The healthcare industry isn’t as siloed as you may think. Sure, it’s one of the more unique industries, but business is business. Even though healthcare is patient-centric (or at least it should to be), it still has the same needs as other industries. Healthcare businesses still need to manage their finances, secure their data and manage their customers (aka, their patients).
This last point is especially important, which is what’s made customer relationship management software (CRM) so valuable to the industry. In turn, this has given rise to specialized healthcare CRM systems.
Healthcare CRM software is — surprise, surprise — very similar to regular CRM systems. Many of the features are the same, as are the benefits. However, there are a few features and benefits that are unique to the healthcare CRM market.
Benefits of Healthcare CRM
Healthcare CRM solutions provide all the benefits of a regular CRM, such as managing your patients’ information and improving your general customer service. But when it comes to healthcare specifically, there are several unique benefits that any healthcare professional — from solo primary care physicians to large hospital CEOs — can take advantage of.
Engage with Patients Outside of Appointments
Like any business, engaging with your customers is incredibly important in order to foster a long-term relationship. In the healthcare industry, there’s plenty of patient engagement during an appointment, but that’s not enough. To truly build that relationship, you need to engage with patients outside of their appointments.
Healthcare CRM solutions can help you manage these efforts by automating them. For example, you can schedule regular email newsletters with updates on your specials, discounts, etc. to send automatically. You can also provide health tips in these newsletters, which make your patients feel like you’re actively trying to help them live a healthy life, rather than milking them for some extra cash. Both of these strategies help increase retention, building your patient base.
Meet Compliance More Consistently
Compliance in any industry is both important and, oftentimes, tough to meet. HIPAA regulations are among the strictest out there, meaning you need to be careful in order to meet those standards. Healthcare CRM software can also help with this.
By keeping all of your patients’ information digital, you don’t have to worry about managing paper documents. In other words, there’s no chance someone could accidentally leave papers with sensitive information where they can be seen, or even lose them entirely.
The best CRM systems include powerful cybersecurity capabilities, which help keep your patients’ information away from the prying eyes that want to steal it. This is especially important for the healthcare industry in general, which has seen more data breaches than almost any other industry in recent years.
Improve Patient Care
The number one priority of any healthcare organization is to take care of its patients. The best organizations constantly strive to provide more patient-centered care, ensuring that no patient ever falls through the cracks. Healthcare CRM solutions provide this in the form of increased inbound communication.
When a team of physicians work either with a patient or several patients, communication is essential, especially if said patient(s) have a chronic disease and/or require long-term care. Healthcare CRM software helps facilitate that communication, ensuring that each patient gets the proper care they need. These CRMs can store patient data similar to an EHR, including tests, diagnoses and treatments, so every physician has access to each patient’s history. Additionally, chat features allow physicians to collaborate, advise each other and share extra information not already stored in the CRM.
Features of Healthcare CRM
Of course, these benefits are only possible thanks to the various features available in a healthcare CRM system. As we mentioned previously, many features are the same as you’d find in your average CRM, while others are more unique.
A contact refers to someone whose contact information you hold. Usually you obtain this information through an inquiry, an interaction with your marketing materials or through a referral.
When trying to expand your patient base, contact management is one of the most effective tools for doing so. This feature allows you to organize and segment your various contacts into groups, based on a plethora of factors. You could group them based on demographics, medical needs, position in the sales funnel or any combination thereof.
This segmentation allows you to target these patients more effectively with your marketing and sales materials, increasing the likelihood that they’ll return to your practice or organization.
Practice Management Integration
Integration is important for any kind of software, so of course it’s also crucial for your healthcare CRM. Practice management integration is one of the healthcare-specific features that make the lives of healthcare professionals easier.
Practice management software, as you probably know, helps you manage the administrative processes necessary to running a practice, hospital or other healthcare organization. By integrating it with a healthcare CRM, you can automate several tasks that would otherwise take several hours by several people to complete.
For example, when a patient schedules an appointment through a patient portal, that can be automatically recorded in their profile in your CRM. This provides an automated record of when the appointment was made, when it occurred and what it was for. Similarly, billing information can be recorded automatically in the CRM as well, including if they paid their bill late or what insurance provider they have.
EHR and EMR Integration
Just like practice management integration, EHR and EMR integration streamlines and automates otherwise manual processes. But rather than automatically recording administrative information about your patients, EHRs and EMRs record medical information.
After your patients come in for an appointment, get diagnosed and receive treatment, that information is recorded in an EHR and/or EMR (depending on which one you use). That information is then automatically recorded to the patient’s profile in the CRM, so you can gain the coveted 360-degree view of your patients.
This then helps in your patient engagement efforts. For example, if you have a patient that regularly makes appointments to get vaccines for their kids, you can use your CRM to add them to a group of patients that receive offers and information on new vaccines.
Pretty much every kind of software has to have some kind of reporting capabilities nowadays. Since marketing and sales aren’t always at the top of the priority list of healthcare organizations, proving the ROI of your healthcare CRM is essential.
Most healthcare CRM software provide reporting capabilities that you can use to measure and track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Even more useful is the ability to measure the exact ROI of those campaigns.
In addition, you can use reporting features to gain insights into other aspects of your organization. For example, which demographics visit your organization the most? Which services are your most popular? And which physicians get the most visits? Knowing this information can help you improve both your business processes and your entire organization.
Top Healthcare CRM Solutions
The healthcare CRM market size isn’t exactly a huge one. Nonetheless, there are several options available, each of which is more than capable of handling your needs. These are the best of the best; the healthcare CRM solutions that are the most popular and the most robust:
The Salesboom CRM system is a powerful cloud-based tool preferred by many data-driven healthcare organizations. The analytical and forecasting tools that Salesboom provides are among the best on the market, utilizing real-time data to discover new insights into your organization.
Salesforce has been a staple at the top of the CRM market for some time, and the same is true for the healthcare CRM market. Its plethora of integrations and wide variety of features, both specific to healthcare and for general use, are second to none.
SugarCRM is another well-known player in the CRM world. The system provides lots of automation capabilities, including sales, support and call center automation. Sugar also provides on-site SQL Server support, so you can access your on-premise database, if you have one.
Sage CRM is one of the more affordable healthcare CRM solutions out there. Available in the cloud, on-premise and on mobile, it’s also very flexible. Additionally, Sage is available in multiple languages and multiple currencies, making it a great option for international organizations.
Finally, a healthcare CRM system that doesn’t start with “S.” Microsoft Dynamics CRM is perfect for healthcare organizations that already rely on other Microsoft products, such as Excel and Outlook. And like Sugar, it provides several types of automation capabilities, including sales and customer service automation.