As Salesforce builds up industry-specific focus, Health Cloud gets new features

The new tools help organizations in the health sector manage relationships with health care providers and better leverage their patient data.

Salesforce on Monday announced a series of new capabilities and features for Health Cloud, its patient and customer relationship platform for the healthcare and life sciences industry. The expanded features come as Salesforce continues to build up its industry-specific offerings. 

The new tools include a Provider Relationship Management service that helps healthcare organizations keep track of their relationships with doctors and other healthcare providers. There's also a new analytics tool, Einstein Analytics for Healthcare, to give providers and payers like insurance companies a better understanding of their patients' needs. Lastly, Salesforce is making a new, no-code healthcare interoperability tool available on the Salesforce AppExchange, enabling organizations to integrate siloed healthcare data into the Health Cloud.  

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Salesforce introduced the Health Cloud in 2016 as part of its larger effort to compete with the likes of SAP and Oracle with industry-specific software. The health sector is an obvious target for Salesforce -- the US spent more than $3.5 trillion on health care in 2018. It's also an industry in clear need of a digital transformation. 

Last month, Salesforce announced its plans to acquire Vlocity, an industry cloud and mobile software provider, for approximately $1.33 billion. Vlocity was built natively on the Salesforce platform and serves six specific industries, including health. 

With Health Cloud's new Provider Relationship Management service, healthcare organizations can geta  comprehensive view of provider information, such as their affiliated healthcare organizations, facilities, education history, networks and operating hours. This can help physician liaisons strengthen physician relationships, or it could help payers manage their physician networks and keep track of where referrals are going. 

The Relationship Management service also includes a new Provider Search tool, designed to help connect patients to the right care provider. Users can search with criteria like location, availability, specialty and whether they are accepting new patients. The fields can be customized with criteria such as cost level. Organizations can also extend the Provider Search tool to patients themselves, for self-service searches. 

With Einstein Analytics for Healthcare, built in compliance with industry regulations, care coordinators can analyze a patients' plan for care and potentially work to improve health outcomes. For instance, they could assess the likelihood of a patient missing an appointment and coordinate a ride-share to remedy the situation. The analytics tool comes with pre-built dashboards and industry KPIs like length of referral time or care plan adherence right in the platform. 

Lastly, the new no-code integration tool, called Destinations, comes from the ISV Bridge Connector. It enables Salesforce admins to easily integrate Electronic Health Record (EHR) data into Health Cloud with predefined data mappings.

In addition to being available on AppExchange, Destinations is available on the Anypoint Exchange as an API spec, so MuleSoft healthcare customers can orchestrate patient data across Salesforce and third party systems. 

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