5 Challenges of Healthcare and how Salesforce can cover them
In today’s world, everything is going digital — Healthcare is no exception! We at Redtag are focused on the Healthcare industry. In this article, you will learn more about how to make processes in Healthcare more efficient using Salesforce.
The Healthcare Industry contains processes, and Salesforce automates them
One of the fundamental reasons healthcare needs to move to the digital world is the benefits it will receive from process automation, which has become a necessary tool for any successful business transformation since the 20th century.
However, this aspect will also be one of the transition’s biggest challenges. There exists a tremendous amount of different processes in healthcare that Salesforce can improve with automation, including, but not limited to:
- the advertisement of healthy living;
- Healthcare organizations or Healthcare services;
- patient onboarding and checking the patient’s insurance;
- insurance contract tracking, payments, and automatic commission calculation;
- designing the optimal healing plan and guiding a patient through it;
- gathering health records;
- performing remote diagnostics, healing, and post-healing support during recovery;
- communication between departments and with external companies/services;
- medicine and medical equipment ordering and tracking;
- Healthcare organization management.
Salesforce solutions could cover everything.
So how can Salesforce products help the industry?
These challenges are by no means new and so have several proposed solutions. Firstly, there is the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to tackle advertising challenges. Marketing Cloud will automate the entire marketing campaign, all communication to and from clients, and data gathering for analytics. Next, we have Salesforce Health Cloud to automate processes around the patient ranging from onboarding to lifetime support. It includes treatment, organization, financial, technical, and aspects of communication.
For almost every problem, Salesforce has pre-built tools according to world best practices. Moreover, there is the Appexchange store where Salesforce partners share their solutions after Salesforce has checked them for technical compliance.
Of course, each country and organization has processes specific to them. In some places, every healthcare provider and the patient have isolated relationships. In others, healthcare is an extensive network where the patient’s pharmacy automatically receives prescriptions from the doctor and delivers everything to the patient’s house, even automatically ordering refills. For such individual cases, Salesforce is equipped with various tools of different complexity, allowing you to either build your own or customize pre-built automation.
Depending on your current needs:
- a simple ProcessBuilder/Flow that (in just a few clicks) can set up automatic email notifications when something has changed in your system,
- an assignment rule which can automatically assign incoming requests to the proper free member of your team, or
- a Workflow rule helps you send changes from your system to a partner’s company. Flows and Visual Flows are simple tools that can help you automatically perform from the simplest to very complex logic. There also are other tools, like Apex, where Flows and Visual Flows can implement any automation, but that is for the most complex custom developments.
Salesforce security follows all government regulations on data protection to open/operate and ensure customer confidence
Healthcare files consist primarily of sensitive and personal data, making security paramount. Whether it’s a patient viewing their data or a doctor viewing data on their patients, Salesforce has various native tools (profiles, roles, sharing sets, apex sharing.) to safely and securely facilitate this operation.
When we dive into the topic of security — we must not forget about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or Federal data protection laws. Many regions of the world forbid this activity without strict compliance with these laws. The requirements of compliance include giving the patient a complete overview of:
- who has access to their data;
- what data is currently stored in the system;
- who saw what and when;
- make it impossible to see personal data even for admins or developers who work in the system;
- use different levels of data encryptions.
The best tool for this task is Salesforce Shield, which enables the monitoring of app and data usage, automation of security policies, encryption of sensitive data, and running compliance audits. Many governments also demand that patients be given the possibility of downloading all their data. Salesforce Shield can be easily implemented by reports or applications from Appexchange or by custom solutions per specific requirements. Salesforce’s main paradigm is security, not only for users but the platform as well.
It always invests in security and even has its own bug bounty program for white hat hackers, where the main challenge is to breach security. In general, it is worth mentioning that the platform has many security levels (backup, replication, advanced threat detection, encryption, disaster recovery), admins can implement multi-level authentication, SSOs, time/IP restrictions, etc. As a result, Salesforce itself takes care of most security issues, simplifying system design and making it easier to receive necessary permissions and certificates.
Have access to all data from multiple data sources
Salesforce provides the ability to communicate with a vast variety of ecosystems, opens the opportunity to see the big picture, and limits access to data at different levels. It can work with other standards in Healthcare to make integration smoother.
As mentioned earlier, healthcare is a complex and polyhedral industry with many processes and subjects. For this reason, it needs a variety of systems because it is impossible to include and support everything over its many different departments using only one. Moreover, one department alone may use multiple methods for other processes. This issue creates a significant risk of miscommunication, delays, missing data, incomplete or impossible reporting, or work duplication. The following problems can be solved using one lone system or well-established interactions between the systems and subsystems to avoid these issues. Salesforce has a variety of tools and best practices to provide this.
Salesforce can be the ‘head-subsystem’ that unites all other subsystems, controls data flow, and provides extended reporting possibilities through integration or any subsystem in the chain. To simplify integration with other systems, Salesforce has native tools like ConnectedApps, ExternalObjects, additions (such as Mulesoft for more customizable integration), and prebuilt apps from Appexchange that work according to standard protocol. Salesforce can efficiently work with other third-party tools as well. Furthermore, there is always an option inside the platform to build a custom integration that supports any logic or data flow, as Salesforce can work with JSON, XML, and HL7. Additionally, in a situation where it’s necessary to access specific or sensitive data without sending it from one system to another and storing it there, Salesforce ExternalObjects can help us.
