By Lizzie Mooney

Over 1 billion people around the world have purchased something from Amazon online. The e-commerce goliath erupted onto the scene in 1994, putting many brick-and-mortar shops out of business with their online offerings. Just about anything you could ever need is just a click away, ready to be delivered to your door when you ask.

Amazon couldn’t have gotten far without its business model – stellar customer service, open 24/7, no waits, and certainly no “Black Friday”-esque craziness. Every purchase is predicated by countless reviews, so buyers know exactly what they are getting before they even decide to get it. But the biggest jewel in Amazon's customer service crown? Transparency. Once that "Add to Cart” button is clicked, you have a to-the-minute view of where your purchase is at every minute.

Now, what if we could expect this personalized “Amazon Experience” from the most important industry in our lives?

Healthcare is an industry built on relationships – between patients and doctors, doctors and health systems, health systems and their various outreach programs. But along the way, these relationships become strained and forced. Patients are passed between doctors, specialists, and referrals, with little focus on their personal preferences or needs.

Amazon treats getting a last-minute children's birthday present to your doorstep as a life or death situation, and yet in healthcare, where it is literally life or death, patients are still treated as numbers.

In today's changing healthcare environment, patients have more options than ever before. Hospitals and health systems must be able to provide a personalized experience to keep patients from going to a MedCheck or Minute Clinic. They must be able to provide Amazon-levels of personalization, or they will be left in the dust.

For decades, care delivery has been tragically fragmented. The sheer number of legacy IT tools and ecosystems that exist in healthcare makes it increasingly difficult to keep data and information straight. With the ever-increasing amount of healthcare data available, healthcare organizations need to be innovative to manage, view and act on this data effectively.

To truly deliver Amazon-like experiences, health systems need to take the first steps to control the data no matter how daunting it may seem. Consolidating disparate data systems into one holistic location makes it easy to segment out roles-based profiles to gain granular insight into your patient, provider, and consumer population.

Often it is internal communications that cause the most bottlenecks in the patient journey. Throughout their life-long participation in the healthcare system, patients interact with dozens of different specialists: nurses, doctors, pharmacists, insurance representatives, and more. Instead of making the healthcare journey long and full of repetitive questions and tests, healthcare providers should instead focus on streamlined, efficient care delivery. Transparency into every step of the delivery process, reminiscent of Amazon, is only possible if there are clear lines of communication between stakeholders.

Healthcare CRM solutions can help health systems bring the “Amazon Experience” to the healthcare industry. Not only does a healthcare CRM solution create a single holistic patient profile for each patient, but it also combines real-time clinical and business data to keep every department accountable and allows care teams to truly deliver the personalized care that would make even Amazon proud.

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