How AI and Automation in Healthcare Marketing Leapfrogs Barriers of Labor and Revenue Shortages
From labor shortages to revenue shortfalls, despite the growing need for healthcare services, the supply and demand aren’t lined up for profitability. What can your hospitals do to deliver the services their patients need, with continuing staff limitations and – at least right now – a shortage of capital to invest in to meet future demand?
Embrace Automation for the Customer Experience
Automation isn’t new in healthcare. Globally in 2021, the use of AI in the healthcare market was valued at US$6.7 billion, and is projected to exceed US$41 billion by 2027. Where it doesn’t show up as much as it could is in the customer experience, pre-visit: activation, scheduling, and capacity management.
In short, healthcare lags other industries when it comes to using insights to drive customers to their doors. Think of online shopping – you buy, you get a recommendation. Or eating out – you get coupons based on your last visit. Those might seem trivial, but they’re examples of industries using AI to know their customers and prompt their next action. Healthcare needs to think that way, too. Especially now.
Healthcare AI and Automation for Immediate Benefits
From a leadership, operations, or finance perspective, the benefits to embracing automation are compelling, as is the speed with which they can be deployed to solve current challenges like staffing.
|Benefits of Automation in Healthcare|
Maximize Staff Talent
Improve Patient Experience
Eliminate Human Error
in Data Entry
Higher Volume of
Track Return on
As a technology or operations leader, as soon as you hear “automation” or “AI” you may picture something like an ERP implementation. CRM Intelligence is a much simpler (and less expensive) strategy and process.
Think of it as adding AI and automation to your data. It turns CRM from a noun (a warehouse of data, patient360) into a verb (a system that analyzes who to contact, based on the available data). Within weeks, you can have intelligent, always on campaigns up and running. And because solutions like Actium’s are built for healthcare, they’re HIPAA-compliant and conversant with major EHR (electronic health records) and existing CRM platforms (like Salesforce), if you have them. But hospitals don’t need a CRM system at all to benefit from CRM intelligence.
Automation: Risk Versus Reward
The list of benefits to adding automation to the operations side of your hospital and healthcare system are long. But despite how simple it sounds, perhaps the risks outweigh them?
- Cost: Is cost a barrier? Not when you can expect an ROI of 6 to 1, as Virtua Health did.
- Errors: What if the software doesn’t work and sends a mammogram campaign to colonoscopy patients? The risk of errors from an automated system are far less than those of using your current, un-automated system – running email and ad campaigns without tying into your capacity or scheduling systems.
- Staff receptivity: Maybe automation makes your staff feel threatened. True, new tools can take time to learn. But research shows that repetitive, routine tasks (like combing through call lists, sorting lists of patients, or cleaning up CRM data) have a higher likelihood of causing staff to leave or feel dissatisfied. The benefit of CRM intelligence is that it allows personnel to focus more on strategic efforts, while boosting productivity and efficiency.
- Volume: Another risk might be the perceived success: what if automating patient activation is so successful it overwhelms staff? That’s the advantage of automating with CRM Intelligence: the system senses capacity and either increases or decreases the volume of outreach accordingly. One of the requirements of such a tool is that it be “smart” – and that means matching up needs with capabilities.
The Best Benefits to Leaping Forward
Automating patient activation right now will help your healthcare system leap over the current barriers. Beyond being a helpful idea for finance, operations, and staffing, it’s really a way to live out your mission for a healthier community. Every hospital or healthcare system has a mission centered on helping people and health — what better way to do that than by reaching out to patients who need your help the most?
It's been proven time and time again that early detection saves lives, improves lives, and actually reduces costs in the system. And because early detection leads to referrals, it puts the patient revenue right where it needs to be – early and appropriate.
Other benefits include:
- ROI: Intelligent campaigns are highly trackable. You’ll know how each campaign performed, so you can spend budget wisely.
- Patient experience: Responding to a text to schedule an appointment – and being able to schedule one quickly – is a much better user experience.
- Prioritization: Using the campaign functionality of CRM Intelligence, a healthcare system can prioritize which audience needs to be reached first. One example is the Virtua Health care system, who knew their patients weren’t scheduling enough mammograms. Their campaign drove a 350% increase in those preventative exams.
- From cost to revenue: Using CRM intelligence, the marketing department turns into a revenue generating team versus a sometimes perceived 'cost center'. Campaigns have a clear ROI, with a high benefit to cost ratio. Rather than being only a broad brush to increase visibility, marketing can drive patient volume and outcomes.
During crises sometimes we turn to familiar solutions. And CRM Intelligence may sound like just one more tool and a whole lot of new meetings, processes, and problems.
Think of it this way: it’s simply taking what you already have (patient data) and making it actionable. What better way to deliver on your brand promise and mission than to efficiently deliver care to those who need it most?
To learn more about how health systems are looking to drive patient volume and maximize patient lifetime value with always on, AI-powered CRM intelligence tools, download the white paper: Moving Beyond Traditional Healthcare CRM.