A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application is essential for every business, including providers and practices in the healthcare space. Some applications claim to be industry specific, like a healthcare CRM. Other applications are universal in nature, but also customizable.
Overall, a CRM can help healthcare companies to get organized, control costs, provide valuable reports and insights, and even improve patient satisfaction.
3 signs it’s time for a Healthcare CRM
1. You are inefficient.
Inefficiency can take on many different looks. All of these are a telltale sign that you’re in need of a CRM:
- Sometimes, inefficiency looks like clunky and time-consuming processes, procedures, and workflows.
- Other times, it looks like a team entering the same information into multiple systems. (This is inefficient in terms of time and cost!)
- On the more dangerous end of the spectrum, it could be data that contains errors and leads to mistakes.
The New York Times, covering an Institute of Medicine study, revealed 30 percent of U.S. healthcare spending (about $750 billion) was wasted in 2009, on byzantine paperwork and excessive administrative costs among other problems.
2. Technology gaps are affecting patient experience.
What is a technology gap? It’s simply an issue, process, or missing element that could be solved or “closed” by implementing software or other technology.
While a technology gap can be hard to spot, here are a few symptoms that you're dealing with in your practice:
- Patients complaining about intake process.
- Patients have to provide the same information multiple times.
- Patients that don’t know what to expect during an office visit, exam, procedure, or surgery.
- Patients unclear on when they will receive results and reports.
- Patients do not have a clear method of delivering feedback.
3. Your patient outreach is lacking.
A healthcare CRM allows providers to communicate with specific groups of patients.
Here are some outreach issues a CRM can address:
- You are unable to segment your patients for specific outreach. For example, sending results of a new study to patients with diabetes.
- You don’t have a tool to send patient education materials to patients, especially materials that could improve patient outcomes.
- You don’t have a way to market to your patients. For example, informing patients about new equipment and capabilities within your practice.
A note about HIPAA and PHI:
There are obvious concerns to address when storing patient information in a CRM or Healthcare CRM. Referring to a CRM as HIPAA compliant is not quite right. A CRM, at its core, is a database and it can be HIPAA compliant. As with any database, it’s all about security, user roles, record-level access, and the data that’s stored inside of it. Consult with your compliance department to determine your specific requirements as it pertains to HIPAA and PHI.
You’re not alone. Issues stemming from a lack of a CRM solution reaches to every industry and profession.
40% of salespeople still use informal means such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook to store customer data. (HubSpot, 2016)
There is a wide range of options from “off the shelf” CRMs, Healthcare CRMs, and universal/customizable CRMs.
About the Author Casey O'Quinn
Casey founded Gravity Digital in 2000 after serving as the Internet Services Director for a Nashville-based Ad Agency. He's a rare breed that operates both left and right brain, so along with oversight of the company he's active in the creative process for our clients.
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