Combining Salesforce Health Cloud and EHR Platforms in Healthcare

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are digital systems that have streamlined core aspects of clinical care, ranging from transactional processes to scheduling and medical information management.

However, despite their efficacy in these domains, EHRs have struggled to fulfill the promise of robust patient engagement.

Enter the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) powerhouse – Salesforce Health Cloud. With its integration capabilities, Salesforce Health Cloud has emerged as a game-changer, offering a solution to bridge the gap between clinical data and patient engagement.

In this article, we delve into the relationship between Salesforce Health Cloud and EHR platforms, exploring the benefits, considerations, and the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery.

In 2016, Salesforce extended its reach to the healthcare sector, introducing the Health Cloud platform. Since then, Health Cloud has gained global momentum, promising to improve the lives of healthcare professionals and patients alike.

What sets Health Cloud apart is its ability to pull data from EHR systems, creating a unified and comprehensive view of the patient journey.

Rather than replacing EHRs, Health Cloud complements them, serving as the engagement layer that enhances patient experiences.

The integration of EHRs with Salesforce Health Cloud brings forth a plethora of advantages, creating a 360-degree view of patient information.

Here are some key benefits:

  1. Patient 360: Salesforce Health Cloud serves as a single, trusted repository that consolidates all patient data, providing healthcare professionals with the insights needed to deliver exceptional experiences.
  2. Scheduling: Real-time provider availability, appointment scheduling, and streamlined intake documentation become seamless with Salesforce Health Cloud, enhancing operational efficiency.
  3. Referral Management: The platform facilitates centralized referral management, overseeing both provider-driven and patient-driven referral processes for efficient lifecycle management.
  4. Intake, Admit, and/or Registration: Automation of pre-appointment patient interactions streamlines provider interactions, allowing healthcare teams to focus on delivering outstanding care during visits.
  5. Aftercare and/or Post Discharge: Health Cloud enables the delivery of knowledge articles and follow-up information to patients, ensuring adherence to best practice protocols for a quick and safe recovery.
  6. End to End Journey Management: Establish an efficient and interactive process with patients, guiding them through the journey of care, enhancing the overall patient experience.
  7. Demographic Updates: Enable contact center agents to update basic demographic information, such as phone numbers and addresses, ensuring up-to-date records.
  8. Inquiry Management: Leverage 360-degree data to improve patient experience and overall health by enabling agents to query various patient information, providing proactive insights.
  9. Provider Network Management: Define and maintain a robust provider network, crucial for effective patient navigation within the healthcare system, extending beyond traditional credentialing data.

While the benefits are evident, it’s crucial to consider factors such as effort, complexity, and data sharing design in EHR integration with Salesforce. Organizations need to define the purpose of integration, identify use cases, and choose an integration approach – manual, hybrid, or bidirectional.

Technological considerations, tools for data transfer, and the capabilities of the IT team also play a vital role in successful integration.

Incloud, with over a decade of experience in Salesforce technologies, stands out as a partner of choice for EHR integration. The company specializes in building EHR and EMR integrations on specific partner tools like MuleSoft, translating EHR data to the Health Cloud data model, exposing Salesforce data back to the EHR, and facilitating workflows based on EHR data.

The consultants at Incloud bring a wealth of experience, particularly in the healthcare sector, ensuring that the integration maximizes value for users and organizations.

The coexistence of Salesforce Health Cloud and traditional EHR systems might raise questions about redundancy, but each serves a distinct purpose.

Traditional EHRs, while foundational, face challenges in delivering value-based care.

A survey by Sage Growth Partners revealed that 64% of healthcare executives believe EHRs are falling short in providing value-based care.

1. Value-Based Healthcare Success

Salesforce Health Cloud places a strong emphasis on value-based healthcare success, focusing on patient-oriented care where providers are rewarded for measurable patient health outcomes.

Unlike EHRs, Health Cloud is designed to adapt to changing industry expectations, offering a more personalized and customer-focused approach.

2. Connecting Health Providers with Patients

Modern healthcare demands nearly 100% personalized approaches, with customer service acting as a key differentiator. Salesforce CRM, when integrated into healthcare through Health Cloud, delivers a unified experience that encompasses case monitoring, task prioritization, information segmentation, and real-time communication.

This level of engagement is challenging for traditional EHRs to achieve effectively.

3. Mobility and Real-Time Communication

Salesforce Health Cloud introduces mobile-first in-home care, facilitating collaboration between professionals and patients using up-to-date technology.

This approach not only enhances practitioner productivity but also aligns with the growing importance of telehealth, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Analytics and Advanced Segmentation: Data-Driven Healthcare

Salesforce Health Cloud’s analytical capabilities provide an intelligent way to manage resources, filter data, and reduce risks. Personalized patient journeys and care plans become a reality, empowering clinicians to tailor approaches based on individual patient needs.

5. HIPAA Compliance: Ensuring Patient Data Security

Security and privacy of patient data are paramount concerns in healthcare. Salesforce Health Cloud addresses these concerns with built-in HIPAA compliance features, including Salesforce Shield, Field Audit Trail, Platform Encryption, Data Archive, and Event Monitoring.

6. Customization Possibilities

Traditional EHRs lack fluidity and connectivity, often resulting in poor data sharing across systems. Salesforce Health Cloud tackles this issue by providing customization possibilities that go beyond the limitations of EHRs, enhancing data readability, reducing costs, and addressing management challenges.

Assessment of Current InfrastructureIdentify existing EHR systems and their capabilities
Determine potential gaps and areas for improvement
Define Integration Goals and ObjectivesClearly outline integration goals and expected outcomes
Identify specific challenges to address through integration
Engage StakeholdersInvolve key stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, IT personnel, and administrators
Understand operational requirements and concerns of various departments
Choose the Right Integration ApproachAssess whether a manual, hybrid, or bidirectional integration aligns with goals
Consider data transfer scale, real-time requirements, and IT team capabilities
Evaluate Tools and TechnologiesExplore integration tools like MuleSoft or providers such as Redox or BridgeConnector
Consider scalability, security, and compatibility with existing systems
Technical Design and DocumentationMap out data flow, integration points, and security measures
Create detailed technical documentation as a reference for IT teams
Partner with Experienced ConsultantsConsider consultants specializing in EHR integrations, such as Incloud
Leverage their expertise to navigate complexities in the healthcare industry
Training and Change ManagementInvest in training programs for staff to familiarize them with the integrated system
Implement effective change management strategies for a smooth transition
Pilot ImplementationConsider a pilot phase in a specific department or with limited data
Identify and address any unforeseen challenges before full-scale implementation
Continuous Improvement and OptimizationRegularly assess the performance of the integrated system
Gather user feedback and optimize workflows based on evolving requirements

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