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How Salesforce Health Cloud Helps Run a Patient-Centered Organization

salesforce health cloud

The importance of healthcare services cannot be stressed enough. The social demand for this type of program has always been naturally high, and the levels of intelligence and responsibility expected of healthcare industry professionals are higher than anywhere else; job ratings perfectly prove that point.

What Is Health Cloud in Salesforce?

Salesforce Health Cloud is the ultimate tool to unite top management, care providers, and patients into one ordered transparent system. The goal of such a system is to enhance each patient’s care journey and to cut a given company’s expenses in a number of ways:

  • Eliminate the obsolete and inefficient electronic medical record (EMR) system.
  • Provide a complete 360-degree view of every patient.
  • Ensure safe data storage, access, and exchange across the whole team.
  • Supply cross-platform software solutions to connect the team.
  • Build trust and establish genuine one-to-one patient relationships.
  • Generate insights that could lead to crucial decisions, based on patient data.
  • Automate repetitive tasks and make time for creative decisions.
  • Further, automate labor-intensive tasks with AI-powered solutions.

All types of healthcare and life science companies would avail of Health Cloud functionality: pharmaceutical product and medical device manufacturers, government health system providers, wellness and fitness companies, and more.

Now, let’s dive deeper. How does it work under the hood? How much will it cost? Is it possible to port old data into the service cloud?

Legal Compliance and Healthcare Standards

The Salesforce platform has engaged in the organization of healthcare services since its inception in 2003. It implies they’ve acquired more than enough experience to build any custom healthcare-related CRM system. Rest assured the company gathered enough valuable customer feedback, too.

Salesforce does not omit the fact that Patient Health Information (PHI) is subject to fairly strict personal data protection regulations, and they deliver their services in adherence to said regulations. It goes without saying that according to private data regulations, users are free to request their data, and Salesforce allows them to do that easily.

Sensible data is protected with what is referred to as Salesforce Shield:

Salesforce Shield

Source: Salesforce

Health Cloud patient information is Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Specification (FHIR) compatible. Much like legacy EHR and EMR systems, the Health Cloud also supports the HL7 v2 information exchange standard, which was used before FHIR and is widely used across the globe.

It means that if your institution has been using one of these data models, there will be no problem carrying the patient records and related data over to the Cloud.

The Concept of Patient Journey

Planning ahead allows one to clearly define the desired goals, properly distribute their resources, avoid unforeseen interruptions, and estimate time. That said, a patient journey is a treatment plan. For every journey, it would be nice to have a map; the more detailed, the better.

A Health Cloud Complete Patient View feature provides all the required data to make a comprehensive and effective plan. Along with all the prior interaction history, a patient’s account stores and displays current care plan timelines, links to the respective care specialists’ profiles, and other relevant clinical data.

Salesforce Health Cloud Training

Health Cloud is a complex tool and, as such, it must be mastered before it can be used in full. This is why it is extremely important to closely familiarize oneself with the Cloud’s capabilities and restrictions. A vague idea of what it is supposed to do won’t be enough to get the best out of it.

Some users wonder why Health Cloud is so counter-intuitive and hard to customize. Sure, the looks of the Patient View screen might feel overwhelming at first, especially to those who look at it for the first time. On the contrary, there are users who find the interface information-rich and handy, not cluttered with data, and incomprehensible.

Why are the testimonials so different in this regard?

Satisfied users knew how to use Health Cloud to reach their goals and continuously learn how to get the rest out of the way through customization. They probably acquired the necessary knowledge through Salesforce or third-party text and video guides; perhaps they worked one-on-one with a Salesforce Health Cloud consultant. Their point is that learning is inevitable.

The availability of training options depends on a subscription plan. Those who are not willing to invest some extra money into Salesforce Health Cloud Ultimate Edition should not be discouraged: They will still have access to Trailhead, Trailblazer Community, one-to-many webinars, and standard support throughout the course of their cooperation with Salesforce and beyond.

The Ultimate Edition opens up access to the Premier-tier support package.

Alternatively, ask certified third-party providers, like Ergonized, to help you figure out how to set up and run your Health Cloud: Develop an appropriate strategy with the right KPIs, configure and customize the Cloud, provide training and ongoing support, or even offer a Salesforce administration for hire.

By the way, configuration and customization are not synonymous in the context of Salesforce. Configuration is about setting up an out-of-the-box product: Enable or disable available features and models, manage user access, set up emails, etc. Customization involves integrating non-Salesforce applications or programming event triggers in the Apex language, for example.

Salesforce Health Cloud Portability

All cloud services are independent of an operating system used to access them. A basic browser is all one needs to use cloud services. Nonetheless, because mobile platforms grow more popular by the day, there’s a Salesforce Health Cloud App for Android and iOS specifically designed with optimal performance and compact view in mind. The app enables accessing cloud services from mobile devices and does everything one normally can do from a PC. Such an app would carry your brand name and greatly enhance patient experiences.

One of the downsides to it is that those users who experience Internet connection disruptions won’t be able to access the Cloud.

Speaking of data portability, Salesforce Health Cloud integration into your enterprise should go smoothly because the Cloud has plenty of adapters between the common existing data representation models (mentioned above).

Salesforce Health Cloud Reviews

Salesforce platform is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it works right out of the box: its default Health Cloud settings allow you to run a basic healthcare institution. On the other hand, every organization is unique, and Salesforce customization options cover every imaginable use case that a real customer may come up with. Yet, to make the best use of that customization, a given user (or a team) must be properly educated.

