Vladimir Makeew CEO of Surf

    Medical CRM Developers Experience: How to Reduce Cost and Time to Market

    Healthcare CRM software has become extremely popular, especially in large medical organizations. The solutions are used by clinics, laboratories, hospitals, and medical institutions, while the global healthcare CRM market size was valued at $12.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.6% in the nearest years. 

    Those who choose custom software don’t need to spend time on adopting their processes, making the staff confused: the CRM is tailored for the business needs instead. Any new features can be added as soon as a business needs it. 

    Custom CRM solutions are not only modern and convenient—they offer a high level of data security. This is you who owns the code of your custom product, while turnkey solutions mean only having rented it. 

    At Surf, we have huge experience as ERP and CRM developers, and in this article we are glad to share our knowledge and best practices. Having read it, you’ll learn how to reduce time to market and cost while creating a custom CRM. We’ll describe key features to start with and give some tips about overcoming challenges in their implementation. 

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    Key features for your modern medical CRM development

    Custom CRM is adopted for your organization processes. However, if you want to create a CRM that will be useful for your staff and will help you attract more customers or patients, don’t forget about the features below. They will be enough to start with. 

    Task management 

    Task management features and tools help control medical staffs’ workload, avoid confusion among doctors and patients, and make it easier to book a visit to your clinic or another medical organization. It’s a must-have set of tools your medical CRM developers should add.

    There are some of the features you can select for convenient task management:

    • booking, rescheduling, and canceling appointments,
    • doctors’ profiles with details about their experience,
    • selecting a doctor and a visit day and time,
    • geolocation for searching the nearest clinic, pharmacy, etc. and planning a new visit,
    • appointment reminders,
    • integration with calendars.

    At Surf, we developed an autoschedule while building KFC DSR, a custom ERP system that helps digitize paperwork, manage business processes, and automate financial analytics. This is  how its menu may look: all the important information in a single place, and for further planning it’s enough to switch to the next tab or create a new one. 

    KFC app
    Autoschedule for KFC restaurants in custom ERP system developed by Surf

    To learn more about the ERP system development process, tech stack we chose, and features our Client liked most, read our full case study.

    Patient or customer data management

    Customer data management features and tools help medical staff get information about patients, their anamnesis, and other health data. For patients, it means an opportunity to save time on a visit to a doctor and get service of higher quality: the specialists check the patients’ profiles before meeting with them and listen about their new symptoms having in mind what they have learned from the profiles.

    Here are some features that help medical organizations provide their patients and staff with convenient and secure data access:

    • access to EHR (Electronic Health Records) or EMR (Electronic Medical Records),
    • forming and storing prescriptions,
    • access to profile and its editing,
    • integrations with patient data storages,
    • integrations with gadgets for collecting real-time data about health.

    Hiring CRM developers, pay attention to their case studies, demonstrating implementation of the features. 

    In the example below you can see a user profile in a well-known CRM system. With an interface like this, it becomes easier for staff to communicate with patients and retain them. For an experienced IT team, it’s not a challenge to create a profile model like this one for custom CRM and adopt it for a medical organization’s needs.

    CRM web view
    Example of a user profile in CRM. Source:

    Communication and sales

    Set of features for communications and sales help managers and vendors implement their strategies in a convenient and fast way. The easier it is to reach a patient or a customer and offer something they need, the more of them prefer your medical organizations to competitors. 

    A medical CRM can become a powerful marketing channel if you add features like:

    • call center tools with communication and visit story in the patients cards,
    • keeping records of the calls (if it’s allowed in your country),
    • users data collection,
    • email marketing tools,
    • online payment tools (if needed),
    • integration with your organization’s mobile app if you have it,
    • individually selected features to attract patients by functions for self-healthcare, sales and special offers.

    The example below illustrates a call center interface. All necessary functionality is on the main screen to help managers operate in the CRM, searching for all the necessary information and making setups. It’s easy to start a call or record it. For medical organizations, an interface like this can be expanded with a patients’ story and medical services they can be interested in.

    CRM web view
    Call center interface example. Source:

    Intelligent reports and dashboards

    Smart reports and analytics help marketers and business owners monitor key metrics and correct business strategy, making service more convenient for patients and more competitive. This is a vital function as you cannot grow a business and follow trends without analyzing patients’ needs, activity, and feedback. Metrics are usually chosen individually and become a field for experiments to choose the best match for an organization.

    Here are some examples of dashboards and metrics to add while developing your CRM:

    • leads,
    • deals per month / per user and their statuses,
    • sales pipeline and individual sales,
    • forecasts,
    • campaigns,
    • other metrics for marketers—for example, CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), Conversion Rate, Churn Rate, NPS (Net Promoter Score), CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). 

    Here is another example of our custom ERP interface that we developed for KFC. There is a separate tab for each metric, so that business owners and marketers can see changes for a chosen period of time, manage finances, and rebuild business processes to get better results.  

