According to studies, up to 90% of U.S. physicians use an electronic health record system. Of course, these technologies are quite useful in medical practice. 63% of primary care physicians say EHRs have helped them enhance treatment. Furthermore, 66% of them are somewhat happy with their existing EHR system. While EHR keeps track of healthcare information, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) handles patient connections to promote longer patient life cycles and a more customized medical experience. As a result, it is critical for hospitals and clinics to link their CRM and EHR software.
Mind Studios develops specialized healthcare software solutions to assist healthcare providers in becoming digital and providing outstanding, accessible healthcare services, including EHR and CRM integration, covering all basics while keeping innovation in mind. Based on this experience, we came up with an article that covers many forms of healthcare EHR with CRM integrations and in it, we will take a closer look at their advantages and disadvantages.
What is EHR?
An EHR, or electronic health record, is a type of system designed for securely storing patient health information in digital format and ensuring patient record shareability within the healthcare ecosystem.
What is CRM?
Similarly, the CRM software for healthcare firms provides a consolidated platform for managing patient contacts and streamlining numerous operations. Appointment scheduling, patient inquiry, requests, marketing, and communication activities are examples of these.
While EHR systems keep clinical data and interactions with patients, healthcare CRM software controls non-clinical data and information.
However, electronic health records are not a cure-all for every problem. To provide an example, electronic health record software accomplishes little to improve communication with patients.
It is essential to develop lasting bonds with your patients. The question is how? You may strengthen your relationships with patients by enhancing their experiences — from the moment they contact you to intake and follow-up or further treatments.
While instant access to electronic health data can help you enhance treatment and patient outcomes, it cannot help you increase engagement or the intake process. EHR integration with healthcare CRM is a tried and true option for ensuring care and a wonderful patient experience.
Healthcare CRM solutions combined with an integrated EHR system address the requirements of a wide range of medical providers, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
Benefits of EHR and CRM integration
When it comes to integrating CRM systems with electronic health records, there are several concerns and obstacles to consider, starting with the complexity of such solutions and concluding with the difficulty of providing a positive experience for both healthcare personnel and patients.
Implementing a CRM into an existing EHR system merely improves EHR capabilities, not eliminates them. Even more data types may be evaluated by combining patient information from numerous sources – social, behavioral, demographic, economic, and clinical data all in one organization. CRMs enable providers to consider the patient's experience throughout their health journey rather than just communication requirements at certain milestones.
Electronic medical records have backups saved on the server, and they also facilitate searches. This means that even if there is a problem with the system, it is highly unlikely that any data will be lost because it is stored securely and can be retrieved. Other concerns of EHR migration from paper to digital are as follows:
- There is a low chance of mistakes being made. In the worst cases, illegible handwriting could lead to a misdiagnosis or the administration of the wrong medication.
- All patient information is searchable, and records are linked to patients' health records.
- Electronic health records are automatically updated anytime new information is added, and they are also linked to preventive care standards.
- Drug recalls and other forms of updates can be flagged in a patient's medical record.
With that being said and the main concerns addressed, there is still a silver lining in combining EHR and CRM together.
Streamlining data management and workflows
EHR software can automate formerly tedious and time-consuming billing and payment procedures in healthcare environments, enhancing efficiency. Integrated billing modules make it easier to create and submit correct claims, eliminating mistakes and speeding up reimbursement periods.
To what end should you integrate EHRs into CRM? When your EHR and practice management solution are integrated, doctors and dentists have instantaneous access to patient data, allowing for faster diagnosis and care. Electronic entry of patient information, on the other hand, facilitates quick and accurate onboarding.
Improving patient engagement and communication
Today, EHR and CRM in healthcare can improve patient care by giving doctors real-time data and insights that can help them make better decisions.
Likewise, the integration of EHR CRM in healthcare can assist clinicians in more efficient and secure patient data management. A fully connected CRM in EHR, for example, enables healthcare practitioners to view patient records from anywhere, at any time, and to exchange information as required with other doctors.
Physicians can communicate online between offices using EHR software. Referrals are an example of when e-messaging is very useful. Rather than playing telephone tag to make an appointment, the physician electronically sends a message to a patient or another doctor.
Finally, by giving access to health information, educational materials, and self-management tools, this technology may enable individuals to take an active part in their treatment.
Enhancing care coordination and continuity
Care coordination is enhanced when patient records are accessible from any device. If the dentist has to look up a patient's medical history or the office manager needs to look up a patient's contact information, they may do so with up-to-date and accurate data.
If all relevant patient data is centralized and easy to access, you'll be able to make a more precise diagnosis and better clinical decision. When combined with an EHR, prescription writing becomes more secure and reliable.
A better therapeutic experience and more effective communication of treatment plans can result from centralizing all patient data on a single platform. Medical and dental professionals may streamline the collection, evaluation, and transmission of private patient data, which, as a result, improves coordination of care and its continuity.
An EHR system integrated with a CRM will enable the management of personal accounts with access privileges and data protection. Patients will also be able to manage their general personal information, including changing and upgrading private data under HIPAA and other regulations.
