Improve Patient Experience with Salesforce Health Cloud

The modern healthcare systems are undergoing a period of transition migrating from reactive to proactive models. Just like other sectors, the healthcare sector has also become equally demanding and patients are no longer hesitating to switch to better healthcare systems if their expectations are not met.

As the leading CRM solution in the world, Salesforce offers cloud solutions for several industries including healthcare to manage diverse needs. It’s patient management system Salesforce Health Cloud has seen a huge demand and healthcare adoption has grown by about 35% since 2018. Salesforce helps organizations drive cost efficiencies, develop intelligent enterprises, manage customer relationships, and build resilient business models.

It helps healthcare organizations address challenges pertaining to patient experience too. In fact, 69% of respondents who participated in a survey conducted by the Baltimore-based firm Sage Growth Partners (SGP) have cited improving healthcare consumer experience as their first or second top strategic priority.

A recent research report confirms two-thirds of patients are likely to switch to a better health system if their expectations are not met while organizations that are willing to improve the patient experience have the potential to increase their revenues by 5% to 10% pre-COVID levels in just 12 months. The good part is that they are now more eager than ever to embrace technology with 74% of patients now likely to use online chat or texting for providing check-in information before an appointment.

Especially since patients experience disjointed services as stakeholders continue to use data from multiple sources, Salesforce provides a common platform to integrate the experience at various junctures of their healthcare journey. The focus is now on providing value-based holistic care to ensure a satisfactory patient experience.

While empowering with technologies and solutions, Salesforce is now helping the healthcare industry evolve to improve patient satisfaction and deliver high-quality patient care.

Salesforce health cloud, patient experience and the evolving healthcare landscape

McKinsey & Company iterates, “Companies that can learn to understand, guide, and engage healthcare consumers, while inspiring their loyalty, have a significant opportunity to change the healthcare landscape.

Consumers of healthcare know what they want and now actively participate in the decision-making process. It’s time you moved beyond patient engagement and focus on giving them better experiences to ensure strong clinical outcomes. Just like banking, the modern healthcare system too needs to have table stake capabilities that can positively transform patient experiences.

Patients today want personalization and convenience and the agility that comes with Salesforce Health Cloud. Gartner predicts 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning applications, chatbots, and mobile messaging by 2022.

It all boils down to how attentive you are to the elderly? How easily are they able to access their health records?

While some consumers may undermine the importance of maintaining electronic health records, others may not even have access to a computer or fast Internet speed.

And that’s not all; there are issues that plague healthcare workers too. They go through frequent burnouts and find themselves struggling on several fronts to be able to deliver the kind of patient experience patients rightfully deserve.

What we need to understand is that customer service is not just a department but an approach that needs to be followed by the entire organization at all times. Salesforce Health Cloud is equipped to handle all these challenges and more. It offers opportunities to healthcare organizations to embark on an exciting future of care delivery providing new avenues for improving patient experience.

So let’s look at the top benefits.

Centralized data on health cloud

With a centralized data storage space, Salesforce Health Cloud enables the monitoring of medical services using data analytics tools.

Says Don Scheibenreif, Distinguished Vice President Analyst, Gartner, “Monitoring event streams helps organizations stay aware of the current context and thereby make more intelligent decisions. More intelligent decisions translate into better customer service and greater success for the business.”

Healthcare organizations that rely on research and clinical practices can hugely benefit from data centralization be it for accessing patient records or for compiling statistical data. Whatever they need they can access from their mobile phones or other devices in real-time. As the focus shifts from merely maintaining records to building meaningful relationships, Health Cloud helps you put patients at the core of the ecosystem.

Better outcomes with health literacy

Patients can now be treated speedily since services can be delivered almost immediately without wasting too much time on observing protocols. Patients can even avoid hospitalization by educating themselves about their condition, diagnosis, symptoms, patterns, and treatments. They can contact healthcare professionals as needed and access the right care plans to get on the track to recovery.

Salesforce Health Cloud offers a detailed view of the patient journey through individual patient profiles that combine data from electronic health records (EHR) as well as third-party data from medical devices. This helps in assessing patient condition, reviewing medications, and managing appointments with ease.

Personalization and remote care

Care providers can find complete data in one place to make quick decisions. Salesforce has been extensively using Artificial Intelligence tools to facilitate fast decision-making and empower them to take a proactive approach towards healthcare. It enables patient segmentation to manage patient populations and gives you the ability to personalize care and schedule regular check-ins via messages.

Salesforce not only helps curtail costs but also reduces patient risks. As Tuan Phan, founder of cybersecurity company Zero Friction and a member of the ISACA Emerging Trends Working Group explains, “Metadata may indicate that the patient’s condition is deteriorating, allowing medical professionals to take action earlier, in turn driving lower risk to the patient and lower costs to the hospital.”

