(by Patrick Talmadge Harris – CEO & Founder, PatEx)
After viewing a few of my tweets or reading my blog posts, it’s easy to see (hopefully) that I believe the patient experience must be a top priority for healthcare organizations to achieve accountable care. The ‘experience’ (customer experience) is an often talked about topic in business and industry recently – what it means and how does it (the model) make money (revenue growth) and profitable. While we know that negative “experiences” can be “bad for business,” providing a positive experience for a healthcare customer can be far more reaching, achievable and possibly measurable in healthcare. While the ‘experience’ in the past was a somewhat abstract and intangible term, this is no longer the case in this digital age – things happen quickly and the moment matters. Even the technologist in me believes that the road to a patient management system (one as we can hope for or dream about) is a long one, those that work towards and implement one based on continuous process improvement, now, will be the healthcare leaders of the future.
PEM congruent to CRM, not equal
Virtually every product, service and solution provider (any business concerned about retaining and growing their client base and making more money) has implemented a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Yes – it was a debated subject with stories of failed implementations but now has seen several stages of next technologies with new features and applications. They have proven in most industries to grow businesses with financially quantifiable results. In healthcare (I have learned) workflow is the primary driver and differentiating factor that is unique to the business processes in this industry (patient care cannot be impeded by technology). A system must exist and it must improve the quality of care and make organizations money. However, there are a few ‘value-add’ ideas that we can take from CRM systems and adapt to healthcare.
- Alerts and reminders to providers to provide better care (follow ups, phone calls, patient ‘touches', etc);
- Improved communication and organization between caregivers;
- Technological integration and outreaches to patients about existing care, telehealth and preventative medicine;
- Dashboard communications including all involved parties with customizable features and displays;
- Display of care and operational goals and metrics;
- Data-driven health and operational decisions from customer interaction.
While the look and feel of these systems (or successful systems) is very much TBD – a unified, customizable dashboard with relevant information – designed to deliver improved care – is vital for success. Physicians, nurses, administrators, payers, customers, etc. often need the same information just displayed in different ways in providing their part of accountable care.
Improved quality of care and providing cost savings is attainable through patient experience management.