Improving patient choice and customer satisfaction using Dynamics CRM

“The project was a success for us because of the “one-team” mentality – it’s not been a supplier/customer relationship but a real partnership”

Steve Standring, Programme Director, InHealth Group

InHealth is a UK leading independent provider of flexible, managed diagnostic services to the NHS and the independent private sector, delivering outstanding services and solutions across primary, secondary and specialist care.

With over 25 years’ experience in developing strong relationships with the public sector and delivering market leading clinical solutions, InHealth have over 350 sites across the UK. With over £120m revenue in the last year InHealth continuously invests in its diagnostic infrastructure.

InHealth is an ‘Investor in People’ and constantly drives its staff to achieve the highest possible standards of professional skills, knowledge and development.

The previous system had no upgrade plan and was becoming a barrier to further growth

InHealth operated a number of clinical and patient administration systems that had been developed over the years to support specific contracts or modalities. This resulted in multiple systems supporting pathways in a single clinic. As a result, most clinics operated multiple diaries, multiple billing processes and complicated reporting.

The complicated system landscape led to a number of issues including patient safety, referrer dissatisfaction, costs of unnecessary dual – and in some instances – triple reporting, and staff frustration. The temporary “solution” to these issues involved Excel spreadsheets, training of staff, and a reliance on individuals to remember the manual workarounds coupled with checks to ensure the workarounds were being applied.

InHealth had two real choices for how to proceed:

  • Choose to take something off the shelf, heavily customise it, and end up in a similar position in around five years’ time;
  • Work with a partner to develop a bespoke solution specifically designed for InHealth. A solution that would grow and flex with InHealth as it expanded and diversified.

"We were growing at a high organic rate and our previous system was becoming a barrier to further growth. It was a hospital administration system that was configured and developed to the point there was no upgrade plan. To enable further growth and flexibility for the business, a new solution was needed."

Dynamics CRM

Incremental implemented a mix of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Adxstudio Portals, console applications and a suite of integrations with 3rd party applications, including:

  • 2-way NHS Spine integration, HSCIC compliant
  • Mirth and HL7 communications
  • Xperido to generate InHealth templated documents and emails that would ultimately leave xRM

This formed the basis for a bespoke, HSCIC compliant, business transformation tool – the xRM Patient Management System, developed to create a long-term strategic enabler for the future of the InHealth business.

For ease of use and minimal training and knowledge overhead, the xRM solution provides InHealth with 3 web portals. The portals improve patient choice and customer satisfaction by offering online bookings, online access to appointment details and the ability to register attendance at a clinic and  complete forms via a tablet.

Patient Portal – allows patients to interact with InHealth via online booking and webchat. The intuitive web-based design reduces paperwork and administration, helping to move InHealth towards the paperless NHS target. The portal also allows patients to manage their own bookings, choosing a time and location convenient to them.

Clinic Portal – provides automation of processes with flexible referral options, multiple referral forms, billing forms and efficient reporting, allowing clinicians to focus on patients rather than engaging in manual data entry. This improves clinical safety and ultimately makes healthcare better for patients.

Contract Portal – enables Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to view KPI’s to validate investment and efficiently handles numerous contracts.

The solution included a range of out of the box and customer workflows, as well as a number of plug-ins, all developed in Dynamics CRM.

“Because of the patient portal, it gives us a different channel to allow our patients to interact directly with us. A unique proposition in our marketplace that helps us stand out"

Multiple results achieved across the business

With the completion of phase 1 of this implementation, InHealth is already pleased with the results it has achieved across the business. Results include:

Increased productivity for staff – InHealth’s Patient Care Advisers now have a fast, intuitive solution in place that allows them to spend more time talking to patients and less time on a computer. Operational Managers now have a solution that gives them better real-time data via powerful but easy to use dashboards. This gives them the enhanced level of knowledge they require to make the best strategic and managerial decisions.

Increased focus on patients – The platform enables InHealth to expand upon and extend its range of services as it is no longer constrained by IT. Through the patient portal, patients interact directly with InHealth – a unique proposition in the marketplace that helps InHealth stand out. Through the solution, InHealth now offers more choice for customers, reduce clinical risk and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.

Reduced costs and increased value – InHealth is now able to do more with its staff, driving real value. For example, transactions that used to take 10 minutes, now take just 5.

Joined-up, consistent data to enable health informatics – The data that InHealth now collects through xRM is more complete, comprehensive and consistent. Reporting and health informatics are now of much higher quality. The ability to change what information it captures in the future, as its health informatics become more mature, gives InHealth ultimate flexibility rather than being tied and limited by the system.

New revenue streams – InHealth has already opened up a completely new channel to interact with patients – web chat. The intelligence in how xRM offers booking appointments furthers patient choice. xRM also gives the flexibility to drive other services – with the system it now has, InHealth is able to integrate and configure other systems without any further system change.

Increased referrals – InHealth has increased the volume of referrals by 25% with no increase to their headcount. Under the old system, it would taken between 4 and 6 weeks to get a patient care advisor within the Patient Referral Centre up to speed. Thanks to the more advanced system, InHealth can now this in around 2 weeks.

Attract and retain employees – One corporate challenge InHealth has is an understandable reliance on highly trained and skilled employees including radiographers and sonographers. By providing systems that are quick and easy to use, and not a barrier to clinical care, InHealth can attract and retain the skilled staff it requires.

A successful, lasting partnership – The partnership approach taken by Incremental Group was key to the success of this project. As Steve Standring, Programme Director at InHealth explains, “The project was a success for us because of the key “one-team” mentality – it’s not been a supplier/customer relationship but a real partnership.”

"Everything we fundamentally set out to achieve with xRM, we have delivered."

A single version of the truth for all patient and referral data

The final rollout of the initial phase has now been completed. InHealth is now moving into its mobile business function for phase 2 and is planning to add private patients as well.

Steve Standring, Programme Director said “The programme has been one catalyst to promote a different way of working within InHealth. Through cross-functional collaboration, we’ve achieved a great deal, and it’s been a catalyst to change cultural thinking along the way. It’s transformational, not just in what it’s produced, but in the sort of thinking that it’s helped us achieve. Coming out at the end of this project we’re a very different organisation.”

“Ultimately the solution gives us a platform that we can use as a long-term foundation to start to move towards an enterprise grade application stack, so we have a single point of truth for all our interactions in our clinical software that will feed back into our Patient Management System.” InHealth can now look towards having a much more integrated set of applications now that it has the required platform to build it on.

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