It is true that Salesforce offers a number of training types, and their support team is professional and responsive; still, those users who failed to do their research and clearly define their query before the actual Salesforce Health Cloud implementation ended up disappointed. They note that it is hard to change and difficult to navigate their custom Cloud configuration.

Cloud users widely acclaim the Complete Patient View feature. On top of that, Salesforce Health Cloud features member groups that manage patient or member relationships, including targeting groups with personalized messages, for example.

Salesforce Health Cloud Use Cases

HGInsights reports that the following companies currently use Salesforce Health Cloud:

Company Name Sub Level Industry Employees
AmeriHealth Insurance 200-499
Humana General Health Insurance & Services Above 10,000
AccentCare Insurance & Managed Care Above 10,000
Systech Corp Inc. Software Manufacturers 10-49
Prominence Advisors Software Development & Technical Consulting Less than 10
SmileDirectClub Medical Devices & Equipment 5,000-9,999

Apparently, the application niche is not restricted to healthcare organizations and medical device companies, although the companies on the list are indeed related to healthcare. The full list is much bigger.

Large enterprises (around 1000 employees and more) are definitely more interested in Cloud capabilities than small organizations of 50 or fewer members. It helps them overcome the growing crisis and stay ahead of their competitors. Why then would small companies be interested in Salesforce Health Cloud implementation? The answer is scalability. Is it easier to build upon a nice ordered CRM system than to reorganize a sizable business?

Salesforce Health Cloud Features

Enterprise Edition includes adapters to the mainstream clinical and insurance data models, so porting the patient or member data won’t be an issue.

As soon as you’ve successfully ported all patients’ clinical and/or insurance data, the Salesforce Health Cloud Care Plan Customization and Management feature will give you its manifold visual representation and the tools to build Care Plans: gather case details, assemble care teams, define problems, goals, and tasks. The visualization itself may be tailored to your team member’s preferences with the Flexible Care Plans feature.

Custom Care Plan Templates will quicken the creation of new care plans. Concurrent Care Plans to break complex cases that involve the same patient but different care teams and timelines into separate care plans.

The Social Determinants feature suggests Care Interventions based on aggregated patient data. A Care Intervention is usually derived from a Care Determinant (a condition in other words) and a coinciding Care Barrier on a patient’s side.

For example, a given care plan includes regular medication that, in turn, requires access to transportation (Determinant). If the means of transportation is exactly what the patient lacks (Barrier), then the respective Intervention task will emerge: to provide the patient with a means of transportation, if possible.

Health Data Model

Source: Trailhead

Care specialists will indubitably find Today Page useful. It provides an overview of all the tasks, actual for today , with progress bars, and related patient or member account shortcuts. It also displays the Chatter feed, which enables immediate communication between patients or members, other specialists, and team members. The feed also shows company updates, questions or polls, shared files and tasks. Chatter works much like a minimalistic social network in your organization; it enables people, member groups, and posts to have their updates show up on the feed later.

The Knowledge widget works like an embedded browser, allowing you to search for websites and share the links to them, plus, in the Ultimate Edition, it will search the Knowledge base for internally published articles authored by your team members.

Referral Management is important because timely care depends upon it. The Health Cloud Referral Dashboard displays charts and reports that group referrals and referrers by various characteristics which may point out where the revenue leakage could be and where to focus an organization's effort.

Utilization Management (UM) in healthcare is a process of evaluating the appropriateness, necessity, and efficiency of any care plan components. The need for utilization management arises when patients ask for a particular treatment or medication. Alternatively, it can also be when they doubt treatment is on point, in which case such a query is called a care request. Salesforce Health Cloud UM tools fasten the process of case data collection and thus ensure faster resolution of care requests.

Program Management provides the tools for the easy enrollment of patients or members into general wellness care plans and for capturing their consent in either digital or physical form.

Contact Tracing is especially useful during the rampant spread of coronavirus. It tracks a patient's connections (with their permission, of course) and enables care providers to notify those exposed to the patient should they get infected.

Health Cloud Salesforce Pricing

Right off the bat, here is the Salesforce Health Cloud Enterprise Edition price for you: $300 per month per user.

Add some $150 to the price of the Enterprise Edition, and you get the Unlimited Edition. How is the former different from the latter?

All Enterprise Edition features are included in the Unlimited Edition for free (while still being available for purchase in the Enterprise Edition). It includes increased data storage per user, unlimited online training, around-the-clock toll-free support, developer support, a full sandbox, configuration services, live chat, a fully functional knowledge base, and access to premier success resources and accelerators.

Improved client support and full sandbox functionality of Unlimited will prove crucial to mid-sized and large businesses, saving them weeks of research and helping them to avoid mistakes and inefficient practices until they become perfectly able to set up the Cloud according to their goals themselves.

Einstein Analytics, Lightning Scheduler, and Community Cloud services can be purchased separately in both editions. Cloud users should look into these if they feel they can bring even more value to their patients, automate the errands of their team, and gain more ROI on the way.

To get an up-to-date description of a certain feature and its pricing, it is preferable to get in touch with a certified Salesforce partner representative.

That pretty much covers the question “What is Salesforce Health Cloud about?”

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Written by

Dmitriy Ogol

Experience in various CRM systems as Zoho, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Pipedrive helped to reach the right expertise level in the CRM systems, which, consequently, lead to significant Salesforce potential. So now, Dmitriy helps to create various solutions on the Salesforce platform.
Starting from 2008, Dmitriy helps in the development of CRM solutions for such industries as Real Estate, Marketing, Insurance and Healthcare.

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