WHITE PAPER | PlayMaker CRM Educational Series

Three Keys to a Successful CRM Integration for Home Care

The integration of an electronic medical records (EMR) system with a customer relationship management (CRM) system must take into consideration more than mapping the EMR fields to the CRM fields. An EMR system is designed for a purpose entirely different from that of a CRM system; and a generic CRM system will not realize the full needs of the home care vertical market. The keys to having a successful integration with your EMR system are: understanding the CRM relationships, understanding the purposes of each integrated system, and understanding the levels of integration.

1. Understanding the CRM Relationships

The successful integration of an EMR system with a CRM system is based on the knowledge of the “relationships” within the CRM system. A generic CRM is based on three (3) defined “relationships” between the primary entities of Marketer, Account and Contact. These relationships are tracked as:

  • Marketer to Account
  • Marketer to Contact
  • Contact to Account

PlayMaker CRM defines a fourth primary entity known as Referrals, based on the needs of the home care vertical market. The additional entity expands the relationships to be tracked to:

  • Marketer to Account
  • Marketer to Contact
  • Contact to Account
  • Marketer to Referral
  • Referral to Account
  • Referral to Contact

Each relationship is vital to providing the home care company with the most relevant and useful information. If these core entities and relationships are not present, making the data relevant is limited at best. 

2. Understanding the Purposes of Each Integrated System

When integrating data from an EMR system into a CRM system, consider that each system has a distinct purpose. The EMR system is and should be about taking care of the patient. The CRM system is and should be about managing the relationships with the Accounts and Contacts to get the Referrals, as well as other sales-specific activities. The reason that this is important is to ensure that the CRM is not being transformed into something for which it was not designed, like a Physician’s Portal.

3. Understanding the Levels of Integration

In addition to understanding the purpose of each system involved in the integration, it is important to understand the data and how it is used in each system. This is key because it will affect any data processing that has to be done. Once the use of the data is understood, the level of the integration can be determined. There are three progressive levels of integration: Field Mapping, Field Transformation, and Business Process.

Field Mapping

Field Mapping is the first level of integration and the easiest to implement. Field Mapping consists of defining the corresponding fields between the systems to be integrated. This level of integration is normally used for systems that are designed for the same purpose.

Benefit

  • Fastest level of implementation
  • Least amount of work for implementation
  • Can be fully automated Risk
  • Improper use leads to misinformation, since the fields between the integrated systems may be for different purposes
  • Improper use leads to issues with the integrated CRM system not working properly

Example

An example of using the Field Mapping level is mapping Name to Name. However, it does not include mapping Full Name to First and Last name. Additionally, this would not include converting the time from PST to EST.

Disqualifier

Field Mapping does not work for home care because the status codes for the EMR system and the relevant meaning for the CRM system are different and have to be transformed into meaningful information, which will not occur by simply mapping the fields. In addition, the relationships required for the EMR system and CRM system are different. Lastly, the EMR identifier is different from the CRM identifier (or at least they should be) and that difference must be accounted for during the integration.

Field Transformation

Field Transformation includes the work of field mapping and adds a level of manipulation to the data, like formatting or validation. This level of integration is good for similar systems or systems where the data keeps the same relationships.

Benefit

  • Minimal amount of work for implementation
  • Can be fully automated

Risk

  • Improper use leads to issues with the integrated CRM system having limited capability
  • Improper use leads to incomplete information as required relationships are missing

Example

An example of using the Field Transformation level is mapping Full Name to First and Last Name or converting the time from PST to EST. However, it does not include converting the name to the internal identifier (ID) for creating the relations that are critical for reporting and analysis.

Disqualifier

Field Transformation does not work for home care because the relationships required for the EMR system and CRM system are different. Additionally, the EMR identifier is different from the CRM identifier (or at least they should be) and that difference must be accounted for during the integration.

Business Process

Business Process incorporates the capabilities of the previous levels into a business defined process. This process can infer information based on the data coming from the sending system. Additionally, this level of integration allows for ensuring the appropriate relationships are created as needed.

Benefit

  • Most comprehensive implementation
  • Best resulting information

Risk

  • Increased implementation time
  • Higher implementation cost

Example

An example of using the Business Process level is mapping Full Name to First and Last Name, getting the resulting identifier (ID) and creating a relationship between the record coming in and another record. In home care, this is critical for associating the Marketer to a Referral, which is what will drive any reporting and analysis for determining productivity of a Marketer or the ROI for the system. A secondary advantage of the Business Process level of integration is to be able to send out notifications or alerts based on a set of criteria; however, it is worth noting that the ability to send a notification or alert does not mean that the Business Process level is being used.

Due to the different purposes of an EMR system and CRM system, the only level of integration that truly fits the need is the Business Process, which is why PlayMaker CRM uses this integration level. Not using the Business Process in home care will result in data issues including data corruption due to duplication of records, misinformation by improperly adjusting for regional settings, and decreased functionality such as the inability to assign a referral to a marketer.

Conclusion

Successful integration is dependent on three principle aspects before the process can begin:

  • Understanding the CRM relationships to determine the level of integration needed
  • Defining the purposes of each integrated system to determine what needs to be integrated
  • Knowing the levels of integration to define the work that needs to be done

Ignoring one or all of these aspects is the first step toward a failed integration attempt. What differentiates PlayMaker CRM is that we understand home care. Our leadership team has more than 60 years combined experience serving the industry at all levels. We understand system integration and the importance of making the data relevant in the receiving system (CRM in this case). Most of all we care about and value each and every client and truly want to partner with each client to make them successful. We believe that a partnered success is the highest level of customer service.

To learn more about how PlayMaker CRM can help you grow your business, request a demo or contact us today!

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