In terms of patient portal development, online medical portals, similar to EHR systems, will allow access to individual patient data. This EHR system feature enables doctors and patients access particular information such as user information, insurance management, lab test results, billing history, medication plans, and so on.
The predominance of manual and paper-based processes is one of the major issues that hospitals confront. Many healthcare businesses continue to rely extensively on human data input, paper forms, and document routing. These manual methods are time-consuming, error-prone, and inefficient, resulting in information exchange delays, an increased administrative load, and significant patient safety issues.
With an EHR-integrated solution, doctors and other medical professionals are given a CRM communication platform through which they may engage with patients without needing to schedule actual appointments. On the other hand, patients can readily express their opinions or voice concerns regarding health issues, and their queries will always be answered.
Hospitals may save time and enhance efficiency by automating data input, form completion, and document routing. Automation reduces transcribing errors, lost papers, and data input discrepancies. This increases information accuracy, lowers adverse occurrences, and improves patient safety. Furthermore, with access to patients' data, healthcare practitioners may give individualized treatment and care plans to fit the requirements of each patient.
Another advantage of EHRs is that they cut costs. Healthcare providers may save money on printing and storage by reducing the need for paper-based solutions. EHRs can also eliminate unnecessary testing and treatments, saving time and money.
According to a recent Deloitte survey, 92% of healthcare professionals and institutes improved their performance as a result of digital transformation. According to the statistics, technology provides several solutions across the business, including:
- Improved telemedicine and virtual appointments
- Precise metrics tracking via health wearables
- Cost savings for healthcare institutions
- Process automation and improved workflows that save time and funds
- Improved doctor-patient communication
- Better facility and organizational interoperability
To run properly, healthcare institutions require a comprehensive view of existing and future situations. Big data may assist institutions in forecasting future admission and visit rates so that the appropriate amount of employees is available. Having the correct amount of staff members decreases wait times and enhances overall visit efficiency. It also reduces the expenditures associated with overstaffing.
Challenges of EHR integration with healthcare CRM
Electronic health records have grown in importance in healthcare, delivering several benefits such as enhanced patient care, increased efficiency, and cost savings. However, for healthcare businesses, installing EHR software may be a complex and difficult procedure. To overcome the different problems that businesses may face, the implementation process necessitates thorough planning, preparation, and execution.
These difficulties might vary from technological concerns to user acceptance to regulatory compliance. Understanding the obstacles of EHR deployment is critical for companies to create a complete plan for successfully integrating EHR software into their operations.
Health systems' EHR and CRM implementations are more complex than they may appear at first. Many obstacles might arise throughout the process of introducing an electronic health records system.
Providers may make a more seamless transition from paper to digital health records by being prepared for the potential difficulties associated with EHRs and CRMs. Providers might expect the following challenges when introducing an EHR, CRM system, or both. Below are the main challenges of healthcare CRM EHR integration.
Technical considerations and system compatibility
This is one of the EHR implementation issues that small clinical institutions and private health practitioners frequently confront. They seldom have an in-house staff with technical competence and provider oversight. Furthermore, they may lack the necessary hardware to outfit the EHR solution.
Building an in-house team with the necessary knowledge and purchasing hardware is a significant expenditure, which is a typical reason for small and mid-sized healthcare organizations postponing EHR adoption.
Interoperability in healthcare refers to the capacity of many programs to share information and collaborate. If your EHR or EMR system is unable to interface with other systems, you lose a significant portion of the value of electronic records and data. Interoperability is critical to the operation of an EHR system. The Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs Act of 2019 established incentives for greater EHR integration. Despite the passing of the law, several EHR systems still lack interoperability.
Healthcare interoperability is critical for effective data sharing across systems and smooth system changes. HL7 v3 is a healthcare interoperability reference model that standardizes data and assures data consistency in this case. Alternatively, there is also FHIR, which is a healthcare interoperability standard built on HL7 v3 and employs a RESTful API (application programming interfaces) to allow data transmission across different systems.
Although there are standards, healthcare interoperability often confronts problems such as integrating disparate information systems, ensuring the privacy and security of patient data, and overcoming the early expenses of implementing interoperability. Despite these obstacles, healthcare interoperability can lead to improved communication and data exchange across providers; nonetheless, it is necessary to resolve the obstacles and ensure a seamless transition between systems.
To overcome these issues, inquire with your software vendor about network connection capabilities. Cloud-based systems, blockchain, and application programming interfaces are examples of these. A knowledgeable supplier will have numerous answers to your EHR interoperability issues.
Data privacy and security concerns
According to a recent report by Grant Thornton Bharat and the Association of Healthcare Providers, the lack of EMRs is a barrier to telemedicine adoption. While 62% of respondents said they had used EMR, the focus has mostly been on transitioning from paper to digital format and manual to electronic procedures.
This transitional period is where data security is crucial. Patients' and doctors' concerns about their personal information being misused are another important obstacle to the widespread adoption of EHR. Whether it's a cyberattack or a natural disaster, stakeholders are always worried about their data being compromised.
