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Dreamforce 2018 – More Healthcare Than Ever

Posted on September 25, 2018 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

The annual Dreamforce event starts today in San Francisco. This year, more time on the agenda has been dedicated to healthcare and life sciences highlighting Salesforce’s continued investment in these industries.

I have never been to Dreamforce, but every year I find myself enviously reading the tweets that fly past. There are always great quotes from the high-calibre keynote speakers and a lot of interesting talk about new technologies from attendees.

What I found noticeable about Dreamforce 2018,  #DF18, is the number of HealthIT companies that will be speaking and exhibiting at the event. I have seen more tweets and received more notices about companies participating at #DF18 than in any other year. Some of the Healthcare presenters this year include:

For the full list see this handy Dreamforce TrailMap for Healthcare and Life Sciences:

I remember when Salesforce first appeared at the annual HIMSS event. I spent a lot of time in their booth learning about their healthcare initiative. Back then their solution was focused exclusively on care coordination. Patients were entered as “customers” and health information from different source systems would flow into Salesforce. This data would be associated with the patient record and accessible to different members of the care team to help coordinate care. It was pretty rudimentary.

Company executives that I spoke to did not have answers to my questions about the future direction of their healthcare initiatives. They simply did not know. Fast forward to today and it seems clear that Salesforce is pursuing a healthcare strategy that is like what they have used in other industries – build a few apps on their own to prove it can be done, then be open to others building apps using Salesforce as the backbone and connective tissue.

Judging by the number of HealthIT companies that have chosen to partner with Salesforce, I would say the strategy is working.

“Our patient experience platform is built on the Salesforce platform,” explains Sunny Tara, Co-founder and CEO of CareCognitics. “EHRs are the operational systems for hospitals. They were well suited to replace healthcare’s fee for service billing system. However, as we move to a value-based system focused on improved care, hospitals need the power and personalization that comes from a true CRM system. What we have done is built a platform that bridges existing EHRs with advanced patient loyalty capabilities built on top of Force.com. Doctors and patients love it.”

“Our partnership with Salesforce and integration with Health Cloud is further proof of PointClickCare’s commitment to creating intelligent care coordination between health systems and post-acute providers,” says BJ Boyle, VP Product Management at PointClickCare. “With two-thirds of the skilled nursing market using PointClickCare, we’re uniquely positioned to help LTPAC providers across the country be great partners with health systems. Leveraging Salesforce’s Health Cloud offers us new and exciting ways to do this even more effectively.”

Over the next few days I will be watching for healthcare announcements and tweets from #DF18. I am hoping to see further proof that Salesforce is building an ecosystem of partners to help bring better personalization, interoperability and cloud capabilities to healthcare.

Healthcare Communication Software with the Patient at the Center

Posted on September 12, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was recently at the KLAS Digital Health Investment Summit where I met a ton of great people. One of those people was Brent Lang, CEO of Vocera. I have a long history with Vocera, but I’d never had a chance to meet Brent in person. As fate would have it, we sat down by each other at the opening dinner and had a great conversation about our overlapping connections, about Vocera, and the healthcare communications market in general.

Of all the insights Brent shared, I couldn’t stop thinking about his comment that Vocera was working hard to make the patient be the center of all their communication.

I’m sure some critics out there might wonder why the patient wasn’t at the center to start. Notice that he didn’t say that they were putting the patient at the center of their work. Knowing them as I have, I think they’ve been putting the patient first for a long time. However, as I understand it, Brent is suggesting a paradigm shift in how provider communication is designed.

Here are my thoughts on what he was saying. It makes sense when you’re first designing their popular Vocera badge communication (1 million+ badges) why most of the communication would be focused around the providers. The goal of those communication devices was to enhance provider communication. The nurse and doctors needed an “inbox” for their messages so they could read or listen and reply as needed. Having the providers at the center of those communications makes a lot of sense. The technology was looking to replace things like pagers and overhead speakers and it did that well.

The challenge comes as Vocera has taken on more and more communication modalities. Vocera now has secure text messaging, alarms and alerts, and integrations with a wide variety of clinical and EHR systems. Many of these messages need to be sent to a wide variety of providers and which provider needs the message can change over time. It’s no longer a one to one communication that’s needed. Plus, the history of messages for a specific patient across multiple platforms and multiple providers can be as valuable as the specific, in the moment message. Thus the need to put patients at the center of the messaging.

It’s a powerful idea that a provider could see all the messages for a patient in one location. It is probably how messaging should have always been done, but the implementation of technology is an iterative thing. If you try and do everything you end up doing nothing. It’s great to see Vocera iterating in a way that puts the patient at the center of their communication platform.

As I thought about this change, I wondered what other healthcare IT systems should have the patient at the center. It’s actually hard to think of healthcare IT applications where the patient is at the center. EHRs are largely focused around the provider workflow and not the patient. Some of them are trying to make this shift too. We do see it happening with new healthcare IT companies. I advise a company called CareCognitics that is an example of a company that puts the patient at the center. I recently wrote about Patient Directed that puts the patient at the center as well. It will be interesting to see which older healthcare IT companies adapt and put the patient at the center like Vocera is doing and which new companies come along with this paradigm shift built in.