Healthcare CRM Software: Peculiarities of Making a Good One | HackerNoon
The main goal of customer relationship management (CRM) in business is to retain existing customers and attract new ones. And CRM software plays an integral part in facilitating this process in practically every industry. In the healthcare sector, however, a good CRM system goes well beyond just marketing and sales despite some common beliefs. Good healthcare CRM systems are designed to tackle specific challenges and help optimize complex processes that stand in the way of improving patient care.
In this post, I want to help you understand what makes a good healthcare CRM system by highlighting the must-have functionality and benefits today’s patients and leading healthcare providers expect to see in one.
What Is A CRM System In Healthcare?
A healthcare CRM is a powerful analytics tool that aggregates different kinds of patient information (demographics, financial, health-related, behavioral, social, and other relevant data) and uses it to improve hospital and patient care management. It serves as an effective technological and strategic advancement tool with extensive capabilities health facilities can use to identify new care opportunities, build proper strategies, and minimize medical errors and risks related to incorrect data maintenance. A healthcare CRM offers comprehensive visibility into how to better facilitate communication and interaction between patients and healthcare providers.
A healthcare CRM is a powerful analytics tool that aggregates different kinds of patient information (demographics, financial, health-related, behavioral, social, and other relevant data) and uses it to improve hospital and patient care management.
Must-have Features of Good Healthcare CRM Software
Today there are numerous off-the-shelf and custom healthcare CRM solutions on the market. Each comes with a comprehensive set of features from automated data backups to appointment management to staff performance tracking. And while the various systems may have hundreds of different features depending on the specialization of a health facility they were built for, all this functionality can be conveniently grouped into categories of essential components a good CRM must have to cover today’s patient care needs. When building your own healthcare CRM solution or choosing a ready-made one, make sure it features the following:
Patient data management
A good CRM should be more than just a database of patient names and contact details. It is important that the system helps healthcare organizations efficiently manage prescriptions, appointments, clinical records, corresponding lab tests and notes, and other health-related patient information. In addition to keeping records of patient-related data and providing medical staff with instant access to it, the system has to be able to update this data in real-time. This will help medical staff create and maintain comprehensive patient profiles to minimize diagnostic and prescription errors while marketing teams can improve the quality of communication with patients.
The possibility of direct communication with existing patients and prospects is an absolute must for any CRM in today’s digital world, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Healthcare organizations should be able to manage notifications and calendar events in real-time. This includes things like automated email distribution, customer support, and tracking of appointment reminders and marketing campaigns. Patients should be able to check timetables and availability of medical staff, schedule calls, manage their appointments, alerts, and reminders.
Healthcare providers can effectively use CRM systems to perform comprehensive data analysis and generate different types of reports that can benefit themselves and their patients in many ways. For example, an open issues report makes it much easier for health facilities to estimate the severity of patient complaints and deal with things like inventory and equipment management, patient treatment adherence, etc. Instant access to information such as medical staff performance, customer support efficiency, and marketing campaign ROI facilitates budgeting and enables healthcare providers to improve productivity and profitability of service.
Interoperability with other healthcare solutions
One of the essentials of a good healthcare CRM system is its ability to integrate with other healthcare solutions such as electronic health records (EHRs), practice management software, diagnostic technologies, e-prescribing tools, enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, and other existing management and digital care delivery solutions. Such a level of interoperability enables healthcare organizations to significantly improve patient data collection and structuring, leading to higher quality data management, fewer medical errors, and better patient outcomes.
Availability on multiple platforms and devices
The easier it is to access your CRM system, the better. A good CRM should never be limited to a desktop computer, a single platform, or a web browser. Multi-platform and cross-device availability combined with cloud-based solutions enables medical staff to access and input data from their smartphones and tablets anywhere on and off the hospital premises. This saves doctors and patients a lot of time and makes data more accurate than if a doctor or a nurse had to quickly fill in a paper chart and then run back to a computer to re-enter the data again. Instant access to real-time patient information also makes doing rounds and checking on patients a lot easier.
Benefits of CRM Application in Healthcare
With all things digital and customer-focused approaches in practically every industry, healthcare providers have to live up to the expectations of today’s digitally aware patients who look for high-quality customer service and better communication efforts. Here are some of the main opportunities a good healthcare CRM system offers for the improvement of patient care practices and management of internal processes.
