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By News Editor
The health care industry has been notoriously slow compared
with other industries in adopting digital technology to improve marketing
But HealthSouth, the nation's largest provider of inpatient
rehabilitative healthcare services, has committed itself to a technology
strategy covering its marketing activities intended to defy that notion. Over the last year, it has implemented a mobile version of Microsoft
Dynamics CRM for 1,000 of its rehabilitation liaisons in the field--essentially
its sales force-- in one of the largest such implementations anywhere. The
liaisons use and update CRM on their Blackberry devices using MobileAccess from
TenDigits. Sales management and hospital
operations users access CRM using PCs.
Extensive sales reporting has been developed using SQL Server Reporting
Services (SSRS) and the reports are distributed via SharePoint.
"Full implementation was completed earlier this year," says
Kelli Briggs, a HealthSouth senior business analyst. "It is a robust
application and we can see that we are being more productive each day, versus
before, when all the forms were being filled out by hand and over the phone."."
She adds, "The reduction in
cycle time of the sales process is ensuring that potential patients and
referral sources have knowledge of and access to HealthSouth's excellence in
The transition to automating its marketing activities has
required a major shift at HealthSouth. While the company has long been a leader
in applying the latest technology to its rehabilitative services, its marketing
activities were another matter, says Rusty Yeager, deputy CIO.
people who stay in touch with doctors and healthcare professionals in hospitals
to assess potential patients for HealthSouth hospitals--are constantly on the
road," says Yeager. "Until last year,
they relied heavily on well-established conventional tools like telephones and
paper-and-pencil to keep tabs of opportunities. There was a need for that
information to be at the liaisons'
Two years ago, HealthSouth embarked on an effort to find the
right combination of technological tools to develop "a
centralized, 360-degree view of all physician and patient relationships."
The biggest challenge lay in developing that
360-degree view for the sales team, which consists of rehabilitation liaisons
across the country, whose job is to develop patient referrals through relationships with physicians, social
workers, case workers or directly with the patients. In addition to improving
the number of patients coming into its hospitals, the marketing team wanted to
increase its field and corporate marketing activities in a consistent and
timely manner, predict behaviors, and deliver relevant information to
After an extensive search, HealthSouth
selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM, says Yeager, "because it met HealthSouth's
four key business challenges. The challenges include automating the capture of
patient referral source information and improving the timeliness of patient
transfer between hospitals. These needs
had to be met while maintaining the integrity of newly designed sales and
marketing processes we put together beforehand."
HealthSouth partnered with Tribridge to
customize CRM to fit its unique sales and marketing processes for referral
management. "Even with the
customizations, the application remained intuitive and easy to deploy to 1,000
users by the end of 2009. The referral information captured in CRM enhances the
accuracy and efficiency for generation of daily hospital operating reports,"
The database is accessible remotely via
mobile device or Netbook. According to
Briggs, "This capability is essential to HealthSouth's liaisons' utilization across the country. Mobile
access allows them to transmit key contact and referral information to
hospitals, thus improving the timeliness of patient transfer. HealthSouth
partnered with TenDigits for the Mobile technology implementation of CRM.
MobileAccess from TenDigits Software securely extends an organization's unique
Dynamics CRM configuration and capabilities to smartphones, anywhere, anytime,
with or without a wireless signal."
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