If you recall your experience on retail sites like Amazon, you’ll recognize these companies already know your preferences, and provide personalized recommendations based on those preferences. In healthcare, most consumers – 75% - today demand the same experience they get from retail or other industries. But despite health systems being in possession of inherent information about their consumers, i.e. unlike any other industry, they are typically not able to provide personalized experiences. As a result, amid rising consumerism in healthcare, patient loyalty has become a challenge. Different industry reports too highlight this fact. One such says consumers – 61% - would visit their healthcare provider more often if the communication experience felt more personalized.
The need for high quality and integrated data
With most hospitals and healthcare providers, patient data is siloed across systems, departments and unsynchronized teams. Plus, this data has typically been captured in non-standardized formats making it even more difficult to map and turn it into a qualitative, actionable insight. Hence, unstructured data coupled with a traditional CRM system often prevent health systems from zeroing in on a unified patient identity, limiting the ability to serve up patient experiences close to or better than retail experiences. In addition, inaccurate data can result in delays in treatment and poor patient outcomes. On a broader scale, it results in a considerable loss of funds for the country as a whole. As per McKinsey, there is a wastage of nearly 25% (nearly $1 trillion) of the total US healthcare budget ($4 trillion). Better use of data could, however, eliminate between 50% -75% of that wastage which means savings of $500 billion to $700 billion a year.
Gaining a competitive edge with data
Providing the right care and access to patients/consumers makes integrating data an absolute necessity particularly when there is an enormous amount of data waiting to be analyzed. However, the absence of standardization and interoperable systems along with siloes continue to remain a challenge in the way of integrating data and turning it into an actionable piece of information that can help drive personalized 1:1 health journeys. More than half of healthcare organizations say data integration and interoperability are the most significant barriers to achieving their strategic priorities related to data analytics. Only 20% of healthcare organizations fully trust their data. With the vast majority not having full faith in their data, it is not difficult to ascertain that there is something wrong or un-healthcare with their approach i.e. simply layering a customer relationship management (CRM) solution over existing electronic health records (EHR data) (as discussed by Abhinav Shashank in his Forbes article ‘CRM: The Wrong Acronym For Healthcare’).
In reality the purpose of traditional CRM – which is designed to capture upfront psychographics and preclinical consumer behavior – is purely transactional and driven by sales and marketing. As opposed to this, healthcare consumers are looking for an experience that involves human touch and is driven by the context, and not the one that only mimics retail. CRM that integrates clinical, engagement and financial data to deliver patient-centric care can trigger personalized patient engagement and help health systems to find, guide and keep patients for life.