Be proactive, not reactive – Incorporating Hospital Management Systems
Healthcare organizations that can move to a proactive mode of operation stand to deliver better care to patients and maximize customer retention. A Hospital Management System incorporating a Customer Management System and Electronic Medical Records provides a host of value-added interactions to patients.
At present, patients are more or less on their own when it comes to scheduling check-ups or keeping track of their next important medical visit. For busy professionals juggling between professional responsibilities, household commitments and raising children, it can be hard to keep track of it all. Also, customers today expect more from healthcare providers, demanding higher levels of customer service and proactive behavior. They are no longer content with doctors and hospitals that act as monolithic entities that have to be approached by patients with a great deal of deference. The middle class market has grown used to thinking of high standards of customer service as an entitlement and not a perk; healthcare organizations need to align themselves with this mindset to gain and retain more customers.
With EMRs, you can track and anticipate various patient needs, automating regular alerts and reminders such as these:
- Reminders for regular check-ups
- Reminders for follow-up visits
- Reminders to replenish prescriptions
- Vaccination alerts
In this scenario, a busy couple with young children no longer needs to keep track of vaccination schedules. You can send them a reminder well in advance of each vaccination. With access to schedule details, you can even give them a range of available slots that they can choose from over the internet or by SMS. All they have to do is turn up with the child in question, on the selected date.
Similarly, an elderly patient who depends on a number of regular medications no longer has to struggle to keep track of medicine stocks. With access to her purchase details, you can send a message or make a telephone call a few days before her stocks are likely to run out. You can even schedule regular delivery of medication to patients who do not find it convenient to purchase their own medications for reasons of health or time constraints.
But that’s not all. With access to a patient’s medical history, there are numerous opportunities to deliver greater value. By categorizing records on key parameters, you can automate various categories of focused communication with different patient groups.
If patients are at risk for conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, heart problems and so on because of various genetic or lifestyle indicators, you send regular updates on new medications and therapies that are available to them, or suggest check-ups to monitor their risk levels.
Similarly, patients suffering from specific conditions can also be sent updates on new developments as well as lifestyle and diet tips. You can also send regular messages on special offers or packages to your regular patients; again these can be screened and segmented according to patient demographics and health records. You can apprise patients of customized offers like a special Bypass Package, for instance, or opportunities to avail of health checkups that are covered by their insurance packages. If several members of a family patronize your organization, you can send them alerts based on recurring concerns within the family, while preserving confidentiality.
As you integrate information systems and messaging capabilities into your organizational processes, the possibilities keep increasing. And the best part is, this isn’t just science fiction – the techniques to enable proactive communication are already in place. The challenge now is to be an early adopter in the Indian healthcare market and change the way you interact with your patients.
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See other recent postings for this blog:
- Patient Safety and Automation (Posted on 10 July 2009)
- EMRs in Indian Hospitals - A distant dream or a new reality? (Posted on: 22 May 2009)
- Wireless Brings Eye Treatment to Villages (Posted on: 20 Feb 2009)
This content may have been developed with IBM funding. Regardless, this work represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of IBM. Although the content may utilize publicly available material from various sources, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect the positions of such sources on the issues addressed in this content.