Customer relationship management (CRM) should be a top priority of any successful business today – including healthcare organizations. CRM approaches centralize and analyze data to allow organizations to understand who their customers are and trends in their behavior. With CRM technology, businesses can better analyze and predict customer needs and design solutions to meet those needs.
What is a Healthcare CRM?
In healthcare, CRM software helps providers and organizations learn more about the patients they serve. Healthcare CRMs are a digital platform that manages customer – or patient – information and relationships for providers and other organizations. Healthcare CRMs pull together multiple data sources to compile information such as demographics, health history, insurance carrier, and social data. CRM software optimizes workflows and strengthens relationships with patients.
Many aspects of a healthcare organization’s operations are now connected to and supported by CRM software. Online patient portals, dashboards for providers, and reports bring patient information together in a single location to streamline administrative processes.
Providers and care teams know that patient engagement is essential in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. Engaging with patients meaningfully is an important – and time-consuming priority. CRM software helps providers with patient engagement through appointment reminders, patient surveys, and streamlining mailing and marketing campaigns.
Healthcare CRM software generally falls into one of three focused categories: analytical, collaborative, or operational. A well-designed CRM extends the reach of providers and care teams and results in better patient outcomes and more streamlined workflows for healthcare organizations.
Analytical healthcare CRMs collect and store patient information and primarily focus on analyzing that information. Reviewing and analyzing data such as demographic information, medication history, family history, allergies, and other health data allows providers and care teams to take a patient-centered approach to care and engagement.
Build Buyer Personas
Analytical CRMs enable providers and care teams to collect and analyze patient data elements to reveal a clearer picture of a patient’s identity and behaviors. Analytical CRMs can support prediction around the potential for serious health events, the need for patient education, and other elements of a patient-centered care plan. When providers and care teams better understand their patients, they can deliver tailored care, resulting in better outcomes and experiences.
Data mining techniques to map out patient-related information and trends are key components of analytical CRMs. This capability allows healthcare organizations to better design a patient journey across each state of engagement. Data mining also will enable providers and care teams to assess population health strategies across demographics, age groups, specific conditions, and other identifying factors. Incorporating data analysis into clinical and workflow design leads to more efficient operational, clinical, and administrative processes.
Optimization of marketing and sales activities
Acquiring, retaining, and engaging patients is critical for ongoing sustainability. Analytical CRMs give healthcare organizations the information they need to specifically tailor communication approaches with patients. Some strategies include customized messages, emails, and newsletters about chronic conditions, insurance, and patient and caregiver preferences. These marketing strategies establish strong relationships with patients.
Beyond the areas outlined above, analytical CRMs reveal new insights for sales opportunities. Understanding patient personals, mining available data, and optimizing marketing strategies gives healthcare organizations a better understanding of their patients. Understanding these patients opens up new opportunities to design solutions and products tailored to their needs. Predictive capabilities in the CRM allow for more tailored and efficient methods to identify patients best suited for additional outreach or engagement.
Analytical CRMs offer many benefits to healthcare organizations. An analytical CRM can improve patient acquisition rates, provide important information for marketing campaigns, and boost patient satisfaction and loyalty. Analytical CRMs also support vital administrative and operational functions in a healthcare organization. Providers can use data to inform more accurate financial forecasting and planning, predict future patient behavior, understand gaps in the patient care journey, and increase revenue through offering tailored services and solutions unique to the needs of the specific patient population.
Collaborative Healthcare CRMs
Collaborative healthcare CRMs typically support large organizations with multiple divisions and decentralized operations. Collaborative healthcare CRMs help to define clear roles, share information across the organization, and manage multiple communication channels across the entire patient population. The data collected across an organization’s divisions, along with patient communications, allows for the creation of personalized approaches to suit the preferences of each patient.
Sharing patient information across an organization also allows for developing and sharing best practices for contacting those patients. Providers can customize these preferences to when, where, and through which channel. Consistent, quality patient interactions allow providers and care teams to adhere to patient care plans and outreach strategies and meet and exceed patient expectations.
