The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone and has disrupted the rhythm of our daily lives. Not only is this crisis changing how we interact with our families, friends, and communities—it's also changing how many of us work. Businesses everywhere are facing new challenges and uncertainty, and the healthcare industry is one that has been greatly impacted. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical clinics and insurers are facing unprecedented demands on already stressed systems and capacity.
As more is learned about what is required to face the current crisis, organizations everywhere are asking themselves: Where do we focus what is needed and how do we solve quickly?
We met virtually with Randy Rodriguez, Salesforce Partner for Public Markets at Bluewolf, an IBM Company, to share his views on what healthcare companies can do to address some of their biggest challenges by leveraging Salesforce and AI-powered tools.
Bluewolf (BW): People only need to turn on the news to understand the immense strain on healthcare companies today. Aside from shortages, what do you see as some of the top challenges these companies are facing now and in the coming months?
Randy Rodriguez (RR): The outbreak of COVID-19 has put extreme pressure on healthcare providers to balance compassionate care with the capacity to deliver services. We’re seeing an influx of concerns, questions, and misinformation. In many cases, providers are experiencing a 20X increase in patient outreach and call volume on already overstretched systems. Whether it’s a small doctor’s office or a large hospital, everyone is trying to manage patient care to the best of their abilities—but they need stronger digital engagement to help address the rapidly changing circumstances.
BW: Recently, Salesforce offered their support by providing a COVID-19 Care Response Solution that provides six months of free access to technology for emergency response teams, care management teams, insurers, and health systems responding to the coronavirus pandemic. What is necessary and timely about this offer?
RR: I’m happy to see Salesforce respond so quickly in ways that can provide some immediate solutions. The unprecedented stresses we are seeing, especially related to emergency response, will require more than just a digital solution. But what the Salesforce offer can bring is decisive patient support. Health Cloud can help providers determine a low-risk patient vs. a high-risk patient—reassuring some while quickly supporting others with trusted information from a personalized, self-service resource center. Every patient is important but not everyone’s medical needs are immediate. The Salesforce Care Response solution addresses this pain point and we’re happy to be able to support how providers take advantage.
BW: What is Bluewolf, an IBM Company, doing to help healthcare companies in partnership with Salesforce?
RR: Like Salesforce, IBM and Bluewolf also have resources and initiatives to share with the world in response to COVID-19. Providers are compelled to adjust right now, and there is no one-size-fits-all fix. Bluewolf is uniquely qualified to support healthcare providers because our long history with Salesforce makes it easy for us to support this offer in days, not weeks. As part of IBM, we can add AI-powered chatbots and other tools to assist with personalized and empathetic digital interactions. We also have a history of telework, as our consultants have worked virtually with Salesforce for years. We’re prepared to leverage our deep Salesforce knowledge in virtual ways which can help a provider quickly leverage Salesforce’s offer, train their staff, and immediately start improving the patient experience.
BW: With so many moving parts in this dynamic global health crisis, where should providers place their immediate focus to quickly make impactful changes?
RR: Obviously, the compassionate medical care, medications, and a vaccine to cure are the real focus for COVID-19 patients. But dealing with the sheer numbers makes technology almost as important. A clear priority has to be a focus on patient emergency response capacity and accelerated virtual patient services through digital channels. Even before COVID-19, forward-thinking healthcare organizations have been seeking digital solutions to enhance patient experience and data management. The current situation has made this a mandate, not an option.
BW: What final thoughts would you like to share with the healthcare community?
RR: Customers need more digital engagement in times of crisis. The effects of COVID-19 will affect us all for many weeks and months, and the initiatives healthcare companies are setting in place now around stronger emergency response capabilities and better virtual interactions will set the foundation for their future roadmap. I believe Bluewolf has its own mission here: to serve healthcare providers by ensuring that they can quickly begin to support their patients with compassionate care.
Learn more about our Healthcare Management on Salesforce solution designed to help your business through this crisis.
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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.