The fundamentals of good customer management are perfect for healthcare: attract, manage, retain, and engage patients.

 

Can you apply the concepts that are used in customer relationship management systems to your health systems approach to patient engagement? Is there an opportunity to learn from these very successful business technologies?

We think you can. We think that looking at patients through a customer management lens will help healthcare organizations to manage their patient relationships throughout the cycle of interaction and will result in improved patient satisfaction and better health outcomes.

Patient Attraction

Leveraging your digital footprint to attract new patients.

How are you engaging your patients and prospective patients on your website and social media? Are you producing relevant and enlightening blogs that people will find when they are searching the web in your region for information about their health issues? Is your content visually engaging in order to draw the eye in?

The average person spends over TWO HOURS a day on social media and 72% of Americans Google their health symptoms.

We are exposed to a wide range of information online that is frequently unreliable. The information provided regarding healthcare can be questionable and often will lead patients away from reliable and trustworthy sources.

Your website and social media offer an amazing platform to capture both prospective patients’ and current patients’ attention. Your strategy for managing your patient experience needs to involve imagining what people are looking for and would find helpful, and delivering that content in easy-to-consume formats, including blog content and graphics.

You have an opportunity at this stage of the cycle to become your patient’s trusted source for healthcare information. Searching online for credible health care information is increasingly overwhelming and consumers are seeking reliable and trusted sources for their information.

Be the trusted source by providing tangible value to your patients.

We recommend providing interactive programs that patients can engage with, including patient portals, online chat systems, symptom checkers, and treatment guidance solutions. By enabling your community to engage with you online you are actively nurturing the customer relationship.

Care Planning

After engaging your patients on the front end of the website and with social media, health systems enter the challenging job of interacting with their patients for the care planning process. Organizations leverage a variety of tools to successfully work through this phase of the relationship.

With a customer management mindset, care planning becomes part of an overall communication strategy. Health systems can leverage their patient portal to share important medical information, and provide a user friendly scheduling interface for the patient.

In this early stage of care management, patients are likely researching their health diagnosis online. Health systems can support their patients need to analyze their care options by providing symptom checkers and treatment guidance solutions on their website or via their patient portal. Evidence-based solutions provide quality answers for patients seeking additional resources.

Often during this stage of the patient cycle, a person is designated as the primary contact for patient communications and care planning. This can be a specialist or a resource on a team of specialists. This person helps the patient understand the expectations of the care planning process and helps the patient navigate all of the information being provided.

Again, the digital tool of a patient portal is becoming increasingly important as the vehicle to communicate important information to the patient and family members.

Patient Retention

There are numerous aspects to ensuring patients are supported and in the loop with providers and insurers throughout their treatment. Focus on creating a trusted relationship to keep patients in your network.

An easy scheduling platform for setting appointments with preferred providers is a basic digital service, and one that pays off in patient satisfaction and reduced staff time.

Incorporate cost information, like procedure and prescription pricing, to create a level of transparency that goes beyond evidenced-based treatment guidance and into the financial ramifications of treatment.

At the heart of patient retention, though, is communication. The extent to which a patient can remain updated about their health records, lab results, and treatment plans is a key part of patient retention.

Customer management platforms enable communication through app notifications and email marketing that is segmented to each of the network’s core audiences. Segmented email lists let health organizations craft the most relevant and timely messages to their patients.

Patient Engagement

As your patient moves through the care cycle, their needs from the health system change but the opportunity to be that valued source of healthcare information remains.

Similar to how you can attract new patients leveraging your digital assets, you can also use your digital tools to continue to provide value and engage your patient community.

Content campaigns designed to address specific medical conditions can be promoted through digital tools and can provide the ongoing education and support needed by patients who are no longer in the active care management stage.

Health systems can leverage data available within social media to communicate with the right patient on the most appropriate subject. Valuable content includes articles, videos, and events that educate and inform patients and family members on specific health issues. Once again enabling your organization to be seen as a trusted source for healthcare information.

Viewing your engagement with patients through the lens of customer relationship management can help healthcare organizations thrive through seamless engagement over the entirety of the patient-organization relationship.

Let us know what you think.

Thank you,

Max Kahn

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