Go beyond the chart with well-care patient journeys — 4 takeaways

Healthcare improvement efforts must extend beyond infrequent physician visits into other aspects of an individual's life.

Innovative technology solutions and creative applications are supporting a myriad of wellness initiatives as well as helping providers customize healthcare patient journeys.

During a webinar sponsored by Salesforce, Sindhu Pandit, MD, global clinical lead of healthcare and life sciences at Salesforce, moderated a discussion between two healthcare professionals who shared how their organizations are using technology to personalize healthcare journeys:

  • Loan Vu, marketing and sales operations manager, Buoy Health
  • Julie Pfeffer, senior technical product manager, VillageMD

Four key takeaways:

1. Patients want to take control of their health. "The system really needs to evolve to a patient-centered healthcare model," Dr. Pandit said. "We need to provide individuals with the information they need to make healthy decisions in a proactive, preventative way." More than 80 percent of what impacts health outcomes occurs outside of a clinical setting and includes diet, exercise, sleep, stress management and other lifestyle factors. Although these issues may be discussed during clinical visits, the healthcare system must find ways to stay in touch, fill in gaps and support behavioral changes in between visits to make a long-term difference

2. Automation is critical to working smarter, not harder. As a health navigation platform that helps consumers figure out what might be wrong and where to go to get the right care, Buoy Health engages with its partners and prospects to educate and inform on a regular basis. Consumers have access to content including the company's Healthy Thoughts blog, educational articles, and newsletters which often highlight trending news and the company's unique data insights. The Marketing team relies on Salesforce's Marketing Cloud to do more with less. "We work on simplifying and automating as many of our email campaigns as possible," Ms. Vu said. "We are a small, scrappy, yet mighty team of nine people. Thanks to our Salesforce ecosystem, we are able to automate a lot of communications that go out to our prospects and partners, and we can deliver dynamic content that is of interest to the consumer by email or even SMS.

3. Healthcare must reach patients where they are. As a value-based primary care company, VillageMD strives to provide quality healthcare at the lowest cost. Although the organization works in conventional and telehealth settings, it also offers a home healthcare program and is developing a partnership with Walgreens. "We are setting up full-fledged primary care clinics at Walgreens with a front desk staff, multiple providers and a nursing staff," Ms. Pfeffer said. "We can have labs drawn on-site and sometimes even radiology. We're trying to present that true primary care experience in the communities where patients already live. About half of the 500 to 700 clinics we'll be opening over the next few years are going to be in low-income neighborhoods."

4. Customizing the healthcare experience respects the unique choices of each individual. At the end of the day, patients have unique desires and preferences and will make their own healthcare choices. "We want to put patients in the driver's seat with a real, personalized, individualized approach to healthcare," Ms. Pfeffer said. "Patients are humans so it can't be one size fits all. Everyone has a different mix of health conditions, social conditions and barriers to health as well as personal preferences on how they want to be contacted and engaged by us.

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