30 Sep 3 leading HLS trends and transformative solutions
When you hear that collecting data is a real lifesaver, believe it. When emerging technology analyzes patient data to impact healthcare delivery systems while elevating the patient experience with more options on desired care, we discover that data can—quite literally—save lives.
Experts are tracking the digital transformation in the healthcare industry, including Jayneel Patel, PhD., VP, HLS Center of Excellence at Simplus, and Amit Shukla, AVP, HLS Sales at Infosys, who shared their insight at Salesforce Dreamforce 2021.
They’ve seen at least three trends that illustrate the transformative impact technology has on the healthcare industry by observing healthcare evolution. And the effects will have a remarkable impact on the state of the current healthcare system. Here’s why:
The healthcare industry continues to focus on improving the triad metrics of cost, care quality, and access to care. Did you know that 83 percent of consumers say their experience with a company is as important as its products? “As healthcare becomes more complex, people are looking for integrative healthcare the same way they turn to consumer experiences in the marketplace,” says Amit.
That means healthcare services must provide a seamless patient experience in ways that appeal to the consumer’s specific needs.
Delivering the right information to the right customer service advocate through care concierge platforms is essential for improving adherence to care plans for patients with chronic conditions.
Three pillars of care management ensure healthcare companies collect the correct data and that their care network provides specialized services to members. “Then there’s the empathy part,” explains Jayneel Patel, PhD., “We have remote people, and they want to feel connected. These members want to feel heard and be reassured that this technology is just data mining. Instead, members are connecting with an actual person who cares.”
“This provides more than just having a customer service rep answer questions,” added Amit. “Instead, it’s about helping members navigate through the healthcare system.”
The personalized member experience is essential because it improves access to care and puts genuine “care” in care management.
Studies show that 73 percent of consumers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies. As a result, member engagements continue to be at the forefront of strategies deployed by our clients, such as social determinants of health, products built around integrated care delivery networks, care concierge, etc.
Accelerated by the pursuit of a vaccine, the industry was already witnessing a race toward growing technology in the healthcare and life science space.
“Companies are trying to raise the bar in terms of care management,” says Jayneel. “This industry can no longer afford to be lagging. Industries are at the forefront of developing the next best thing with technology, and that’s what we hope to do with healthcare. We want to prepare them for the 21st century.”
When companies offer benefits options, they consider past experiences, past care, chronic disease, etc. They watch data to determine what’s coming next.
“Now, it’s not only important to determine what patients have received in the past, but to anticipate specific services, offer plans that cater to those needs, and then bring those benefits to market quicker,” says Jayneel. “The race is on! We’ve been leveraging Salesforce industries to create platforms that offer these care plans quickly. Now consumers can have access to these plans quicker and can compare plans side by side. Plus, companies can easily update their plans and continually tweak and refine their benefit offerings to better fit the needs of their patients.”
Healthcare benefits are changing so much. Amit added that through his work with national healthcare companies, he’s learned that they don’t want to limit themselves to managed care services. Instead, they want to be a digital health services company.
“Members have figured out how to navigate this new market space, which will include some traditional benefits from hospitals and providers. But now it may also include more specialized services from third-party technology companies,” Amit said.
Buying healthcare benefits is a complex and cumbersome process. An integrated platform that brings members’ past experiences and health care needs also helps members understand their future needs better and select the right products for their families.
“When larger companies shop for healthcare benefits, they are often asking for a specialized concierge service. They realize the benefits are complex, and their employees are often not aware of the benefits they have,” explains Amit. “Plus, they want to make sure their employees are compliant with any care plan they are on, especially chronic disease patients.”
When those members call with questions about their healthcare benefits, technology makes it possible for those agents to answer questions and search for any additional benefits that would apply to this member’s need for specific care. It could be as simple as a diabetes patient calling with questions or someone asking about medication.
But suppose an agent or nurse helpline has access to that member’s medical information. In that case, the agent can help with the member’s questions during this call and can look at their profile and see that they are due for a blood test for dialysis, for example, and the agent can help schedule that appointment. This form of connective care is elevating care to unprecedented levels.
There will be a strong focus on leveraging new models of care that address the roadblocks in care access and provide care at the right time at the right location. Example: Telehealth, Home Health Care, Health Hubs, etc.
“About 15 to 20 years ago, the bulk of healthcare was provided at large delivery health centers,” said Amit. “Over the last ten years, several local delivery centers started providing specialized healthcare. It could be an urgent care center, an outpatient center, a surgical center; it could even be CVS Health Center. The whole idea is to take care delivery for certain conditions and make it easier for people to access the care services they need.”
For instance, it’s too common to encounter patients who miss appointments because they lack transportation to get to the doctor’s office.
“What is really changing with this new healthcare perspective is that we want to bring care services to where people are living. That is where utilization of technology becomes very important,” says Amit.
Delivering care to the members at a convenient and optimum care site is key to improving care delivery and reducing unnecessarily high-cost visits (like ER visits).
A good example of how healthcare delivery systems could distribute vaccines to people who faced barriers in accessing care is the CCA case study. It shows a complicated yet well-timed and effective COVID vaccine distribution system.
“The challenge we faced was to avoid exposing people who wanted the vaccine to an atmosphere that increased the risk of exposure to COVID,” says Jayneel. “The solution we created was a platform that empowered and equipped their healthcare workers to visit people’s homes and administer the shot.”
Simplus stepped in and understood the complexities of the government regulations across multiple channels quickly. With this platform, CCA administered over 5000 doses. “We are proud of that success, and our work there continues as we explore Salesforce industries to offer care plans to their members,” said Jayneel.
One of the prevailing themes of this year’s Salesforce Dreamforce 2021 was challenging companies to develop an organization consumers can trust.
“As we navigate a future that’s a hybrid of digital, in-person, and on-site, focus has shifted to ensuring health, safety, and effective business operations in the new normal — which is key to building trust and business continuity,” said Salesforce.com in a recent press release.
It’s a transformative time for the healthcare industry as companies focus on partnering with technology to connect specialized patient care needs with those who need it most.
Jayneel is VP, Healthcare & Life Sciences, here at Simplus. With a Ph.D. in engineering and MBA from Duke and over 15 years of experience, Jayneel designs and delivers empathy-driven innovative solutions in healthcare. He has developed digital strategies to reduce risk, increase visibility, and improve patient and member satisfaction. His passion is to enable better care through technology.