When it comes to the selection and integration of tools that can streamline and expedite mission-critical processes like systematic, generalized patient communications, many healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt the advanced technology currently available to them.
In fact, many still rely on time-consuming manual procedures and outmoded legacy systems that are inefficient and fraught with human error potential, which frustrate customers and create financial waste.
Customer Communications Management (CCM) software, also known as Correspondence Management (CM) software, helps eliminate inefficiencies, mistakes and unnecessary costs associated with obsolete or manual processes. It also allows for hyper-personalized communications as these systems typically utilize automated data capture and transformation. What’s more, variable data-driven customer communications can be produced instantaneously.
It’s common for hospitals and healthcare providers to rely on call centers to manage the nuanced standards of each provider to remain within stringent compliance requirements. Besides ensuring compliance, providers must be able to provide accurate correspondence to all their prospective patients – and depending on the system and its use, current patients – with a multitude of customer data variables. Precise monitoring of records, to ensure healthcare providers and customers are satisfied, is unwieldy and nearly impossible for call center representatives to do manually.
Searching across records must happen seamlessly and quickly and a CCM system allows communications to be correctly stored, searchable and accessible. Correspondence securely stored in the cloud allows authorized users to make changes in real time to content, such as class sign-up confirmation letters, and gives insights into correspondence outcomes, which may lead to refined messaging or other modifications.
CCM systems eliminate inefficient manual processes that strain time and resources, helping organizations expedite operations and reduce the support required. Automating and managing correspondence supports them by refocusing resources while improving quality and accuracy.
Communications management tools deliver numerous benefits while alleviating common headaches faced by healthcare organizations, such as:
- Unwieldy creation of complex documents
- Risk of penalties/fines for not adhering to strict industry regulatory requirements
- Bottlenecks in execution due to a lack of customer data management automation
- Errors resulting from reliance on manual intervention or information input
- Slow time to market response/communications
- Lack of process integration leading to customers and stakeholders getting irrelevant or untimely information
- Drain on human resources from overreliance to compensate for obsolete systems
CCM Software and the Patient Experience
Customer Communications Management software fosters patient engagement by helping healthcare organizations leverage data to deliver relevant and accurate communications to the right target at the right time.
Elevating the customer experience is one reason organizations need to invest in end-to-end solutions that automate, centralize and streamline communications. However, another key objective is to create more efficient internal operational processes.
Tools for automating correspondence management give customer communications departments the leverage needed to manage and purpose the increasing amount of data entering an organization through multiple channels. This enables the delivery of germane communications through customers’ preferred correspondence channels.
The Impact of CCM Software on Healthcare Organizations
A hospital call center serving more than 400 hospitals nationwide saw improved customer engagement after implementing a CCM solution. The call center, which handles physician referrals, appointment scheduling and hospital class/event registration, was responsible for generating more than 100,000 variable communications every month.
Correspondence had to be personalized with content specific to each patient call, but also customized to the correct hospital brand and their exact communications variants.
The company implemented a CCM system that automated the collection of caller information, properly generated data for output, created and modified communications in real time, integrated digital print and expedited fulfillment services.
The results? Quicker personalized patient communication and the call center’s hospital clients saw increased physician referrals, plus increased training and event registrations that exceeded the organization’s goals.
An Industry Agnostic Solution
CCM software can help an organization reduce costs and improve the accuracy and quality of its communications. It can augment customer service efforts, prevent unnecessary phone and web inquiries and improve records accuracy and documentation, which all contribute to helping all players in the healthcare industry to remain competitive. As holding on to manual processes can be dangerous, CCM is a smart solution that forward-thinking healthcare organizations need to embrace.
Jeff Sammak is president & founder of Strata Company.