Why EHR Systems are Not Enough to Fill the Patient Engagement Gap

Electronic health record (EHR) systems have become a standard in U.S.-based healthcare. According to a recent report released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), 96% of American hospitals had EHR systems in 2015. But as Rob Grant points out, EHR systems do not fix the patient engagement gap. As the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Evariant, Grant knows that patient engagement can only come from one place: interaction with the consumer.

Grant makes an important distinction in that EHR systems were meant for record-keeping purposes, not for relationship building. So while it’s nice that patients are able to access their records online, that doesn’t do enough to fix the lack of communication between healthcare providers and consumers.

What can fix the problem, however, is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. CRM platforms are designed to track and analyze activity patterns so that healthcare providers can better understand the patient’s needs. It is a tool that is used for ongoing, personalized correspondence.

Research has shown that consumer/patient engagement can result in significantly higher profit margins. In fact, CRM platforms are currently used in the retail and finance industries to boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.

The healthcare industry has only recently begun to implement CRM platforms, and many benefits of doing so are already clear. A study conducted by Accenture showed that hospitals with superior patient experience ratings had 50 percent higher margins than those of their competitors. For Grant, this isn’t surprising, which is precisely why patient engagement is his company’s number one priority.

To learn more about how to improve patient engagement, read Rob Grant’s article on HIT Consultant.