How digital is paving the way for the future of chronic disease management: 5 insights

Healthcare providers are increasingly embracing digital operations and accelerating the digital needs of their patients as the healthcare system continues to adapt to consumerism trends and needs spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Jan. 21 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Salesforce, industry experts discussed the shift to digital care and how the provider and patient experiences are changing with the support of new technologies and tools. 

The speakers were:

  • Chelsea Lockhart, customer relationship management and marketing strategy manager at Ochsner Health (New Orleans)
  • Keith Algozzine, CEO and founder of UCM Digital Health (Troy, N.Y.)
  • Jason Wenell, chief technology officer of Lifesprk (St. Louis Park, Minn.)
  • Wendy Cofran, senior director of global provider strategy at Salesforce 
  • Amanda Staggs, senior solutions engineer on Salesforce's healthcare and life sciences team 

Five key takeaways and quotes from the presentation:

1. COVID-19 pandemic spotlights digital engagement in the new healthcare system of the future.

"It's more than just care moving outside of the traditional four walls of the hospital, Ms. Cofran said. "It's about continuously refining the segmentation of the population by disease groups and risk categories and developing preventive and personalized interventions for each patient. What we need to do in this new day and age is monitor patients wherever they are, using several streams of available data and engage with them meaningfully in reaction to their lifestyle habits to optimize their health outcomes."

2. The Salesforce Patient 360 platform provides clients with a secure, scalable and intelligent platform to pull data spanning all areas of a patient's health to improve their overall care experience and drive better outcomes.

"Salesforce is helping companies reduce the burden that chronic conditions place on the healthcare system," Ms. Staggs said. "With its integrated digital backbone, the Salesforce platform maintains a population level focus while reducing friction in the individual's experience and delivering comprehensive personalized care."

3. Lifesprk, a senior services company providing pre- and post-acute care within the home, focuses on providing members with a holistic view of their life rather than care plan. The company gathers data ranging from social determinants of health needs to medical records on Salesforce's platform to create the patient's "electronic life record."

"The electronic life record is where we merge medical records, third-party data including demographic, behavioral and consumer information, and then the top layer is all our first-party data," Mr. Wenell said. "We're tracking every interaction – every phone call, visit, etc. – and we collect that data not just for data sakes but we use it to deliver insights in the right place at the right time."

4. Ochsner Health uses Salesforce to develop a more holistic approach to chronic disease management.

"We really focus on pulling all the data together from across our enterprise to have relevant conversations with people and find them when they're most interested in their care," Ms. Lockhart said. "We can target engagement with patients based on what's happening to them in their health record and try different ways to engage with them based on the data insights we receive."

5. Beginning all care digitally is the end goal with building the health system of the future.

"With Salesforce, we were able to build a platform bringing payers, providers and patients together," Mr. Algozzine said. "It allows us to create an ecosystem that enables our partners to do things like bring in 911 for emergencies or, instead of [using] Google [to search for answers about their care questions] integrate an up-to-date [search engagement tool] that lets patients get more relevant, evidence-based information."

Click here to view the full presentation.


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