Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Why You Need a Medical CRM and How To Choose It

Michael May
July 30, 2021

Blog - Patient CRM

There’s a pressing need for practices to prioritise patient relationships while keeping their medical data structured and secure. The demand for personalised care and high-quality customer service is also growing rapidly. Practices must meet these demands if they want to maintain and improve their client retention rate. That’s where the patient medical customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play. A modern medical CRM enables easy access to a patient's medical, payment and behavioral history, allowing you to personalise marketing messaging while boosting loyalty and customer satisfaction.

How a medical CRM can benefit your business

Like any CRM system, a medical CRM provides a structured overview of your clients’ history (or patients in our case). It shows each patient’s medical electronic health record and simplifies data entry for new patients. In addition, it offers automated marketing communication and analytics tools that help offload some of the tasks from your team and reach the best marketing results. Thanks to the transparency and automation of such systems, medical practices can improve their internal business processes, like billing. It’s an easy way to make sure there are no mistakes and nothing is left undone.

Another major benefit of implementing a CRM in a clinic is that it keeps sensitive data secure. This helps you to comply with regulations and avoid any loss of reputation as a consequence of any untoward events.

Everything is Secure to the Core with the Medesk Platform. All your data is protected in transfer and storage, and you can even set up different levels of access rights for your colleagues.

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As for the external benefits, medical CRM software with a focus on patient management enhances the patient experience within the practice. It is achieved by means of logging every little detail in the system, so patients get to enjoy personalised communication with no further input required by your admin team. At the same time, a CRM helps attract new patients with targeted promotional campaigns that can be configured directly in the system.

Read more: Patient CRM Systems – How to Keep Your Patient Communications on Track

What can a medical CRM do?

Every CRM system is different and offers a unique set of features. However, certain features are present in almost any solution. Below are some of the examples of a typical patient CRM’s capabilities:

  1. It helps with patient recall as you’ll be able to find the best follow-up treatment opportunities and spot forgotten patients. As both the patient’s health records and their marketing data are sitting next to each other in a single system, it is possible to have a comprehensive overview of each person, understand what treatments might benefit them, and then see how and when is best to engage them in a conversation about it. At the same time, the system can highlight the patients who are due for tests or follow-ups but have never scheduled an appointment.

  2. Structure, automate, and schedule follow-ups with patients based on past and upcoming appointments. Imagine a world where your receptionists don’t have to call patients every day just for reassurance that appointments are going to be attended. It represents a significant reduction in costs and is an opportunity to delegate your administrative staff more urgent or long-postponed tasks.

  3. Automated feedback forms and screening are other jobs that can be offloaded from your team without compromising client satisfaction. This kind of functionality is ideally combined with online booking and prepayments options.

  4. A patient CRM enables practices to make data-based decisions rather than playing the guessing game. After all, the decisions you have to make are not always that complicated. It’s mostly just a question of having the right information to hand to support the decision-making process.

  5. Ability to log notes in the healthcare software as you go along helps to avoid data loss. Doctors won’t be typing their notes in a third-party solution or using paper notes, so there’s no need to worry that they’ll forget to enter them in the main system later.

  6. A CRM should offer advanced data analytics. Typically, this includes reports and dashboards, which practices can use to spot trends early. So, for example, if you run a report and notice that there has been a spike in the use of a certain service in the last month, you might decide to increase your marketing budget in that area to maximise the potential revenue.

  7. Another way of using data analytics is to review and improve marketing efficiency. One can track what marketing channels perform best, understand what kind of patients do not respond to your communications, track the patient lifecycle, and also learn where most people learn about the clinic from.

In Medesk we have put together more than 40 different ready-made reports so you can track your clinic's performance. The Analytics module helps you to gather all the necessary information from a variety of sources.

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  1. A CRM can be helpful for your finance and strategy teams as they can gather statistics on individual services and your practice as a whole. It allows you to track your performance and make decisions based on real numbers.

  2. Managers can set tasks for the teams and monitor how well these tasks are executed. Besides daily management, it helps with promotion reviews, annual feedback, and any conflicts.

analytics acquisition channel Acquisition channels analytics in Medesk

Learn more: Key Healthcare Metrics Your Private Practice Manager Should Target

The long-term benefits of having a well-functioning medical CRM system

Your practice isn’t going to magically transform overnight once you start using new medical software. However, with the proper use of the right system you will definitely see improvements over time.

Here are some of the common benefits that practices notice:

  • Better patient experience with a well-documented medical history.
  • Increased patient satisfaction with personalised marketing.
  • Reduced cancellations and no-shows with automated pre- and post-treatment communication.
  • Lower administrative costs with reduced manual data entry.
  • Better transparency and collaboration between teams.
  • Less stress when a member of the team is sick or leaves the clinic.
  • Improved chronic disease management.

Learn more: Patient Management Software and its Benefits for Clinicians

Before you start evaluating CRMs

Whenever you are looking at implementing any new solution into your practice, it is important to be meticulous and fully understand what you are looking for. Before you go into demos and start talking to vendor representatives, make sure you do the following:

  1. Think through your business case and try engaging your team for the best results.
  2. Set specific goals that you’d like to achieve with a CRM system.
  3. Create a list of show stoppers. e.g. there must be automated emailing functionality.

Learn more: How to Choose Medical Practice Management Software for Your Clinic - Full Guide

What to consider when choosing a medical CRM for patients

Once you enter the active phase of testing and trialling, consider the following factors:

  1. Data security to stay compliant and protect sensitive data.
  2. Third-party integration potential. You might want to integrate new tools in the future. It’s best to work with healthcare software that supports this approach.
  3. Tracking functionality for activities, KPIs and general business health reviews.
  4. Variability and flexibility to run custom reports for your unique needs.
  5. How does the vendor assist with staff training? There is little use in purchasing a CRM if your colleagues are not able to use it to its fullest.

A Patient CRM is a tool that can benefit both your patients and your practice. Given the current trend of CRM implementation across all industries, investing in a solution is a matter of when not if. The sooner your practice starts evaluating and integrating a CRM, the more competitive it is going to remain in the future.

Read next: The list of medical software solutions that every practice will benefit from

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