Using CRM to stay ahead of the digital acceleration curve

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One of the most significant disruptions to healthcare delivery during the pandemic was the shift to telemedicine and virtual healthcare.

This shift has led health systems to focus on how prepared they are for the new digital normal, while recognizing that the patient experience is more important than ever. Healthcare consumers want convenience and connected experiences — just as in other industries.

At an October webinar hosted by Becker's Healthcare, sponsored by Salesforce, Jason Martial, senior manager of healthcare marketing at Salesforce, led a discussion on how a comprehensive digital engagement strategy can help healthcare organizations better serve patients while improving efficiency. The panelists were:

  • Ann Blanchard, director, patient access, Omaha-based Nebraska Medicine
  • Julie Barrow, SVP, network development and innovation, Dallas-based Children's Health
  • Sindhu Pandit, MD, global clinical lead, healthcare, Salesforce

Four key takeaways were:

1. Digital transformation is now digital acceleration. Healthcare has embraced digital transformations adopted in the last year and a half as it moves to be more patient-centric and tear down silos while enhancing efficiency. Now, as we approach the third year of living with COVID-19, healthcare faces a new normal: a fast-changing technological environment, as care and patient engagement are increasingly digital in a shift that is here to stay.

"Technology, new business models, policy changes and better data access are all rapidly pushing along a paradigm shift that's been underway in healthcare for several years," Dr. Pandit said. "We're finally seeing a significant movement toward preventative, personalized, decentralized, empowered and value-based initiatives being supercharged across a wide range of high-impact areas."

2. Healthcare consumerism is stronger than ever. Improving the patient experience is not only the right way to serve consumers, but it is imperative from a business standpoint. Since the pandemic began, consumers are increasingly loyal to convenience rather than institutions. Among young adults, 37 percent say they're willing to switch providers. That has heightened the importance of digital strategy; 70 percent of healthcare executives say it's their leading tactic to enhance revenue.

3. A 360-degree view of the patient results in a better patient experience. Nebraska Medicine used Salesforce to create a "patient card" that has relevant information pulled from the EHR and other systems, so caregivers can see everything about a patient, ranging from the patient's communication preferences to clinical data. Previously, this came from multiple systems. Salesforce was also used to help phone agents provide accurate wayfinding instructions, and even see if a patient was overdue for routine screening, allowing the agents to give patients a reminder while they were a captive audience.

"With the data-driven information we have now in Salesforce through our dashboards, we have an inside view like never before, and an opportunity to leverage relationships with our clinical teams to continue to improve efficiency and effectiveness and enhance our patient experience," Ms. Blanchard said.

4. CRMs also improve efficiencies. Children's Health in northern Texas used several CRMs across different functions. However, none were being fully used and none were sharing information. A Children's Health employee whose child used the health system's services told the network development and innovation team that in one patient journey, she had been asked for her child's middle name 18 times. "At the end of every day, we not only want to heal their child, but we want them to walk away feeling they had the best care, the most comforting care and most knowledgeable care and that their experience was wonderful," Ms. Barrow said.

Digital transformation is an ongoing effort for most health systems. The pandemic has accelerated the push for change and has helped healthcare systems continue their march to improve efficiencies and the patient experience.

To register for upcoming webinars, click here.



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