Until recently, healthcare provider IT departments have been primarily focused on one major initiative: making the shift from paper-based charts to Electronic Health Records (EHR), and ensuring personnel and facilities are equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to support the transition. Yet, a recent industry survey reveals that as EHR becomes a more mainstream practice, IT budgets are shifting priority, with technology investments now centered on improving the overall customer experience, with such tools as data analytics and CRM emerging as major players.
Preventative Health: Investing Now for Long-Term Customer Care
According to the IDC 2015–2016 Healthcare Provider Technology Spend Survey, 40 percent of healthcare providers cite that their IT budgets are growing, though only 25 percent attribute this growth to EHR investments. Instead, money is being spent on opportunities to optimize the business environment for more accountable care in an overall effort to improve the client journey. While investments in mobile innovation are being leveraged to help caregivers provide more timely and accurate service, the survey, which examined technology spending and planned technology spending by U.S. acute care hospitals with more than 200 beds, revealed that 50 percent of software spending is currently allocated to on-premise investments.
To this end, on-premise CRM software is emerging as a popular and proven solution to help healthcare providers manage and organize client information, including sensitive and confidential data that may transmitted across the enterprise. In fact, across all surveyed hospitals, CRM was cited as one of the top reasons for budget growth, alongside analytics, patient engagement, and security—and for good reason. Arguably no other industry has as strong a demand and as strict a standard for accuracy, data control, and patient satisfaction than healthcare, and leveraging technology to meet these stringent requirements is not only good business sense—it’s required to keep up with industry regulations, compliance measures, and most importantly—customer expectations.
Off the Charts: Investments in Big Data Propel Healthcare Performance
One major application of CRM that’s seeing heavy attention in the healthcare industry is analytics. In addition to helping employees store and track data across departments, built-in business intelligence tools within proven CRM systems feature advanced analytical capabilities that can be applied to detect data patterns, revealing valuable customer insights and behavioral trends, all in an effort to provide more targeted and direct care. The IDC survey noted that in addition to ongoing investments in analytics centered on industry mainstays such as accountable care, clinical initiatives, and quality control, this technology is now being applied toward investigating provider and care team performance, and can even be applied to examine referral patterns and other areas of financial analysis.
Thus, as the healthcare industry makes the move into new realms of IT technology investment, CRM systems are standing out as an excellent answer to keeping both customers and companies up to speed—and it’s exactly this type of commitment to progress that will propel successful companies into the future, keeping their organizations—and the people they serve—healthy and happy.
“40% of U.S. Healthcare Providers Report IT Budgets are Growing, According to IDC Health Insights ,” IDC Press Release, February 1, 2016, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS40997316