Salesforce rolls out new healthcare software tools with a focus on home health, AI and automation

Technology company Salesforce has rolled out updates to its Health Cloud software solution with a focus on home health and automating processes for healthcare providers.

Healthcare providers need cutting-edge technologies, including real-time data, AI and automation, to deliver the seamless, personalized experiences patients need. However, many healthcare organizations aren’t keeping up with the expectations of their customers, Salesforce executives said in a press release announcing the new software tools.

In a recent survey of healthcare consumers, nearly 80% cited difficulty navigating the care journey—both online and with customer support—as the top reason for leaving their provider, according to an Accenture survey (PDF). Healthcare organizations are aware of these issues and cite driving efficiencies and reducing operational costs (79%) as top priorities over the next two years, a Salesforce survey found.

Salesforce first launched its Health Cloud in 2015 to help providers manage patients, drawing health data from electronic medical records, devices and wearables. The company touted the platform as a “patient relationship management tool,” built to give providers a more complete view of each patient.

The San Francisco-based company announced its Customer 360 for Health offering last year that connects its existing solutions on a single platform for use in healthcare. Customer 360 for Health includes real-time data from Data Cloud, Einstein AI and automation with Flow to automate manual processes like prior authorizations, intake and patient scheduling. 

Salesforce is now adding a new home health component to automate the intake and scheduling process for patients with in-home treatments. The new feature gives clinical and nonclinical teams efficient tools to automate intake workflows, optimize scheduling and routing, and seamlessly conduct home visits while improving collaboration, according to the company.

Another feature, Data Cloud for Healthcare, enables healthcare and life sciences organizations to connect and activate clinical and nonclinical patient data from multiple sources—including electronic health records (EHR), social and behavioral data, and assessments—into a real-time patient profile. 

Salesforce also is rolling out a patient contact center as a pre-configured agent console that provides a comprehensive view of the patient using MuleSoft Direct for Health Cloud to access EHR data. 

MuleSoft Direct for Health Cloud provides out-of-the-box, FHIR-aligned connectors to access EHR data. Now, a hospital’s nonclinical team can leverage these data to submit prior authorization requests to help patients get approval for procedures covered by their insurance more quickly, according to the company.

"The future of healthcare requires trusted, compliant technologies to help deliver greater levels of personalization and automation. Customer 360 for Health, Data Cloud, and Einstein AI use the full power of Salesforce to deliver faster time to value, helping any healthcare organization build more trusted patient relationships at a lower operational cost," said Amit Khanna, senior vice president and general manager, healthcare and life sciences at Salesforce, in a statement.

Salesforce has been building out more healthcare-focused cloud capabilities. Two years ago, the company updated its Health Cloud platform to include cloud-based remote patient monitoring and improved care coordination support. And the company has inked major partnerships with big healthcare players, such as Humana.

Bon Secours Mercy Health has been using Salesforce's customer relationship management technology to provide a better patient experience, according to the health system.

“We seek to put patients at the heart of everything we do, whether they use our digital front door, engage with our contact center, are touched by our digital patient outreach efforts, or see us virtually. Before Salesforce, we didn’t have a way to create a full and total 360-degree view of our patients and consumers, but now we’re able to personalize every aspect of their journey, including the way we engage with them digitally to streamline access and personalize interactions,' said Morgan Griffith, Bon Secours Mercy Health's chief product officer, in a statement.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), one of the largest integrated healthcare system in the U.S. and the healthcare arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), manages over 1,200 healthcare facilities and a number of programs like SQUARES, CARMA and VA Health Connect. The VHA leverages more than 150 Salesforce applications to deliver integrated care services to veterans, the organization said.