Great ideas to innovate are often right in front us. However, we get so caught up in the day-to-day whirlwind that reimagining our current processes to create efficiencies can fall by the wayside. This is especially the case when our profession is managing the health and well-being of patients. Through interactions with clients across the care continuum, and my own personal patient interactions, I have seen that barrier to establish patient-centered care exist across all organization. So, how do we manage a high volume of patients and create a personal, patient-centered care experience?

This was the conversation that we had with the CEO of a large outpatient organization. The CEO was managing patient complaints and feedback from multiple sources in an incredibly complicated Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was kept on a shared drive and staff members were responsible for updating the spreadsheet with new or updated statuses. When I saw the spreadsheet, there were over 300 different lines of patient feedback that the CEO was trying to manage. He estimated that he was spending an hour everyday reviewing the spreadsheet and his staff was spending approximately that amount of time, as well. That is over two hours a day!

When I looked at the spreadsheet, I was reminded of a similar complaint log that I kept at my practice. I remember managing voicemails, sticky notes and conversations in the hall about critical patient interactions. Most of those were get documented in my spreadsheet, however, some of those interactions did fall through the cracks. With the pressure today on the patient experience, failure to follow-up on patient feedback can put your practice’s revenue and reputation at risk. However with a high volume of patient feedback requiring attention, how can we ensure that we close-the-loop with each patient using an antiquated manual spreadsheet process?

The answer is automation. In order for the process to be effective, there needs to be a point of entry, a point of escalation and a resolution to ensure that not only was each patient interaction resolved, but that there was a record of the interaction to help create and maintain a personal relationship with each patient that has cared enough to share feedback with the organizations. These interactions start to form a patient journey map about how each organization has cared for its patient at an individual level which in turn helps to make healthcare personal again.

Taking action on the problem and closing the loop ensures that the voice of the patient is heard. CRMD was created as a way to ensure that healthcare organizations had the tool that they needed to use the voice of the patient as a means to creating an excellent care experience.