Often, an HME/DME provider will miss contacting and working with a client’s family caregiver.
Who is the family caregiver? Is it the patient’s child? It may be a brother, a sister, or a hired professional. There is always someone who cares, and when you identify who this is you become an important asset to them. Obviously this has many benefits for you! It is perfectly acceptable to tell a customer that you need to know if there is a special person to contact “in case of an emergency.”
The family caregivers worry about their patients and understand they do not wish to be institutionalized. But they also do not want the patient to live alone in their home. However, they will seek any comfort items that will help their relative. You know the patient, whether bed-ridden, a senior citizen, or suffering from any ailment and now you will be aware of the family caregiver.
Many dealers send an e-mail to the caregiver whenever they have a transaction. Over the years, I have found there is nothing that can be as effective as working with the patients and family caregivers.
What is an extra reward is when the caregivers become your friend. They show their appreciation in many different ways. The patient’s physician, nurse, and therapist are also very pleased with you when you send them an e-mail about anything special which might have taken place. This has proven to be most influential and useful in developing a professional relationship with them.