Improving MedTech Patient Support with Salesforce

How Salesforce can transform the MedTech patient experience and build trust via end-to-end digital solutions.

When people need to invest in their health, they often do so with caution and apprehension. The need for healthcare—and the medical technology to help deliver it—can feel intimidating because of the risks and potential outcomes involved. Even with the advances in medicine and technology that we continue to see every day, admitting you need help and committing to a course of treatment or support can be difficult, both emotionally and physically. MedTech companies have to build trust with patients to grow strong relationships and help them achieve healthy outcomes. Building that trust at scale is a complex, multifaceted effort, and it starts with patient support.

Patient support revolves around the patient experience, a journey that can be broken down into four key stages: awareness, education, utilization and adoption, and results. These simplified patient journey maps identify the top areas that MedTech companies can use to engage with patients and provide safe, trustworthy, and effective experiences. 

Patient Support Journey Maps

The Four Stages of the Patient Support Journey with Salesforce

Each stage of the patient journey is interconnected and can be managed end-to-end via a digital platform like Salesforce. The advantage of a single platform approach is that it helps provide a knowledgeable, consistent experience at every stage. Dealing with a health issue is difficult enough. Patients don’t want to repeat information, search high and low for answers, or navigate a complex maze to reorder supplies or request help. MedTech companies can better serve patients by connecting each stage, team, and department digitally. From patient protection and monitoring to sales and support, the most successful MedTech companies invest more deeply in the digital patient experience.

Let’s explore each stage of the patient support journey, how it can be supported by Salesforce, and what pain points Salesforce can solve for patients and employees to provide the best experience possible.

Patient Awareness

As with any product or service, you can’t sell B2C MedTech devices or programs if patients aren’t aware of them. The most common way to drive awareness in the MedTech industry is through doctors. Doctors counsel their patients to help them find the best treatment and support available. Cultivating partner relationships with providers is essential to success, especially if the only way a patient can use your device is through a doctor’s referral or prescription. But not every partner relationship will be successful. Tracking referral and partner success is crucial to understanding where to invest more deeply, find and fix problems, or end an unproductive partnership.

Do you have insight into who refers patients, where they are, and what channels they’re coming from? Do your sales reps have a way to record their visits and field notes to track and share progress and insight? Adopting a digital CRM like Salesforce Sales Cloud can help companies track, maintain, and deepen partner relationships by providing instant access to complete provider profiles and their history. You can also empower your sales reps with relevant information by pairing Sales Cloud with a knowledge library that centralizes sales materials and educational resources for doctors and patients. Instead of sifting through siloed files and systems, reps can access the right resources at the right time to close a deal and create trusted partnerships that support patients and drive better outcomes.

Patient Education

Beyond awareness, the next step is education. Do patients know how your device or service can help them solve health issues? Is this information self-serve, or do patients have to speak with someone to access it? A centralized cloud platform to manage educational resources can empower patients to become partners in their healthcare journeys. It will also give you the flexibility and control to share updated and personalized information with patients and employees from anywhere.

One of the most common ways to educate patients is through a consumer site. To personalize the patient experience on the site, you can use Salesforce Experience Cloud to create an authenticated community. Through this community, you can begin to understand patients’ motivating factors, concerns, and risks or limitations. Patients can log in and indicate what they need, interact with sales or customer support, and find answers. Through search and automated recommendations, patients can find the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge articles to further their education about your device or service to make an informed choice. This data can also be shared with Marketing Cloud to help design campaigns and engagement strategies that will more effectively cross-sell, up-sell, and deepen your patient and provider relationships.

Patient Utilization and Adoption

Wouldn’t it be a dream if all you had to worry about was making a sale? And that everything else—from delivery to installation to maintenance and support—would take care of itself? While there’s no magic button to eliminate the hard work of delivering value to patients, Salesforce can make it a lot easier. 

Two of the most common barriers to delivering value for patients are adoption and compliance. Once you make a sale, there are several more steps you have to take to ensure that patients begin using your product or service appropriately. Let’s take home health programs as an example. Before patients can begin using the device or service, they often need equipment installation and training. How do you ensure you’re deploying the right resources to maximize utilization, productivity, and value? This is where Salesforce Field Service shines. Salesforce Field Service can use skill-based and location-based routing to maximize the right person for the right patient at the right time—all in the context of the full caseload for the day. 

And whenever you’re talking about an application in a home context, compliance is an important concern. With a connected cloud platform like Salesforce, both your field service technicians and support teams can help ensure patients are appropriately adopting the tool in the way it was originally deployed. Whether at-home physio or a weight loss program, your teams need to be empowered with the right patient information to ensure that patients use the medical device or service safely and correctly to deliver results. 

Patient Results

The only way to concretely measure patient results is through data. And how you gather, store, and analyze that patient device data will determine whether it remains useful or piles up in silos until you shake off the dust to use it for board meeting charts. 

IoT devices can help monitor, collect, and send patient data to track compliance, adoption, and effectiveness. The devices will also link that data to their customer profile and any related customer support cases that may come up. This level of connection, reporting, and analysis can drive proactive support on behalf of patients. This support includes automated alerts for critical failures, push notifications to remind patients to take a certain action each day, and internal triggers for sales or service agents when renewals or service dates approach.

Patient analytics is a broad field. You can use it to look at wider trends across an entire organization or specific patient outcomes. Tableau CRM can combine data from Salesforce and third-party sources (IoT and EMR like Epic or Sigmund) to create a holistic picture of customers. This combination increases data sensitivity and security, eliminating the need to copy or repopulate data by using a business intelligence (BI) tool to join data while still housing them separately. You can also create advanced data access and sharing rules that determine who can access patient data, where they can access it, and for how long. With this full picture, you can offer better, more personalized support to patients while still protecting their privacy and complying with all HIPPA regulations.

Where to Begin with Salesforce for Improved Patient Support

The patient journey has multiple layers and touchpoints, all of which can be managed via Salesforce. But before you can optimize the patient journey, you have to understand it and identify the nuances of the patient experience. As you explore the patient journey to decide where to begin, here’s what we recommend looking into:

  1. Case Backlog: How many cases are in your backlog, and how old are they? Your case backlog is a useful window into how effective your company is at handling customer inquiries. Understanding this data can help you identify whether or not you should spend time improving your service center and community portals.
  2. Average Lifetime Value: What’s the average lifetime value for patients, and how does that stack up against the value of your products and services? Is your product or service recurring? Do you understand when customers should be reordering, and how are you communicating that across your marketing and support teams? Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Customer 360 can all work together to provide deeper insight and collaboration to increase patient lifetime value.
  3. Patient Onboarding: What are the steps in your patient onboarding journey, and how do they impact adoption, value, and retention? What information are you gathering (and how are you storing the data) to better understand if patients are ideal customers for other products or services? (This could include motivations, desired outcomes, environment, etc.) During onboarding, you have a unique opportunity to collect critical data and set it up in a structured format in an analytics platform like Tableau CRM to build a useful data segment that will drive your marketing, sales, and service efforts.
  4. Acquisition: How are patients finding you (lead sources), and where can you improve? Are referral programs resulting in new patients? If not, why? Tracking and understanding this data can help improve not just sales but also marketing, partnerships, and support.

Patient support can be about so much more than fixing problems. With the right digital platform, patient support can help you deliver better outcomes to more people. Make a lasting impact on patients’ health and happiness by connecting your teams, breaking down silos, and making your devices easier to use—with Salesforce.

If you’re interested in learning more about using Salesforce to transform your MedTech patient support, contact our team. We’d love to hear more about your vision for the patient experience and how we can help you take it to the next level.

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