As a healthcare provider, you should make patient data security and privacy as much a priority as the patients’ health. Patients may not want all their healthcare information to be widely available – and they have a legal right to healthcare data security and privacy.
The primary law governing healthcare data security is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. The wide-ranging law covers any devices that contain or transmit protected health information (PHI), including data collected by your customer relationship management software. The benefits of CRM software can be significant for healthcare organizations, but only if these solutions are properly secured and monitored.
After all, healthcare organizations are increasingly prime targets for cyberattacks. In 2020, the number of cyberattacks targeting the healthcare industry – already a common target for malicious hackers – spiked by 45%.
The benefits of a HIPAA-compliant CRM are many, but only if you monitor, detect and mitigate any cyberattacks threatening your patients’ PHI. Below, we’ll walk you through CRM usage in healthcare and the importance of finding a HIPAA-compliant CRM.
A healthcare CRM with data analytics can help you determine which of your patients might need additional care or identify patients who are behind on their follow-ups and tests. You can also use your practice’s CRM to manage patient prescriptions and appointments.
Increasingly, healthcare CRMs are adding remote patient-monitoring capabilities. If you own a medical practice and install a CRM with remote patient-monitoring tools, you can log in to your CRM to see a patient’s vitals in real time. You’ll first need to prescribe the patient remote monitoring tools, such as blood pressure pumps and glucose tests that they can use at home, and then you can check their vitals at any time.
Additionally, a CRM can help you navigate the complexities of medical billing, improve your practice’s workflows, and report on patient complaints and internal challenges. Some healthcare facilities also use CRMs for marketing campaigns to attract new patients.
In healthcare, CRMs are used for patient monitoring and have additional applications in billing, managing, reporting and marketing.
All CRM software used in healthcare must comply with HIPAA, because the law applies to all patient data with which healthcare providers interact. Title II of HIPAA specifies the guidelines that healthcare providers must follow regarding patient data and has one rule each for transactions, identifiers, enforcement, privacy, and security.
If your business is a covered entity under HIPAA, it always needs HIPAA-compliant CRM software.
A CRM software platform is HIPAA-compliant if it ensures that all patient data remains confidential, backed up and securely stored. You must only transmit encrypted data and have complete control over the data in your CRM – that means no unauthorized intake, access, creation, storage or sharing of data. To be safe, you might also want to see if your CRM has been certified by an organization specializing in information security and privacy.
A HIPAA-compliant CRM keeps all patient data demonstrably secure and private.
These are the most important features to seek in a HIPAA-compliant CRM:
When looking for a HIPAA-compliant CRM, you should check for data and employee access safeguards, scalability, automated data backup, references, and additional cybersecurity features.
The following are some of the best-regarded HIPAA-compliant CRM software programs.
Keap is a HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly CRM software platform that’s well suited for new and small healthcare organizations. You can use Keap to store and organize your patients’ information in a system that your team can access as needed. It’s also useful for patient acquisition, and as of January 2021, Keap has added over 2,000 apps to its library of compatible integrations.
Popular CRM platform Freshworks has an additional suite for healthcare providers. The Freshworks Healthcare CRM is HIPAA-compliant by nature. You can use it at your practice to store schedules and patient data in one location rather than across several programs. Freshworks says that with this centralized data hub, your patient satisfaction and internal workflows (including billing) are likely to improve.
Salesforce has long been a leader in the CRM field, and the Salesforce Health Cloud offshoot is no exception. You can use it to personalize the care and messages your patients receive from your practice. It can also help establish one-on-one connections between your staff and your patients and make your data more actionable. Note that payers, not just providers, can use Salesforce Health Cloud, so it can streamline the payment process between you and your patients or their insurance providers.
NexHealth is a HIPAA-compliant CRM that facilitates online scheduling, telehealth appointments, waitlists and appointment reminders. It integrates with most major electronic health record (EHR) vendors and includes reporting features and patient payment portals. The NexHealth tiers have different features; some even have capabilities for marketing campaigns and automated follow-up appointment outreach.
PatientPop is a HIPAA-compliant CRM with both internal and external features. It enables automated appointment emails, flexible online booking, patient surveys, and a stronger online presence for your practice. It also fully integrates with most EHR, electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management platforms. As such, PatientPop is equally useful for enhancing the patient experience and finding brand-new patients as it is for streamlining your internal workflows.
Caspio is a HIPAA-compliant CRM solution geared toward larger healthcare organizations. It allows for easy CRM customization without in-depth coding operations or modification. It’s a great choice if you want to grow your practice’s services beyond standard medical appointments. For example, if you want to expand into healthcare industry consulting or other non-patient-facing fields, Caspio facilitates this growth. That’s because its easy customization allows the creation of numerous interrelated online databases.
The best HIPAA-compliant CRMs are Keap, Freshworks, Salesforce, NexHealth, PatientPop and Caspio.
Before reading this article, you were likely aware that HIPAA compliance poses additional challenges when you’re choosing a CRM. Now that you know what those challenges are, you’re one step closer to thorough patient data security and privacy in your medical practice.