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Conduct Mystery Shops in Home Health Care

Mystery shops can not only help home health care providers ensure that patients are pleased with the level of care they are receiving, but they can also help to ensure that the service is in compliance with state licensing and operations requirements, ultimately preventing potentially dangerous — and costly — compliance issues.

In 2008, a well-known medical association endorsed mystery shops as a way to improve patient care. Here is what they said: “Physicians have an ethical responsibility to engage in activities that contribute to continual improvements in patient care. One method for promoting such quality improvement is through the use of secret shopper ‘patients’ who have been appropriately trained to provide feedback about physician performance in the clinical setting.”

When it comes to evaluating a home health care agency, mystery shops can provide invaluable feedback from a patients’ perspective. Mystery shops for home health care agencies will not just evaluate the level customer service that the agency provides; rather, it will evaluate every client facing aspect of the business. There are plenty of obstacles that can affect patient satisfaction with home health care agencies, such as scheduling issues, brusque staff, lack of communication and confusing paperwork.

Mystery shops will also focus on the home health care agency’s staff. Whether a certified nursing assistant or a registered nurse, the primary function of a home health care agency’s staff is to make sure that patients are happy, comfortable and feeling supported not only physically, but also emotionally. The success of a home health care agency is dependent on customer satisfaction; if patients are not happy with the level of service they are receiving, they will go elsewhere.

Mystery shops for health care services will also take into account the agency’s handling and measurement of customer concerns. Unlike other companies and organizations, home healthcare services are legally required by the state licensing agencies to document customer concerns. Mystery shops can provide insight that aids home healthcare services in identifying problem areas early, allowing them to respond appropriately to make sure small problems do not become large incidents.

It is important to remember to continually re-evaluate a home healthcare agency’s customer experience management plan by conducting mystery shopping audits. Not only can these be extremely helpful in gauging the success of your plan as they provide insight from the customer’s perspective, but they can also help identify potential compliance issues before they arise.

Home health care agencies can glean plenty of useful data from mystery shops. By analyzing the results of the mystery shops, an office can start implementing some changes to their approach to customer service. By getting insight into the patient’s perspective, home health care agencies can proactively make the necessary changes to give patients the best medical care possible.