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Patient Relationship Management: Expanding Beyond Patient Engagement

By Don Thompson, Head of Marketing, TeleVox

For years, the healthcare industry has been focused on patient engagement. It is a saying that developed for the right reasons, but leaders in the industry are starting to realize that simple engagements fall short of patient expectations and provider needs.

Why? Engagements are temporary. They focus on specific, cookie-cutter patient interactions to satisfy an in-the-moment need, but once the engagement or appointment ends, so does the connection between the patient and the provider. This often creates a void for the patient who may need ongoing support, and the provider jeopardizes its future by not ensuring those needs are met.

To fill that void, TeleVox is championing the shift from episodic patient engagement to an ongoing Patient Relationship Management (PRM) approach.

Defining Patient Relationship Management 

Patient Relationship Management (PRM) fosters long-term, personalized relationships with patients through sustained, meaningful, and bi-directional communications. Unlike episodic patient engagement, PRM emphasizes continuous, data-driven interaction, enhancing patient experiences and outcomes while offering significant operational and financial benefits to healthcare systems.

PRM Compliments the EHR and CRM

Electronic health records (EHR) are necessary in today’s healthcare environment, but they can be limiting to a provider as well. EHRs focus only on existing patients using web and mobile channels and are oriented to clinical workflows. PRM uses omnichannel communication to engage both existing and prospective patients.

Additionally, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms share similarities with PRM in their fundamental objectives, but their focus areas, functionalities and applications are distinct. For example, CRM systems are designed for business across a variety of industries, whereas PRM is tailored specifically for healthcare. Additionally, CRM systems encompass sales, marketing, and customer service, and aim to increase sales. On the other hand, PRM optimizes relationships between healthcare providers and patients to improve outcomes and healthcare delivery.

But both EHR and CRM are part of a bigger problem in that they silo patient interactions, leading to fragmented communication efforts. Call centers, EHR, CRM, and other digital health applications all communicate with patients in different channels. PRM platforms like TeleVox Enterprise Edition unify disparate communication channels into a cohesive ecosystem with the patient relationship at its core.

Patient Relationship Management is the Way of the Future

In conclusion, Patient Relationship Management is a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to healthcare delivery. It signifies a shift towards a more patient-centric model, focused on building lasting relationships and delivering care that deeply resonates with patient needs and preferences. The essence of PRM lies in its emphasis on sustained, personalized interactions, enhancing healthcare experiences and outcomes, while also providing significant ROI and financial benefits to healthcare systems through improved operational efficiencies, patient retention, and reduced healthcare costs.