    KFC app screens
    Dashboards for KFC restaurants in custom ERP system developed by Surf

    Now, when we have overviewed medical CRM key features and get convinced that they are worth being implemented, let’s see challenges developers meet and most effective solutions to solve them.

    How to overcome challenges in developing medical CRM 

    Long and expensive custom CRM development process 

    Even if you add only key features for your custom CRM, the development process will be long and complex. IT specialists in charge of business analysis, UX/UI design, development, and testing will spend a lot of resources, being deeply involved in a project together with stakeholders on your part as no one knows better what you want to get as a result. Depending on the number and complexity of the  features to be tailored for medical organizations, it may lead to high costs.  

    To decrease the time and cost of your medical CRM development, offer your vendor or in-house developer team to apply modern technologies—for example, Flutter for CRM and apps. It is a cross-platform framework that helps developers use a single codebase for both web and mobile apps, saving up to 40% of the budget.  

    Since 2018 we have been using Flutter for mobile apps development, and with the release of Flutter 3.0 new perspectives have been opened for us and our clients. Today, it’s possible to create apps for all major platforms—not just iOS and Android, but Windows, Linux, and macOS.As Flutter is a perfect match for mobile, web, desktop, and embedded devices, we can use a single codebase for them all in various projects to make the development process more time & cost efficient than it has ever been.
    Want to get a cross-platform web and mobile app for your business and save 40% of their cost?
    Meet Flutter

    At Surf, we chose Flutter to create 3 apps with a single codebase and different design for our Client, a worldwide famous pharmacy chain. The apps were to attract customers of 3 pharmacy brands. Initially, the Client wanted us to develop 6 separate apps for each brand (3 for Android and 3 for iOS). 

    Being aware of top IT trends and ready to implement best practices, we offered to use Flutter and finally succeeded to save 40% of development time and the budget. Now our app is used by customers of 3000+ pharmacies and helps our Client attract and retain them. Here is feedback from the Head of Online Sales.

    client's feedback text

    To know more about our solutions and see the result, read full case studies

    High security requirements 

    Depending on your country, medical software should be developed in accordance with patient data security requirements (HIPAA in the USA, PIPEDA in Canada, PDPA in Singapore, etc.). So, choosing CRM developers, make sure that they are well-informed about the requirements in your country and know how to provide a secure service for you, your staff, and your patients. 

    To say some words about the most secure IT solutions, Golang is one of the most reliable programming languages for backend development: it offers  the checksum database, which stores checksums; that is a proven way to ensure that modules committed earlier haven’t been changed. In addition, Golang is widely used in fintech projects with extremely high data security requirements. 

    For frontend, Flutter is usually the best match. The modern framework developed by Google uses Dart, a programming language with source code that is compiled into native, non-human readable code. It greatly complicates the reverse rendering process, so Flutter is more secure than Java, Kotlin, or React Native. Like Golang, Flutter is used in banking software and service development. So, Flutter CRM and apps ensure a high level of security. 

    For example, we at Surf used Flutter to develop a financial app for neobank to make digital payments accessible for Pakistanis. We implemented all the features our Client wanted to see in the app, made all the necessary integrations, created attractive minimalistic design, and, working in a collaboration with the Client’s in-house developer team, finished the project in time.  

    neobank app mockups

    To know more about our solutions implemented in this project, read full case studies

    High performance as a must

    Users don’t like to wait, and patients are no exception. Medical CRM should perform efficiently, flawlessly,  and fast regardless of the number of users. From this point of view, choosing a programming language and other tech stack is critically important. 

    Before the CRM development process starts, ask the developer team you hire to explain how they’re going to achieve high performance in such a complicated system for different audiences. To see an example of how to implement the idea, read our case studies: here we wrote about building an HR solution that promotes training programs and inspires employees to help the business flourish. If you’re going to develop Flutter CRM and apps, this story will be useful for you. 

    training app screens
    A Flutter-powered solutions with various activities for employees built by Surf

    Complicated UX and UI creating process

    UX and UI solutions your developer team or vendor choose for the medical CRM should be well-thought, making navigation easy for staff and patients of all ages. And it’s a really complicated task to implement the idea.

    To offer your staff and patients a user-friendly service, start with business research. It will help identify users’ needs, find out a-ha moments and barriers, and create UX/UI tailored for your audience. Choosing a CRM development company, ask them to explain more about their approach in business research. If they create UX/UI based on its results, it’s a good sign. 

    To say some words about technologies for creating high quality interfaces, at Surf we usually choose Flutter. It helps us implement UX/UI with a native look and feel and make users attracted by this benefit. In the illustration below you can see one of our results of using Flutter in medical app development. 

    A pharmacy app design developed by Surf

    When all the challenges are left behind, and the medical CRM development process is about to be finished, don’t forget about testing. Learn more about autotests in Flutter to know what questions to ask your developer team or vendor to save time and money.

    Wrapping up…

    At Surf, we have 12 years’ experience in large-scale projects development. Pharmacies, clinics, and other medical organizations are among them. We apply best software development practices and create our own set of tools and libraries to make the development process more efficient for and cost-savvy for our clients.