A successful healthcare practice relies on strong patient-provider relationships. Since all businesses have now pivoted to digital, healthcare organizations can make use of CRM software technology to enhance patient satisfaction.
A healthcare CRM (or healthcare customer relationship management) software can help healthcare providers reorient their focus to meet patient needs without compromising on the quality of care.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at CRM in healthcare and why it’s a must for both new and established practices.
What Is CRM in Healthcare?
Healthcare CRM is a type of software designed to unify medical teams within your practice, better track valuable patient information, and save time.
For example, within your CRM system would be pertinent information on each patient, including their history of appointments, the date of their upcoming appointment(s), their medical history, and their history of medical bills both paid and unpaid.
With healthcare CRM software, you have an online portal for scheduling and managing all appointments. Now, instead of having to pick up the phone and call to make an appointment, those who want to schedule their next visit to a healthcare organization can just do so online.
CRM software of this type are used in all areas of healthcare, including private and public practices, medical centers, laboratories, and hospitals.
Why Is CRM Important in Healthcare?
The healthcare industry has grown tremendously in the past decade and has become more competitive. Patients have evolving needs and to keep up and meet those needs requires technology and digital transformation.
Following are a few ways that CRM solutions are crucial in healthcare.
Comprehensive Patient Management
A healthcare practice will face patients with all kinds of health-related issues. Some might be young while others are older. They all require different levels of care.
CRM in healthcare not only stores patients’ contact information, it also gives a comprehensive overview of their medical history, appointments, and prescriptions.
With a healthcare CRM system, you can customize your patient management plans so that each patient gets precisely the amount of care they need.
For instance, a young, healthy patient might need check-ins every now and again, such as once a month or once every other month.
For your chronically ill patients though, you’ll check in with them nearly daily. The old ways of using Excel spreadsheets or single-function software applications for storing and sorting this data are now obsolete.
Instead, a powerful and all-in-one CRM software can do all the tasks related to managing appointments.
It can keep the information updated, schedule appointments based on conditions you set in advance, and send out reminders via email, SMS, or push notifications to both the hospital staff and the patients well in advance.
A hospital or private practice has many departments that must work in sync to provide the best patient experience. Yet sometimes these departments don’t engage with each other much – each team can get super busy with its own tasks.
This can result in task overlaps or for patients to be accidentally forgotten about. Since it’s a patient’s health we’re talking about here, neither overlaps nor lapses can be excused.
With CRM in healthcare, all hospital departments can quickly and seamlessly share data. The CRM system has high storage space for all patient files & records, and informs every person related to a task about every update.
This way, even when teams work out of different physical locations of a hospital, they coordinate efficiently.
Reporting & Analytics
Healthcare analytics is a crucial aspect of running a practice. Providers should know where they can improve to offer a better level of care to their patients.
A CRM system can also compile reports that benefit a healthcare organization. These reports can be regarding patient requests or complaints, referrals, or internal issues like medical equipment malfunctioning.
The Benefits of CRM in Healthcare
Not only is CRM in healthcare advantageous for your patients, but it also works wonders for doctors, healthcare assistants, nurses, receptionists, and other employees at a healthcare facility. Here’s how.
Save Time & Resources
CRM automation can save you many hours every day, and these add up to dozens of hours of time saved per month.
One such time-saving use of CRM automation is human resource management, or HRM.
Rather than overloading your human resources manager with tasks related to payroll, sick days, and vacation time, you can automate the whole schedule management process.
If your healthcare facility’s staff is growing, automated calendar management is a must.
Speaking of calendars, each doctor and nurse at your hospital or private practice can automate their calendars with CRM software.
Patients can make appointments without the doctor’s involvement, and notifications would tell the patient instantly when they have a new appointment.
Since the calendar would update in real-time, doctors never have to worry about being double-booked.
Reduce Errors In Medical Bills
You might have several front-desk employees who process patient payments.
CRM tools can auto-generate bills based on the in-app coordination between different teams of the hospital. Automated bill generation is time-saving and reduces the rate of human error.
When sending out bills, you can’t afford to make mistakes, as even one misplaced decimal can change a bill radically. A CRM system makes bill generation seamless and quick.
This is of tremendous importance to growing healthcare facilities, as they add more laboratories and departments. Each patient might need a dozen tests, and every bill can be separately generated.
With CRM in healthcare, there is no burden on the patients and the staff for the collection and calculation of bills, and this will improve both patient and employee satisfaction.
Read also: How to Attract Modern Patients: 11 Effective Healthcare Marketing Ideas
As we mentioned earlier, inter-department communication is crucial in healthcare. Yet due to the jam-packed schedules and the fast-paced work at healthcare facilities, communication can sometimes falter.
Streamline your business processes and automate dull tasks with smart workflows.
Once you’ve set the right conditions to automate your workflows, you can depend on the CRM system to execute all the tasks related to staff communication.
