How Salesforce Brings a Better Customer Experience to Healthcare

November 29, 2018 Todd Murphy

Consumerism has entered the healthcare vernacular over the last several years. Despite this, many healthcare leaders have struggled to realize its value because they don’t know how to integrate it into their business models or how to develop and apply metrics to measure the success of their healthcare consumerism initiatives. 

As a global leader in digital transformation for healthcare, Appirio can provide a complete perspective on healthcare consumerism strategy. Our digital transformation experts can help you identify benefits, drive positive results, and provide a Salesforce implementation roadmap for all your health systems.

Seeing patient care beyond a business.
Healthcare like many other industries has to evolve to meet the demands of the digital age. From providing tools that track patient data to developing apps that streamline office visits and test results, patients today expect health systems to deliver on-demand services. 

As healthcare consumerism continues to accelerate, health systems will be challenged to find new ways to keep their existing and future member and patient bases happy. These new pressures leave healthcare payers and providers wondering how to address emerging challenges while remaining operationally and financially viable in the long-term. 

In an effort to lead change, many healthcare systems are seeking transformative solutions that can be integrated into their complex architectures consisting of Electronic Health Records (EHR), payer administrative systems, data warehouses, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and other legacy systems.

Better outcomes at every point of the care continuum. 
To empower members and patients and to make data more accessible, payers and providers are looking for a solution that can be configured and deployed within months (not years) to meet their healthcare consumer needs.  

Salesforce offers complete solutions to address their customer needs at any point of the care continuum — whether this means improving outcomes, providing better patient and member experiences, or increasing patient loyalty. 

How Salesforce can elevate member and patient experiences. 
The following use cases illustrate how payers and providers can use Salesforce to meet growing patient demands and realize tangible business value sooner: 

1. Use Case: Increase engagement through self-service

Solution Set: Salesforce Communities + Health Cloud + Knowledge

Patients of all ages are becoming more tech-savvy. 

While Millenials stand out in their adoption of technology, 89% of senior patient (55 and older) respondents of a DuetHealth survey said they want to manage their own healthcare and will need technology access to do so.  

Through the power of Salesforce, patients and members can use the Salesforce Customer Community channel to securely log into healthcare accounts while the Salesforce Health Cloud with its rich API structure and back-end EHR systems integration can generate clinical and CRM data on a user. This provides better transparency and enables a member or a patient to view their health profiles, clinical history, current care plans, access test results, send messages to their providers, fill out forms, update personal information, and take their care to a whole new level. 

Salesforce Knowledge can also be integrated as a recommendation engine that serves up articles about healthy living, preventative care, and other personalized topics. Being able to access all this information from a single community landing page means less time spent filling out paperwork the next time a customer walks into an office. These capabilities not only improve customer satisfaction but also motivate members and patients to be more engaged in self-care. 

2. Use Case: Improve access through self-service scheduling and appointment reminders

Solution Set: Salesforce Communities + Health Cloud + Kyruus

According to a Google/Compete Hospital Study, 77 percent of patients used search prior to booking an appointment.  However, payers and providers have not developed their technology capabilities far or fast enough to meet rising demands.  Based on a study from Healthgrades, approximately 85% of consumers still schedule appointments by phone. 

Typically, those calls can only be made during office hours Monday through Friday, whereas self-service appointment scheduling is available 24/7. Consider the average phone call to schedule an appointment takes almost nine minutes — with approximately 30 percent of that on hold time — and it’s easy to see why customers prefer self-service. And since health systems are only operating at 60 to 80 percent capacity industry-wide, the lack of self-service options results in lost opportunities, delays, and revenue. 
 
Through the Salesforce Customer Community and Health Cloud, members and patients can easily log in to their accounts through any web browser, access their provider or anyone else on their care team, and book an appointment with them. 

Through AppExchange solutions like Kyruus ProviderMatch for Salesforce, customers can use their provider identifier, look up their provider’s schedule, and book an appointment based on their availability. By automating this process and making it available online, it reduces the need for manual, time-consuming phone calls, which frees up the provider’s staff to focus on higher-value services like helping in-office patients.

The average patient visit is worth between $100.00 to $150.70. If a provider allows for 20 appointments a day and 20 percent are no-shows, the impact is $2,000 a week.  

The cost of that slip to the health system is substantial.  Automated appointment reminders can reduce the number of no-shows and enable providers to quickly backfill open appointments slots to avoid lost revenue. With the move toward value-based care, no-shows can have a negative impact on quality outcomes. Patients that don’t show up for scheduled appointments may miss important screenings. Failure to participate in scheduled care events can mean the difference between maintaining the patient’s health or suffering an acute event and ending up in the emergency room. 

Salesforce Health Cloud gives you powerful tools to build a care plan for patients and members, an associated timeline of appointments and check-ups, and the ability to send automated upcoming appointment reminders with options to reschedule if there is a conflict. 

Enabling automated scheduling when, where and how it’s most convenient to customers is a win-win-win for everyone -  health systems, physicians, and patients.

3. Use Case: Enable online payments
Solution Set: Salesforce Communities + Health Cloud + Blackthorn Payments 

A study conducted by TransUnion Healthcare reports that the patient financial obligations after insurance have nearly doubled from 2012 to 2018, due to skyrocketing healthcare costs and widespread shifts to high-deductible health plans to share costs with consumers.  

To minimize the potential revenue impact and improve the payment experience for patients, health systems need to make it as easy as possible for patients to pay their bills. One way to achieve this is to enable patients to pay their healthcare bills the same way they pay their other bills – online.  

An article in Becker’s ASC Review states nine out of ten patients say they want to pay their healthcare bills online.  

Using Salesforce Customer Community and Health Cloud, members and patients can easily log into their account and view current transactions (such as office visits, procedures, prescriptions, etc.) and the amount of their financial obligation according to their health plan’s coverage.  

Through AppExchange solutions like Blackthorn Payments for Salesforce, customers can securely create and update their preferred payment methods (e.g. credit card, debit card, etc.) associated with their Salesforce contact record. They can make payments on doctor's visits, procedures, and take more patient financial responsibility.
  
Offering patients online bill payment options offer many benefits such as:

  • Increased transparency - patients can view their statements (including deductibles), so they know exactly what they owe.
  • Better financial decisions - giving patients the opportunity to set payments plans helps them make more informed choices.  
  • Simplified future payments - patients can save their credit and debit information and make future payments faster and easier. 
  • Improved revenue performance for health systems - fast, secure, and convenient online bill pay options means providers are more likely to be paid on time and in full.
  • Reduced collection costs and happier patients - online bill pay options empower patients to take control and helps reduce bad debts expenses for providers 

The growing importance of consumerism in healthcare means that patients and members expect higher levels of service, especially since they’re the ones paying for it. Healthcare payers and providers should be more proactive and implement digital solutions to meet service demands and improve patient and member experiences. They can look to Salesforce and the right implementation partner to build loyalty, a strong operational foundation, and an adaptive strategy to future-ready their organizations for the challenges and opportunities of the evolving healthcare landscape. 
 
Next Steps for Digital Transformation...
Ready to learn how Appirio’s end-to-end digital transformation services and Salesforce can help you deliver better member and patient experiences?  Visit the Appirio hub to dive deeper into our offerings and some our best content.

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