Tips for a successful EHR and CRM integration

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Adam Bishop of PlayMaker CRM
Adam Bishop of PlayMaker CRM

The big decision to go with a CRM is done, but now it's time to see the full benefits of the platform come to fruition. To accomplish this in the post-acute care industry, you will want to pay close attention to integration, merging your Electronic Health Records with your Customer Relationship Management  platform. Each goes hand-in-hand and can't thrive without the other.

Integration is critical to client success because it is the point where the CRM leverages your data within the EHR. A successful integration means that you will establish accurate, timely data as the basis for all reporting, empowering you to make smarter, faster decisions for sales growth. You will be able to identify trending patterns that show where physicians refer patients to other facilities. Without this integration, you are not able to evaluate their sales efforts against competitors.

Since this is such an important process, here are three tips to help you get the most out of your EHR-CRM integration.

1. Set expectations

From the beginning it's important that all parties understand that integration isn't as simple as “plug and play.” Although there are historical guidelines that can be used to determine an expected completion date, each integration timeline will vary depending on the quality of the data within the EHR. Plus, there are many different EHR programs being used throughout the industry and each company uses them differently. Just remember that integration is unique to the company at hand. Therefore, a CRM partner should explain what is expected from you for a successful CRM integration. You will be asked to define your business processes and align them with best practices for a maximum return on your investment. The definition of your processes will also give the CRM vendor a better understanding of your needs and help to determine realistic expectations.

2. Create a strong partnership

A company's CRM data is one of its most proprietary and valuable pieces of property, so partnering with a trusted CRM vendor should be a top priority. A strong partnership typically ensures a shorter integration timeline, which saves money in the long run. Another benefit is the opportunity to identify new opportunities to streamline business functions, as your CRM partner should be an expert on ways to achieve these efficiencies. Finally, partnering with a proven post-acute care CRM vendor gives you the confidence that your data is protected and that your integration takes place in a secured environment. Talk with your CRM provider to determine how secure your data will be during integration.

3. Prepare your data for integration

Imagine the performance of a dirty car engine compared to a clean and well-kept engine. The clean engine would probably run more smoothly and provide better value to the car owner than the not-so-clean engine, right? The same is true with integration of EHR into CRM. Clients who clean their data prior to integration see opportunity more quickly and effectively. Often, it leads them to better business practices and improved data collection. These improvements bring a greater ROI of their CRM and boost overall company performance. Set your team up for success and begin the process of cleaning your data prior to integration.

While EHR & CRM integration can be intimidating, it will provide a level of insight into post-acute care business operations that was never available before. Taking the proper steps to ensure a successful integration, including partnering with a CRM provider that understands the challenges ahead, is critical to realizing increased sales and efficiency.

Adam Bishop, MBA, is the founder and president of Playmaker CRM.

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