Healthcare providers of all kinds — from podiatrists to oral surgeons — build their businesses around the patient lifecycle (whether or not they think of it that way). Generally, that means each practice must focus on outreach, conversion, care coordination and follow-up. When the tools and processes that power these different stages are integrated and aligned, both the patient and the healthcare provider benefit. Patients receive an optimized care experience, while the provider is able to create efficiencies across the business.
In reality, however, the patient lifecycle rarely operates so smoothly — and that’s often due to disparate and outdated systems. While patient records are stored in an EMR/EHR, information pertaining to core business functions like marketing, billing and outreach often live in other systems. In many cases, there’s no good way of connecting those data sources. This makes it harder for employees across the practice to provide a world-class experience for patients.
One way to address this problem and modernize the patient life cycle? Integrate your EMR/EHR with Health Cloud and Marketing Cloud. As we’ve written in the past, such an integration provides a 360-degree view of your patient base and broader business, allowing you to merge every aspect of your practice.
Here’s a quick look at how doing so could improve each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Stage #1: Patient and Referral Outreach
I suspect the average person doesn’t always think of healthcare providers as businesses in the traditional sense, but that’s exactly what they are — and they depend on the intake of new patients to thrive in the same way that companies in other industries depend on customers.
In general, there are two ways a practice might connect with potential patients: Referrals and direct outreach. In the case of the former, Salesforce empowers providers to maximize the quality and quantity of the referrals they receive by making essential data easy to analyze. Through the use of dashboards and reports, you can quickly see which referring physicians are sending you the most patients, including for which particular procedures. With this information, you’ll be able to target the relationships you want to build via marketing efforts. For instance, a particular physician might only be referring very basic cases to your practice — an opportunity for you to educate them about the full range of procedures and services you offer.
As for direct outreach, that’s about marketing to individuals who are living with their illness, but aren’t actively seeing a physician. Using some of Marketing Cloud’s essential tools, you can create and deliver targeted, cross-channel ads meant to trigger journeys that ultimately bring new patients to your practice.
Stage #2: The Conversion Process
Whether someone reaches out to your organization because of a referral from a physician or because they saw an advertisement online, your team’s goal is to get an appointment on the (digital) books — thus converting them from a potential patient into an actual patient. Your service reps will find this much easier to do if they have all the right information at their fingertips when they receive a call. Using Salesforce, they’ll be able to see things like how a caller discovered your practice and what they’re seeking treatment for, making the scheduling process much more efficient.
The next goal is to make sure patients actually show up for their appointments, as no-shows are bad for patients and bad for business. An integrated Salesforce instance creates value in this regard by giving your reps the power to send automated appointment reminders and confirmation messages via email and text.
Step #3: Care Coordination
Now we come to the stage of the lifecycle that consists of a healthcare provider’s core business offering: The care itself. While patients are justifiably focused on their treatment — the prescribed medication, the surgery, whatever it might be — providers must have an almost equal focus on the behind-the-scenes processes and project management tools and strategies that allow for such treatments to be successful. Things like care plans, care teams and scheduled tasks.
As we’ve noted before, your EMR/EHR is excellent at the what and when of patient care, but Salesforce provides more of the how. Health Cloud specifically will make it easier for your team to create goals and subtasks to address problems and decide on clear action points. In other words, the care providers at your practice will be able to use technology to develop greater organizational efficiency and provide more comprehensive care to patients, rather than fighting with old systems that make their lives harder. It probably goes without saying, but this is absolutely essential to drive the results you and your patients are looking for.
Step #4: Post-care Follow-up
Your patient has been treated, but the lifecycle doesn’t end there. The final stage is post-care follow-up, crucial in ensuring that a given treatment leads to successful results and that the patient comes to trust your practice. This might mean sending medication reminders, information about physical therapy regimens — really anything that lessens the chance of readmission or complications.
Similar to the way it allows you to automatically send appointment reminders, Salesforce gives you the ability to deliver whatever information your patients need, in whatever format is most effective for them. The platform also allows you to easily send patient satisfaction surveys and analyze the results in a digestible way. With such feedback, you’ll be able to continually improve and grow your business even more.
Here at Torrent, we believe in the power of the Customer LifeCycle, the idea that by maintaining a clear and comprehensive grasp on the wants and needs of the people you’re servicing at every stage of the buying cycle, you can be sure to acquire and maintain valued customers. In reality, the patient lifecycle is almost the same idea. By focusing on patients during every stage of their journey — and not just during the treatment itself — you practice is much more likely to create a positive experience and drive repeat business.
Interested in learning more about how your healthcare organization can modernize the patient lifecycle by integrating your EMR/EHR with Health Cloud and Marketing Cloud? Check out our on-demand webinar, where healthcare experts cover the why and how of such an integration in more detail. You can also get more healthcare resources here.