Empowerment through collaboration

Care teams can connect and collaborate through Salesforce Health Cloud. Everything from case management and tracking to care plan management and follow-ups is taken care of. The best part is you can integrate Health Cloud with legacy tools, operating procedures, and the existing software infrastructure.

With teamwork solutions, workforce administration tools, advanced technologies, and much more, it aids seamless collaboration between care teams and patients. In a day and age where 84% of consumers under 40 wish to engage with technologically advanced and electronically communicative medical organizations, Salesforce is uniquely positioned to close the gap between interactions and outcomes.

Salesforce Health Cloud offers countless applications to address the growing needs of consumers as well as health organizations. These applications can help you boost revenue, lower costs, enhance care coordination and access, drive engagement, and improve outcomes and experience.

Transform patient experience with Trigent

Trust Trigent to enable care coordination of patients in a digital world where connected healthcare continues to transform patient care. At Trigent, we help you get your Salesforce implementations right the very first time thanks to our decades of experience. Our team of Salesforce specialists will help you leverage Health Cloud perfectly to overcome barriers and improve the overall patient experience.

Count on us for everything from Salesforce implementation to seamless integration. Call us today for a business consultation.

Transitioning to Telehealth

Telehealth opened the doors to remote care and cure at a time when visiting clinics for consultations became difficult. From just 11% in 2019 to 46% of consumers choosing telehealth in 2020, healthcare providers began seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients than they did in pre-pandemic times. Up to $250 billion of current US healthcare spend attributed to telehealth as healthcare providers continue to scale their offerings.

According to Mckinsey, 74% of survey respondents expressed high satisfaction with their telehealth experience.

With technology at its helm, telehealth is now getting as good as in-person visits, if not better. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has facilitated quick diagnosis and treatments with deeper insights and ensures that routine care is streamlined for better health. Data aggregation also has been helping healthcare providers as well as individuals predict patient behavior and detect patterns.

Besides, seniors tend to require at least twice the number of healthcare services as compared to younger demographics. Telehealth addresses all their concerns effectively to provide continued care in these rather difficult times. As per research by Deloitte and ATA (American Telemedicine Association), a significant portion of care, prevention, and well-being settings are expected to go virtual by 2040.

We are fast moving towards technological advances, interoperable data, and virtual healthcare systems that ensure continuity, connectivity, coordination, and care continuum. As Laura Hoffman, a senior research fellow at Yale Law School’s Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy puts it, “It’s not just technology. How does this transform the patient-provider relationship? What does it mean to have that relationship in terms of doing it virtually instead of it being in person? We are at a very dynamic time.”

Clearly, there’s a lot that still needs to be done on the telehealth front to make it viable for patients as well as providers and tap into its full potential.

Measures to improve telehealth

As we move into the future, we need concerted efforts by healthcare stakeholders along with the adoption of advanced technologies, redesigning of care models, and proper infrastructure to leverage the full potential of telehealth. After all, it goes way beyond the scope of virtual care to include different aspects such as chronic disease management, doctor visits, surgical support, and remote patient monitoring.

Here’s what we can do to make it better and more dependable.

Define a clear roadmap

A data-driven approach is what is currently needed to enable care journeys digitally. Rich clinical data will empower not just clinicians but also patients so that everyone is on the same page. For instance, a patient with a complex medical condition will significantly benefit if all the relevant observations are updated into the clinical record by different providers and made available in readily sharable formats to decide further course of treatment.

You need to augment your reach and expand your capabilities to move the needle in essential areas. You need to ask questions – Would customized online education facilitate awareness and patient satisfaction? Would remote monitoring increase patient engagement? Would increasing capacity help increase e-visits too? What security measures need to be implemented to address privacy concerns?

Both providers and payers need to work on building flexible provider networks to shorten wait times. Virtual health needs to penetrate the ‘brick and mortar’ healthcare system and should be embedded in provider workflows. Hospitals are now using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to guide patients to the right care avenues.

Virtualize home care

This requires access to remote monitoring services so that specific clinical conditions can be monitored. For example, those with diabetes need continuous glucose monitoring, while those with cardiovascular conditions require regular monitoring of blood pressure and heartbeats.

An integrated approach and relevant patient engagement tools are required to include such devices into the care plans and encourage patients to play an active role in ensuring care. Besides, other monitoring systems and diagnostic kits such as home pulse oximeters, blood pressure machines, etc., also need to be factored in while ensuring a clear view for assessment.

