Its All About The Data
I have said it before and I will say it again, it is all about the information. Your business can thrive from its existing Patient base. But in order for this to happen you need the information, the skinny, the Intel. Not only do you need it, more importantly it has to be easy to use and deploy across your organization. So what is the answer? A CRM or Customer Relationship Manager software programme.
The release of Noah 4 has gone a long way towards handling the clinical needs of a Hearing Health Practice. It truly is a fantastic piece of kit for clear and easy use and the deployment of all the needed clinical data and notes to manage a Patient on an ongoing basis. However as a commercial management system it is I am afraid pants. For sound commercial management of your Patient database you need to look elsewhere. Preferably you would like to get a programme that is indeed designed with our Profession in mind. There are many out there at present, the beauty of those is that the connect in one way or other to Noah. This means better reporting facilities including test results and very little if any double entry.
Why do you need this facility, simply because it will give you power, power to run your practice in the most efficient way. Power to deploy commercial strategies with the minimum of fuss. Power to run your Patient journey programme in an automated way. Your existing Patients are your best form of marketing, I think that this is a universally accepted truism. You can not effectively leverage them without a CRM, you can not effectively run mail merge campaigns without a CRM. You can not with ease effectively run your Practice without a CRM.
The benefits of running a fully functional CRM include
Targeted Mail Merge Campaigns
Automated Patient Journey
The easy and visible storage of all the data needed to effectively engage your Patients
Easier financial transparency
These are just some of the valuable benefits that are provided by a fully functional CRM. The joy of running a database search for Patients not seen in the last six months. Getting a list and being able to instantly mail merge with a pre typed template call back letter can not be over stated. I would like to see you try that with an excel sheet. Another great use is for Test No Sales, they did not buy from you for some reason. But that does not mean they were not interested. So call them back for a yearly check up again with a simple search and mail merge. Maybe they will bite this time.
A CRM will also allow you to easier figure out the KPIs you set for yourself, the records just need to be queried in the right manner to spit out the data. With most CRMs you will just need to set up the search terms once, save them and they will be there to run in the background day after day. So first week of the new month, you get a list for six monthly call backs. Your receptionist undertakes the mail merge and over that week your diary is booked. Second week of the month, Test No Sales 12 months list and so on.
Reporting to a GP in Ireland and the UK and an MD in the USA is made easier. Organize a really good template report and run a mail merge at the end of every day on the Patients that were tested that day. Attach the audiogram printout and voila. Instant report to be sent to the Doctor. I truly believe that this in particular is imperative. I call it marketing by osmosis, it is non threatening soft marketing, the Doctor gets to see your reports semi regularly. The quality of the report is excellent and it is obvious that you are indeed a fellow Medical Professional.
You can go the other route and send him a Practice pack, but I guarantee you are wasting your time and killing trees for nothing. It will promptly end up in the bin. Its simple, a CRM gives you instant access to the information, information is power, the power to organize and run your clinical and commercial strategies in an easy and efficient way. It just does not get any better!
Geoffrey it’s a very good post! I agree with it, but isn’t easy to find a sotfware that have a good audiological tool with an efficient CRM.
I work for a company that has just re-invented itself with a new clinic operating system. Unfortunately, the seamless match it was supposed to be has become a few months of inconvenience and frustration. It looks as though all of the issues from recalls to mailers to reports will eventually be the mass benefits. The time it takes to fine tune it is the part that costs quite a bit of time and money. I love computers and am fairly geeky myself so this integration would be fabulous! Plus the transparency for generating income and looking forward to engaging our patients. Engaged staff and patients drive the most successful businesses. As an industry we need to focus on engaging ourselves and our patients in the improvement of hearing healthcare and awareness of hearing loss related issues.
Soory about the delay in my reply, J you are entirely correct. HIMSA is making Noah 4.2 more open for communication with other software packages. Hopefully this will allow better integration with some of the packages available.
I absolutely love Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a tool, but I think it would cost a small fortune to integrate it with Noah. Some of the commercial packages such as Hearform and Earworks are quite good, or at least worth a look.
Ellen, you are entirely correct, a good CRM is worth the pain. Simply because it allows you to easily control your destiny.