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Role of CRM in the Healthcare Industry: The Changed Scenario

Rekha Prasad Assistant Professor Lloyd Institute of Management & Technology Email id: Contact no.-8860879701

Abstract: The Healthcare system is undergoing a paradigm shift .Nowadays the hospitals are confronting an essential issue which is how to utilize healthcare information technology to improve healthcare services quality because of the recent rapid increase in the amount of medical information by the customers. From the business perspectives patients represent the major customers of the hospitals who receive and feel the health care services directly & realistically. In the new paradigm managing relationship with customers is becoming more important. The shift is from healthcare institution centre care to a citizen centered care that emphasizes on continuity of care from prevention to rehabilitation. The main driver of the paradigm shift is the recent development of Information and Communication technology (ICT) especially the Internet and its related technology. The paper discusses CRM in healthcare and proposes a social CRM to take advantage of the multi-way relationships created by Internet and its widespread use in improving customer service for mutual benefits between healthcare providers and their customers. The adoptions of specially explored Social CRM in hospitals have shown a dramatic impact on the quality of healthcare services and customer satisfaction.

Key Words: Healthcare customer service, CRM, value creation


1. Introduction: CRM is: A Strategy A Process Software Philosophy A Project Implies fixed activities with clear objectives and established beginning and end dates. A Program is a complex set of goals and objectives that is institutionalized and ongoing involving several projects within it. CRM helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers. Advantages of CRM

Provide better customer service Increase customer revenues Discover new customers Cross sell/Up Sell products more effectively Help sales staff close deals faster Make call centers more efficient Simplify marketing and sales processes Importance of CRM in Healthcare Industry

Customer centricity has long been a guiding principle for Healthcare businesses. However, it is usually limited to marketing existing products with as strong a customer focus as possible. Corporate strategy remains basically product Centered. Customers typically have a fractured view of an enterprise. Conversely, the enterprise has only a splintered view of the customer, determined by different customer contact points, as customer information is usually locked in departmental silos. This study is to find out that besides using CRM tools what exactly retain the customers and create brand image.

Customer relationship management (CRM) which has overriding significance for any business is no less significant for hospital services (Salam, 2000). The most important elements in any health care delivery system are the hospitals. It plays a major role in maintaining and restoring the health of the people. The general broad functions of a hospital are to take care of the sick and injured preventive health care, health research, and training of medical and paramedical staff. It involves to the outpatient and inpatient hospital services and on many occasions emergency medical services. An important resource in a hospital is a human resource. This should be particularly emphasized in the content of a hospital since relationship of medical staff plays important role in treating patients - the hospital customers. In health care, CRM practices are essentially patient - focused strategies that involve effective management of hospital interface and interaction with patients. In a hospital effective CRM practices may mean providing services related information to a patient very quickly. Responding to the patient appointment and an admission requests promptly, dealing with patient queries and complaints expeditiously, and exercising all kinds of flexibilities in serving patients. Nowadays, the medical industry is finding the need to know more details of the patients so that they can provide efficient service to them. With all the patients history, medical records, present medication or any tests performed it is even more better to respond to the patients present complaints. Healthcare industry has now found CRM the most effective way of handling the medical records. Millions of patients contact the hospital every day through phone, email or fax as well as direct visits. All these increases the need to have a system in place to keep a track of everything and record each information of the patient.CRM in healthcare sector helps to reduce operation costs, reduces errors and facilitates better relationships with patients. Patients do pay attention to customer service in health care. One in four has switched or considered switching doctors (26 percent) or hospitals or clinics (23 percent) because of negative customer service experiences, according to the research. More than half (52 percent) say they choose hospitals and clinics based on whether they believe employees understand their needs. As a result, health care providers are losing business. One in four say poor experiences have caused them to use (12 percent) or think about using (12 percent) walk-in centers to avoid hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. CRM Solution for Healthcare Industries One of the largest service sector industries in India is the healthcare sector and it has also emerged as one of the most challenging sectors as well. Because of increase in life expectancy, higher income levels, greater reach of health insurance, and growing lifestyle related diseases the healthcare industry has started showing speedy signs of growth.The most central components of healthcare CRM software are integrated patient records and using electronic records to facilitate the check-in process, patient care and patient billing. Other key CRM functions include close integration to back office project accounting systems (see sidebar content) and enterprise content management systems. As