Evaluate your IT infrastructure

User experience is paramount when it comes to the success of any telehealth initiative. Cloud-hosted platforms are now being increasingly used to support the virtual telehealth ecosystem. You need to also figure out which providers and healthcare partners need to be added to the delivery platform to ensure better collaboration among care providers.

Seamless data and communication flow among patients, cardiologists, therapists, etc., through video/ audio conferencing, messaging, and other forms of internet-based and mobile communications will then be possible.

You will also have to factor in what equipment you would require for communication as well as treatment. Laptops, speakers, Internet browsers, webcams are just a few of the many things you will need. Additionally, you will have to figure out the means to capture data from connected devices like blood glucose meters and blood pressure monitors too. Potential vulnerabilities in medical devices need to be addressed, along with risks associated with the deployment of third-party services.

Advanced technologies can help you tide over most challenges but having a clear perspective on things you need helps.

Regulatory barriers and their impact

The federal government did make temporary policy changes to make telehealth easily accessible during the pandemic. But we need to look beyond the pandemic, and efforts must be made to continue easing barriers to reimbursement.

Explains Dr. Diane Rittenhouse, a senior fellow at Mathematica, “People were seeing patients in the virtual space before they had the reforms to payment to get paid for it. They were doing it essentially for free. Now, payment reforms have caught up – but it’s unclear how long they’ll remain in place.”
She adds, “We’re asking for a lot of change in primary care over the last couple of decades. It’s good, and it comes from a good place, but these practices are being asked to add more team members, to work under different conditions, to adopt electronic health records, [and] to develop new population-based quality-measuring systems and reporting systems.”

The number of people availing virtual consultations has been significant primarily because they didn’t have to drive down to the facility physically. While The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been highly supportive in facilitating telehealth, these rules should continue to relax to make remote care accessible to one and all irrespective of geographical barriers.

The Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) has even waived off penalties for HIPAA violations against healthcare providers that used conventional communications platforms such as Skype and Zoom to enable virtual care. But these breaches can have severe implications under normal circumstances, and care needs to be taken to ensure patient data remains private and secure at all times.

Broadband has to be accessible and affordable too, without which it would be impossible to leverage the full benefits of telehealth. Imagine you are deep into a call, and the connection goes off just like that, in a second. Also, when physicians are examining patients’ physical symptoms closely, it can be a futile exercise if the video call lacks the required clarity. Not everyone is tech-savvy, and connectivity issues can add to the frustration.

Last but not the least

Telehealth has immense potential and can improve outcomes significantly if efforts are made to expand access to care. Physicians are already reporting burnout as work stress continues. Telehealth programs, when implemented correctly, can bridge the gaps in healthcare now and forever for all. Not to forget the immense cost savings it can lead to.

Transition to telehealth with Trigent

Trigent can help your healthcare facility transform into an agile, robust network of digitally connected distributed entities to open doors to new and exciting opportunities in telehealth. Our domain knowledge and technology expertise help us work closely with stakeholders to meet the many challenges of care delivery in the telehealth sector.

We offer solutions and services to achieve EHR Interoperability and manage virtual consultations effectively. Call us today to book a business consultation.

Steps to Achieve EHR/EMR Interoperability to Put Patient at the Center of Healthcare

The US healthcare system has been battling quite a few challenges as they continue to track outbreaks, and stay abreast of the latest developments on vaccines and the spread of the disease. But what became glaringly evident during the pandemic was the lack of EHR/EMR interoperability that made sifting through patient information and providing seamless quality care pretty difficult. Although the federal government pumped in billions of dollars to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records, we are still far away from rising to the information challenges clinicians are facing on a day-to-day basis.

A classic case in point – California! It went through public health crises in 2020 as the state with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases, pinning its hopes on a robust health data exchange. As Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx (MX) points out, “Smaller practices don’t know what kind of hospital care the patient received, they don’t know what drugs the patient is on, and they don’t have the tools to conduct that level of risk stratification.”

The Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) recently published its 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan based on recommendations from more than 25 federal organizations.

Quality of data, user interfaces, and usability concerns, along with the inability of data to adequately support discovery and interoperability among systems – all underline the need to have better EHR/EMR interoperability to put patients at the heart of healthcare.

It’s time we dive deeper into the challenges stakeholders are facing as they proceed towards achieving EHR/EMR interoperability and how we can work towards making it a reality.

EHR and EMR: The fundamental difference

An electronic health record (EHR) is an electronic version of a patient’s medical history that includes test results, present illness and its history, progress notes, immunization, medications, etc. Often confused with an electronic medical record (EMR), an EHR is much broader in scope and offers a comprehensive view of the patient’s health. An EMR also contains medical history along with a treatment plan but it’s often pertaining to one practice and the details will therefore stay with that particular physician or provider and is never really shared when the patient moves on to another physician or provider.

