The Silverline BlogExpert Salesforce tips & tricks, articles and musings. Sprinkled with fun.

Healthcare Articles

What if being USEful actually made Technology Meaningful

Healthcare

Meaningful use – it’s a huge buzz word, and rightfully so. Whether you agree or disagree with the manner in which it has been “implemented” (and the intricacies of the guidelines), it has been a driving factor in pushing healthcare organizations towards greater technology adoption. Money, especially in Healthcare, remains a rather significant momentum driver for many organizations. According to Healthit.gov, Meaningful Use is defined as the following: Using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology…
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Scheduling – A Path to Healthcare Transformation

Healthcare

We all like to think big. There is often tremendous benefit in doing so. Seeking to transform Healthcare is a great strategic goal; tactically, not so much. You must focus less on a master solution to fix the “system” and instead figure out how to address niche problems within the system that will ultimately lead to incremental benefits. Incremental benefits, when aggregated, help promote the necessary momentum for transformation. To follow that logic, lets identify…
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Why Healthcare needs Continuous Transformation

Healthcare

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Last month before the Holidays, I unfortunately had to spend time in the hospital with a sick family member. The old adage “Nobody likes a hospital” is certainly true, however it has recently become quite insightful given the maturity of my career in the Healthcare industry.

When I enter a hospital now, outside of being concerned for the welfare of the person that is seeking clinical care, I often find myself analyzing the environment around me. Are there opportunities to improve? Is that medical device from a client of mine? Is the Doctor board certified? It is truly intriguing how knowledge breeds a new perspective.

This most recent trip to the hospital was to a new outpost for one of the top hospitals in the country. I was impressed by the fact that everything in the building was brand new – medical devices, beds, floors, walls and even a large portion of the physicians. Then, it hit me.

You have one of the best hospitals in the country, with the best equipment in the country, and some of the top clinical staff, yet there are still inefficiencies and activities that are mindblowing.

I want to discuss these. Not because I believe the hospital is at fault. Rather, because it highlights that there are still tremendous opportunities to improve the delivery of care and Technology can play a strong part in this transformation.

Here’s three examples that caught my mind most strongly:

Lessons Across Environments with Analytics

Healthcare

Analytics as a Conduit for Lessons Across Healthcare Environments

Have you heard of the “DOD Excess Property Program”? If you haven’t, long story short is that as an output of our wars in the Middle East, the US has a bunch of excess military supplies, gear, and vehicles that are no longer needed. Therefore, communities are able to buy, and in many times receive for free, these items to use.

Candidly, many of these items are incredibly unnecessary for domestic communities. Take the following image for example:

DOD Excess Property Program

If you can’t read the inscription, that says “San Diego Unified School District”. Equipment like this has prompted a national debate as to whether domestic militarization is occurring. That is not the intent of this article.

Instead, I bring this up because a close friend of mine recently saved a woman’s life by using another tool acquired from this same “excess property program” – a military grade tourniquet.

So what?

Salesforce is now the “Customer Success Platform”

Healthcare

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Yes, Salesforce continually rolls out new functionality and has a strategic business model that resulted in Forbes naming them the most innovative company four years in a row, but that is only part of the story. Salesforce also recognizes the value of branding, and this recent switch is strongly tied to its desire to move into additional industries.

This is why I am so excited.

Healthcare, like many industries, struggles to categorize Salesforce as anything more than a CRM system. The ability to get Healthcare organizations to buy into Salesforce requires a whole lot of convincing, such as why the Cloud, whether Salesforce is even a platform, and why Salesforce may be the right platform. If you are able to get through those obstacles, then you have the opportunity to explain the intricacies of a solution that could deliver on transforming Healthcare for a particular organization and reinforcing their vision.

A new brand was necessary to facilitate changing perceptions and to solidify Salesforce’s foothold in new markets.

Healthcare Semantics: Two Key Points to Stay Relevant

Healthcare

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The notion that Healthcare is a mature industry, but still requires a lot of education in the technology space, was reinforced after returning from one of the largest technology conferences in the country – Dreamforce. There has been an immense focus within the Healthcare and Life Sciences space on cloud technology, yet despite improved adoption, it appears major barriers still exist.

One of of the main reasons? Let’s call it semantics.

3 Steps Towards Preparing for a Provider Rating System

Healthcare

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There has been a lot of dialogue lately regarding CMS’s potential expansion of a star rating system to providers. Not surprisingly, it is being rather heavily opposed. The difficulty with such a system whether a star, or any other indicator, is ensuring the rating actually measures what it is intended too. Further, does the rating actually add value to the audience, or audiences, in which it is intended to be consumed.

I’ve always been a big proponent of sharing lessons learned and best practices across industries and this may be another one of those times to learn from prior experiences.

Teachers don’t love ratings either.
The US education system recently went through a revamp with the implementation of common core standards (adopted by most states). These standards were established “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live.”1 This adoption also seemed to trigger the formalization, or at least place a greater emphasis on Teacher ratings as well. Once again, like Providers, Teachers were not too fond of this new approach.

Two industries where the impact of a “good” or “bad” professional can have rather significant consequences on the consumer – a patient and a student (lets not debate the comparison). With Teachers, it is now being argued that the standards must go through a few cycles of implementation and that there is not a direct relationship between student progression and teacher ratings given the lack of coordination.

There are very few industries where we have successfully implemented a consumer facing rating system that is consistent and standard, yet appeases all parties involved.

Why is this the case?

How to get the most out of Dreamforce for Healthcare

Healthcare

Dreamforce

If you are an active member of the Salesforce community, or even passive in this case, you know about Dreamforce. The annual event in San Francisco in which more than 100,000 people come together to discuss, hack, share, present, develop all things Salesforce. There might also be that big concert that attracts a few people as well.

This is truly the pinnacle of a technology focused conference that sets the tone for Salesforce, its partners, and its users for the coming year. Truly exciting for me this year is the enhanced focus on Healthcare and Life sciences.

Resources:

Turning Intranets Social for Healthcare

Healthcare

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One of the many complexities of Healthcare is balancing priorities to achieve business goals.  How to treat patients as patients, not customers? How to meet technical, business, and clinical needs all at the same time? How to achieve provider and patient engagement? How to deliver a higher quality of care at a lower cost? The list goes on.

Regardless of corporate priorities, resources at healthcare organizations have to balance their own responsibilities as well. The most successful organizations (or at least those in high-demand) seek to provide applications, services, and products to its employees that help them more efficiently operate in the business environment and drive higher engagement. There are many models, but some of the most successful embed “social” into daily operations.

How? Enter the social intranet.

VCs are investing heavily in Healthcare

Healthcare

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$6.4 billion. That’s the amount of funding that VCs pumped into Healthcare in 2013 according to CB insights. Granted, 67% of that funding went to Medical Devices, Drug Development, and Biotech. Still, that leaves a lot of money for the other segments.

Investing in Healthcare is becoming extremely lucrative; so lucrative in fact, organizations that historically focused on delivering clinical care have developed their own VC arms. This is a unique business model shift – so what is the value of such investments?

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