As medical device companies pivot to digital-first service models, choosing a CRM platform to enhance patient experience is now an incredibly common dilemma among our clients. Ideal platforms must not only store patient information, but also integrate marketing, sales, operations, and supply chain functions.
Many CRMs are hard-coded with one business function in mind. For some use cases, these are absolutely fine. However, many medical device companies quickly discover that they fall woefully short. Lack of customization means it won’t scale with growth, new initiatives, or the unique challenges medical device companies face.
As a Salesforce Health Cloud implementation partner, we often see our medical device clients create meaningful digital transformations that turn exceptional patient experiences into repeat business, loyalty, and accelerated revenue. This is because Salesforce is one of the few CRMs architected with flexibility in mind. While this sometimes means additional investment at the time of implementation, having a CRM customized to the unique goals of a medical device company pays future dividends (and eliminates the risk of outgrowing other CRM tools).
Incorporating patient experience operations into Salesforce Health Cloud improves patient onboarding, user experience, and support interactions. Ultimately, this turns patients into promoters.
As one of the most prominent Health Cloud implementation partners, we’ve customized the platform for incredibly diverse types of use cases, goals, and med dev verticals. From our experience, we’ve consistently seen 7 important ways medical device companies leverage Salesforce Health Cloud to create exceptional patient experiences.
Step 1: Patient Onboarding and Learning Management (LMS)
The healthcare industry (and in particular medical device companies) has traditionally lagged behind the technological curve, especially when it comes to digital patient experiences. Much of this hesitency is a result of strict regulation and compliance concerns, but some resulted from the myth that exceptional patient experiences don’t directly create ROI.
However, as the healthcare industry becomes more transparent, costs shift to patients, and consumerization takes hold, competitive forces have implored medical device companies to focus on the patient experience…because these days, patients have options.
Patients expect a digital-first process that allows them to start using their devices quickly.
Medical devices that fail to offer digital-first devices often end up providing poor patient experiences. This has far-reaching consequences for brand reputation, not only with patients but the doctors who prescribe them. This means fewer referrals, and ultimately, falling revenue. Coordinated digital engagement through Salesforce Experience Cloud portals, omnichannel Salesforce support centers, and unified patient data achieves better patient outcomes and improves the patient experience.
Medical device companies must also invest in robust training programs that start patients on the right foot. While this typically demands time and upfront investment, it is critical to boost patient loyalty, brand equity, and consistent usage that creates better care outcomes.
Onboarding refers to the digital management of the early stages of the relationship between the device and the patient. The most straightforward and practical patient intake process should not be stifled by rigid restrictions deep-rooted in the old-age bureaucracy of the medical system.
Medical device onboarding and learning processes must be simple. Providing visibility into the onboarding stages for patients is also vital to reducing gaps in customer service. Additionally, electronic intake forms have proven to be among the easiest and least expensive ways to improve the patient’s onboarding process.
Step 2: Device Management and Monitoring
Due to the COVID pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to adopt technologies that make it easier to keep tabs on patients remotely.
Forutnatley, remote patient monitoring technologies in Salesforce are incredibly robust and fundamentally improve patient outcomes, personalized medicine, and quality of care. This technology is doing a lot to benefit patients in different situations and places, including hospitals and clinics, homes, and remote regions.
With remote device management and Salesforce, medical device companies can remotely observe, report, analyze, and make adjustments to devices. This feature also identifies devices that need software upgrades, maintenance, or settings adjustments – meaning that issues can be identified and solved before they impact care.
The greatest benefit of remote device management is that it takes the guesswork out of healthcare. This new form of telehealth goes a long way to improve the quality of care companies extend to their patients. Remote device management also helps medical device companies meet compliance standards and improve relationships with the patient.
Step 3: Device Insights
Forward-looking medical device companies and their patients know the benefits of remote device management and remote patient monitoring. The most notable is the physician’s ease of access to patient data. This convenience has made it possible to manage chronic conditions better, improve device efficiencies, and keep the costs of healthcare low.
Patients are becoming more comfortable with technology-laden medical devices. Most of these healthcare tools can share device information and collect patient data with the provider in real-time. This feature is revolutionizing healthcare by reducing gaps and confusion in care management.
