Health IT, Hospitals

Salesforce illustrates why CRM will be where health IT vendor battles are fought

Some of the new tools also seem designed to keep patients in the provider network by giving practices more services to improve how they work with them.

corporate battle

Salesforce added a clutch of practice management tools to its health cloud this month, including population health services such as risk stratification. The latest upgrade comes as the technology company, which is a relative newbie to healthcare, seeks to rival the kind of services electronic health record providers and other vendors offer.

Salesforce is also adding new capabilities through the addition of APIs with 14 health IT companies partnering with the business. It is these kinds of partnerships where Salesforce’s strength is based. The company claims to do 2 billion transactions per day through APIs across its business.

Dr. Joshua Newman, Salesforce Chief Medical Officer, said in a recent phone interview that some of the new services reflect the growth in importance in patient-centered care. Newman said he believed customer relationship management would be a critical focus for providers. Salesforce partners, especially Uber and Amazon, recognize the need to provide personalized services for physicians to make bundled payments and value-based care work and to avoid treating patients as though one size fits all, he said.

Some of the new tools also seem designed to keep patients in the provider network by giving practices more services to improve how they work with them. Some services provide ways for providers to engage high-risk patients with customized care plans. Others are designed to give high-level insights on providers’ patient populations.

It’s no coincidence that practice management and customer relationship management tools are where companies like Salesforce see the most value. These are the kinds of services that have the potential to help healthcare providers grow their businesses and make the necessary adjustments in the shift to value-based care.

Some of the advantages of Salesforce over its health IT vendor rivals, HIStalk observed, are that its platform supports health systems interested in changing their relationships with patients and doctors with strong analytics and communications. Includes tools that allow users to build their own rules and apps.

Here’s a look at the healthcare apps Salesforce Health Cloud partners are adding to the mix, many of them health IT startups, based on descriptions from Salesforce.

Fitango’s wellness action plans app is designed to support patient relationships with pre-built, interactive and customizable wellness plans;

FormFast‘s Connect app will provide access to healthcare forms that can be completed and signed electronically to engage patients, expedite care and increase efficiency for providers;

Healthwise for care coordination connects care teams to evidence-based health education materials for patients;

Higi’s population screening app gives healthcare organizations health assessment data and biometrics captured from screenings performed at higi’s kiosks in pharmacies and grocery stores;

Interpreta will integrate member prioritization and automated assignment of clinical goals with real-time analytics;

Kyruus’ ProviderMatch will help healthcare organizations to optimize the patient experience through smart patient-provider matching and scheduling;

MyStrength’s Digital Behavioral Health Resources app gives evidence-based tools and activities for behavioral healthcare directly within Health Cloud. The goal is to help consumers take an active role in their mental and physical health.

Prophit Insight’s Physician Engage app uses analytics to help empower healthcare organizations to build stronger patient relationships and reduce network leakage in Health Cloud.

RELATIENT has a partnership with Uber and uses it for its RideToHealth app. The goal is to book and manage Uber rides to and from appointments directly within Health Cloud. The company is also using its Health Campaign Manager app to leverage integration with EHR systems so healthcare organizations deliver timely health prompts to patients.

Sirono‘s app addresses frustrating patient payment processes, making it easier for hospitals to manage high volumes of transactions in Health Cloud.

Vocera Rounds app is designed to help hospitals make it easier for care teams to address patient feedback, deploy improvement initiatives and recognize staff performance.

 VSee’s Clinic app will empower healthcare organizations to enhance the patient experience and manage their practices through HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, patient self-scheduling and a lightweight EHR for entering patient health records directly in Health Cloud.

xG Health’s Intelligent Care Management app helps healthcare organizations to better manage patients with chronic disease conditions through care management content and workflow tools.

Zynx Health’s point of care app will help manage patients across multiple care teams with evidence-based best practices to improve clinical and financial outcomes, and decrease clinical variation.

Photo: THEPALMER, Getty Images