Typically, a health care CRM unites several modules that work together to deliver a positive experience to both doctors and patients …
The pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the health care industry and how people approach their health and related services. They not just follow instructions but actively cooperate with doctors in managing their health.
According to NielsenIQ, 48% of global consumers regularly make proactive health and wellness decisions. Hence, health care providers pay increased attention to interaction with patients. A CRM for doctors can help with it.
But when does a provider need a CRM, and how to choose an efficient solution? We look into those matters to help you make an informed decision.
When do you need a CRM solution?
A comprehensive health care CRM allows you to meet customer needs quicker and more effectively. Some markers demonstrate a CRM solution might be required. Here are the “red flags” to consider:
- Lengthy customer response time. If a customer query requires your specialists to get through a range of siloed systems, the response may be too slow.
- Finding the required data is difficult. In search of specific information, the customers have to contact different sales reps and repeat their queries. It affects the patient experience.
- Tracking the performance is challenging due to siloed data in your digital infrastructure.
- Reporting takes too long due to data stored in disparate systems.
If you can relate to any of those points, you might consider implementing a CRM solution.
Such systems help health care providers streamline their internal processes and upscale productivity. Patient care aside, the healthcare industry includes a range of operational tasks. A CRM solution lets users manage all those tasks from a single centralized location.
Thanks to the omnichannel presence, a healthcare CRM enables doctors and patients to view schedules, appointments, and other necessary data anytime and anywhere.
So how to make sure you get the solution which fits your goals? There are several criteria to follow.
Health care CRM: Selection criteria
There are four key points to consider choosing a CRM solution for the health care business.
Make sure the CRM system leaves up to your expectations. Clearly understand your business needs and how a CRM system can help you meet them. Generally, there are three types of CRM systems available:
- Operational CRM. It works on streamlining operational processes and improving overall system performance. An operational CRM helps companies attract new clients and provide the necessary infrastructure to retain them.
- Analytical CRM. This system focuses on customer data and their interactions with your organization. Such systems transform large volumes of data into actionable insights. They help to improve the customer experience by analyzing customer preferences, touchpoints, and trends.
- Collaborative CRM. This type of CRM system bridges cross-department data gaps. Also known as strategic CRM, it enables different departments to share customer data. It helps to build a seamless customer experience and manage customer relationships.
An effective health care CRM unifies those focal points under one umbrella to ensure personalized care provision. However, even if a provider employs a general-use CRM, qualified vendors can adapt it to the industry needs and requirements. It all depends on the time and investment you can afford.
CRM modules and features
Having identified your business needs and pain points, you can proceed with selecting the relevant CRM modules and features. Typically, a health care CRM unites several modules that work together to deliver a positive experience to both doctors and patients:
1. Patient management module
This module hosts patient data and updates it automatically in real time. The module requires seamless integration with your electronic health records (EHR) solution and departmental software, such as lab software. Another valuable feature is patient segmentation. A segmentation analysis of patient data allows you to focus on patient behavior and choices. It gives healthcare providers a deeper understanding of consumer needs.
2. Communication module
The communication module helps doctors to schedule appointments with patients by providing a list of available time slots. The key features of this module include:
- A calendar, alerts, and reminders pertinent to patient visits to ensure timely notifications via a preferred communication channel;
- Task tracking lets doctors view planned patient visits, lab tests, or other procedures.
- Marketing campaign functionality. It might be reasonable to integrate the CRM solution into your email system. This integration enables automated email distribution, including email notifications on special offers, promotions, and bonus and reward programs. It can help to increase customer loyalty.
3. Reporting module
The health care CRM reporting module is a powerful tool that provides insightful reports and visuals to each worker in your clinic. The reports are customizable, and you can generate them at any time.
In handy dashboards, users can view particular tasks, trends in health care preferences, campaign ROI, customer retention rates, and any information pertinent to their daily activities or overall clinic performance. Besides, a CRM system aggregates data from all the available internal solutions. It means you can access complete, real-time data and generate customized reports.
Health care data security is a pain point for both patients and providers. As CRM solutions are deeply integrated with the electronic records of health care providers, ensuring multilevel data protection is a necessary effort.
In 2021, health care cybersecurity incidents affected about 46 million people across the U.S., Compliancy Group reports. So how to ensure protected health information (PHI) security within a CRM solution?
For health care providers, the effort boils down to selecting a reputable vendor with proven experience in delivering CRM solutions for health care. Such vendors ensure end-to-end data encryption and multilevel protection of PHI with well-designed role-based access to the necessary information. They guarantee the solution complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard for sensitive patient data protection.
A CRM system makes a central point of your digital infrastructure that enables any worker to generate reports and drive valuable insights from them. At the same time, a health care CRM is not a primary data source. It needs to integrate with a plethora of digital solutions you have to generate value.
To leverage this CRM power, you need to review your digital infrastructure and single out the solutions to integrate with the CRM system. To speed up the process, you can draft an infrastructure map to present to your vendor. If the deployed solutions come from different vendors, it may take extra effort to have them work together effectively.
Managing patient relationships is almost impossible without a dedicated CRM system in the new normal. Fortunately, choosing a solution that suits a practice is manageable. To do so, you need to review your customer relationship management processes and workflows and scan them for hurdles they may present to your staff and customers. Then you can formulate your business needs and select a CRM solution type that meets all your goals.
Further on, you can concentrate on the three CRM solution elements critical for choosing a vendor:
- CRM building blocks. Consider general CRM modules and their top features to know what to look for when choosing a vendor.
- Data security. Check out usual data security practices and regulations to assess the qualifications of potential vendors.
- Integrations. Outline the CRM integrations you plan to set up and evaluate vendors’ expertise in this regard.
Relying on those points, you can select a reputable vendor with sufficient expertise in health care CRM deployment, ensuring data security and a good understanding of the solution’s role in your digital infrastructure.
Liza Dzhezhora is a health care IT Analyst at Itransition, a global software development company headquartered in the U.S. With more than 20 years of experience, it delivers a full spectrum of software consulting and development services, handling projects of any scale for SMBs and Fortune 500 companies from various sectors.