Healthcare leaders fight COVID-19 with technology

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, many healthcare organizations quickly adopted digital solutions to address increased demands of their staff and clinical teams.

 

Traditional forms of employee communication and patient engagement couldn’t scale and would no longer suffice. Technology solutions previously considered optional or luxury, like virtual health or chatbots, became vital for overwhelmed healthcare systems.

To support the global response to COVID-19, Salesforce announced it would make its technology available to aid emergency response teams, health systems, health insurers, and life sciences organizations impacted by the pandemic.

As we seek new ways to manage through a pandemic (and plan for the road to recovery), we’d like to share a few of the early customer successes we’ve been tracking. We hope the following examples will serve as inspiration.

Reach patients, members, and the community with trusted information and resources

Whether it’s a global pandemic or a local emergency, today’s health consumers are looking for ways to get the credible information they need — and fast. They want to know how to stay safe, what happens if a procedure or appointment gets canceled, or what to do if they have been exposed to the virus.

Clover Health is a Medicare Advantage plan with the large majority of its members residing in New Jersey, a state highly affected by the pandemic. Using the Salesforce platform, Clover set up outreach workflows to communicate with members across multiple channels and keep members and clinicians connected. This includes creating a resource website with FAQs and 24/7 support that can be updated as information changes. And with a 360-degree member view, Clover Health proactively monitors and communicates with high-risk members to ensure adherence to medication plans.

Additionally, we see payers and providers use social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to monitor what the community is saying about COVID-19. With Social Studio, social teams first identify the relevant conversations happening at a high-level with actionable insights, then use preapproved messaging and resources to respond to the right audiences by region and demographic. As a result, they can cut through the flood of posts to identify what’s top of mind, answer hot topics, and correct misleading or false information.

Manage inquiries with a scalable contact center, and self-service digital resources

Healthcare organizations must scale like never before. The influx of COVID-19-related inquiries has not only increased call volume up to 20 times the normal average, but the nature of the inquiries has also changed. Today, people call wanting to know, “How do I know if I have the virus? How can I safely buy food?”

Companies around the world seek solutions that help their workforce manage the high call, text, and chat volume, quickly and consistently — to provide patients and members the right answers, care, and services at the right time.

SCP Health, a hospital system located in Lafayette, La., implemented the Care Response Solution in their patient contact center. They rolled out new COVID-19 patient flows within 48 hours. 

The rapid rollout allowed them to streamline calls by integrating a computer telephony system into Health Cloud and adapt to changing COVID-19 protocols and guidelines with a centralized process. SCP agents use guided workflows and pre-built assessments to provide the most up-to-date information to callers, while consistently guiding them to the appropriate resource. Before, the hospital system had the capacity to handle 75 calls per day. Now, it responds to 300-400 calls a day.

Protect employees and scale with virtual care and proactive engagement

Healthcare looks different these days, with drive-through testing, pop-up ERs in convention centers, and telehealth appointments. With an overwhelming number of patients and at-risk individuals needing care and attention — and a healthcare workforce already stretched thin — organizations shift to new and virtual ways to treat patients while protecting their caregivers. 

One of the businesses making that shift is VillageMD, a primary care, value-based healthcare organization with independent practices and physician groups across the country. The provider needed to rapidly identify, educate, and screen its high-risk patient population for COVID-19.

With Salesforce Care and their proprietary technology and analytics platform, VillageMD established a COVID-19 response instance within hours, and used its Salesforce-based care management app for patient engagement. Using Risk Stratification within Health Cloud, they quickly pinpointed individuals at risk, based on age, underlying conditions, and geographic location. Within 48 hours, VillageMD was capturing data for patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, promoting early detection and essential education. And within five days, VillageMD had virtualized its services and were conducting all patient visits via telehealth.

Keep the momentum going

The healthcare industry has come together heroically to fight COVID-19 - on the front lines and behind the scenes. It’s inspiring to see leading organizations turn to agile, digital solutions to navigate these uncharted waters and adapt to a changing environment.

We must maintain the momentum of innovation, even when the demands of the pandemic begin to ease and we begin the road to recovery. We will then have another crisis to address: the scores of people who have had procedures or routine care postponed, and the financial and health impacts of those delays. Our healthcare system must be ready to accelerate elective and nonemergency procedures, proactively engage patients and consumers who may be wary of returning to clinical settings until they know it’s safe, and coordinate care effectively. Technology will once again prove a critical means, for ensuring the best health outcomes, and aiding our healthcare system to recover economically.

Salesforce is offering a care response solution for healthcare and life science organizations impacted by COVID-19. The solution can be deployed quickly and at no charge for six months to immediately aid those in need.

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