4 Healthcare IT Lessons From Dreamforce 2014 - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
11:10 AM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata

4 Healthcare IT Lessons From Dreamforce 2014

Healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers, and data analytics firms explore innovative ways to engage patients.

the point of hospitalization. In the US, "We have a healthcare system designed to put people in hospital beds," said AG Breitenstein, co-founder and chief product officer of Optum Analytics. "We need to get away from focusing on the point of care to focusing on the point of need." Translation: Creating a system designed to keep patients out of hospital beds by using analytics to identify at-risk populations and help them manage their conditions at home long before they reach an acute stage.

This is what Raboud UMC in The Netherlands has developed, in collaboration with Philips, to manage care for patients with COPD. According to Lucien Engelen, director of Raboud UMC's Reshape Center, a patient who is first diagnosed with COPD is sent home with a remote monitoring kit that includes a tablet and a smart patch connected to the patient's chest. For the next week, the smart patch monitors the patient 24/7. The data is sent into the doctor's office, and is also presented in a way that the patient can understand and share with family or caregivers. The system uses Philips Healthsuite data cloud, with Salesforce used to execute the charts and digital displays for the patient and physicians.

3. Assume you can do it.
NxStage, a company that manufactures devices to enable patients in renal failure to perform hemodialysis at home, wanted to make it easier for patients to re-order the needles, catheters, and other supplies that are crucial to their care. Using Salesforce Service Cloud, Twilio, and the Force.com platform, the company automated the process by which patients get supplies in the home, according to Duane Dumont, VP of IT.

Patients can sign up to receive reorder reminders via email, text, or an automated phone call. Every day, a query goes out to the NxStage system to find which ones, among all active patients who have opted in for text messaging, need to be notified that day that it's time to reorder. "From that, we want to exclude anybody that's already provided [his or her] inventories to us," said Duncan Stuart, business applications analyst, who developed the system for NxStage. The system generates a unique ID for each patient and determines who still needs to be notified. An automated SMS links back to the company's inventory portal, enabling the patient to enter order details directly via the notification message without having to log in or remember passwords.

"We haven't hired a customer service rep in four years, said Dumont. "We've tripled the number of patients that each rep can handle." The company generated 55,000 SMS text messages in Q3 2014 alone. Most importantly, said Dumont, the success of the system has "changed the conversation in our organization." He added, "It used to be the business would ask 'Can we do this?' and IT would say 'I don't know.' We assume we can do it now. That really creates a partnership within the organization."

4. Build communities for your patients.
This is what Medtronic decided to do for patients who have had one of its medical devices implanted. The company created the Bakken Invitation, now in its second year, in honor of company co-founder Earl Bakken, who is also a patient of Medtronic.

According to Victor Ohno, director of global digital strategy for Medtronic, the program is meant to encourage those who are living with medical

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Susan Nunziata leads the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community.Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for EnterpriseEfficiency.com, a UBM ... View Full Bio
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Lorna Garey
IW Pick
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/15/2014 | 4:13:07 PM
Re: Do you want to join a healthcare community?
This seems really variable. Someone with breast cancer might jump at the chance to join a support group, especially if there is localization and an option to get to know others in the community with the same challenge. Breast cancer doesn't carry a social stigma. However, the same may not be so of AIDS or type II diabetes, where someone might fear being judged if their personal information was made public. Plus, some people are just very private.
User Rank: Strategist
10/15/2014 | 3:27:56 PM
Do you want to join a healthcare community?
The concept of communities built around healthcare needs -- generally around specific ailments -- is something that is being talked up a great deal here at Dreamforce. On the one hand, I can see the value of this, particularly when it comes to celebrating achievements for those with chronic conditions and helping to inspire others who may be struggling.

At the same time, on a personal level, I find myself questioning whether I'd want to join an open community related to such a deeply personal, private topic as my health. What do you think? Beyond health&fitness apps, are you a member of any kind of healthcare community? Would you want to be? 
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