The patient-provider relationship has evolved dramatically in the last decade. Patient-centered care has enabled and encouraged healthcare consumers to become more engaged partners in their own care plans. The prevalence of chronic disease and those suffering from mental illnesses has forced clinicians to seek scalable solutions to track patients’ symptoms, medications, test results, contraindications, and daily interactions with care team members.
Today’s collaborative model means a patient doesn’t always see the same clinician at each touchpoint. Because scribbled notes and spreadsheets don’t promote optimal Care Management, care teams often adopted customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
This type of software, unfortunately, is not always adaptable or nimble enough to accommodate the healthcare industry’s ever-changing challenges. CRM tools do provide a certain level of organization, but they are not equipped to solve the myriad of issues that impede relationship-centric Care Management. The right platform enables health systems to build trust with patients, improve outcomes, and as HealthTech reports, boost bottom lines.
This is why Welkin Health was born not as a CRM, but as a PRM (patient relationship management) or Care Management platform. It was built specifically for healthcare — not retrofitted for it.
What is a CRM system?
A CRM system is software that is designed to help a variety of business types nurture their relationships with customers and leads. It fosters business relationships by unifying team communication and providing insight into key metrics. According to Gartner, CRM is the largest and fastest-growing enterprise application software category — by 2027 worldwide, spending on CRM is projected to reach USD $114.4 billion.
CRM Switch describes how in the 1980s, CRMs were created to improve communication, boost sales, and automate marketing. The dot-com bubble and the rise of social media in the 2000s enabled CRMs to become what they are today — comprehensive SaaS platforms that manage interactions between customers and companies.
If your care team uses a CRM system, you’re probably able to access the history of each patient’s past appointments, the dates of any upcoming appointments, their medical history, their lab results, as well as the history of their medical bills — both paid and unpaid.
The CRM system also houses your database of potential and current patients, which helps you guide them through your marketing funnel and manage your sales team more efficiently. Healthcare CRM software allows you to create an online patient portal for scheduling and managing appointments. Instead of picking up the phone and calling to make an appointment, patients can schedule their next visit online.
As they’ve done for other industries, CRM systems have made healthcare more convenient for private and public practices, medical centers, laboratories, and hospitals.
What is Welkin Health?
Welkin Health is a Care Management platform designed specifically to enhance patient-provider relationships — not to manage payment accounts and marketing data, which CRM software was designed to do.
How can software improve human relationships? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that Care Management is a critical tool for managing population health, aligning services to population needs, and building trust with patients. Software that makes Care Management more efficient, by streamlining workflows and enabling seamless care team interactions, saves clinicians time. When they’re not constantly typing and searching for data on their screens, they have more quality time to spend with patients, building their trust — the core of any long-term relationship.
The Welkin Care Management platform was designed on the premise that maintaining solid relationships and patient engagement promotes healthy outcomes — which boosts your bottom line. Welkin’s software helps clinicians optimize their strengths so their teams can conserve financial and staffing resources. Workflow automation for care managers leverages their strengths so that health systems can reach more patients more cost-effectively.
Welkin lets care teams automate and create custom workflows without using any code. Unlike CRM systems, Welkin takes clinicians’ focus off of the software itself so they can concentrate on patients without being distracted by frustrating administrative tasks. This next-generation technology contributes to scalable healthcare and enables care teams to more easily adapt to today’s value-based care model. Built with patients and providers in mind, here are just a few things Welkin can do:
- Automate workflows and create custom escalation paths to support care coordination.
- Collect patient data to create relevant assessments and help decision-makers take effective action.
- Allow care team members to build codeless, custom care programs — no IT or developers required.
- Centralize communication using 6 different methods including SMS, email, IM, video call, voice call, fax. Talk with your patients wherever they are and log a clear communication history.
- Encourage team-based care delivery — anyone on the care team can jump into action with a full patient history and profile.
- Protect patient data and stay HIPAA-compliant with SOC2 Type 2 certification, audit trails, two-factor authentication, single sign-on, and role-based permissions.
- Fully integrate with key programs and give care teams even more customization through a well-documented API.
Read this blog to determine whether your CRM system is providing optimal patient relationship enablement for your care team.
The differences between Welkin and CRMs
To put it plainly, CRMs were built as a database. Welkin’s Care Management platform is a database in part … with so much more functionality and possibility layered on top.
Originally developed in the sales space, CRMs are account-management-centric — they help care teams leverage new sales opportunities and manage marketing contact lists. CRM design is especially effective for small businesses because they were designed with an end date in mind for their prospect relationship. However, they were not designed to manage patient information and health condition tracking, which are critical in enhancing patient-provider relationships.
Healthcare-specific features in CRM designs are an afterthought — customizable add-ons for an industry the original CRM developers were not focused on. CRM creators focused on customer accounts, customer interactions, customer information, customer support, customer data, and marketing campaigns and sales deals for customers — not patients’ care journeys.
Although they are robust organizational systems, CRMs often fall short when it comes to optimizing care team workflows, as well as patient information-gathering and relationship-building. Their programs are often inefficient when used in the fast-paced, patient-driven environment of clinics, specialty practices, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. If you’re wondering whether your CRM system is slowing down your care team with inefficient program design, read this skimmable blog post.
Unlike CRMs, Welkin was conceived, designed, and built from the ground up for clinicians in healthcare settings. This industry-specific Care Management software caters to care teams’ priorities: relationship-building throughout the patient health journey, long-term patient retention, and improved patient outcomes that can increase compensation from payers like Medicaid.
Welkin was created for Care Management — a long-term effort at lifetime loyalty. Care teams are committed to sticking with patients and promoting their health journeys, however long it may take. That’s why Welkin’s software focuses not on a specific timeframe, but on metrics that track individual progress, liberating clinicians from other CRM solutions.
Weighing pros and cons of CRMs and Welkin
CRM systems are most advantageous for B2B business models. Their software design can help insurers track sales accounts and enable sales teams to act on new growth opportunities. Within healthcare systems, CRMs are also useful for tracking referrals and ensuring patient appointments don’t fall through the cracks. With their primary focus on B2B, however, their business model is not built on patient support.
These software platforms inform specialty care teams of which clinicians referred patients, and which patients will require follow-up. CRMs do not promote the type of patient-provider communication required to optimize each patient’s care journey and generate long-term loyalty.
Welkin’s Care Management platform, on the other hand, was designed to support long-term healthy outcomes, managing and enhancing patient-provider relationships. It’s specifically geared to address pain points and build long-term patient-provider relationships by keeping patients engaged from Day 1 and making care team workflows more efficient than they’ve ever been.
Eager to learn how a Care Management program can enhance your care team’s relationships and patient loyalty? Download our guide to creating efficient patient care programs.