Roughly 96% of patients and families will pick one provider over another if that provider offers real-time communication technology through a smartphone, tablet or computer, according to Own, citing internal CitusHealth statistics.

“The proof’s in the numbers,” she said.

Minimizing care gaps is especially important in the current hospice environment, which is shifting toward value-based care and alternative payment models. One of the best examples of that trend is the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) demonstration’s Medicare Advantage (MA) carve-in for hospice.

By using the CitusHealth platform, patients and families can immediately get answers to urgent or emergent questions, perhaps preventing a catastrophic health event.

“By talking and by being able to have … video chat capabilities between patients, caregivers, RNs, their direct team, that alleviates pain points such as schedule changes, coordination of equipment and delivery,” Owen said. “[It also helps by] being able to receive, sign and send paperwork electronically. You can have an immediate response to an emergent or urgent question.”

Meanwhile, Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey scores for hospice providers are inherently tied to patient and family satisfaction.

CAHPS measures, for instance, include: Communication with Family, Getting Timely Help, Treating Patient with Respect, Emotional and Spiritual Support, Training Family to Care for Patient, among others.

CitusHealth also assists with the training point, Owen explained during her ELEVATE conversation with Hospice News.

“You can also receive educational information or training about a patient’s condition,” she said.

Lastly, CitusHealth’s real-time, secure patient-engagement platform allows patients and families to better organize and access important records. Instead of having to hunt around for key documents, everything is digitally stored in a one-stop-shop.

“​​You name it,” Owen said. “It’s already stored there.”

CitusHealth is a team of former clinicians, nurses, technology gurus and care providers working together to transform the way health care is delivered in the home and other non-acute care settings. To learn more, visit

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