Some of the material for this week is pretty dry, so below I have provided some articles to use as additional references. .? ?Provide your opinion as to how
Some of the material for this week is pretty dry, so below I have provided some articles to use as additional references.
. Provide your opinion as to how information technology can be very helpful to, but also can detract from, operational performance and efficiency.
. Propose at least two examples of efforts that should be considered to imp
Beyond Telehealth: How To Create a Seamless Virtual Healthcare Experience
Supporting a virtual healthcare ecosystem can regularly engage patients, mitigate risks, and deliver better overall outcomes.
SR. PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER, HEALTHCARE AND LIFE SCIENCES
NOV 06, 20204 MIN READ
The first quarter of 2020 was the most funded quarter for digital health technology in history. Healthcare organizations spent a staggering $9.1 billion in the first half of the year to accelerate innovation as they responded to COVID-19.
The pandemic proved just how vital a connected, virtual healthcare ecosystem is to patients and organizations. And, there are countless examples of healthcare organizations that rapidly deployed virtual care solutions: a small hospital in Toronto built a COVID-19 self-assessment in record time, a senior service company launched a hospital-at-home option for vulnerable seniors, and a community health system deployed a call center triage to handle a record number of inquiries to name a few.
A successful virtual care ecosystem amounts to more than the sum of its parts. Many pieces must work together to inform, personalize, and accelerate the ability to care for another. This may include application portals, online scheduling, remote monitoring, pharmacy delivery, chatbots, and many more digital engagement tools.
To create a virtual care ecosystem, there are three main levers for opportunity:
• Increasing reach and improving access to care • Keeping people healthy and reducing the disease burden • Decreasing costs by boosting the efficiency of care
Here’s how to pull these levers to drive better engagement and boost adherence, which ultimately leads to better outcomes.
Lay the foundation
COVID-19 increased consumers’ expectations in their healthcare. A recent study from Accenture found that based on their experience during the pandemic, 60% of patients want to continue to use technology to communicate with providers and manage future conditions. People realize that virtual care is not only convenient — saving time and offering immediate remedies, such as the best course of treatment for a sprained ankle — but a necessity as they choose to stay away from medical facilities due to concerns over the virus.
Driven by an agile, scalable, and secure digital platform, a virtual care ecosystem allows healthcare organizations to easily follow a patient’s health journey and engage with patients remotely in a quick, easy, and nimble fashion. This high-touch engagement strategy will complement and enhance the patient experience while improving health outcomes with expanded access to care, increased touchpoints, and better care plan adherence.
Start with an engagement platform that consolidates patient data, like Health Cloud. This allows you to connect disparate systems, like electronic medical records (EMR) and front- office systems with contact details and communication preferences, with a single platform. An application programming interface (API)-driven approach enables you to see all patient data — clinical, consumer, behavioral — in one place. (See it in action.)
Whether it’s a pre- or post-acute incident, it is imperative to engage patients outside the walls of your healthcare facility. People want to feel like their providers know who they are and care about how they’re doing. But according to Salesforce’s Connected Healthcare Consumer Report, only 40% of consumers say the communications they receive feel relevant to them.
There are a variety of digital engagement tools you can use to begin:
• Digital patient communities promote a self-service mentality, which reduces unnecessary calls to the health system and empowers patients to take a more proactive role in their health. Patients stay up-to-date on their health system and program options, and easily engage for their own healthcare needs.
• Chatbots make it possible for patients to connect with their providers anytime. When they reach out, the chatbot confirms identifying information. The patient can select from a menu of available options with common requests, such as operating hours, contact info, and walk-in clinic locations. If a patient wants to talk through symptoms or concerns over COVID-19, the chatbot can transfer the patient to a medical professional on standby. This interaction can even turn into a digital house call when you integrate video conferencing capabilities into your solution.
• Personalized content and promotions put patients on a tailored journey that makes them feel truly seen and understood. Proactive communications may include visit confirmations, automated follow-ups, and content of interest based on their condition.
Forty percent of patients sustain significant risks due to misunderstanding, forgetting, or even ignoring healthcare advice. When healthcare organizations provide ongoing outreach, patients form a better understanding of how and when to take medications, what kinds of activities might be helpful or harmful, and how they can adapt their diet to better support their health.
To boost adherence, consider the following:
• Instructional content on the therapeutic program, easily available through your patient community or app
• Automated medication and testing reminders, sent via an app, email, or push notification on their mobile device
• Goal tracking, daily adherence logs, and task lists on their patient community
Patient engagement and ongoing education are perhaps the most vital part of virtual healthcare. Patients that are more invested in their own health tend to have better outcomes.
Having a virtual care ecosystem in place that regularly engages patients can mitigate risks and deliver better overall outcomes. Learn more about how you can build your virtual care ecosystem by watching our webinar How Providers Can Accelerate Virtual Health With the Right Technology.
Integration, Interoperability, and
the Future of Healthcare
Unlocking clinical data will drive improved patient outcomes.
If there’s ever been a time for ensuring providers have access to the most accurate,
connected data, it’s now. Yes, we have successfully moved from paper filing systems to
electronic health records (EHRs) over the past decade. And that’s great. But the COVID-19
pandemic has shown that’s not enough. Now, more than ever, we need a complete view of
the patient to safely deliver care and promote the health of the population. How do we get
there? The industry seems to have come to a consensus on the answer: through
It wasn’t long ago we were shifting from paper to digital. Our ambitions grew as healthcare
reached for a complete view of the patient, no matter where the data resided. Despite many
incentives, data sharing advanced slowly. So, the U.S. Congress got on it, with the 21st
Century Cures Act and its open APIs “Without Special Effort.” The White House and CMS
got on it, with incentive programs and the MyHealthEData Initiative. And standards
organizations and collaborations got all over it. Salesforce is a vital part of this effort,
working diligently to move closer to a 360-degree view of the patient and to foster
a healthcare system that can attend to patient needs in real time — especially during a
crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. Interoperability is the brass ring in achieving these
Competitive and cost pressures are pushing us harder than ever toward an interoperability
model. We see this come to life in the spate of recent mega-deals, including: CVS buying
Aetna in 2018, GM Motors contracting with Henry Ford Health Systems to launch direct-to-
employer healthcare, and companies like Amazon, Berkshire, and JP Morgan teaming up to
tackle employee health. When those kinds of companies come together, so do their
systems, creating an opportunity to gain insight from rapid aggregation. This all can lead
more quickly to new strategies, products, and services. It also can lead to an invaluable
source of truth for patient data — all of which will improve trust between providers and
patients, and, ultimately, healthcare outcomes.
The initial phase of going digital helped create the EHR system. Now we aim to go beyond
EHR and toward API-enabled, interoperable systems. Technology has advanced so much
in the past decade; our toolkit is so much more robust, with blockchain, advanced analytics,
and, of course, CRM. They are not, however, all neatly packaged in the EHR.
At Salesforce, we see so many factors speeding us toward interoperability: the rise of value-
based care and regulatory disruption, the accelerated creation of industry data and
services, as well as the need to access modern digital capabilities. It’s all exciting but it will
take time before interoperability becomes routine and patients can reasonably expect a
consumer experience that is as convenient as ordering dinner online or getting served
entertainment that understands their tastes. It also doesn’t feel all that far away. In this
guide, we explore the need for interoperability in our healthcare system, the roadblocks
preventing it from thriving, the interim steps we need to take, and the role of integration.
Then we introduce you to industry pioneers who are paving the way for truly connected
• Chapter 1: What Is Interoperability?
• Chapter 2: Salesforce’s Approach to Integrated Solutions
• Chapter 3: Leveraging APIs to Drive Interoperable Systems
Chapter 1: What Is Interoperability?
The U.S. healthcare system is a vast web of systems, applications, and data. The majority
of hospitals and private practices have implemented an EHR of some kind, which is helpful,
but most of these systems are completely separate from each other, muddying the view of
each patient’s health, and hampering care coordination and improved population health.
These shortcomings result from three challenges:
1. Siloed patient data across clinical and nonclinical systems. This creates fragmented
experiences and missed opportunities for preventative and total health. Yet, many IT
decision makers are still at a loss on how to connect the data. Accenture reports that in the
fall of 2019, one in six (17%) healthcare executives were “completely unaware” of new
legislation coming out in March 2020 that would require greater patient access to and
sharing of healthcare records.
2. Legacy health IT proving incompatible with modern engagement technology. This delays
efforts for digital transformation. In fact, 64% of IT leaders cite legacy infrastructure,
processes, and tools as a top barrier to transformation.
3. System connections that are driven by point needs for data. This results in a growing
inventory of point-to-point integrations that are costly to maintain and don’t scale well
enterprise wide. And with 75% of U.S. hospitals managing more than 10 EHRs, maintaining
these connections becomes exponentially cumbersome.
To truly achieve a complete view of the patient, healthcare organizations must be able to
seamlessly connect with and act on data collected by the patients’ overall care team across
multiple providers. And they must be able to preserve all the context that comes with the
data. This is where interoperability shines.
Interoperability takes systems integration to the next level. As it matures, interoperability can
use integrated connections to drive meaning across systems by giving context to the data. It
does this by enabling information systems, devices, and applications to access, exchange,
integrate, and cooperatively use data in a coordinated way within and across organizational,
regional, and national boundaries.
Integration connects disparate systems but may not carry the context of the information it
brings together. It performs a vital function, orchestrating multiple interfaces that support
process automation. It also brings together component subsystems into one system,
ensuring that they function together as a unit. Integration is the foundation for
While many systems integrate, the data they share frequently lacks context. By contrast
interoperable systems can talk to each other in the same language — preserving meaning,
without the added complexity or delay. Interoperability allows computer systems to transmit
data with increasing sophistication across four key levels. As outlined by the Healthcare
Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), these four levels are:
1. Foundational. Establishes the interconnectivity requirements needed to securely
communicate data to and from another.
2. Structural. Defines the format, syntax, and organization of data exchange, including at the
data field level for interpretation.
3. Semantic. Allows for common underlying models and codification of the data, providing
shared understanding and meaning to the user.
4. Organizational (new). Includes governance, policy, social, legal, and organizational
considerations to facilitate the secure, seamless, and timely communication and use of
data, both within and between organizations.
Interoperability is the ultimate goal. But healthcare won’t reach it until the entire healthcare
IT ecosystem can seamlessly connect and transmit all clinical and nonclinical information
necessary to drive the most well-informed, best possible outcome for each patient. Until
then integration will continue to evolve to a higher level as it aims for meaningful
Chapter 2: Personalize every patient interaction N O V 1 0 , 2 0 2 1 . 7 . 5 M I N R E A D
Patients managing health issues often feel vulnerable. Personalized attention and easy
access to care are of the utmost importance.
When clinicians and support staff have the information they need at their fingertips, they can
deliver the best care possible, which builds relationships, deepens trust, and translates to
better health outcomes. From agents handling inquiries to doctors discussing care plans,
everyone has full visibility into the situation to personalize the patient experience. Here’s
T A I L O R P A T I E N T C O M M U N I C A T I O N S
Keeping patients on track with communications tailored to their health journeys can support
positive behavioral change. Proactively sending messages about upcoming appointments,
lab results, and wellness- and disease-management programs can improve patient
satisfaction, promote care plan participation, reduce costs, and ultimately help lead to better
health outcomes. When data is integrated from EHRs and other systems of record, you can
personalize marketing communications. The system identifies, segments, and delivers
targeted communications to patients on their preferred channels.
A U T O M A T E P A T I E N T J O U R N E Y S
CRM helps administrators determine how well their communications are working. If patients
don’t read or respond to certain emails or text messages, administrators can update those
communications with messaging that better captures patients’ interest. Automate journeys
so that long-COVID or hip-replacement patients receive relevant communications at the
right point along their health journey to recovery for greater engagement and adherence.
E M P O W E R E V E R Y P A T I E N T
With tools like HIPAA-compliant self-service portals, you can support every patient on their
health journey. Patients can complete tasks like making appointments, checking test
results, and settling bills, managing logistics when it’s convenient for them. If they need
additional guidance, they can reach out directly for support by phone, email, text, or through
the app or portal.
U S E D A T A T O I M P R O V E C A R E
Identify social determinants of health to help patients beyond medical care. For example,
Piedmont Healthcare, which serves more than 2 million patients across Georgia,
uses Health Cloud to gain a complete view of each patient. That includes information about
their living conditions which lets in-home care providers know which patients might need
healthy meals or transportation to their appointments. Addressing these issues improves
care outcomes and reduces rates of hospital readmissions.
Piedmont also uses data to encourage patients to adhere to their care plans between
appointments. Health Cloud delivers personalized appointment reminders and prescription
refill notices through an automated process that securely accesses electronic health
When the pandemic hit, they adapted the system to handle an influx in patient calls. They
trained 80 new triage nurses and call center agents on new COVID-related call scripts and
flows and used dashboards to monitor symptoms and outcomes. Whenever information or
guidance changed, they updated the system and pushed out communications to internal
teams and patients so everyone had the latest visitor policies or social distancing
Chapter 3: Help healthcare workers help patients N O V 1 0 , 2 0 2 1 . 7 . 5 M I N R E A D
COVID-19 has severely stressed doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. In fact,
55% of frontline healthcare workers say they feel burned out when going to work these
days. Trying to meet healthcare consumers’ expectations under these conditions puts even
more strain on the workforce.
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