The Growth Channel

Use your CRM system to ground ED frequent fliers


Emily Zuehlke, Marketing and Planning Leadership Council

With uninsured and underinsured patients flooding their emergency department, leaders at Kaweah Delta Health Care District found themselves in a situation familiar to many providers: crowded waiting rooms, long wait times, and expensive care that could have been provided for less at a more appropriate site.

Now, using their customer relationship management (CRM) system, Kaweah Delta’s marketing team helps redirect ED misusers to urgent care centers, improving patient experience and optimizing ED flow.


Rerouting future flights

Kaweah Delta’s marketing team set their CRM system to scan discharge data in search of diagnoses that constitute an inappropriate ED visit—for example, a cold or the flu. When the algorithm recognizes cases that could have been treated in an urgent care setting, the CRM system automatically generates a personalized letter to the patient, explaining appropriate ED use and directing them to their nearest Kaweah Delta Urgent Care Center.

After flagging an individual’s third inappropriate ED visit, the CRM system identifies the patient as a “frequent flier” for enrollment in Kaweah Delta’s Bridging Care Program. The program connects these patients with community resources and helps the organization shift volumes from the ED to their urgent care centers.




Extending the tactic to other passengers

By running the algorithm continuously and automatically responding when needed, the CRM system’s “set and forget” functionality frees up marketers’ time to focus on other challenges. Marketers can use the same tactic to simplify and automate other reactive and proactive messaging. For example, a marketing team could create “set and forget” programs in which their CRM system automatically:

  • Recognizes appointment no-shows and messages the patient to emphasize the importance of the visit and to encourage him to reschedule
  • Identifies and thanks first-time patients
  • Targets patients who are overdue for preventative health screenings with reminders to make an appointment

Kaweah Delta’s ED misuse “set and forget” trigger is just one way that progressive institutions are using CRM systems to improve patient experience, promote care continuity, foster cross-system loyalty, and support care management.

More on CRM

For examples of other CRM-based triggers and more case studies exploring how to increase population share and support population management with your CRM system, check out our publication, Finding New Value with CRM and our recent Growth Channel posts, Beyond ROI Tracking and Recognize and Reactivate Rising-Risk Patients