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Any member of a customer-loyalty program at a grocery store chain has likely noticed that, at the end of a transaction, the register spits out coupons for products he or she uses routinely. That’s not a coincidence.
The ads are generated by what’s called a customer relationship management system. That same technology is making its way into the health care industry so hospitals can market to patients and physicians the same way supermarkets do—by sending information they think a customer needs or wants based on their history.
“It’s about relationships and management. And at the end of the day, relationships are built with people through dialogue,” said Anil Swami, an executive partner with the global management consulting firm Accenture, which helps clients implement customer relation management strategies and systems. “Our experience has been that the technology is the enabler, and the people deliver.”
The use of CRM software by the health industry is aided by the increasing automation of data ranging from physician referrals to electronic medical records. The software uses that information to create targeted mailing campaigns, phone banks and even personalized Web content, analogous to when online marketplace Amazon.com makes suggestions for customers based on a user’s past purchases and searches.
Many hospitals have long used databases to track information on physicians. Experts say hospitals and health systems have used physician data, such as specialty information, to build closer relationships or target individual doctors for recruiting.
The biggest activity in CRM, however, will be geared toward patients.
Read the full article here.
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