The more aware, educated, and engaged a patient is in their own healthcare, the better it is for everyone.
The more aware, educated, and engaged a patient is in their own healthcare, the better it is for everyone
At least, that’s what research, studies, and experts have to say about it. As noted by the Brookings Institute:
“Patient engagement is viewed as a key to improved health outcomes and lower costs; well-designed patient engagement strategies can also improve patient experience by allowing individuals to become more active participants in their care.”
When payers and large providers talk about patient engagement, they discuss overhauling existing systems, integrations across the patient data ecosystem, and major digital transformation initiatives. But smaller providers may not be unable to respond quickly.
Smaller healthcare providers may not have the option for these massive upheavals of their systems, from billing to electronic health records (EHR) management systems. These systems may be ingrained into the workflow of practice, and nothing short of a miracle - and a lot of investment - will make a shift possible in the short term.
Part of the problem is that legacy systems, like EHR systems, are notoriously challenging to integrate with other systems. Traditionally it’s been challenging and costly to go far beyond having a small provider’s appointment setting or accounting systems talk to patient data systems.
The problem, of course, is that digital records and the simplicity of data sharing are keys to patient engagement. Digital access lowers the bar for patients to see and interact with their own data, while process automation enabled through modern digital healthcare systems streamlines information gathering and communication without adding additional staff and budget.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Salesforce, the globally recognized leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), has turned its focus to healthcare with the Health Cloud. Health Cloud doesn’t replace existing EHR and other back-office systems. Instead, its purpose is integration and orchestration.
Connecting disparate healthcare systems can be simplified with Salesforce as the hub. Health Cloud offers features and functionality that can create a complete view of a patient’s health and greater access to information and education. Plus, healthcare providers can leverage the variety of tools available across the Salesforce platform to work better with their patients and encourage higher engagement.
There are various tools within Health Cloud and as part of the larger Salesforce platform that promote deeper engagement and interactions with patients while improving the overall patient experience.
Scheduling and Appointments
We’ve all had a bad experience trying to set up an appointment at a provider’s office. We’re put on hold; we’re asked for our birthdate by three different people or been frustrated by a scheduler who doesn’t know if your upcoming appointment can be a telemedicine visit or not. It’s not uncommon for a patient to abandon the scheduling process and ignore the problem until it becomes a real issue.
Health Cloud’s Intelligent Appointment Management offers an efficient, clearcut workflow that can integrate with multiple backend scheduling systems. Patients wait less and get in with the right provider, while the organization reduces no-shows.
Appointment and Healthcare Reminders
Patients, like everyone else, have a lot going on. Remembering to schedule appointments, get checkups, or set up follow-up care may not be top of mind. Having office staff call, email, or send reminders to patients is time-consuming and costly.
Reminders can drive significantly higher patient engagement and proactive healthcare measures. Health Cloud centralizes patient data, helping providers create a one-to-one, customized healthcare plan based on accurate patient data. That information can then be used to drive milestone reminders that promote a continuum of care.
Complete View of Patient Data
Health Cloud’s purpose is to remove the walls surrounding a patient’s data to provide a comprehensive plan and proper treatment. This 360-degree view of a patient’s information, including history, current medications, last visit, and even data from other providers, can help a physician or assistant make educated decisions based on real-time data.
This also promotes the concept of the patient as the caretaker of their own health. How? Instead of passively relying on multiple providers to have the information and offer care options, patients can be provided healthcare portals to see all of their data in a single presentation. This data can even be supplemented with relevant articles that discuss conditions, recommended treatments, and healthy lifestyle educational information.
Clearer Payment Data
Medical payments can be confusing. A patient steps into the doctor’s office and pays their co-pay. The office staff informs them that they have an unpaid balance from six months prior. The staff has no idea if the bill was submitted to the patient’s insurance, how much was covered, or if the bill was already paid. This adds stress to a patient’s visit, and the poor experience keeps them from coming back as often as they should - or, worse, choosing a new provider.
Because of the number of entities potentially involved in medical payments, providers and their staff need a single source of information for billing status and even insurance rules. Health Cloud Insurance holds payer-specific data models to help manage claims, authorizations, and benefits on an individual basis.
Leverages Remote Health Tracking Data
We live in a connected age, and that includes our healthcare information. When providers have more information available, they can make informed recommendations supported by reliable data sources. Increased data points from connected scales to blood glucose and heart rate monitors offer providers the opportunity to get a complete picture of a patient’s health indicators over days and weeks, not during the snapshot of time in which the patient is in the office.
Remote Monitoring within Health Cloud permits coordinators to see information across a patient’s healthcare journey, help them set targets that are personalized for the patient, and track progress easily and over time. With less time spent gathering data from patients, providers can spend more time in direct interactions and in planning a course of care that is meaningful, individualized, and reasonable for the patient.
With Salesforce’s Health Cloud, smaller providers can break down the silos between their own systems while also opening up secure pathways for data sharing with other care providers. Importantly, however, Health Cloud can also act as an engagement agent for patients, creating an individualized path to better health through positive interactions, education, and clarity.
If you’re interested in bringing Salesforce’s healthcare tools into your practice, Six Consulting is here to help. Our deeply experienced team understands how to effectively and efficiently connect your disparate healthcare and back-office systems through Salesforce’s Health Cloud and other tools to offer a better overall patient experience, higher engagement, and better outcomes for everyone.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. Salesforce, the globally recognized leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), has turned its focus to healthcare with the Health Cloud.”
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