03 Sep EMR is a start to digital transformation—but it’s only one step
by Jayneel Patel
We’ve heard a lot about healthcare digital transformation lately. Particularly as healthcare partners move toward new payer/provider models; streamlined, automated delivery systems; and patient-centric care. Having just recently returned from the HIMSS Global Conference in Las Vegas, I spoke with many of my colleagues about technology’s role in directing the future of healthcare to meet these new demands with digital transformation.
For many healthcare providers, EMR technology is the fundamental step toward digital transformation. The latest figures found that almost 89 percent of physicians currently use an EMR or EHR system.
But a Harris Poll out of Stanford found that four in ten primary care providers report dissatisfaction and would probably throw their EMR out the window if they could. Is there a solution?
A better understanding of what EMR contributes to an extensive process is a solid place to start. Healthcare digital transformation relies on more than automation. Instead, impactful change results from an organizational shift that changes how an organization interacts with other providers, partners, and patients. The technology that you implement to streamline that process is strategic. But only if it aligns with the goals of your organization.
If your goal is to improve the overall patient experience while streamlining workflow and reducing overhead costs, your EMR system needs to partner with a CRM platform. Here’s why:
EMR houses data for easy exchange
With EMR technology, the patient’s medical history, treatments, referrals, medications, procedures, etc., are all housed in a central location.
Healthcare providers and partners can sink their teeth into this because it reduces the risk of misplaced information and clinical input errors, and data is shared instantaneously, which speeds up payment processing. However, EMR is only as effective as the data it holds.
One of the most common complaints among physicians is that finding the correct data within the patient’s file is time-consuming. A study published by the American Medical Association estimates that healthcare providers spend almost 50 percent of their workday updating their EHR. This averages out to mean a healthcare provider can spend 16 minutes and 14 seconds updating an electronic patient record. Unfortunately, the average amount of time spent with a patient is 15 minutes. Essentially, this first step in digital patient care leaves little time for caregiving. And that really bites.
CRM works with EMR
Implementing a customer relationship management system that works seamlessly with the payers, partners, and other providers adds tools that personalize the patient care experience. While EMR acts as the foundation for your digital transformation by effectively organizing documents and data, applications like Salesforce Health Cloud can fill gaps not by replacing EMR but by layering features on top of an existing system to create a more engaging healthcare journey. This blending of technology transforms EMR data into meaningful patient outreach opportunities.
CRM with EMR creates a customized patient journey
The healthcare industry is relatively new to the digital scene compared to the, say, Amazon-esque-by-the-minute updates. But the CRM platform can introduce a satisfyingly personalized experience based on provider and patient preferences, whether by email, text, live chat, apps, or phone.
EMR/CRM work together to centralize information
It’s common for patients to see different physicians for their care. Before EMR/CRM technology, each doctor’s office created a hard copy patient file to track care. This made it difficult to see a full view of a patient’s medical history, handle billing efficiently, even keep confidential patient information secure.
By adding CRM, healthcare providers can trust one source of truth where data from various sources are collected in a central location. This comprehensive patient profile is instrumental in anticipating patient needs and quickly respond. It can also trigger gamified patient outreach that promotes customized preventative care.
Automate patient outreach
With a CRM platform like Salesforce Health Cloud, your office can automate routine follow-up appointment reminders using the outreach method preferred by patients. Customers can also access test results, x-rays, billing/payment status, and update contact information via self-service portals.
Transitioning to EMR technology is essential to creating a more meaningful connection with patients, partners, and other providers. But it’s only the first step. To provide a memorable, patient-centered experience, consider adding a CRM system for engaging features that help you focus on what matters most: the patient.
Let the Simplus sales team show you how today’s healthcare leaders use CRM to enhance EMR technology. With a CRM platform, providers can create a personalized end-to-end patient journey that streamlines administrative tasks, accelerates billing processes, and creates a transformative patient experience through digitalization.
Jayneel is VP, Healthcare & Life Sciences, here at Simplus. With a Ph.D. in engineering and MBA from Duke and over 15 years of experience, Jayneel designs and delivers empathy-driven innovative solutions in healthcare. He has developed digital strategies to reduce risk, increase visibility, and improve patient and member satisfaction. His passion is to enable better care through technology.