In many ways, your bank knows more about you and where you are than the healthcare system, which is crazy.

- John Driscoll, CEO of Carecentrix

Even though it’s 2020, patients and healthcare providers are poorly connected and unable to efficiently work as a team. It’s high time we made sure technology is seen as a real partner for healthcare. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) systems come into play. CRM software unifies and brings together the community of caregivers, providing fluid information sharing. 

Building a custom healthcare CRM system
Source: dribbble.com by Excellent WebWorld 

A healthcare CRM system, also known as healthcare relationship management software, keeps doctors connected with patients and manages interactions between them, grants healthcare providers real-time visibility into the patient care flow, and automates business processes. CRM software allows clinics to:

  • improve and speed up communication with clients
  • provide a personalized patient experience
  • allocate and schedule resources based on resource availability and capacity
  • store all medical data in a central location
  • effectively track health records
  • receive useful insights into their business performance
  • collect patient feedback

We’ve already talked about developing custom CRM software, but today we’ll focus on customer relationship management in healthcare. Read on!

Why invest in custom CRM software for healthcare?

Market Research Future estimates the global healthcare CRM market was worth almost $9 million in 2018 and anticipates it to grow at a 13.4% CAGR through 2025. What’s the secret sauce for such market growth? Advances in information technology (IT) and communications, a growing focus on patient engagement, and rising demand for structured data. 

But with so many ready-made CRM solutions available, you might ask yourself: Why should I invest in a custom CRM? There are several factors that can influence your buy vs build decision:

  • A healthcare organization has a unique structure and involves a vast network of participants. To make the most of a CRM solution, it should cater to your specific needs. The best way to make sure it does is to develop your own healthcare CRM software.
  • The healthcare sector is the biggest target for cyberattacks, so healthcare software requires strong security mechanisms. With custom development, you can design a system with security in mind from the very beginning. You can include security measures such as data encryption, HIPAA-compliant data storage, multi-factor authentication (MFA), multilevel database security, biometrics, and digital signatures.

 

Read also: Privacy and Security in Healthcare: A Must-read for Healthtech Entrepreneurs

 

  • There are different types of medical services, and it can be a real challenge to unify data across systems. A custom CRM can collect and harmonize information across departments like labs, supply, billing, and delivery.

In addition, a CRM in the healthcare industry can help your clinic:

  • Eliminate human errors. CRM software automates the majority of administrative tasks and processes so you’re able to minimize human interactions and reduce administrative errors such as incomplete or inaccurate medical records.
  • Reduce no-shows and late patients. Since a CRM notifies patients about upcoming appointments, you can cut down on no-shows and decrease the number of patients who are late. Additionally, a CRM helps healthcare providers follow their schedules more closely.
  • Gain insights into patient satisfaction, the number of patients by department, the chances that patients will refer someone to your clinic, etc.
  • Efficiently track referral patients and maintain all important health data in a single place.

Who can benefit from medical CRM development?

Any medical establishment can use CRM software to effectively manage patient interactions as well as patient information. Types of healthcare facilities that can take advantage of a CRM include:

  • hospitals
  • retail clinics
  • urgent care centers
  • primary care and general practice offices
  • outpatient medical clinics

Features of a clinic CRM system

Clinics differ, and so do their requirements. That’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all set of features to include in every healthcare CRM. Below, we talk about functionality you might want to add to your CRM system. But of course, there may be other features that cater to your specific needs. 

Key features of healthcare CRMs

Patient database

Medical histories

Appointment management

Analytics

Email campaigns

Integrations

Patient database

The main purpose of customer relationship management is to provide great service to patients and keep them coming back. Your customer relationship management platform can’t go without a patient database. Your patient database should store contact names, email addresses, titles, dates of last contact, and notes of what you talked about during consultations.

Medical histories

A custom CRM can provide you with a 360-degree view of patient data. Enable your software to store all necessary patient information including health data, scanned reports, diagnoses, and appointments in a secure central location. You should also be able to attach documents at any time. This will help you build an integrated and well-coordinated approach to patient care.

Appointment management

Take the hassle out of managing and tracking appointments across multiple channels. Let your system do it for you. By integrating with software you’re already using, your CRM can take appointment requests from different channels and centralize them. This allows for easy labeling and filtering. What’s more, you can enable your CRM to automatically assign appointment requests to available physicians according to set preferences and notify patients about appointment statuses.

