A long-term healing process requires uninterrupted connection between patients and their caregivers, but most clinical systems, including EHR, can’t meet this need. These applications are usually closed for patients and don’t enable inbound/outbound communication.
We suggest using healthcare CRM for this purpose.
When the concept of CRM was created, it was expected to become the all-purpose relationship accelerator, yet now it is rather used as a narrow sales tool. This biased CRM perception, which grew from sales practice, holds back providers from widely using it to improve communication with chronic patients.
Let us show you how a customer relationship system can address problems in chronic disease management.
Interrupted care issue
An adequate chronic condition care takes complete understanding of patient’s current health status, which is impossible without monitoring an individual’s treatment progress via regular checkups. Patients often make this monitoring a challenging task, disregarding the importance of recurrent appointments and tests.
The subconscious psychological defense can make an individual apathetic and indifferent to their condition. Moreover, patients tend to also underestimate potential risks, which leads to missed appointments, mistreated symptoms and consecutive complications. This way, an EHR can’t neither provide caregivers with the complete disease history nor fully support physicians’ decisions on changes to treatment plans.
Integrated with an EHR, a CRM can help providers gain a comprehensive picture of a patient’s condition in real-time. By tracking the frequency of occurred appointments and tests and recognizing the gaps in the scheduled ones, the CRM system can detect interrupted care cases.
It then notifies patients that they haven’t seen their physician in a while, so they can schedule a next appointment shortly. The system also sends notifications to physicians and other care team members, so they can reach out to the patient via email or phone.
Low patient engagement
Consistency of chronic care management also relies on patient engagement.
Patients have to incorporate daily health status tracking, along with regular examinations and tests, in their life. It requires a high level of self-discipline, especially at early disease stages when new habits are just being acquired.
Individuals might be overwhelmed with a number of new routines such as medications, procedures and special nutrition recommendations, and tend to carelessly approach them. In these moments of the highest vulnerability, patients need more motivation than ever.
CRM for healthcare allows providers to support patients’ healing process whenever it is needed. The system can offer patients personalized messages and content through a website, a patient portal and emails. This helps to keep patients informed and engaged with their health.
Disregard of patient-generated health data
When patients use medical devices and wearables to track their vitals, they should be able to share this information with caregivers. Daily, weekly and monthly patterns can reveal negative or positive trends in the disease progression.
Yet there is no place for storing the patient-generated health data (PGHD) in EHR, not to mention its analyzing and processing. In the meantime, CRM can handle this data just fine and thus allow effective chronic condition management.
It can be customized to transform raw variables into comprehensive reports and elicit dependencies between, say, blood glucose, pressure, water consumption, daily activity and more. These overviews will be offered to physicians as graphs and charts with the ability to separate and track each marker’s change. Most important insights will be synchronized with the EHR to keep it up-to-date.
Moreover, if the automated analysis has detected some disturbing health status variations, a healthcare CRM can alarm care team members. Importantly, all information is processed and provided in accordance with the HIPAA standards.
Think of CRM during chronic care delivery
We encourage you to once again take a look at customer relationship management systems and see their true credo – to help you support patients on their way to controlling a chronic condition. CRM can supply you with the functionality that EHR lacks, enabling systematic care, multichannel patient engagement and all-around PGHD evaluation.
If you want to find out more about the possibilities of healthcare CRM and how to seamlessly integrate it with your EHR, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss the details and offer you a consultation and a PoC.
By Dzianis Zhynko, Head of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Department at ScienceSoft