For decades, the only way to communicate with care providers was face to face or over the telephone. This limited interaction was less than ideal for many patients, who often found themselves confused about home-care instructions, or even about the doctor’s diagnosis itself.

Now, mobile smart devices and easily accessible social media platforms are giving patients new, hassle-free options for getting in touch with their care providers. Together, these advances provide patients and doctors with better real-time healthcare information, building and maintaining an improved doctor-patient relationship, and empowering patients to take a more active role in their own treatment. However, so much more can be done.

By integrating advanced customer relationship management (CRM) technology into existing healthcare management systems, care providers can ensure that everyone involved in patient treatment (including the patients themselves) has an active voice, as well as a personal role in reaching patient goals.

Although there are certainly differences between how conventional businesses and healthcare facilities are managed, there are also many similarities. Today’s patients are empowered. They expect more than just medical care; they expect to be treated like valuable clients. This means that they also expect their care providers to be open and available to assist them when necessary, and they expect to be treated as more than just a transaction. They expect providers to understand the context of their condition, and they expect to have consistent experience across every touchpoint.

In an effort to provide this level of customer/patient service, most care providers have already adopted some form of electronic health record (EHR). In fact, according to a Medscape survey, 83% of physicians use an EHR. EHRs function as a kind of healthcare management solution. What is healthcare management? Simply put, healthcare management is the process by which the ongoing logistics and data associated with patient treatment — including patient history, progress notes, complications, prescriptions, immunizations, laboratory data, and test results — are stored, organized, and kept up to date. Healthcare management software includes programs designed to help with billing, scheduling, task organization, and so on. But while healthcare management systems are certainly valuable, the problem is that caregivers often rely on many different, nonintegrated programs to provide a comprehensive healthcare management solution. As a result, data can get lost, misinterpreted, or incorrectly filed as it is passed between programs.

The problem becomes even more apparent when patients switch caregivers. When patients are transferred from one medical professional to another, information may easily get lost in the shuffle. When patient data is incorrectly handled, it can lead to medical errors, which are currently the third leading cause of death in the United States (after heart disease and cancer). Perhaps even more telling is that researchers suggest that by improving communication, patient injuries from medical errors could be reduced by as much as 30%.

Just as CRM has made it possible for businesses and other organizations to streamline, coordinate, and optimize their customer interaction, it can likewise revolutionize the healthcare management process. However, CRM is not meant to be a standalone solution to replace conventional EHR. Instead, it should complement and enhance existing clinical systems.

 

Of course, this raises the question: If CRM is not a replacement for an existing healthcare management system, then what advantages does it offer?

Automation is one key factor in CRM technology, and allows users to assign certain repetitive jobs to be performed by the system itself — such as patient reminders — freeing up time for caregivers so they can focus on more urgent tasks. Automation also makes it easier for users to capture and follow up on leads, apply leads to various channels and funnels, and tie together all available lead sources.

Additionally, by taking advantage of cloud technology, the most effective CRM systems help unify the many different processes that care providers often rely on, creating a coherent operation that is updated in real time across all platforms and software. Cloud technology also provides secure off-site data storage, so that patient data remains protected at all times. But for all of these (and other) benefits of CRM integration, there are four major areas where a superior CRM can revolutionize healthcare management. Here’s how CRM can help medical professionals bring their clients and their data together. CRM can:

  1. Provide a complete, panoramic view of the patient.
    When it comes to patient care, reliable data is more than important; it’s vital. Doctors need to be able to see at a glance all of the facets of treatment, patient history, medication, scheduling, and so on. When they cannot, then the potential for errors increases exponentially. CRM provides an all-encompassing view of all available data sources and resources.

    Caregivers can coordinate EHR data with data from third-party medical devices and wearables, review medication documentation, keep up-to-date on patients’ conditions, see the entire care team (including family members) assigned to the patient, review clinical and nonclinical engagement data such as phone calls, and access appointment history. All of this together provides a complete patient profile, ensuring that medical professionals have all of the information they need, whenever they may need it.

  2. Improve patient management.
    Just as doctors need to be able to develop an accurate patient profile for each individual patient, they also need to be able to see a big picture of all of their tasks at once. CRM makes it possible for healthcare professionals to map out their various responsibilities across their entire patient pool, prioritizing the most urgent patient needs, and ensuring that everyone receives the right attention.

    CRM likewise enables caregivers to segment and manage their entire patient population, scheduling checkups and other visits for those who need them, and sending out reminders, and offering other services to those who would most benefit from them. Additionally, an effective CRM solution makes it possible for caregivers to more easily assign ownership of tasks to members of the patient care team, by providing an effective care-networking mapping solution. Together, these properties allow doctors and other caregivers to manage their entire patient population from a single hub, and to do so in a way that is both highly efficient and highly personal.

  3. Connect users.
    Healthcare management performs best when information flows freely. Integrated CRM increases data accessibility for all authorized users, promoting collaboration across all levels of the caregiver network, and across all platforms and devices (mobile or desktop). This means that whether the user is a doctor, a care coordinator, a patient, or any other authorized user, they’ll be able to set and review goals, chart progress, contact specialists, and address concerns.

    This is because direct, unhindered communication is at the heart of CRM. When patients are able to easily correspond with caregivers, they develop a deeper accountability for their own treatment, and are more likely to establish a personal relationship with their medical teams.

  4. Help doctors grow their client base.
    Through automating the entire process, doctors offices are able to more efficiently grow their client base, and manage that growth in an effective manner. Though growth may not be the top concern, it provides stability.

Salesforce has long been the foremost pioneer of the CRM industry. As such, it’s no surprise that the Salesforce Health Cloud is uniquely suited to providing healthcare management systems with the best CRM enhancement options available. The Health Cloud is a health IT CRM solution that focuses on closing the communication gap between patient and caregiver. To do this, it takes advantage of advanced cloud technology coupled with easy digital communication and mobile accessibility.

Health Cloud puts the patient firmly at the center of the care process, while giving care providers direct, easy access to all tasks, data, and conversations related to the patient and their treatment. In short, the Salesforce Health Cloud offers a sweeping CRM solution to healthcare management — one that patients, medical professionals, life-science organizations, and even insurance providers can take advantage of to create a seamless, relationship-oriented care journey that results in a growing patient base.

Modern healthcare management has moved well beyond traditional paper filing and analog record keeping; today’s medical professionals depend upon various digital systems to effectively treat their patients. But with so many systems all operating at once, it takes a unique tool to keep everything operating and cooperating properly. The Salesforce Health Cloud is such a tool, enhancing and integrating EHR, healthcare financial management software, healthcare information management systems, scheduling solutions, communications options, and more into a single, user-friendly tool. Because no matter how much the technology of healthcare management may change, the goal will always be the same: to provide patients with the best possible treatment.

Put the focus back on the people who matter, with healthcare management CRM from Salesforce. Health Cloud lets you focus on what you do best — caring for your patients.

 
 
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