Healthcare organizations can also improve patient-provider communications by automating reminders, upcoming appointments, and other patient engagement emails.
Ensure Digital Compliance
Patient data must always remain confidential unless you’re okay with a flood of lawsuits. Yet most healthcare facilities don’t breach sensitive data intentionally. The fault lies in outdated data management.
Most CRM tools come with cloud storage and sufficient data security. They can also enable additional mechanisms for you to enhance the security of patient data.
Examples include digital signatures and two-factor authentication. You can also limit access to patient data, ensuring that all sensitive information remains confidential. Make sure that your CRM is HL7 compliant too and has embedded FHIR server like Kodjin.
Read more: Top 5 Healthcare CRM Software & Their Benefits in 2021
Healthcare CRM Functionalities & Key Features
While we’ve touched on the functionalities of healthcare CRM systems, we want to take this section to really dive into the many tasks these software can perform.
Automation is one CRM functionality that has come up a lot in this article. Whether it’s scheduling appointments, logging patient data, or generating bills, healthcare CRM systems can automate all these tasks and more.
- Email automation ensures that timely responses are sent to a patient’s inbox after they take action in some way. For instance, as soon as a patient signs up for your online portal, they’d get a welcome email.
- You can also send automated follow-ups that include information and health tips that are relevant to a patient.
Forgetting medical appointments is inconvenient for both the patient and the healthcare staff. The patient has to call back and try to squeeze in another appointment.
You also have a 30-minute or 60-minute gap open for a patient who isn’t going to show up. That’s lost time and revenue.
With CRM in healthcare, patients receive timely reminders, so these missed appointments become rare.
The reminders can go straight to a patient’s inbox days before the appointment and also on the day of the appointment, so your staff need not call and remind every patient.
A good healthcare software will give you dozens of templates to design and write your reminder emails. You can personalize them and each patient will receive a reminder with their name and personal details.
Read also: Beyond the Basics: 13 Hospital Advertisement Ideas to Elevate Your Marketing
The healthcare industry has no shortage of customers, but you must still market your brand the way any company would. Using CRM software can be like having a marketing agency on your side; you’ll have a bevy of new marketing avenues opened up.
You can create marketing campaigns for social media, SMS, email, and more. Your CRM software will allow you to segment your patients based on their health issues, location, age, gender, or psychographics. Then you can tailor your marketing campaigns for each patient group.
With metrics to measure every bit of progress, you can track which campaigns are bringing in more patients (and thus revenue) and which aren’t.
A robust medical CRM system will help you create and organize patient profiles, so you can make sure that your patients are getting the level of care they need. It will help you streamline and manage all relevant sources of patient information.
How to Choose the Right Healthcare CRM Platform
Research shows that enhancing the patient experience is a top reason for the adoption of CRM in healthcare, but improving the marketing outreach and effectiveness is also a major driver.
We’re hoping that we have been able to convey the significance of CRM in healthcare. In this part of the blog, we’ll tell you how exactly you can find the best CRM system for your healthcare organization.
Know What You Need
Now that you’re familiar with the features of healthcare CRM software, you can figure out the ones that make sense for your healthcare facility.
Do you need a system that automates task delegation, appointment scheduling, health portal, etc? Or do you only need specific features
Once you have the details ironed out, you can choose the one that provides the best service.
Read also: Top 5 Travel Agency CRM Software Travel Agents Must Try
Have a Budget
The cost of CRM products can vary widely. Some software providers offer free CRM tools but charge you for other CRM services that are also needed. Some offer their CRM system with other services bundled in as part of a monthly subscription plan.
Not all CRM software need to be paid for in advance. EngageBay’s CRM is free forever, and for an industry-leading number of 15 account users.
That said, you should have clarity on how much you’re willing to spend on marketing and patient experience enhancement in a year. This budgeting will help you understand which CRM software options are worth considering to begin with.
Try a Demo
Once you’ve got it down to about five software providers, request a demo or trial for each. Most trials last at least a week and sometimes two or even three weeks. During that time, use every feature in the CRM system to understand whether or not the product makes sense to you.
Is the CRM user-friendly? Is the learning curve steep? Were you able to successfully deploy the services you’ll need? What is the reporting like? Were your employees glad to use the software?
The answers to these questions can get you a top pick in very little time.
Read also: 6 Steps to Create Your CRM Strategy (+ How to Track It)
A robust CRM in your healthcare organization can do more than just improve patient management. You can upload electronic health records, monitor patient journey, set up health assessments, and reconnect with new and existing patients.
Using technology to deliver value to your patients is how you can ensure that you set new standards for exceptional patient care.
EngageBay’s CRM is always free for healthcare facilities. You can manage thousands of contacts, automate dozens of tasks like appointment scheduling and billing, and deploy powerful marketing campaigns for happier, healthier patients.
If you’re still not convinced, take a free trial of EngageBay CRM and use its features. You can opt out any time, and there’s no credit card required for the sign-up.