Healthcare providers have invested significant time and money in clinical IT systems in recent years. Most of this in EHR, HIE, or integration of disparate systems. Some have progressed into analytics and dashboards, with the classic red, yellow and green gauges. These are all necessary steps to see current and historical clinical information for an individual patient, or a group of patients. Yet, even when they point red, they don’t move the needle. It is not enough to identify the problem, you need to move the needle, which implies you have the time to so. A big part of it is simple follow through. You cannot just prescribe the medicine, you need to make sure they take the medicine. You cannot just recommend a patient appointment, you need to make sure they attend the appointment. This is not to suggest unlimited hand-holding to guarantee 100% compliance, the last few percent may not be worth the follow up effort. For example, if the goal is annual screenings for a high risk patient cohort, you need a mechanism to move the needle over time. What if you had the tools to do the right mix of email reminders and outbound follow-up calls? What if you knew the rate of patient participation per number off contact attempts?
CRM is being used by more and more healthcare providers to move the needle. It has all the activities, work lists, task lists, workflow, alerts and reminders to get things done. It manages multiple contact channels. It naturally coordinates between all the various individuals interacting with each patient. It ensures actions are taken and closure is achieved. It escalates to others when things don’t get done. It balances workloads and helps implement high performing care coordination processes in lower performing areas. None of these things are highly complex, but it is often the simple things that get overlooked. In areas such as care coordination, population health management, home health, or whenever coordination is required outside the provider care facilities, CRM is a great tool to achieve operational efficiency.