The fact that EHR travels with the patient wherever they go, it gets shared with other physicians and providers helping them make informed decisions. EHR helps maintain continuity of medical care even when patients are moved to a different facility.

But in a complex healthcare environment, EHR integrations are not so easy. EHR solutions used by different medical facilities can differ in features, capabilities, workflows, and infrastructure requirements. Seamless sharing of information will therefore be possible only when we introduce interoperability into the system. This would require stakeholders to tide over the many challenges in attaining healthcare data interoperability.

The top ones include:

  • Absence of a unique patient identifier – Absolutely no or minimum standardization for identifying patients makes data exchange between EMR and EHR extremely tedious.
  • Lack of standardized data – With different standard formats for collating data, the information exchanged varies in format. This poses a barrier to analyzing, storing, and exchanging data seamlessly.
  • Slow FHIR adoption – The use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is recommended since it describes data formats and APIs for health record exchange and integrates the best of HL7, v2, HL7v3, and CDA while leveraging the best of web service technologies. It provides agility, efficiency, and security to data exchange with perfect standardization of data. The adoption of FHIR application programming interfaces (APIs) has a long way to go before it touches the finish line. While FHIR apps do extract data, they lack the ability to write data back.
  • Data privacy and security issues – Healthcare compliances such as HIPAA can impose limitations on how stakeholders share and exchange data amongst each other and third-party vendors.
  • The relatively high cost of integration – Traditional models can be a tad out of reach of small and mid-sized organizations from a cost perspective.

Interoperability for patient-centric care

Interoperability allows patients to be informed all the time irrespective of which vendor they choose. It ensures:

  • Better patient health outcomes
  • Better quality of care
  • Lower healthcare costs
  • Tailored treatments based on individual history and preferences
  • Greater patient engagement
  • Reduced ambiguity
  • Data devoid of redundancies

Interoperability initiatives should be patient-centric and revolve around improving patient care. The chief objective should be to safely and securely exchange patient information across the healthcare ecosystem where interoperability serves as the linchpin.

As Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services iterates, “(the agency wants to ensure that) information follows the patient regardless of geographic, organizational, or vendor boundaries.”
A CHIME KLAS report suggests 67% (up from 28% in 2017) of providers admitted they often or nearly always had access to the needed patient records in 2020 while only 15% (up from 6% in 2017) believe data exchange has impacted patient care. The Cures Act and many other federal initiatives are now focused on improving patient care through data sharing. Significant progress has been noticed in data sharing across disparate EMRs.

The way to interoperability

There are certain milestones to touch on the road to attaining interoperability. Just like the banking sector where current systems are modified instead of being recreated, the EHR too will benefit from suitably modified systems wrapped in applications and added capabilities.

Here’s what we need to do:

  • Use a population health management system – This will make providers accountable for caring for populations with common health conditions. The system will use data from various sources including EHRs, EMRs, claims, monitoring devices, etc. to give a 360-degree view to providers while helping patients with regular alerts and messages.
  • Leverage the services of Health Information Exchange (HIE) – HIE connects healthcare organizations across the state to allow them to exchange patient data. So if a patient gets admitted into an emergency room, the HIE will access data from other care centers too so as to give an accurate clinical picture of the patient to providers and alert them when a patient checks in to some other facility.
  • Deploy health management apps designed for patients – These are typically expected to help patients aggregate their health data, get health status, track appointments, manage healthcare plans, etc.
  • Employ big data analytics systems – These systems are expected to review large amounts of data to compare the effectiveness of treatments, aid medical discovery, analyze shifts in patterns of diseases and response to diseases, safety issues pertaining to healthcare equipment, etc. They rely on artificial intelligence for automatic correction of data inconsistencies and other chores such as extracting data from images, free text, etc.
  • Integrate APIs in healthcare – APIs allow developers to build applications quickly and protect patient data from malware and other malicious threats. They save storage space and allow users to pinpoint the exact source of data and get precise data. APIs are thus playing a pivotal role in alleviating clinical burden helping third-party apps and programs analyze data and enhance clinical decisions. As an integral part of healthcare, they now lead the way for successful interoperability.

Tread on the road to interoperability with Trigent

It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, but with Trigent by your side, you can surely adopt best practices to shift your focus and achieve EHR/EMR interoperability. No matter how far you are on the road to interoperability, we will take you there with the necessary solutions. A few workflow changes and technologies should get us started.

Allow us to tell you how the new interoperability standards can help your practice. Call us today.