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Tips for Healthcare Organizations Building a Complete CRM Database

customer relationship marketing

With the multiple audiences that healthcare organizations typically have, it is often difficult to identify how to incorporate them all into marketing activities and databases. The audience varies drastically depending on the type of healthcare organization. A customer relationship marketing (CRM) database is essential to connect all the audiences.

These audiences can include:

  • Prospective patients and members
  • Existing patients and members
  • Physicians
  • Employers
  • Agents
  • Brokers

Creating or expanding a CRM database can seem like a high investment cost and resource undertaking. However, it’s essential to build and grow relationships in order to support acquisition and retention strategies, as well as efficiency in business interactions, enhanced experiences, and much more.

Connecting marketing software to the CRM database or whether you are using a single tool that does both, is where marketing and communication strategies can be executed using the contacts with your CRM database. The creation of automated marketing campaigns based on triggers for specific rules, or marketing journey email series or newsletters to name a few, take the manual effort out of marketing activities. However, success often depends on the contacts within the CRM database and the quality of the data in order to then have the ability to send highly segmented and targeted campaigns.

There are a number of things to consider and the tips below will help your healthcare organization determine a suitable path forward.

  • Carefully select the data sources for the CRM database so each of the relevant audiences is included. The more your healthcare organization includes, the more comprehensive the database will be. But ensure that they are audiences that you intend to send segmented marketing campaigns to. Some of the data sources you may consider are listed below:
    • Patient/member including encounter or claims related
    • Patient/member portal usage
    • Provider
    • Employer
    • Marketing and website leads
    • Call center
    • Website live chat
    • Third-party data
  • When integrating data sources, it is important to incorporate the minimal amount of necessary information excluding PHI data where possible. If your organization uses PHI data as triggers for automated campaigns, make sure data stays secure. For instance, use the relevant security controls and encryption to keep PHI data secure.
  • Ensure your organization has a strategy on how to deal with duplicate contacts. This ensures the quality of the data within the customer relationship marketing database remains high. Identify which fields will assist in identifying duplicates and any associated business rules that should be applied.
  • For the contacts your organization has within the database, determine the workflows for additional data from across touchpoints and interactions that will help build out comprehensive profiles. So, for example, what business rules will be applied to turn a prospective patient/member into a lead? if there is a new encounter what information should be updated on the member profile? Again, only include additional information that is essential and will assist in supporting marketing efforts.

Many Paths to a Comprehensive CRM Database

There are numerous paths to follow to ensure your healthcare organization has a comprehensive CRM database to assist in executing marketing strategies that help build and maintain relationships. I hope the above tips on types of data sources to include and ensuring completeness and up to date information on profiles assists your organization with its CRM journey.  I will be producing a series of posts on the topic of CRM databases and marketing and its effective and ever-increasing use in healthcare. Stay on the lookout for the next article!

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Susan Kight

Susan Kight is a lead business consultant with digital experience spanning healthcare, finance, and education industries. With a core grounding in marketing, product management, and analytics, Susan is able to assist clients at the intersection of where digital, strategy and data meet. She is extremely passionate about helping healthcare organizations improve patient outcomes through the delivery of successfully executed innovative digital strategies. Susan helps clients to build best-in-class, engaging digital experiences that achieve business goals and lead to high ROI.

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