The government rule mandates a uniform policy of safeguarding individuals' health records from prying eyes. A security breach might put the company in court, where it could cost millions to resolve the matter. Therefore, it falls heavily on the provider to protect the confidentiality of patients' EHR records.
Staff training and change management
Before implementing EHR systems, personnel must be thoroughly trained on the new process. The providers and medical team must put in extra time and effort to comprehend the new system and change their jobs accordingly. It is a time-consuming and inconvenient process for both employees and management.
Small and mid-sized businesses fear losing revenue during the training process, which creates hurdles to deploying EHR systems in their enterprises. Furthermore, the personnel may see it as a needless effort at times.
Integration scalability and future-proofing
Scalability refers to your EHR's ability to develop alongside your practice. When adding patients or opening additional offices, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Some of your expansion endeavors may be unique. You may need to digitize documents from an acquired practice if you integrate them. CRM-integrated EHR data conversion solutions aid in the movement of records. Paper documents may be scanned and entered into your EHR with the help of scanning solutions.
Big data sets
If your data sets drastically rise, you may need to modify your analytics standards to accommodate a transition period. You wouldn't take a month-over-month increase in accounts receivable at face value. To ensure development, it should be validated inside your practice management operations.
Likewise, organizations often hesitate to improve their network infrastructure in preparation for data transfer. They typically regard this as a one-time event. However, most businesses will face migrations of different kinds in the years to come, making network infrastructure scalability even more critical.
One of the main hurdles of EHR integration is that the data sent across the network during migration might be worth decades. A large amount of data needs high network performance. Full-scale migrations would put conventional wireless infrastructure under strain. As a result, enterprises must decide whether to modify their network infrastructure for migration or use migration solutions from big cloud providers.
- Beyond relocation, upgrading the network provides advantages. This is one of the initial steps toward improving IT infrastructure.
- One of the most critical issues in building EHR systems is determining how to make them clinically feasible in the long run in the face of a changing and unpredictable future.
To be future-proof, an EHR system must be able to manage rising data volumes, large influxes of patients and users, as well as any extra features that may be introduced later.
Mind Studios as your custom EHR development partner
The healthcare sector is cyclical, and the volume of data that must be handled each day is only increasing. Mind Studios is prepared to become your partner in building innovative and efficient software solutions to meet the rising need for improved data management in businesses and healthcare institutions.
As software developers who often collaborate with medical experts, we get their pain points: investing in customized applications isn't cheap and has to pay off in the long term. Consequently, we begin with a thorough analysis of the business and its users' requirements.
Our healthcare app developers have access to the tools and experience gained from more than a decade of online, application, and system development, allowing them to create solutions that boost organizations' bottom lines.
In a similar vein, we work closely with our clients and keep them informed at every stage of the development process through consistent communication, updates, and reports.
Manual and automated software testing are only two of the methods our software engineers often employ. By doing so, we guarantee the success of the healthcare organizations who choose us to design unique software for them.
Furthermore, our team places equal importance of timely delivery as we do on developing high-quality, effective solutions. We always hit our deadlines because we use sound risk management and careful preparation.
Also, Mind Studios is a partner in healthcare software development that cares about your product's long-term sustainability. That's why, three years after a project has been launched, 70% of our clients still use our support and maintenance services.
Our systems adhere to international industry standards for patient data security, such as HIPAA and HL7. We at Mind Studios are prepared to adapt our services to meet the data protection requirements of the markets you intend to enter.
EHR and CRM systems, among others, are commonplace in the healthcare sector, and our team often develops solutions to improve the administration of patient files, prescriptions, appointments, analytics reports, and finances.
Today, almost 90% of U.S. physicians use an EHR system of some kind, which helps enhance treatment and improve patient outcomes. However, EHRs alone cannot improve communication with patients or enhance patient engagement. This is where CRM software comes in. By integrating EHR and CRM systems, hospitals and clinics can streamline data management, improve patient engagement and communication, enhance care coordination and continuity, and increase operational efficiency and cost savings.
EHR integration with CRM allows for faster diagnosis and care, real-time data and insights for better decision-making, and centralized patient data for more effective communication and treatment planning. Challenges of CRM and EHR integration include technical considerations, system compatibility, and interoperability. Despite these challenges, digital transformation in healthcare, including the integration of EHR and CRM systems, has been shown to improve performance and efficiency in healthcare institutions.
There are countless prospects for EHRs and big data in healthcare, but also many difficulties. One problem is ensuring data privacy and security, as patient data is sensitive and must be protected. Another challenge is properly managing and analyzing vast amounts of data, which may be a complicated and time-consuming procedure.
The importance of CRM-integrated EHRs in healthcare cannot be emphasized enough. We should expect improved patient outcomes, more efficiency, improved data accuracy and security, and cost savings as healthcare providers continue to use these technologies.
Finally, EHRs and big data analytics will aid in the transformation of healthcare into a more data-driven, patient-centered enterprise.
By connecting their CRM software with EHR, hospitals and clinics get access to vital patient information. We at Mind Studios have everything you need to set up a database of electronic health records that is seamlessly linked with your customer relationship management software. Get in touch with us right away so that we can begin planning your integration.