Data collection and analysis are central to today’s cutting-edge technologies, and vital to the pursuit of personalized medicine. As customer relationship management tools evolve, more medical devices are incorporating tools that collect and analyze data that providers and device manufacturers use to improve quality of care and patient experiences. The most notable benefits of real-time device insights include increased diagnostic accuracy, better symptom tracking, and personalized care.
Step 4: Omnichannel Service and Call Center
Leading medical device companies are shifting to omnichannel models to build personalized engagement with patients. The term omnichannel refers to a customer service approach that allows individuals to control their health by communicating with providers on their own terms. Patients can choose to engage the medical device company via email, text, web, chat, phone, or in person. By allowing patients to communicate over the channels they prefer, they are more likely to engage.
Omnichannel service is a byproduct of the adoption of digital and analytical tools and methods. As telemedicine becomes more popular, medical device companies are shifting from models that rely on individual sales reps to an omnichannel world. This enables them and their customer service departments to fully access customer and device information as and when needed.
The omnichannel approach to customer service helps reduce potential gaps in transitioning open cases between communication platforms and teams. It streamlines communication and ticket tracking and significantly improves the quality of care and attention the patient receives. Since the company communicates with the patient on their preferred platform, it eliminates the need for multiple contact points and reduces the need to ask for or provide redundant information.
Step 5: Centralized Knowledge and Education Portal
The medical industry and medical education are rapidly changing. This is because they are influenced by many factors, including the dynamic healthcare environment, altered societal expectations, the changing role of the physician, and the evolving medical sciences. Consequently, medical device companies need to engage with their patients in new ways.
For the first time in history, medical device companies have been forced to centralize access to product and support resources. Today’s patients and physicians want to access detailed product information with a simple online search. Medical device companies that have a centralized source of information about their products have found that it improves patient and physician adherence. It also makes their devices easier to understand, significantly improving patient health outcomes.
For the first time, medical device companies have needed to invest in videos, podcasts, FAQs, and online information portals. Many have gone a step further to roll out smartphone apps, video games, simulations, and flipped classrooms to make information about their devices more accessible. In addition, their investment into a centralized information access platform built on Salesforce Experience Cloud has improved self-service and reduced the need for reactive support strategies.
Step 6: Seamless Form and Document Management
Medical device companies need to collect and manage massive amounts of medical records, patient billing information, and other related paperwork. For compliance reasons, they are expected to maintain these records securely for at least seven years after the date of last patient service. All healthcare institutions are mandated by law to secure and protect patient information, placing a massive administrative burden that can distract from a focus on patient outcomes and revenue acceleration.
However, an integrated document management system built in Salesforce can eliviate much of this issue. This allows patient data to live in the same platform as other vital business functions, meaning that contract management, document storage, and digital signing can be streamlined in a HIPAA-compliant manner. As the world of medical devices continue to evolve into the digital era, paper documents, email, fax, and other non-digital forms are a devastating competitive disadvantage.
Salesforce Health Cloud can be configured with digital forms, native document management, and patient portals that provide end-to-end digital transformation for medical device companies. When connected to Salesforce, digital forms help medical device companies capture data without redundant activities. It also means less manual data entry, fewer errors, and less cumbersome processes for internal teams.
Step 7: Streamlined Surveys and Feedback Collection
Salesforce has become the go-to platform for building strong relationships with patients and prospective customers for medical device companies. One of the core features of an implementation is providing a way for companies to gather consistent feedback from patients.
There are three ways a company can collect information from patients with Salesforce:
- Profile leads and customers using customer surveys.
- Gathering feedback throughout the patient’s device lifecycle
- Automating triggers in targeted follow-up care
Salesforce enables companies to collect information that they can use to identify CSAT and areas that need improvement. This information is primarily used to create meaningful engagements with patients and understand their problems and identify solutions.
Automating triggers is becoming the preferred way for medical device companies to collect information. These devices are triggered by various events in the care plan, such as at device purchase, after onboarding training, upon customer service, during renewal, or after service cancellation. The best part about this form of feedback is that it is collected at the right time, so the patient is more likely to engage.
As a result of competitive forces, successful medical device companies need to improve patient experiences or they’ll find new options for care. While this takes time, effort, and upfront investment, it is vital to building brand equity, engaging patients, and generating consistent revenue.