When a patient is hurt or sick, all they want is to get better. But organizations often place many burdensome steps in the care journey — schedule an appointment, fill out form after form, wait to see a doctor, get a prescription or referral — it’s exhausting, especially when they’re not feeling well.
However, systems like electronic medical records (EMRs) often stand in the way. EMRs were designed to store and protect patient data, yet they don’t always easily connect to other software platforms, leading to a poor patient experience.
People expect a better experience from their healthcare provider — one that parallels what they receive from consumer brands. A healthcare platform can make the experiences you deliver to both patients and prospects better, while also helping your organization save money.
Master Class: Connecting Your EHR and CRM
It’s important to connect new technologies with electronic health records (EHRs) and understand how to do it properly. Learn how Nebraska Medicine integrated their technology, what challenges they faced, and which best practices to follow when you’re ready to take the next step.
By investing in more agile healthcare platform technologies that incorporate automation and work with live data, providers can deliver an efficient experience that patients have now come to expect.
Let’s take a closer look at how technology can make care and communication more efficient for patients — and, more importantly, better overall for healthcare providers.
Unify data sources to get a complete view
Leaders in retail and consumer goods know that the first step to customer engagement is to know the customer. For physicians, it’s easy to build a direct, personal connection when they meet with a patient in person. But relationships can’t be limited to the exam room. Everyone involved in the care journey needs to be just as connected to the patient, especially when they are outside the clinic.
When providers rely on siloed EMRs to power patient engagement, they’re limited to clinical data only. EMRs don’t capture non-clinical information that a patient may volunteer, such as income challenges, a lack of access to public transportation, or that they may live in a food deficit — information that help providers tailor treatment plans, schedule more convenient appointments, or provide more effective diet recommendations. Connecting an EMR to a CRM platform that can capture those inputs closes that gap.
Siloed systems like EMRs can affect the patient experience in other ways.
If a patient calls in with a question about their medication or to reschedule an appointment, a call center agent will often have to toggle between multiple systems — to find their prescription information, look up schedules at the closest clinic, and then log the new appointment into the patient’s record. Time spent toggling between EMRs and other systems keeps patients waiting on the phone longer and comes at the expense of face time with patients in the clinic.
When providers consolidate patient data within a single healthcare platform, everyone involved in the care journey — from call center agents to care coordinators to physicians — has access to the information they need to provide the right care.
Get articles selected just for you, in your inbox
Streamline onboarding and referrals
Onboarding and referrals are two of the most critical processes for patients, but due to inefficient systems, they’re also often the most frustrating steps.
Missteps often put the burden squarely on the patient. For instance, take the patient who filled out their onboarding forms digitally and when they get to the facility, they are asked to fill it out again because the department never received their submission. A platform that integrates data across departments eliminates this kind of wasted effort and frustration.
When it comes to referrals, it’s important to connect the patient with the physician. Everything can come to a grinding halt if the patient calls to schedule an appointment and the facility doesn’t know about the referral.
By digitizing referral management, providers start the process while the patient is still in the room. Through a referral portal connected to the single, integrated platform, providers can record critical care details for the patient’s health insurer to process the request.
Likewise, the same information can be accessed through a patient portal so the patient can see when the referral is approved and immediately reach out to schedule an appointment.
Invest in patient-friendly healthcare platform technology
Two decades ago, looking up reviews on doctors, finding in-network facilities, or researching symptoms and medications online wasn’t nearly as common as it is today.
In fact, the Connected Health Consumer report found that 64% of consumers under the age of 65 believe that providers with better online capabilities are more likely to deliver better services.
Providers should take the time to prioritize convenience on digital properties with user-friendly websites, online appointment scheduling, and self-service portals. Giving consumers more choices reduces barriers to care and increases engagement.
To better understand patient preferences, providers need a system that communicates with patients how, when, and where they want. So when you need to send appointment confirmations or pre-appointment paperwork, you’ll know which channels the person prefers to receive that information.
Contacting patients on their preferred channels not only creates personalized experiences but makes it more likely that they’ll stick to their care plan and remain loyal to their provider.
Put the patient at the center
How can providers drive higher levels of productivity and patient loyalty at a lower overall cost to serve? It starts with a comprehensive view of each patient. One that spans clinical, nonclinical, and relevant social determinants of health
Personalization is critical to creating an engaging experience
Generating demand for your services, whether from new or existing patients, requires your healthcare marketing team to reach out to segmented populations more effectively. To provide the tailored communications that healthcare consumers expect, providers must have all patient information at their fingertips — including medical history and conditions, social determinants of health, appointment history, and communication preferences.
A patient-centric technology platform can help you gather and segment patient and prospect data so you can communicate with them more effectively. That could mean making new prospective patients aware of relevant services or personalizing the care journey for existing patients so that they feel supported and engaged. Having this kind of system in place can help you better understand your marketing outreach performance with up-to-date insights that can help you more accurately reach prospects or communicate with your patients.
3 Ways Generative AI Will Help Marketers Connect With Customers
3 min read
Skill Up on AI with Trailhead
5 min read
Go beyond the EMR to better meet patient needs
Better patient relationships hinge on earning their trust and meeting their individual needs both digitally and in person. Relying on siloed systems prevents providers from achieving the complete understanding necessary to deliver the seamless, personalized experiences that patients expect — and deserve. Connecting all the data in one healthcare platform can help unlock the comprehensive patient profiles you need to provide care for each individual, which is what matters most.
Connect Fragmented Healthcare Data
Organizations struggle to connect and automate as many as 78 different clinical and non-clinical IT systems. See how you can meet your healthcare organization’s efficiency goals by bringing your data sets into one, connected source.