governments, employers, payers, and patients increasingly demand more timely information about preventive services, pre-service alternatives and post-service delivery, healthcare providers must respond with enterprise-wide, integrated business systems that serve both the healthcare provider and provide online access to patients and other stakeholders. In addition to consistently delivered customer service, patients want ondemand knowledge of their alternatives and visibility to their healthcare history. Top healthcare CRM systems are delivering by enabling the creation and customization of health plans for patients, permitting patients online access to manage their own healthcare and acting as a system of record to better control their healthcare activities, costs and benefits. Indian scenario: Indian healthcare industry is expected to grow by 15% annually for the next five years Using the latest technical equipment and the services of highly skilled, medical personnel and healthcare services, the service from this sector are available at highly competitive prices. This encourages patients not only from developed countries but also from developing countries to utilize & gain from the services. The fast pace of the development of the private medical sector and the burgeoning middle class have led to the emergence of the new concept of establishing hospital and healthcare facilities as profitable ventures. Over the years there has been an ever expanding demands in the Tertiary Care units of the healthcare. The study aims to find ways to combine CRM for converting the healthcare industry into customer centric sector.CRM is about acquiring, developing and retaining satisfied loyal customer by achieving profitable growth and creating economic value in a companys brand.CRM helps a company understand the needs of the customers and thereby developing models to provide best of services to them. This in turn helps in creating a large customer base and retains them through mutually beneficial relationship. Matters pertaining related to people such as customer behavior, cultural transformation, personal agendas, and new interactions between individuals & group must be incorporated in CRM initiatives. Consequently CRM must address the dynamic nature of customers needs and adjustments strategies embedded in CRM are required. Internet services should help people and organizations to create customer values and to build customer relationship through collaboration and social networking. Patient place a value on these services according to quality of outcome, quality of service and price. The adoption of social CRM to healthcare provider will improve customer service and prevent any dispute between healthcare organization and patient. The social CRM framework can be provided as an alternative solution to the healthcare provider. Few examples of CRM practices in hospitals Homecare International (HCI): A chain of super specialty Homeopathic clinics founded by a group of committed and dedicated doctors with decades of rich experience, excellence and expertise in treating

various diseases. Homecare International is the new trendsetter in Homeopathy. The doctors are highly qualified, gold medalists and M.Ds using world-class techniques, latest advances, hi-tech technology and sophisticated software for the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases without any side effects. Our advanced techniques in Homeopathy had been tried, tested and retested by millions of fully satisfied patients nationally and internationally. It is the first clinic having a customized patient database, which contains patients medical history and treatment details. This information is accessible to all our clinics through a network. With this facility patients can discuss problems with our doctors from anywhere in India or abroad and can get his medicines by courier any part of the world.. This facility ensures continuous treatment without break which is a must for desired results. World's first cyber clinic with individual case discussion by group of super specialist doctors in that particular disease. Fortis Hospitals: Fortis Healthcare has a major presence in North India with a network of world-class hospitals. In each of our facilities the ultimate focus of our services is the health and happiness of people, our patients and their near & dear ones. Patients experience this sensitivity whether you are an in-patient attending an OPD or simply accompanying a family member. In the patient-friendly environment in Fortis hospitals, the layout of departments has been planned so as to save patient time and minimize in-patient movement.The Hospital Information System (HIS) and Electronic Patient Record (EPR) instantly provide patient history details and latest test results to the desktop of the Fortis Healthcare specialist you are consulting, saving valuable time. The welcoming guest relations officers and counselors at the Fortis hospital assist in accessing the serviceseven such conveniences as the cafeteria, ATM or prayer room. There is a section on the website which provides helpful information for visitors and also highlights some of the special services available to our patients and their families. The expanding Fortis Healthcare network ensures accessibility to large sections of the population and ease of medical information transfer (Electronic Medical Records). The network has the convenience of outpatient medical services and diagnostic testing all under the same roof. Our facilities are built with our patients in mind. Ease and convenience for the visitors and patients are incorporated into each facility we design. A typical Hospital Management System (HMS) A typical Hospital Management System (HMS) is for computerizing the working in a hospital. The software takes care of all the requirements of an average hospital and is capable to provide easy and effective storage of information related to patients that come up to the hospital. It generates test reports; provide prescription details including various tests, diet advice, and medicines prescribed to patient and doctor. It also provides injection details and billing facility on the basis of patients status whether it is an indoor or outdoor patient. The system also provides the facility of backup as per the requirement.

Conclusions: In healthcare Industry Relationship Management is vitally important both for healthcare providers and patients (customers).Therefore managing customer relationship is key factor for healthcare providers to sustain their business in a competitive environment .With development of internet technology that carries a network paradigm for healthcare Industry we are developing a social CRM. Either from patient or healthcare industry our social CRM model offers a new outlook. Some features offered are robustness of the systems, ingenuousness/openness of information sharing and closeness of relationship between patient healthcare and patients with others. Also empowers customers with the information accessibility. Also generates value in each activity to the customers to provide better service. Also believe that with better service that generate values to customers will create customer trust & loyalty that help customers & healthy providers sustaining relationship for mutual benefits. Bibliography: The following websites were consulted for the topic:
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