Terrence Holt, a geriatric specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, describes a situation in Internal Medicine, fictional fables based on his residency:
Any patient in a hospital, when we take their clothes away and lay them in a bed, starts to lose identity; after a few days, they all start to merge into a single passive body, distinguishable … only by the illnesses that brought them there.
Lost identities, distinguishable only by their illness. Unless, of course, the person calls the health system. When they call they are not even distinguished by their illness because the person speaking to them usually has no information about the caller.
Less than twenty percent of hospitals have a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Of those that do, ninety-five percent of those CRMs are only used by business development and marketing to try to acquire patients. Very few health systems use CRM in their call centers to help them retain patients.
And that is a silly mistake since the people who are calling are usually grappling with one of two questions; will I buy healthcare from this system, or will I buy healthcare again from this system.
Maybe after they make the decision to change health systems their old system will call them back on a marketing call using the CRM they should have used when the person was still their patient.