Pega Healthcare CRM Promises 360-Degree View

Pega last week announced enhancements to Pegasystems Customer Service for Healthcare, an application that integrates customer service and care management through its Clinical Interaction Manager to provide a 360-degree view of all customer interactions.

The application provides call center agents with data across administrative, health and care management interactions with the goal of enabling them to provide better service.

The integration of front-line service agents and back-office care management staff is a first, according to Pega.

A 360-degree view of customer interactions is the Holy Grail of CRM systems, but it’s not certain that Pega has broken new ground in this regard.

“I talked to a company last week that seems to be doing the same thing — HC1,” said Victor Camlek, a principal industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

HC1 partners with IBM Watson, which offers applications for healthcare, and Atlas Medical.

“Another company, Veeva, also claims to have a similar system,” Camlek told CRM Buyer.

A spokesperson for Pega was not immediately available to provide further details.

Pega’s Approach

Clinical Integration Manager offers an omnichannel, 360-degree customer view of clinical, wellness, health and service interaction data across all channels, which enables healthcare organizations to provide a single, unified brand to customers.

It lets customer care coordinators move seamlessly between service and care discussions.

Visual tools allow business users to create and manage specialized programs based on business rules and enterprise information in order to deliver the most effective, personalized treatments as they are needed.

The software also provides analytics and has out-of-the-box capabilities to adapt to changing clinical, marketing and regulatory requirements.

Pega Customer Service for Healthcare runs on the Pega 7 platform, which can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.

Crowded Market

Several other players promise a 360-degree view of patient interactions. connects conversations, care providers, clinical and administrative systems, such as EMRs, as well as external devices, such as glucose monitors, so that everyone — from service and care management teams to providers and patients — sees the same views.

Oracle’s Siebel Healthcare application manages relationships across all stakeholder touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle.

Avenade leverages Microsoft Dynamics CRM to offer a various CRM packages for healthcare, and Perficient alsooffers a host of CRM packages for healthcare.

Healthgrades is another company that offers an integrated platform.

The Joy of 360-Degree Access

“The idea of a cross-platform multichannel experience is catching on across all industries, and I think healthcare especially could benefit from it,” said Frost’s Camlek. It would make call centers better able to answer patient questions, and for doctors and nurses, it’s “a way to improve communications with patients.”

From the business perspective, healthcare is “about engaging customers and creating an image that makes you want to come back, improving adherence,” he pointed out. “A CRM system makes a lot of sense here.”

The Downside of Easy Access to Data

The problem with ready access to data — especially confidential data — is that it could make organizations more vulnerable to data breaches and leaks.

Hackers currently are focused on getting access to personal health information largely because it’s not as well secured as credit card information. Healthcare providers aren’t equipped to defend themselves adequately against attacks. Also, monetizing personal health data on the black market has proven to be very lucrative.

The black market will pay 10 times more for medical information than credit card information, because medical information can be reused repeatedly to create new identities, while there are strong safeguards against credit card fraud.

“While a healthcare CRM serves the basic purpose of [a healthcare] organization, it also allows numerous eyes to see the data,” warned Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels.

Healthcare organizations should deploy “the highest level of security technology,” he told CRM Buyer, “in the form of multifactor authentication, along with encrypting sensitive customer data.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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