Posted: December 14, 2017

Market survey data tells us that more provider organizations than not are now accustomed to using a healthcare customer relationship management (CRM) system to run service line-centric and new patient acquisition-focused campaigns; however, leveraging a CRM to augment their organization’s value-based care strategy is the next new frontier. In an era of value-based medicine, marketing and communication strategies will shift to focus more on cultivating relationships with current patients, rather than casting a wide net to draw in prospective patients, which means leveraging CRM data to deliver a more personalized patient experience across the continuum of care.

Today's leading hospitals, reports the American Hospital Association, “are transforming care delivery with knowledge gained from data and analytics." More than 80 percent now “analyze retrospective clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving quality" and reducing costs, while three-quarters use data analytics tools like predictive modeling to inform clinical decision-making.

A separate report, by Stanford University — “Harnessing the Power of Data in Health" — also illustrates the impact big data has had on care delivery. “By leveraging big data," says Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, “we can create a vision of healthcare that is more preventive, predictive, personalized, and precise." But doing so requires investments in technology, and a commitment to data literacy across the healthcare enterprise. Healthcare organizations “need to have the right systems, processes, and structures in place" to make big data management possible, the report notes.

Foremost among those systems, of course, is an electronic health record (EHR) that captures a wide array of clinical information. At least 96 percent of hospitals now use an EHR, so most organizations are sitting on a goldmine of patient data that is mostly untapped when it comes to personalizing communications strategies and the consumer experience across various touchpoints — and that's where healthcare marketers and the healthcare CRM comes into play.

Personalized Content Throughout the Healthcare Journey
The silos that once bound clinical and behavioral data up to this point — EHRs, lab data, content management systems, and the like — can now largely be eliminated with a variety of integration techniques, most notably by using standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs). With APIs, you can feed disparate data sources into a single centralized platform, which, for the purposes of consumer engagement, means a healthcare CRM. There, clinical and behavioral data is meshed with consumer marketing data, crucially enabling organizations to engage with consumers in a more refined, relevant, and personalized way.

For example, an individual recently seen in the emergency department without a primary care physician of record might receive a follow-up call from the contact center to help connect them with a physician near them that is accepting new patients. A mother-to-be in her sixth month of pregnancy might be identified for an educational campaign about the importance of childhood vaccinations that also provides help in selecting the right pediatrician.

This healthcare CRM, given the right design, might be used to leverage other data as well, from patient-generated information gleaned from wearable devices, to costs, claims, and behavioral data from payers, other providers, and public health databases, to help an organization remain relevant to a consumer between health episodes. Ultimately, your organization should be able to use the wealth of information at its disposal not only to acquire new patients and build loyal consumer relationships, but to deliver information and exceptional support to patients in real time, throughout every stage of their healthcare journey.

Want to learn more about essential and advanced healthcare CRM capabilities as well as out to build a business case for investing in new technology, and more? Read our guide, The Definitve Guide to Healthcare CRM: A Practical Guide to Successful CRM Selection, Integration, and Value Creation.