Salesforce Health Cloud Promises to Change the Patient Experience

Health Cloud is Salesforce’s first patient-centric system created specifically for the health services industry. It’s marketed as the “patient relationship platform,” because it gathers and integrates data from all members of the “patient ecosystem” including patients, healthcare professionals, and companies that provide health services and products. Salesforce announced the release of Health Cloud in September 2015 with a release slated for Spring 2016. 

Today, Life Sciences companies are going through a major transformation as patients, following the trend of the “age of the customer,” demand greater transparency, openness, and access to information regarding their health. Health Cloud’s release significantly impacts both patients and the Life Sciences industry, which is made up of companies that provide healthcare services, products, and research.  To give patients the transparency they’re demanding, Life Sciences organizations can leverage Health Cloud, which makes it easy for Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)  to access and interact with patient data. Now, organizations can provide patients with diagnoses, drugs, and treatment devices in a more personalized, efficient manner. Patients will have easy access to this data, allowing them to communicate directly with other members of the Health Cloud ecosystem, such as their healthcare provider, in a whole new way. 

Health Cloud does what Salesforce does best — it amasses data into a single interface. Patients and HCPs will have a central source of all data related to the treatments, details of the patient journey, and patient data, allowing for a consistent, quality relationship between the patient and all of the professionals and companies involved in their treatment. 

Furthermore, patients can now contribute to their own health data. They can sync wearable devices like fitness trackers, add notes on their reaction to a medication, and provide updates on recovery through the Health Cloud platform. No doctor can know a patient as well as patients know themselves. Patients are therefore the most reliable source for the generation of their health data. Allowing the patient to participate increases the value of care the patient receives because doctors can now base decisions off of the best data possible. 

Patients are truly at the heart of this new user experience. Imagine providers being able to check on a patient’s status, track their diagnoses data, and communicate with them without ever needing them to come into the healthcare facilities. Then when a patient does visit, the records of their interactions with that doctor or other HCPs are all integrated right there in their patient journey timeline. This creates a holistic view of the patient through the treatment stages and throughout the patient’s life. 

Now What? 
While the use of Health Cloud may sound like a dream come true, there are many challenges to implementing any new system in the healthcare industry. A primary concern is security. Patient data is subject to strict regulations about how it is used and stored. This could impact how companies are required to use Health Cloud, but there are ways to work within these rules. One possible solution is to only store some of the data in Health Cloud and load confidential and/or regulated data from a local source when the patient or HCP needs to view it.  

With the recent disruption to the Safe Harbour agreement and the evolving EU-US Privacy Shield, which affects how data is stored and shared between the United States and Europe, the regulations to which Health Cloud could be subject to are unclear at this time. The best approach to data management is changing alongside these issues, requiring case-by-case answers to data management in healthcare. 

Health Cloud’s potential to enhance patient engagement through the delivery of targeted and personalized content could change health and medical services forever. The encouragement for greater collaboration throughout the entire patient journey when seeking care could lead far beyond better patient experiences to healthier, happier people.

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Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results. Now.