CRM for Hospitals: How healthcare businesses grow

Best Practices

Every business needs a way to keep track of and communicate with customers and prospective customers. That’s why customer relationship management software (CRM) was created to keep track of ongoing communications with customers and assist in marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.

Medical practices and hospitals are no exception to the need for CRM. Still, they have added layers of complexity required for HIPAA compliance and other healthcare industry regulations. That’s why selecting a healthcare CRM designed for these purposes is the best option for most medical settings. 

CRM for healthcare

While most industries rely on CRM for revenue growth and retention, there are several specific CRM use cases in healthcare that can help enhance hospital operations and attract new patients:

  • Specific patient education campaigns, segmented by patient demographics
  • Automated reminders to patients about immunizations, checkups, and other possible care gaps
  • Increasing patient portal enrollment and directing patients to the patient portal following discharge, surgery, or testing to receive sensitive care information
  • Improve customer service in healthcare operations
  • Manage communication with vendors, outside providers, and other third-parties
  • Sending operational updates specific to your hospital, clinics, and other facilities

Any good CRM will offer the ability to create individual client profiles, save contact information, and create targeted messaging. However, a healthcare CRM features a few additional capabilities, such as record linking between providers for a clearer picture of a patient’s full care team, the ability to visualize communications, and data to close care gaps and deploy healthcare education to patients based on their specific needs and interests. You strategy for a CRM for healthcare will reflect this. 

Because of the additional security and sensitivity requirements in hospitals, the best option is typically a self-hosted CRM, where data is stored in software installed directly on local computers, rather than in the cloud like many leading sales and marketing CRMs. This gives your healthcare operation better control of your patient data. 

Understanding what’s important to your patients is one of the key benefits of a healthcare CRM, along with improving your reputation and customer service.

The Importance of CRM in Healthcare

Now that we’ve discussed the “what” of healthcare CRM, it’s essential to understand the “why” behind prioritizing CRM in healthcare. The most important goal in the healthcare industry is to create positive outcomes for patients. Extending those outcomes beyond the initial visit is one of the most powerful elements of CRM in healthcare. 

Let’s face it: the healthcare industry often struggles with its reputation among patients and the community. Despite the efforts of doctors, nurses, and staff to provide an excellent care experience, many patients have specific expectations and hope for a particular outcome. You need to be proactive with your customers. If you don’t give them ample opportunities to be heard, they will likely go online and discuss their feelings publicly. A great benefit of CRM in healthcare is the ability to conduct customer sentiment analysis and take direct measures to improve the customer experience. 

You can also strengthen your customer service in healthcare by improving your operations. The best CRM for healthcare allows you to communicate directly with patients through automated and personalized messages with direct access to past communications, interactions, and important medical records. This can prevent customer frustration when they call to make an appointment, discuss a bill, or talk to a provider about a condition, since all records are easily available. 

Many healthcare CRM companies claim to have all these features, but few actually offer a tool built with healthcare professionals in mind. Trying to rig a system designed for another industry, such as sales or technology, to fit your specific healthcare needs can lead to more frustration than success. Keep in mind that individuals using this system aren’t marketers or sales people; they’re your office staff, nurses, and doctors. While your staff is highly skilled, that doesn’t mean they have time to deal with a complicated CRM. 

Best CRM for Doctors

Doctor looking at chart using best CRM for hospitals.

The benefits of CRM in healthcare aren’t limited to large hospital systems. Private practices often need support to grow their patient base and retain patients for the long term. 

In a smaller practice, doctors have additional operational concerns to consider beyond offering excellent care to patients. Wrangling appointments with representatives from pharmaceutical and medical device sales companies, corresponding with other providers on a patient’s care team, and creating time for operational and administrative tasks…the list goes on. 

You need to alleviate your administrative burden to provide the finest healthcare possible. The[ best CRM for doctors will provide a central solution to keep track of all patient records and external communications. Eliminating guesswork and keeping accurate records are just two advantages of the best CRMs on the market. 

