As a leader in the skilled nursing industry, you are undoubtedly familiar with the census challenges facing SNFs today. In a recent McKnight’s Long-Term Care News survey, 82% of respondents said “rebuilding or keeping enough census” was one of their biggest concerns for 2021.
But big challenges bring big opportunities. Industry-wide, low census is spurring leaders to reevaluate their processes, identify gaps and inefficiencies, and adopt new strategies and technologies to help them not only rebuild their census, but position themselves for continued growth.
CRM is one of the most powerful tools you can have at your disposal while going through this process. As the single source of truth for your patient and referral source interactions, a CRM contains all of the data and information you need to improve your operations. Let’s look at how the right CRM helps you increase your census and grow your business.
Capturing and tracking all referrals from all sources
If you’re still using spreadsheets to track referrals, you’re likely missing out on a lot of crucial information. For example, if a referral comes in that your hospital liaison or sales staff knows isn’t a good fit, they might not take the time to enter it into the spreadsheet. The consequence is that you don’t have a full picture of your referrals, which means you can’t target your activities toward the most profitable sources.
A CRM that captures, tracks, and aggregates referrals from all sources not only cuts down on manual data entry (and its associated errors) but also provides valuable insights that can help you increase census.
For example, if you know what types of referrals typically lead to admissions, you can spend more time nurturing relationships with the sources that are the best fit. Similarly, by analyzing your denials, you can identify opportunities to adjust your services to meet the needs of the market.
This is the advice from Therapy Management Corporation’s Mike Wetula, who suggests that SNFs would do well to take this page from the home health agency playbook to win back some of the market share they’ve lost in the past year:
“[Home health agencies increased] their clinical capability to provide care for higher acuity patients, and then promoted their SNF-at-home marketing strategy. They invested in new systems like mobile dialysis, and they also [maximized] the use of digital technology, embraced telehealth, and expanded their ability to participate in these electronic referral platforms.”
SNFs can and should do the same — understand their referral sources’ challenges and provide solutions. A robust CRM can provide the insights you need to do just that.
Capturing, tracking, and following up on web leads
Keep in mind that quality leads don’t just come from hospitals and other healthcare partners. Our 2019-2020 benchmarking report revealed a huge increase in web leads across all senior housing categories.
By automatically capturing and tracking all web leads, a CRM can help you better understand who is finding your facility online and how they’re finding you. If your web lead conversion rate is high, you can put more resources toward boosting your digital presence. If your web leads don’t convert successfully, you can use this information to adjust your online messaging to attract better-fit patients.
Paired with a marketing automation system, a CRM ensures that you follow up with web leads as soon as they come in, as well as continue to nurture them throughout the sales cycle. This increases the number of touchpoints patients and their families have with your facility without putting any extra burden on your sales staff.
Reducing hospital readmissions and facilitating outcomes reporting
One of the main things hospital referral sources (as well as patients and their families) are looking for is good outcomes. If you can show your partners that the patients they send your way fare well, they’ll be more willing to send you more patients.
A CRM facilitates this effort in a couple of ways:
- An interoperable CRM (i.e., one that integrates with EHR/EMR systems) makes it easy to track readmissions and report patient outcomes. This will not only benefit your current patients, but you’ll have key readmissions data on hand when you need it.
- By combining your CRM with a marketing automation system, you can automate systematic follow-up after each discharge. This both increases patient engagement and reduces readmission rates so your outcomes data look better to potential referral sources.
These are not the only improvements the right CRM can bring to your facility, but they are three that will have an immediate and significant impact on your census. To learn more about all of the benefits of Enquire CRM, visit our Skilled Nursing page.