This is the second post in our series on how the U.S. healthcare system is transforming to a proactive health model, the definition of proactive health, the elements to commit, the challenges, and the benefits. Read the first post, “From Reactive to Proactive Health.”
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are testing the concept of proactive health.
Since providers and physicians that belong to an ACO have responsibility for the quality and cost of care, they develop different attitudes. As a provider, you can no longer wait for the sick patient to present. Instead, you must continuously evaluate what the patient will need, when the patient will need it, how the patient will get it, and collaborate with the patient to execute on a continuous care plan.
However, it takes more than your personal commitment as a provider or physician to execute proactive health. It also takes technology.
Electronic Medical Records
The first technology component required is the electronic medical record (EMR).
As a provider, you must have immediate access to a patient’s clinical record. However, by itself, an EMR can only improve the quality and decrease the cost of care one encounter at a time.
For example, at the end of an ER visit, all the ER physician can do post-treatment is send the patient home with follow-up care instructions that include seeing his primary care provider if the condition worsens.
Therefore, the EMR is a foundation to support proactive health but providers and physicians need other kinds of technology as well.
The second technology component required is a CRM.
Compared to other industry segments, hospitals have been late in adopting marketing and CRM systems. As of late 2009, only 15 percent of hospitals had some semblance of a CRM system in place.
However, with the recent shrinking economy, providers and physicians have learned that healthcare is not recession-proof. Competition has increased as patients, who cannot afford to pay out deductibles, delay or cancel elective surgeries, or look for more affordable care elsewhere.
Before 2008, nonprofit hospitals saw a 7 percent revenue growth but that slid to 3.9 percent in 2013, which was the smallest increase during the 23 years that Moody’s Investors Service has collected this data.
These results convinced hospital executives that they had to find ways to attract more revenue, birthing the notion that marketing and CRM are must haves.
With a CRM system, marketing organizations can execute multi-channel campaigns, capture inquiries, leverage predictive analytics, and track marketing performance. By targeting specific demographics, consumers at risk, consumers with specific conditions, etc., the CRM can help improve engagement. However, a CRM system, by itself, will not drive proactive health marketing can leverage the CRM’s single repository of data and use it as a cornerstone technology to help providers proactively manage patient and non-patient health.
Contact Center Solution
However, there is a third technology component required to execute proactive health – a contact center solution.
If all systems are integrated, a contact center solution harvests the data and insights from the CRM system to provide a call center representative with a full profile of a patient or non-patient in order to develop a 1-to-1 dialogue.
The contact center solution closes many aspects of the marketing and patient communications loop. A call center rep uses the info to follow-up on campaign activities (outbound) and better handle inquiries (inbound). In both cases, the call center rep, with access to rich CRM information, can improve the quality of the interaction, resulting in a conversation that will benefit the patient, provide value to the patient and hospital / healthcare system, and drive proactive health.