Improving patients’ outcomes for the sake of value-based care resembles solving a thousand-color jigsaw puzzle. If you don’t have a perfectionist on your team, get ready for a crooked picture with wrong and missing pieces. In terms of patients’ outcomes, these pieces are communication gaps. But who or what can be the perfectionist to help you solve the puzzle? Think of a healthcare CRM.
CRM’s Place in the Care Delivery Puzzle
Providers might ask “Is it a good idea to perceive patients as clients during the care cycle?” It’s questionable. However, a CRM for healthcare doesn’t serve as a salesman. Rather, it helps caregivers communicate with patients more effectively thanks to understanding patients’ health needs better, assuring regular care cycle activities and preventing complications.
Although important for a wide range of diseases, a CRM-based proactive approach to communicating with patients is especially useful for the following care cases:
- Post-surgery convalescence period
- Long-term treatment
- Chronic disease management
So, let’s find out in detail how a CRM can help tackle these challenges.
Post-surgery Convalescence Period
Patients going through post-surgery recovery at home can’t receive 24/7 nurturing from surgeons, physicians and nurses. Without professional support, a person may feel anxious or depressed. They can also show signs of careless behavior (skipped medications, overlooked or mistreated emerging symptoms) due to an overall weakness after excision, which can lead to complications or even readmission.
To improve the patient’s outcomes in this case, a healthcare CRM should ensure a constant information flow between the patient and the care team members. Thus, the person will receive EHR-tuned personalized information via e-mails with targeted messages, interactive education materials, reminders to take medications, and more.
The caregivers, in turn, will be able to form a clearer picture of the patient’s current health condition as the CRM will be sending the person surveys about their state or requests to send their surgeon a photo of the incision to evaluate the recovery process.
As a result, the patient will pay attention to their condition, track changes and act more responsibly.
Long-term Treatment and Chronic Disease Management
In the context of healthcare CRM software, there is no significant difference between chronic diseases and conditions requiring long-term healing. Over the months and years, regular consultations, examinations and procedures define the patient’s regimen.
A healthcare CRM tracks gaps in scheduled appointments and detects interrupted care cases. It sends direct reminders to health specialists so that they can undertake corresponding actions. For example, send an email or make a call. Patients also receive notifications about the missed appointments, being able to schedule new appointments or ask for an advice if they experience new symptoms.
Moreover, with a tight integration to the EHR, the CRM notifies physicians about disturbing lab results (for example, when the HbA1c level has risen). Then, the care team member uses the CRM functionality to recommend the patient schedule an appointment for discussion.
Solving the Care Delivery Puzzle
Patients don’t need to be taken care of all the time, but they still need additional guidance. During the period of recovery from a surgery or in cases of long-term treatment and chronic conditions, patients may feel overwhelmed with multiple checks, tests and procedures.
Even if the care team consists of perfectionists only, health professionals are unable to help every patient on a 24/7 basis and safeguard timely medication intakes, healthy habits or a positive mood. Therefore, the care cycle picture is missing important communication pieces.
So, a healthcare CRM does a very important job by adding the following proactive communication elements to the puzzle:
- Tracking interrupted care cases and notifying health professionals
- Alerting medical staff to disturbing values in lab results
- Sending EHR-based personal emails with brochures and education materials
- Reminding about taking medications and notifying about scheduled appointments
- Requesting health status information: photos as well as forms with answers about mood, objective, subjective, vitals and other values
With these elements, caregivers can finally solve the care delivery puzzle by reducing interrupted care cases, complications and readmissions.
This guest blog post is written by Dzianis Zhynko.