Skip to content
Rated #1 by MedTech and Customers | Patient Relationship Management Innovation Award | Learn More

Why More Than the EHR is Needed to Manage Patient Relationships

Managing and building strong patient relationships is critical for both patient outcomes and the financial success of health providers. In this blog, we discuss the importance of patient relationship management (PRM) as a strategy and why more than the EHR is required to meet PRM goals.

What is Patient Relationship Management (PRM)?

PRM is a strategy that is intended to foster long-term, personalized relationships with patients through sustained, meaningful, and bi-directional communications. Similar to customer relationship management (CRM), PRM puts the consumer/patient at the center, rather than a one-way street that benefits only the health institution. Like the maintenance of any relationship, communication is a critical component here. Unlike episodic patient engagement, PRM emphasizes continuous, data-driven interactions with patients throughout their entire healthcare journey to enhance overall experiences and outcomes. This puts the health provider on a track to deliver financial success through patient success.

The EHR as the System of Record & Patient Relationship Management

EHRs serve as a comprehensive system of record for patients’ medical history, treatments, and diagnoses. They excel at storing and organizing vast amounts of clinical data, providing healthcare providers with valuable insights into patients’ health status. The EHR can adequately send a notification for an upcoming appointment, lab results that become available, or when a bill has been posted. This may work for some patients, but it does not cover all of the unique patient journey scenarios. However, what EHRs are missing is in delivering patient-centered care that leads to stronger patient relationships.

Patient Relationship Management complements the EHR and drives the importance of the patient experience. It goes beyond mere record-keeping and one-way patient messaging, instead focusing on building relationships and fostering engagement between patients and healthcare providers. Whereas the EHR only focuses on existing patients, PRM solutions are equipped to manage both current and prospective patients, offering personalized interactions and support throughout the entire healthcare journey.

The Digital Divide and Cookie-Cutter Experiences:

One notable shortcoming with EHRs is their difficulty in bridging the digital divide. While electronic records streamline data management for healthcare facilities, they may inadvertently exclude segments of the population with limited access to technology. This can result in disparities in healthcare delivery, leaving some patients underserved.

Moreover, EHR-driven engagement often leads to cookie-cutter experiences. These systems cater to existing patients, following clinical workflow-oriented approaches through web and mobile channels only. This one-size-fits-all model fails to address individual patients’ diverse needs and preferences.

Bridging the Gap with Patient Relationship Management:

A committed PRM platform offers a solution to fill the voids left by the EHR by prioritizing full-journey patient engagement and satisfaction. By leveraging multiple communication channels, including email, web chat, text, and phone calls, PRM ensures that patients feel supported and cared for regardless of where they are in their healthcare journey.

This Digital Health Insights webinar highlighted the importance of full-journey coverage for patients, including proactive monitoring and timely follow-ups in post-procedure recovery. PRM excels in this aspect by providing personalized support to patients and guiding them through every step of the recovery process. This proactive approach not only minimizes the risk of complications but also enhances patient trust and satisfaction. This cannot be achieved through the EHR.

Furthermore, PRM facilitates longitudinal care by creating a bridge between appointments. It allows healthcare providers to monitor subtle changes in patient’s health status, catching potential problems early and working towards optimal outcomes. By automating outreach efforts, PRM reduces the operational burden on healthcare staff, freeing up time for more meaningful patient interactions.

While EHRs play a crucial role as systems of record in healthcare, they often fall short in delivering patient-centered care and addressing the digital divide. PRM fills this gap by prioritizing timely patient engagement, personalized support, and fostering trust between patients and healthcare providers.

By leveraging committed PRM solutions (such as TeleVox’s industry-leading platform) alongside EHRs, healthcare facilities can build stronger relationships with their patient population that will lead to better health outcomes and improved financial returns for providers. It’s not just about managing data—it’s about caring for patients every step of the way.

About the Author


Don Thompson

Don Thompson is the Head of Marketing at TeleVox (a business unit of West). Don joined in 2022 and has worked in the healthcare software and medical device industry for 30 years.