Meeting a patient’s communication preferences means understanding how to maximize patient satisfaction across all communication channels. Delivering high-quality healthcare requires strong patient engagement. Not all patients can be reached (or want to be reached) the same way. Collaborative CRMs offer a range of communication channels and allow data across all channels to be analyzed to understand each patient better. Healthcare CRMs can establish roles, tasks, and follow-up actions to ensure transparent communication processes, whether using email, instant messaging, text messaging, or another capability.
Customer data available across teams
Patients interact with providers in many ways, across many channels. Collaborative CRMs let healthcare organizations combine data from all channels and deliver coordinated interactions and engagement.
Improved customer service and customer interaction
Coordinated communication approaches lead to better patient engagement and customer service. Patients are more likely to share more information, and a healthcare organization can develop a comprehensive patient profile that reflects their preferences. Engaging patients over the channel they prefer with up-to-date information is a solid strategy for driving patient retention and engagement. Operational CRMs drive patient engagement through multi-channel communication and analytics.
Improved team efficiency
Collaborative CRMs make teamwork more efficient. Centralizing patient information in one place allows team members to access patient files in real-time. Comprehensive data, reports, and analyses increase the information available to providers and care team members and reduce avoidable errors. A collaborative CRM can also reduce the time spent on unnecessary tasks through automation.
Streamlining and automating key operational activities is the primary focus of an operational healthcare CRM. In addition to traditional marketing strategies like patient acquisition, conversion, and retention, healthcare CRMs also automate provider and care team processes that can be time-intensive and repetitive. Optimizing workflows and tasks helps to maximize productivity and frees up more time for direct patient care.
Automating operational and administrative workflows is a major benefit of healthcare CRMs. Operational CRMs can automate patient check-in/check-out, prescription refills, clinical escalations, medical record transfers, and other organizational focuses. Reducing the provider and care team effort spent on time-intensive manual processes with CRM functionality can lower costs, allow providers and care teams to spend more time engaging with patients, and improve patient outcomes over time.
Operational CRMs offer integration with other software. These integrations – such as telehealth, prescribing, patient counseling, ordering labs, and data management – extend the capabilities of CRM software. Welkin supports both native and custom-built integrations to deliver a fully customized approach for healthcare organizations.
Increased customer satisfaction
A centralized CRM helps to improve customer service and patient experience. Providers and care teams are better able to quickly access patient data, assess key concerns, and identify strategies and interventions to meet patient needs. Patients are able to communicate directly with their care team, and their communications become part of the patient record as well. Welkin’s patient-facing app allows patients to engage with providers and care teams securely and easily.
Operational CRMs also reduce redundancies and save time. Care teams can update notes for patients in one centralized location, so all clinicians are on the same page in real-time. Without an efficient platform, updating paperwork and patient files can take hours, result in duplicative work, and delay access to crucial patient information.
Healthcare providers and organizations must ensure that any CRM they choose is HIPAA-compliant. HIPAA-compliant CRMs maintain a secure environment to store a patient’s protected health information (PHI). HIPAA-compliant CRMs also protect healthcare organizations against cyberattacks through components like encryption controls and secure designated access roles. Email spam filters and web filters prevent phishing attacks, which trick employees into opening a malicious file or visiting a malicious website and enabling access to a data system.
Looking for a healthcare CRM? Meet Welkin Health
Healthcare CRMs, as we learned above, help providers and care teams to save time, money, and effort. Improving workflow and task automation for providers and care teams reduces the time needed for administrative and operational tasks. The three major types of healthcare CRMs – analytical, collaborative, and operational – each offer specific areas of support to healthcare organizations.
Sophisticated CRMs can provide functionality in all three areas. This capability gives providers and care team members more time to focus on clinical activities and patient engagement.
Interested in learning more about automating these tasks and freeing up more time for providers and staff? Book a demo to discover how Welkin can best support you as your healthcare CRM.