By: Shirley Siluk
CRM giant Salesforce has rolled out a number of new customer relationship management (CRM) tools aimed at improving people’s health and healthcare providers’ effectiveness. The new releases build on the capabilities of the company’s Health Cloud offering, launched early last year.
Unveiled at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference that wrapped up in Orlando earlier this week, the latest Salesforce healthcare tools include cloud-based applications for lead-to-patient conversion, risk stratification and advanced segmentation.
Salesforce also revealed that it will be expanding the number of Health Cloud partners it works with over the coming months. Those additional partners plan to bring more than a dozen new apps to the Health Cloud ecosystem, Salesforce said.
Tools for Prevention, Personalized Care
“A tremendous opportunity exists for healthcare providers who shed the old, disconnected model and redesign healthcare around the patient,” Joshua Newman, Salesforce’s chief medical officer and general manager of healthcare and life sciences, wrote in a blog post for the HIMSS leadership forum. “And that’s what CRM helps you do: understand the person behind the patient on your road to achieving meaningful clinical and administrative outcomes.”
One of the new tools added to the Salesforce Health Cloud is designed to help caregivers and health coordinators more easily bring new patients into their organizations. The lead-to-patient conversion tool can integrate the Health Cloud with data from other Salesforce offerings as well as from electronic health records, data warehouses, patient registration systems or call centers. Aimed at reducing the time spent on data entry and administration, the conversion feature also helps providers create personalized care plans and map relationships with patients.
Another new Health Cloud tool, risk stratification, adds analytics capabilities to help caregivers better identify patients with the greatest health risks so they can provide more targeted, preventative care. And the addition of advanced segmentation will help healthcare providers quickly identify patient groups with special needs, e.g., all senior patients with diabetes or all patients who have had knee surgery in the previous 30 days.
Optimizing Healthcare with Analytics
“At a time when healthcare costs are in flux and just one percent of the population accounts for over one-fifth of total US healthcare expenditures, it’s time we use modern analytic techniques to get as personalized as possible when it comes to patient care,” Arijit Sengupta, CEO of the Salesforce company BeyondCore, wrote yesterday in a blog post. “This is how we will change healthcare; not through generalities, but through finding and intervening one at a time with extremely specific populations of patients.”
Acquired by Salesforce last year for $110 million, BeyondCore worked with McKinsey & Co. in 2013 to analyze healthcare costs for 30 million patients. One result of that analysis helped uncover a previously unidentified problem related to young women with diabetes who were skipping their insulin to lose weight. By making the connection between this group of patients and hospital admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis, healthcare providers could offer better preventative care, Sengupta said.
Over the coming months, Salesforce also plans to introduce a number of new apps to Health Cloud through its AppExchange marketplace. They include Fitango for interactive and customizable wellness plans; Relatient, which offers an Uber booking tool to help patients get to healthcare appointments; and VSee, which enables providers to offer HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, patient self-scheduling and other capabilities.