Understanding CRM in healthcare
Patient-centric care is the new buzzword in the healthcare industry and we are witnessing significant transformation with a growing emphasis on customer relationship management (CRM).
While information is easy to access and digital devices are ubiquitous these days, patients may be better informed about their medical condition but still lack the expert knowledge of a provider. Unless the provider-patient relationship changes to a collaborative partnership, it is not possible for the patient to participate actively in disease management.
CRM tools act as a bridge between providers and patients to establish a vibrant feedback loop between two “equal” stakeholders, in contrast to the traditional power hierarchy between doctor and patient. A continuous flow of meaningful interaction between physicians and patients vastly enhances overall care and clinical outcomes --- for what is healthcare CRM, but a means to improving patient management. The primary goal of healthcare CRM development is to centralize and manage patient data efficiently.
The resultant benefits of CRM in healthcare are immense and healthcare providers are now accepting it as a powerful tool to manage patient engagement. In this blog post, we will explore what is healthcare CRM and how it improves patient management.
What is healthcare CRM?
CRM as many of you may understand is the blend of processes, technologies, and strategies that businesses use to manage interactions with existing and prospective customers. What is healthcare CRM? It is a CRM solution that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the healthcare industry, namely:
- Streamline, store, and manage patient information for ready and secure access.
- Automate sales and marketing processes and improve communications.
- Adhere to security and regulatory norms to safeguard patient privacy.
Healthcare CRM development helps us use technology and strategies to manage and analyze patient data throughout the patient lifecycle. It has emerged as a critical component of modern healthcare, as CRM software development for healthcare can shift the paradigm from provider-centric decision-making to patient-centered treatment pathways, aimed primarily at increasing patient engagement, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes.
In fact, when an IT consultant with expertise in the healthcare domain is entrusted with healthcare CRM development, a unique platform can be built where healthcare providers can better understand and respond to individual patient needs - building strong patient relationships, enhancing patient-provider communication, and offering personalized care plans.
Take a look at the table below to understand what is healthcare CRM doing to make patient management more effective. CRM software development for healthcare can be designed to benefit both providers and patients. Patients benefit from improved care experience, better health outcomes, and augmented patient engagement. Healthcare providers can increase their efficiency, improve decision-making through the use of data, and comply with regulatory rules.
A good healthcare CRM solution benefits both providers and patients
Healthcare CRM keeps medical information updated
Both patients and providers need accurate medical information and healthcare data if they are to optimize patient participation and ensure effective clinical outcomes. So what is healthcare CRM development if it is not customized to capture one of the main benefits of healthcare CRM –patient management?
While CRM software development for healthcare can provide up-to-date medical information, it is important to understand how this impacts patient management.
Error reduction: In the US alone, 7000-9000 people die due to medication errors. It costs more than $40 billion to treat patients who seek treatment due to medication errors, with over 7 million patients affected every year. Up-to-date medical information including allergies, can help to reduce these incidents.
Readmission reduction: Nearly 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days of discharge according to estimates by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Real-time access to a patient’s health information linked to post-hospitalization recovery may help timely interventions and potentially reduce readmission rates.
Enhanced chronic disease management: According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, and four in 10 have two or more. Regular feed from labs on patient test results and treatment history can help to make the management of chronic conditions effective.
The significance of timely medical updates is amply illustrated above, but in recent times, the contribution it makes to public health surveillance and medical research cannot be stressed enough. This came to light during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Main benefits of CRM in healthcare
When a domain expert undertakes CRM software development for healthcare project, it is an effort to bring data sets –medical history, demographical details, insurance cover, social information, behavioral issues, etc., to the forefront. Converting this data into actionable insights and letting healthcare providers use those findings to strategize patient engagement is a proven scientific method to employ CRM principles in the sphere of healthcare. The benefits of such an approach to build relationships with patients as “customers” are many and listed below.
Efficient patient data management
It is possible to achieve high levels of efficiency in healthcare through centralizing patient data, giving authorized access to medical records for healthcare providers, and keeping all the information up-to-date. Doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff need not waste time searching for records and verifying patient history. The ability to get real-time patient information speeds up diagnosis and treatment decisions, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
Reduced no-shows and missed appointments
When patients miss appointments, it adversely affects the continuity of care, disrupts treatment plans, and leads to delays in holistic care. Healthcare CRM development helps by automating appointment reminders to patients.
Enhanced care coordination
CRM systems allow different specialists across various departments in complex healthcare systems to communicate seamlessly. Such information sharing among healthcare professionals ensures that all stakeholders are in the know about a patient’s treatment plan.
Improved compliance and follow-up
Automated reminders, follow-up messages, appointments, post-discharge instructions, and 24/7 assistance from chatbots motivate patients to manage their health conditions proactively. Add to this, access to a well-built EHR that gives clarity on a patient’s care journey, and you have a robust CRM solution that promotes compliance. With active involvement and participation from patients, clinical outcomes improve.
Enhanced reporting and analytics
Healthcare CRM development offers precise reporting and analytics capabilities that help healthcare organizations gain valuable insights. It helps them to identify trends, assess performance, and make data-driven decisions. This results in crafting informed patient management strategies and improving care quality.
Building an effective healthcare CRM
Effective healthcare CRM development means customization that allows you to address the unique needs of patients and both operational and clinical challenges faced by the healthcare facility. In addition, you also have to meet regulatory standards and security parameters linked to patient data and privacy.
Customization would involve a brain-storming session with an established consultant whom you want to entrust with CRM software development for healthcare excellence. What do you want as benefits of CRM in healthcare when you invest in healthcare CRM development? Is it operational improvement, business intelligence, or data-based collaboration?
Operational CRM: Streamlines and automates processes and workflows to empower teams to achieve more with existing resources.
Analytical CRM: Collects, stores, and analyzes data to help stakeholders foster lasting relationships through insights that optimize outcomes.
Collaborative CRM: It establishes communication channels both internally and externally to boost information flow between providers, patients, and insurers.
Just remember, if you insist on patient management –everything will follow!
Meanwhile, no matter which type of CRM you want to leverage more, you need to cover the following modules:
- Human Resource Management
- Sales & Marketing
Must-have features in your healthcare CRM software
Whether you customize a healthcare CRM solution or buy one off the shelf you will need the following features:
Patient data management
It should comprise two customer data management –one that centrally stores a comprehensive patient profile, including medical history, treatments, insurance plans, access to EMR/EHR, and contact details in a secure manner, and the other a set of pre-designed form templates that patients need to fill up to request for or provide information from their mobile apps.
It should comprise features such as a CRM dashboard for the healthcare staff to monitor appointments, prescriptions, and workflows; an automated reminder that can send out emails, voice calls, and text messages to both doctors and patients to keep appointments; a calendar schedule to help patients book, reschedule or cancel appointments; and a performance tracker that measures department-wise staff productivity and effectiveness.
Care plan management
Armed with all the knowledge provided by patient data and analytics, care providers are in a position to manage individualized patient pathways, ensuring timely interventions, appropriate treatment methods, medication dosage patterns, and counseling. This feature is a hands-on patient engagement tool designed to improve clinical outcomes.
Communication & data management
Effective and secure communication tools, integrated with telehealth solutions, facilitate real-time interactions and up-to-date analytics, with robust security to protect patient data and privacy. Care delivery can be enhanced for both short and long-term therapies with report-generating tools that are in understandable formats like charts, graphs, and tables.
Thus, CRM software development for healthcare empowers healthcare organizations to provide better care and outcomes for their patients. Customized and secure CRM solutions tailored to healthcare business needs have to prioritize patient well-being, too.