Analytics

Analytics is what lets you define your strengths and weaknesses and gain deeper insights into your performance. This can help you discover  problems, make better decisions, and maximize your business success. You can enable reports such as patients by division, average time spent at a consultation, leading diagnoses, average wait time by division, and level of demand for divisions.

Email campaigns

Patients will appreciate receiving email reminders about upcoming appointments. You can also use emails to market your medical practice and attract new patients.

Integrations

We suggest you integrate your CRM software with the tools you’re already using to increase your productivity, maximize performance, and achieve better results. It’s particularly important to integrate your electronic health record (EHR) system.

What’s next in medical CRM development?

Once you define the purpose of your CRM, identify your target users, and decide on the functionality, you might be wondering What’s next? Well, the next and most important step is to find and hire the right CRM development company. Searching for CRM developers can be tough, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy. A quick Google search will give you dozens of companies to choose from, making the choice even more perplexing.

Below, we give you practical tips so you can differentiate great developers from the rest and hire the best outsourcing team for your healthcare project.

Tip #1 Choose an outsourcing destination and scan the market

If you’ve decided to outsource development, you need to choose an outsourcing destination and then scan the market. 

Develop healthcare CRM system
Source: dribbble.com by Petr Had

There are a lot of marketplaces where you can find profiles of software development agencies and their projects alongside ratings and feedback from current and past clients:

You can also check out media platforms like Behance and dribbble for design portfolios. 

While screening software development companies on ratings and reviews platforms seems easy, choosing a country to outsource to can be the opposite. The main criteria for evaluating and selecting the best outsourcing destination are agency rates, time differences, approaches to work, cultural differences, and English proficiency. We’ve already discussed these criteria in one of our previous articles. Read it to learn the ins and outs of choosing the right outsourcing destination: How to Find and Hire a Software Development Company.

Tip #2 Set a budget

Similar companies from the same country can charge different rates. Therefore, we suggest you compare costs for hiring different agencies. Your aim is to find a company that  will do a great job making your idea a reality while not breaking the bank. 

Offshor software development company
Source: steelkiwi.com 

When making your choice, keep your budget in mind. But don’t make the common mistake of simply selecting the software development company with the lowest hourly rate. Put quality first and be ready to pay for it if you don’t want to pay twice. We suggest you closely consider companies from Central and Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Development companies in these countries are known for high-quality yet low-cost development.

Q: How much does it cost to build a healthcare CRM system?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much it will cost to build a healthcare CRM system, but we’d say somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000. However, everything depends on the functionality you want to include and your developers’ hourly rates.

Steelkiwi’s advice: Request an estimate for your project from the software development team you’re looking to hire.

Tip #3 Check out each company’s portfolio and feedback from past clients

Real-life projects will tell you lots about a company’s expertise. If a company has already developed successful solutions similar to yours, they should be able to deliver high-quality services for you too. 

create custom CRM system
Source: steelkiwi.com

Software development companies always have websites where you can learn about their experience. Most provide case studies and maintain a projects page where you can learn about their first-hand experience. Pay attention to every detail, including a project’s UI/UX design, navigation, development technology, and features. Don’t forget to check out customer reviews, as they’re the best indicator of a development company’s success. There are a lot of platforms such as GoodFirms and Clutch that show project feedback from actual clients, giving you an idea of the relationship between previous clients and the team and a company’s performance on past projects.

Tip #4 Narrow down your list and make your final decision

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to about three companies, you should define the criteria that will help you choose the right team for your healthcare project.

Q: How can you differentiate great CRM developers from the rest?

A good healthcare software development team:

  • has a transparent workflow 
  • signs documents to protect your business idea and ensure your rights  (software development agreement, NDA, etc.)
  • follows the latest industry standards
  • uses encryption to keep sensitive data secure
  • follows security and privacy standards like GDPR, HIPAA, DPA 2018, and PIPEDA
  • uses only reliable third-party systems

 

Read also: 9 Tips on How to Employ the Best Team of Developers for Your Project

Get started on a CRM for your clinic!

Nowadays, a CRM system for a clinic isn’t just trendy — it’s a must-have tool to deliver consistently great customer service and survive in a highly competitive market. This type of software helps healthcare facilities not only improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue but also solve some of the biggest challenges in the medical sector.

You’re welcome to message our sales representatives if you’re looking for a CRM developer or want to outsource your CRM development to Ukraine. Meanwhile, we suggest you read the following blog posts to learn the ins and outs of medical software development:

You can also check out our portfolio of medical solutions to get a closer look at what we offer.