Salesforce can also function as one extensive system. It has the Customer360 suite, which can cover many different needs from different perspectives. The Salesforce platform allows the setting up of various applications (for patients, for doctors, for administration) that will use one database and exclude any need for data synchronization. Customer360 suite can resolve problems with significant volumes of data by purchasing extra space.
Working with digital health care, we need to remember that in practice, we most likely will have one of three main scenarios:
- There is an old specific legacy system(s) that should be connected;
- There is another modern system(s) that should be linked;
- There is a legacy system to migrate from, or no system at all, meaning Customer360 must build one (or several) from scratch.
Each of these scenarios has its challenges, but the last one usually requires the most significant effort. From the Salesforce perspective, building a system, connecting to other systems, and data migration are all normal processes with their tools and best practices.
Better user experience = higher efficient workers and more satisfied patients
When it comes to most digital systems — user experience is crucial. For doctors and administrators, it has to be a convenient tool that provides quick and handy access to all necessary data and functionality. One of the most significant advantages of Salesforce is its easily customizable user interface. Salesforce can quickly set it up with
- parameters for permissions, related to who has access and what they can access;
- a general data overview;
- a detailed page of records such as the patient’s address or lab results;
- summary of related documents;
- different tabs for more straightforward navigation;
- a flow to guide you through necessary actions;
- the clinic or patient reports.
Using Health Cloud and different packages from Appexchange will speed up the customization processes, thereby rendering a system that works in alignment with best healthcare practices. They can cover all necessary processes from patient onboarding to care plan tracking and EHR data storage, insurance coverage, and bad management. For patients, it should be simple yet fancy; something that covers all their needs is attractive and positively distinguishes them from competitors. The Salesforce Experience cloud is a flexible tool that helps build a whole portal for patients (or any other kind of user) who will look and feel better. Many available templates speed up development and already receive UI as we have in well-known applications like Facebook or Microsoft Word. It also allows designing the proof of concept within a few hours.
Salesforce Experience cloud supports different kinds of security verifications such as 2-step authentication or via Gmail. It also helps easily navigate patient data to check a diagnosis or personal data; modify an address, insurance number, or contacts; or add new self measurements, family members, or care providers. Additionally, it tracks health conditions and healing processes on graphs and dashboards or health timelines, communicates with a caregiver (via Chatter or video), checks the knowledge base, and schedules and receives reminders about appointments.
Nowadays, users prefer to have everything on their mobile devices. Mobile publishers can quickly transform the portal from the Experience cloud into a mobile application. It saves time from hiring separate developers for building iOS and Android applications and provides consistency between the website and mobile application.
Patient service with a design that will help raise and maintain customer retention
How care providers interact with patients is an essential part of the user experience and is worth a separate mention. Everything usually starts with patient onboarding. The person or company contacts the healthcare institution; initial personal data is gathered and checked, and documents are signed. Salesforce proposes different means to make this process as smooth as possible for patients and all departments involved. There are prebuilt, customizable “Lead-to-Patient Conversion” mechanisms, Case Management, Consent Management, packages on AppExchange, and Salesforce customization tools. All of these can be combined to fit any specific need of your healthcare institution.
Patients can also schedule appointments with doctors, ask for information, communicate complaints or share feedback. For all this, Salesforce proposes prebuilt solutions, like Lightning Scheduler, Chatters and Call Centers, or Surveys. Communication with patients through different channels (emails/calls/chatters/social) is also not an issue and can be implemented via prebuilt, Omni-channel technology. Salesforce Health Cloud even includes the whole Service Cloud, which provides a set of redefined service tools according to modern best practices.
There is also the issue of a Clinic or HealthCare Institution wanting to advertise their new product like a new service, new diagnostic features, or a new department. Salesforce Health Cloud can track your marketing campaigns in Marketing Cloud, which works with the core system.
Healthcare has a considerable number of problems; of course, digitalization won’t solve them all, but it can solve many.
And lastly, it is worth to mention IoT and AI
Today it is hard to imagine our lives without intelligent devices. In Healthcare, they have also started playing an increasing role — from smart bracelets and medical equipment tracking to hygiene monitoring devices and medical dispensers. Considering the amount of data in the system and the current level of artificial intelligence, we already have intelligent chatbots that can answer most common questions, automatic advisors that track our recovery or self-development and are building fake doctors. All these raise Healthcare to a new level, requiring a reliable tool that will bring the future to today. And The Salesforce universal platform and Redtag’s expert implementation are genuinely up to the challenge.
Healthcare is one of the most significant and essential industries, making its digitalization quite challenging. Currently, there are many different systems&tools for this; one of them is Salesforce. What is good about Salesforce implementation — it has integrated tools that can cover most of the Healthcare challenges.
Healthcare transformation is one of the most challenging as it has many different kinds of data, numerous interdependent roles, and touches everyone in one way or another. For this reason, it is necessary to have a universal platform that is fully equipped to overcome every one of these challenges — and the Salesforce platform, together with proper expert implementation, is just what the doctor ordered.
We believe that Salesforce is a natural solution that provides the chance to enhance the client and people processes. Our staff and industry professionals joining forces to make Salesforce a natural part of businesses, so maybe you will be the next step in our journey?
Have more questions? Contact us:
Katia Voziianova — Healthcare Industry Business Developer;
Yurii Biletskyi — Healthcare Industry Expert.