CRM-Enhanced Healthcare Management: Putting the Focus on the Patient


For decades, the only way for patients to communicate with providers was face to face or over the phone. This limited interaction often meant patients were confused about home-care instructions or even about the diagnosis itself.

Now, mobile devices and social media platforms are giving patients hassle-free options to connect with their providers. These provide better, real-time healthcare information and help providers to build and maintain the patient-provider relationship. They also empower patients to take a more active role in their own treatment. 

But there are opportunities to do so much more. By integrating advanced customer relationship management (CRM) technology into existing healthcare management systems, providers can ensure that everyone involved in treating patients (including the patients themselves) has an active voice as well as a personal role in reaching patient goals.

CRM and healthcare management: a perfect match.

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 customers. This means that they want providers to be available to assist them when necessary and understand the context of their condition while providing a consistent experience across every touchpoint.

In an effort to deliver this level of individualized care, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 86% of office-based physicians have already adopted some form of an electronic health record (EHR). An EHR functions as a healthcare management solution in which the ongoing logistics and data (patient history, progress notes, complications, prescriptions, immunizations, laboratory data, and test results) are stored, organized, and automatically updated in real time. This includes programs designed to help with billing, scheduling, and task organization as well. 

While healthcare management systems are certainly valuable, the problem is that providers often rely on many different, nonintegrated programs. As a result, data gets lost, misinterpreted, or incorrectly filed as it is passed between programs.

The problem becomes even more apparent when patients switch providers and risk  information getting lost in the shuffle. When patient data is incorrectly handled, it can lead to medical errors, which are the third leading cause of death in the United States (after heart disease and cancer). Perhaps even more telling is that research suggests that by improving communication, patient injuries from medical errors could fall 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 revolutionize healthcare management. However, CRM is not meant to replace conventional EHR. Instead, it complements and enhances existing systems.

What a healthcare CRM brings to the table.

If CRM is not a replacement for an existing system, then what are the advantages?

Automation is one key factor that allows users to assign certain repetitive jobs to the system itself — such as patient reminders — freeing up providers to focus on more urgent tasks. Additionally, the most effective healthcare CRM uses cloud technology to unify many different processes, 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 benefits, there are four major areas where a CRM can revolutionize healthcare management.

Get a 360-degree view of the patient.

When it comes to patient care, reliable data is more than important; it’s vital. Doctors need to see patient history, medication, scheduling, treatments, and more at a glance. Without this visibility, the potential for errors increases exponentially.

A CRM for healthcare gives providers an all-encompassing view of available data sources and resources, whenever they may need it, so they can:

- Coordinate EHRs with third-party medical devices and wearables data
- Review medication documentation
- Stay up to date on patients’ conditions
- See the entire care team (including family members)
- Review clinical and nonclinical engagement data such as phone calls and access appointment history

Improve patient management.

Just as doctors need to develop an accurate patient profile, they also need to see a full view of all of their tasks at once. A healthcare CRM makes it possible to map out various responsibilities across their entire patient pool, prioritizing the most urgent patient needs and ensuring that everyone receives the right attention.

It likewise enables providers to segment and manage their entire patient population, scheduling visits for those who need them and sending reminders and offers for other services to those who would most benefit from them. Additionally, providers easily assign ownership of tasks to the care team with an effective care-networking mapping solution. Together, these properties allow providers to manage their patient population from a single hub in a way that is both highly efficient and highly personal.

Connect users.

A healthcare CRM increases data accessibility for all authorized users, promoting coordination and collaboration across all levels of the provider 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.

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

Grow the patient base.

By automating the entire process, providers are able to efficiently grow their patient base and manage that growth in an effective manner. Even if growth is not a top concern, it provides stability for providers.

Patient-centric healthcare management.

Salesforce reimagined its CRM for the healthcare industry to close the gap between patients and providers. Advanced cloud technology integrates data across EHRs, financial management software, healthcare information management systems, scheduling solutions, and communications options for a complete view of the patient. Because providers have direct, easy access to all patient data, treatment information, communication preferences, and social determinants of health, providers are able to take a truly patient-centric approach. 

Learn how to put the focus back on the patient with Health Cloud.


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