One of the most important benefits a CRM can offer a private practice is reducing the time it takes to serve a patient. Vital information is just a few clicks away and readily available for every call, email, and appointment. This also helps with accuracy when referring patients out, writing or refilling prescriptions, and determining care plans. 

In a saturated healthcare CRM market, knowing what to look for as a solution can be difficult. For a private practice or small clinic, it’s important to consider setup speed, ease of use, and cost. Features like record linking, pipeline management, and data visualizations are also critical to growing your practice and streamlining operations. 

Types of CRM for hospitals

When researching what solution will work best for your organization, it’s important to understand that there are several types of CRM. Here’s what they are and how they’re best used for healthcare:

  • Operational Healthcare CRM: This type of system is focused primarily on providing customer service and marketing support. These systems focus on streamlining communication and qualifying leads. 
  • Analytical Healthcare CRM: These systems are all about the data. Analytical CRMs capture, analyze, and visualize data about your customers and customer interactions. This can help you determine audience targets, understand common problems your patients are experiencing, and inform strategic planning.
  • Collaborative Healthcare CRM: As the name implies, these systems focus on allowing all members of your team access the same patient data. More than that, they help other systems “collaborate,” bringing in data from direct interactions and other channels like social media and your website. 
  • Strategic Healthcare CRM: A strategic CRM system collects and analyzes customer data like the other types. The ability to apply that data using algorithmic suggestions sets a strategic CRM apart. The CRM identifies gaps in communication and opportunities to improve marketing and relationships. Most generic tools, like the Onpipeline healthcare CRM, Insightly, Salesforce, and Pipedrive are included in this category. 

While these four categories encompass a number of healthcare CRM examples, most practices need a truly unified CRM. A unified CRM will combine the best features of each of these four categories, while remaining easy for you and your team to use and understand. A unified CRM will have a speedy implementation time, work well with any existing systems, and automate repetitive customer service functions. Due to its flexibility, ease of customization, and ability to integrate, Insightly CRM is a unified CRM that works in all of the above scenarios. 

Comparing Leading CRM Software Options

Graphical representation of a plus/minus sign

When shopping for CRM software, a few names will appear regularly during your research. Here are a few pros and cons of each as they apply specifically to healthcare applications. 

  • Salesforce CRM is one of the oldest CRM software solutions out there. It’s basically a household name in the sales and marketing world. In addition to being ubiquitous, it has a reputation for being expensive, difficult to implement, and highly complex. While there is a Salesforce Healthcare CRM, it is built on a complex sales and marketing platform and can be extremely costly. This has driven many healthcare providers to seek out alternatives to Salesforce.
  • Zoho CRM is a widely used sales and marketing tool focused primarily on customer service, marketing, and pipeline expansion. Unlike many of the other tools on this list, Zoho does not offer a dedicated healthcare solution. Therefore, it might be difficult for a hospital or private practice to adapt. With limited integration ability and customizations, Zoho doesn’t compare well with other CRMs on the market.
  • Carma CRM is part of a larger network platform. This analytical CRM focuses on understanding contact data and suggesting practical applications. While this analysis is useful, Carma’s primary focus is on technology and commerce businesses, and it’s best suited to large, enterprise-scale operations, data and call centers, and the telecom industry. It has been developed with those industries in mind and might be extremely difficult to adapt to healthcare operations. 
  • Insightly CRM is a modern, scalable choice that teams love. With an affordable price tag, the ability to integrate, and tons of flexibility for customizations, it’s a top choice in healthcare settings. 

Whether you’re a private practice with a handful of patients or a full healthcare system with dozens of hospital facilities, nothing is more important than your patients and their care. A unified CRM that works for your healthcare business can improve patient outcomes by simplifying operations. With a platform like Insightly, you can improve your internal business processes, attract new patients, and build better relationships. 

Insightly CRM for hospitals and healthcare 

Insightly is designed for easy implementation, minimal user training requirements, and powerful CRM features. You’ll get access to leading pipeline management tools, customer relationship features, centralized data, and excellent security. Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today or request a personalized demo to see Insightly CRM for hospitals in action.

Additional helpful links

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