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.