Client experience with listening

How clients rated how home care staff listened to their wishes and needs. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does listening to home care clients matter?
  • How might this information be used to inform Continuing Care Health Service Standards 1.0, and/or related sub-standards?
  • Are there differences between zones? Between mainly rural and urban zones? What factors could account for these differences?

Whether you’re a client, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “client experience with listening”

In a survey conducted from October 2018 to March 2019, the HQCA asked clients receiving home care:

In the last year, professional/personal home care staff listened carefully to my wishes and needs….

Clients could choose “Yes / Partly / No,” and the menu on the left-hand side of the chart above allows for the review of professional and personal home care staff results.

From the HQCA survey results, how clients felt they were treated by home care staff and the interpersonal relationships they have with staff (relational care) is one of the strongest drivers of overall client experience. Listening is an important element of relationship building.

Considerations when viewing the results:

This data reflects the experiences of seniors aged 65+ receiving long term supportive and maintenance care and are among the largest groups of home care clients.

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve client experiences with staff listening to their wishes and needs. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • How do home care clients define careful listening?
  • How can listening to the client’s wishes and needs impact quality, person-centered, and safe care?
  • What makes it easy or difficult for home care staff to listen to the wishes and needs of clients? How might this vary for professional and personal home care staff?
  • Time, language, and learning style (e.g., visual, auditory, tactile) could be potential barriers to home care professional or personal staff listening carefully to a client’s wishes and needs. What other barriers might exist? How can these barriers be overcome?
  • When listening to clients, what are some effective and engaging ways to respond that indicate effective listening?
  • When a client’s wishes and needs are beyond the scope of their care plan or the home care program, how can professional or personal home care staff respond appropriately and still demonstrate they are listening carefully?

For information about the HQCA’s Alberta Seniors Home Care Client Survey, please visit the HQCA website.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess home care’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
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Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety