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Salesforce Health Cloud and its approach to patient acquisition

Lola Koktysh

Lola Koktysh

Lola Koktysh

Lola Koktysh

With 6 years of writing on business and technology, Lola is a Healthcare Industry Analyst at ScienceSoft, a software development and consulting company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. Being a HIMSS member, she focuses on Healthcare IT, highlighting the industry challenges and technology solutions that tackle them. Lola’s articles explore chronic disease management, mHealth, healthcare data analytics, value-based care delivery, CMS regulations and more.


Editor's note: A healthcare IT consulting firm with 18 years of experience in the industry, ScienceSoft expertly assesses how good Salesforce Health Cloud is to acquire and engage patients.

The era of patient consumerism challenges healthcare providers to become more patient-centric with the help of technology. However, most healthcare organizations are stuck with their legacy systems that don’t offer any tools to interact with patients more actively.

As a result, many providers look for external applications to integrate with the existing architecture and enhance it to the required level of patient focus. In this case, Salesforce Health Cloud claims to be just the solution. Being a cloud-based healthcare CRM, it offers a practical shortcut for providers to handle patient acquisition, care management and patient engagement all at once.

However, it’s too early to take our skepticism hats off. While Salesforce is a renowned expert in sales automation, healthcare is a realm of many rules and nuances, especially when it comes to acquiring new patients. In this article, we inspect patient acquisition features of the platform and conclude on Health Cloud’s capabilities to help providers engage with their patients-to-be.

Salesforce Health Cloud and patient acquisition

How Health Cloud helps to acquire patients

Health Cloud allows providers to split their patient acquisition activities into two main groups – physician referral management and direct patient outreach. We will review each of them and highlight particularly interesting tools and approaches to consumer acquisition.

Physician referral management

Within the referral management module, providers have a set of tools to analyze each referring event separately and find answers to such questions as what, where, when and how referrals are coming in.

Within the dashboard for physician relationship management, providers can track a wide range of assigned KPIs, including top referring physicians, top revenue-generating physicians, top referring practices, weekly activities and more.

And it doesn’t stop there. Health Cloud also allows health organizations to see a bigger picture of their efforts by looking back to the history of previous activities with all outcomes, which helps them to make informed decisions on future campaigns.

Direct patient outreach

When it comes to direct patient outreach, Salesforce Health Cloud encourages providers to extend their activities across multiple channels, be it emails, incoming calls, digital forms, targeted ads, post-referral communication and more. Each activity is tracked and placed on the timeline to show acquisition effort and its outcomes for each patient.

Mailing all the way

With the built-in email marketing tools, providers can reach out to potential patients in a subtle and delicate manner, using analytics to optimize email-driven acquisition. The only possible gap we see in this scenario is that providers might have too little information about their prospects during the first mailout. However, Salesforce’s healthcare CRM is stuffed with cutting-edge forecasting mechanisms that will advise providers on an optimal e-letter frequency range as well as hint on best practices formed from previous campaigns. All to make the first email actionable.

Creating the unique patient journey

Then, Salesforce introduces the Journey Builder feature that has already found acknowledgment in other industries. It allows creating a personalized experience for each patient with the help of triggers, if-then dependencies, planned and postponed activities and case-to-case events, all placed on a map and organized into a structured tree.

Providers can test and analyze their activities within a medical CRM by creating unique interaction scenarios – just dragging and dropping chosen items onto the map. The analytics module will highlight the most impactful triggers, campaigns, mailouts, etc. and advise providers on effective acquisition techniques based on previous actions.

Ain’t leaving them hanging

If a prospect patient schedules an appointment, providers will also have a chance to uplift patient experience even before their office visits thanks to vast automation options – appointment notifications, pre-visit tips and FAQ, pre-visit health assessment surveys and much more.

But providers also have to create a plan B for mischievous patients-to-be. If a prospect patient skips their first appointment, a healthcare CRM offers a bunch of ways to win them back. For example, it can be an email stating that skipping an office visit is not a crime and the patient is still welcome to reschedule their appointment. Providers can even pin a graph with the doctors' schedule to help the patient find a convenient time slot right away. Then, the patient is encouraged to make a call, answer to an email or pick a suitable date within a branded app.

The verdict

Health Cloud opens up a wide range of opportunities in patient acquisition for providers. It can become a true life-line for many healthcare organizations since integrating an application with the existing system is much easier than rewiring the whole IT infrastructure. Still, this healthcare CRM could use some improvements.

For example, we’d love to see a map-scouting feature showing the percentage of nearby population covered by the healthcare organization. If the area around shows growth perspectives, providers can then plan offline and online campaigns to offer patients discounts or bundled services to the residents in exchange for their contact information.

Still, Salesforce understands the future patient-centric care demand in the patient consumerism era and answers this demand with an impressive CRM solution. We recommend to give it a try.

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