Personalization is a very important process in building successful relationships with your existing and prospective patients. A good CRM enables healthcare providers and patients to input, store, and otherwise manage valuable patient data such as personal information, medical records, and appointments. Using this data, health facilities can engage patients with personalized interactions and experiences:
- personalized messages for special occasions like birthdays
- discounts on relevant medical treatments
- appointment and medication reminders
- newsletters with personalized health tips
In addition to building better relations through communication, CRM appointment management tools and automated reminders will also help reduce waiting times for patients and optimize hospital workloads.
Medical error reduction
With patient data well structured and updated in real-time, medical staff can provide more timely and accurate treatment. Doctors can quickly find every piece of information they’re looking for from emergency contacts to what the patient is allergic to even when there are no relatives around or the patient is unconscious. They can analyze changes in the patient’s condition, compare test results, avoid repeating treatment that wasn’t effective before, etc.
It’s easier to evaluate customer satisfaction when patients have the digital means to leave feedback about their experience. A healthcare CRM can automatically send patients post-visit feedback surveys, then aggregate and analyze this information to provide health facilities with a full picture of the good and bad in their services, eliminating guesswork. Thus, they can introduce the necessary quality-of-life changes in a timelier and more efficient manner.
Attracting new customers
CRM tools enable health facilities to run targeted campaigns with relevant content or discounts to groups of prospects such as people with particular health conditions, patients of different age groups, or expecting parents. These tools can also be used to facilitate tracking and management of referral patients, for example, by helping healthcare providers monitor referral appointments and reach out to prospects who for some reason skipped their consultations.
A good healthcare CRM system is an efficient tool for the continuous improvement of business performance. The system facilitates the business analysis, reporting, and decision-making processes in healthcare with valuable data-based insights that can be effectively applied to optimizing expenditures and improving KPIs.
Compliance and security of patient data
The higher the security of patient data from being lost, leaked, or stolen, the more credibility the healthcare provider gets from its existing and prospective patients. Quality healthcare CRM software incorporates various means of patient data protection, including multi-level authentication and data encryption. With a good CRM system in place, your digital care programs will tick every box on the HIPAA compliance checklist.
Healthcare CRM software provides real-time information on available personnel and resources to facilitate the management. It enables your administrative staff to keep better track of prescription drugs and medical equipment maintenance. It can be used to optimize medical staff workloads and appointment scheduling. The system will suggest the most suitable appointment slots and help with rescheduling. A healthcare CRM system can also help the HR department with automated calculations. Working hours, sick leaves, vacation days, salaries-a big relief for large healthcare providers.
By means of a healthcare CRM system, it is easier for a provider to collect and update the financial information and payment details of their patients. Thus, they can use this data to efficiently generate bills, track payments, and send automated reminders on due payment to their customers.
24/7 customer support
Most often, health facilities don’t have the staff capacity to answer all of the phone calls and messages from patients without delay. To solve the problem and speed up your customer support, a healthcare CRM system can be customized with chatbot functionality. An intelligent bot will be able to provide patients with timely and effective responses to most common concerns and requests they may have.
Best ready-made healthcare CRM solutions
Salesforce Health Cloud
The most popular solution in the healthcare CRM industry made by one of the biggest cloud-based software providers out there. Features a native mobile application, real-time messaging, and a patient portal with several associated apps.
Hg Mercury CRM
An intelligent engagement platform that enables healthcare providers to ease patient access to quality care and pinpoint market opportunities with valuable insights. Features powerful predictive analysis tools, progressive profiling, and intelligent campaign building.
A medical sales and marketing automation software that consists of four powerful modules for customer relationship management as well as automation of medical sales and marketing tasks. Features an integrated email tracking system, EHR/schedule management tools, and a communication app with multiple security layers.
Pega Customer Service for Healthcare
A unified platform for personalizing interactions, eliminating channel barriers, and automating processes in patient care. Features a self-service advisor, Pega’s customer decision hub, and an abundance of marketing and sales automation tools.
Now you know a little something about what a good healthcare CRM system looks like, its major features, and the benefits it brings to health facilities and their patients. There are plenty more ready-made healthcare CRM systems that can be set up and customized to serve your specific business needs. But in the long run, the most cost-effective solution will always be to build your own proprietary software.
Originally published at https://hackernoon.com on June 8, 2022.