If healthcare organizations are somewhat behind other industries in terms of the day-to-day technologies they use, Protected Health Information (PHI) is a major reason why. Constituting all individually identifiable health information, PHI is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a law that created national standards for electronic healthcare transactions and security. Crucial legislation? No doubt. A major challenge for healthcare organizations looking to implement new platforms that would store or otherwise touch protected patient data? For a long time, yes.
Thankfully, technology is finally starting to catch up to the needs of providers. With Salesforce’s HIPAA compliance features, your practice can finally integrate its EMR/EHR with a more user-friendly CRM system. Beyond that, you can leverage the functionality of Salesforce Community Cloud to create secure portals (also known as communities) for patients and partners, granting them easy access to important information. For providers looking to modernize their external operations, we consider it a no-brainer. Here are three reasons why.
Reason #1: Salesforce communities give patients access to key data.
Online access to personal data has become a standard of everyday life. From billing statements to account balances, people from all walks of life expect to be able to log into a website or app and view essential information — even when it’s sensitive. So why would PHI be any different?
With Salesforce Community Cloud, your practice can provide a secure, digital space where patients can see lab results, updates to care plans, prescription information and more. In addition, patients can use their portal to attach records to a file — things like insurance verification. Collectively, these features provide a major convenience — and not just to patients.
By giving patients a way to help themselves with simpler asks, your front office will have more phone time to help those with greater and more complicated needs.
Reason #2: Salesforce communities empower your referral network.
Let’s say you run an oral surgery practice with a wide network of referring dentists. Without a capable partner portal, the onus will fall on your team to manage the time-consuming detail work of those relationships. They’ll be fielding calls, sending updates, requesting records — all things that could be done easily online.
With a partner community, your practice can save time and make life easier for your referral network at the same time. Dentists will be able to log in and submit new referrals and see results for past ones, including any complications. And let’s not forget the patient, either: When multiple providers are able to communicate and collaborate so easily, they’re much more likely to receive the best quality of care.
Reason #3: Salesforce communities can serve as a library of resources.
It’s not just patient data that can be stored in a Salesforce community — they’re also a great place for helpful resources (which, to use the right lingo, are known as knowledge articles). Whether it’s information about an upcoming procedure or a current care plan, patients can log in and find pre-written answers to some of their most pressing questions. For providers looking to make sure their patients feel fully supported before, during and after treatment, knowledge articles are a must.
And for those times when a patient can’t find what they’re looking for, you might also consider including a portal functionality that allows them to submit a case. This allows your team to follow up digitally with those who’d prefer not to talk on the phone.
Of course, these three potential benefits will go to waste if your patient and referral bases don’t actually use the portals you create for them. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need to do everything you can to educate them: Build your communities as an extension of your website, set up email campaigns — whatever you can think of. If you want more ideas, let us know. We’d happy to help you brainstorm.