So your healthcare CRM marketing initiative has been a huge success so far. Congratulations! It's time to move on to the next big thing…or is it?

A successful marketing venture into CRM isn't just a sign that you're connecting well with your patients. It's something much bigger. It means that you've evolved to a level of relationship mastery that shouldn't be confined to marketing. It's time to turn your customer relationship management skills to new areas and grace other departments with the technology and insights you've used to touch and influence consumers so effectively.

Healthcare Relationships are Big Relationships
There's nothing simple about connecting in healthcare. While doing something like switching phone providers might be annoying, switching providers in healthcare reaches another level of complexity. The cost of changing relationships in this field are high, so a patient choosing a provider involves not only a transfer of trust but also taking on the burden of the administrative tasks that come along with being a new patient (such as filling out patient forms as well as checking with and notifying insurance), and that's assuming that everything goes as planned.

Earning a consumer's trust as a patient is just the front door to their consumer journey. This new relationship unfolds into a web of other providers and other ancillary services, from nurses to office staff, that make up the healthcare experience. You've opened up a world of billing, care plans, community health campaigns, and general education where your new CRM technology and skills can really shine.

Healthcare CRM Can Transform Other Departments
Investment in CRM shouldn't be approached only from the perspective of marketing. It has the potential to enhance many other functions and departments when properly applied.

For example, customer service can be transformed into an active listening department through the use of social media, proper understanding of buyer personas, and active tracking of online mentions to better understand consumer needs, experiences, and opportunities for improvement.

Additionally, the life-long task of patient engagement turns into evolving consumer engagement as a patient moves past the simple decision to connect with a provider. Deciding to provide an amazing consumer experience for patients pulls in staff ranging from office support to collections, patient financial services, and of course, clinical.

Evolved CRM: In Action
An enormous amount of the healthcare process comes down to an exchange of information, and that's why viewing a consumer's experience as a campaign can be so useful. There are entirely too many cases where patients are sent home with a set of paper instructions and maybe an appointment reminder card. This is an enormous missed opportunity to guide a patient through a post-care experience and further deepen the relationship that was born when a provider was chosen.

Let's take a look at a few examples from one of the most common joint replacement surgeries that's also one of the most difficult to recover from: total knee replacement.

Tom, Retired Veteran
Tom's normally received his care through the VA, but a recent move to the country meant that it was smartest to have the knee replacement he's been putting off done at the local hospital.

He might be older, but both he and his wife are tech-literate Baby Boomers, so sending them a message the day of discharge that includes a copy of their instructions as well as the option to receive SMS reminders of their follow-up appointments is welcome. Still, like so many in that group, they both appreciate a personal touch, so a call from a real, live representative to find out if they have any questions, and whether text reminders are the best way to stay connected with them help cement a feeling of partnership with their providers. Checking with Tom and whether he'd like to receive knee replacement recovery tips as well as the “Staying Active" newsletter for modern seniors either by mail or email is also a good way to tie in content marketing initiatives (as well as great insight for your CRM).

Tom's on Medicare, meaning his billing is pretty straightforward, but sending him information on his supplement and prescription plans helps him feel at ease that he's not paying for anything unnecessarily and is covering all his responsibilities.

Abhishek, Sales Manager
A congenital joint issue has left Abhishek facing two total knee replacements and unable to keep up with his 18-month old son, but now that the second knee is done, he's happy to see the email alert with his discharge instructions and follow-up reminder pop up in his inbox.

Previous CRM data's revealed that he's very interested in holistic medicine and a prime candidate for a physical mailer promoting a rehabilitative, physician-supervised yoga program that's gotten much praise. Abhishek is also a prime candidate for the “Healthy Living" newsletter that the content marketing team just premiered as well as interactive text alerts for all his follow-up appointments.

Since he's had such a great experience, this is a good time to remind him about the state-of-the-art pediatric program that could be a great fit for his growing family.

Hayley, Avid Runner
Athletes have special needs after knee replacements and your CRM indicates that Hayley expressed special concerns about her future in marathon running. She's a perfect candidate to ask about subscription to the sports medicine department's monthly mailer, as well as referrals to affiliated sports medicine physicians and physical therapists that can help her get ready for her next 25k.

Hayley is also self-employed and on an ACA plan, meaning that she'll likely be thankful for detailed explanations of her coverage, billing, and any advice on when to contact her insurance company about any concerns she might have.

Healthcare CRM in the most traditional sense is only the beginning. Healthcare presents opportunities to leverage technology and build life-long relationships that simply don't exist in other industries, giving marketers the exciting opportunity to think bigger about the consumer relationship and get more involved in patient journey overall.

Want to learn more about maximizing your healthcare CRM investment and use cases to help your overall organization reach its goals? Download our Definitive Guide to Healthcare CRM.