As the healthcare industry looks to service a new generation of health consumers, expectations for personalized care experiences are in the rise. As such, health systems are working diligently to implement digital transformation strategies that enable them to effectively collect, store and analyze vast amounts of data so that each customer interaction can be personalized. And that’s why more and more health systems are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools in order to meet patient expectations.
When it comes to the types of CRM systems being utilized in healthcare, one of the most commonly implemented solutions is Salesforce. According to recent reports, Salesforce has over 22% of the healthcare CRM market. One reason for this is that Salesforce has a custom solution known as Salesforce Health Cloud, which is designed specifically for healthcare providers.
Healthcare providers that are focused on improving patient health, while also optimizing internal processes, turn to CRM systems as part of their digital transformation initiatives because the systems enable personalized patient journeys for each customer at relatively low cost. This approach improves patient care in an efficient, cost-effective manner without compromising the quality of healthcare delivery.
In order to get the most out of systems like Salesforce; however, healthcare providers must invest in good Salesforce org management. An org is your company’s unique database (your data, your custom fields, code, processes, reports, etc.) within Salesforce. Larger enterprises often have multiple orgs, and Salesforce is able to feed each of these independent orgs with software updates and bug fixes via its Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
The reason org management is so vital is because ongoing maintenance and optimization is required to keep CRM systems running efficiently and effectively. The role of Salesforce administrator is a key position for any healthcare provider that utilizes Salesforce – they make certain the CRM is running as effectively as possible. Salesforce orgs can become extremely complicated over time, and can get bogged down if not managed well.
According to Jennifer Mercer, CEO at Metazoa, “Salesforce is an incredibly powerful tool for healthcare providers of all sizes, and it can help manage a lot of processes. But that means it can present some challenges when it comes to org management and maintenance.”
Metazoa offers turn-key services for customers with complex Salesforce org needs. The company also developed and markets Metazoa Snapshot, the first org management solution designed specifically for Salesforce, which over the years has grown into the industry’s most comprehensive toolset for org management.
“Optimizing the many benefits of Salesforce is something that only happens with hands-on experience and resources dedicated to Salesforce administration,” Added Mercer. “This includes the implementation of an org management and maintenance solution. If your organization lacks an administrator, and the proper tools, you aren’t getting all you can out of your CRM.”
Org clones, splits and merges
One area where maintenance is key is with Salesforce org clones, splits and merges. Cloning a Salesforce org, splitting an org into other orgs, or merging multiple Salesforce orgs into one can be an extremely challenging task for any enterprise to undertake. It requires extensive Salesforce knowledge, and an in-depth understanding of both Salesforce data and metadata. It also requires a suite of tools that can automatically analyze org complexity and structure, discover and remove technical debt, perform org comparisons, and migrate necessary metadata.
“Changes to Salesforce orgs usually happen when companies merge, split apart or become multifaceted,” added Mercer. “When this happens, it is important that resources are dedicated to managing the CRM accordingly. Org management is mission critical!”
Dealing with technical debt
The second area of focus for Salesforce maintenance is in the realm of technical debt removal. Salesforce orgs can become extremely complex over time because of things like corporate mergers and acquisitions, poor change and release management practices, failed development projects, or disruptive administrative turnover. This problem tends to be the most severe in the oldest and largest Salesforce orgs, and can result in slow performance, reduced agility, sluggish adoption and IT/business operations misalignment. The result of which is referred to as technical debt.
Organizations suffering from the effects of technical debt, require technical debt analysis and removal. Once identified, the technical debt can be removed. However, data should be backed up ahead of time, in case a rollback or recovery is required. A Salesforce administrator can help spearhead this process.
“Getting rid of old, unneeded data is one of the most important things healthcare organizations can do,” says Mercer. “Not only is it important for HIPAA compliance, it is the key to keeping Salesforce orgs operating efficiently, and error free.”
User connection cleanup
User connection cleanup is another part of technical debt removal that organizations need to consider. This includes an analysis of all connections between active and inactive users, whereby inactive users are replaced with active ones. All of the objects owned by an inactive user can be transferred to another user, so there is no need to keep inactive user accounts open. Unused user accounts that remain open pose added security risk.
With all of this, it becomes easier to see how complex Salesforce orgs can become over time. Which brings into question the actual resources needed to manage CRM systems like Salesforce. The role of Salesforce administrator is a must for any healthcare provider utilizing Salesforce.
“With the right tools and resources, org maintenance and getting rid of technical debt is something any Salesforce administrator can do,” stated Mercer. “The only time a business should consider hiring a developer is when highly complex, custom software applications are needed. Most small to medium sized enterprises do not need this level of expertise.”