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National Laboratory Implements Salesforce, Improves Customer Experience
By Denise Tucker, AVP, Enterprise CRM Manager, ARUP Laboratories
1. In light of your experience in the medical laboratory industry, what trends and challenges have you witnessed with respect to Salesforce?
ARUP ranks first in our industry for excellent customer service and commitment to patient care. Salesforce is always innovating, which allows us to stay at the forefront of customer-relationship and service technology. Our sales and service teams now have information at their fingertips and are faster and more efficient than ever.
Our company mind-set has been to create our own custom solutions. But do we have to build everything from scratch? The Salesforce platform allows us to consider out-of-the-box solutions first, freeing our engineers to focus on revolutionary robotics and laboratory automation.
2. Could you talk about your approach to identifying the right partnership providers for ARUP?
With patient care at the core of every decision we make, we’re careful to work with a vendor whose values align with our own. We are ISO15189 accredited and have extremely high standards around patient privacy and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Salesforce was the only partner willing to protect our data as if it were their own. It signed a Business Associates Agreement with ARUP asserting its commitment to our partnership and to protecting patient data.
Salesforce continues to foster our partnership by providing the expertise we need to ensure that we maximize every tool available to us. It assigned us a “success manager” who meets with us regularly to discuss our goals and make sure we are utilizing the platform to its fullest. Our success manager puts us in touch with like-minded companies to share best practices and offers access to product experts who help us explore new features. In turn, we collaborate with our clients who are pursuing Salesforce as a solution for their hospitals or health systems, sharing our journey and lessons learned.
Salesforce continues to foster our partnership by providing the expertise we need to ensure that we maximize every tool available to us
We feel we are part of a growing community.
3. What are some of the points of discussion in your leadership panel? What are the strategic points you use to steer the company forward?
Four common themes drive our company forward: operational efficiencies through automation; innovation; lab value to our customers; and new markets. ARUP believes in collaborating, sharing knowledge, and contributing to laboratory medicine in ways that provide the best value for the patient. We include these points in our “Why Statement” and our leadership discussions. Because of our academic roots, sharing knowledge is how we provide value industry-wide.
With Salesforce, we have been able to quickly implement automation and operational efficiencies to meet the demands of our changing industry and align with corporate strategy. For example, we owe our ISO 15189 accreditation in part to our ability to quickly build a quality nonconformance tracking system in Salesforce and tie those qualifying events to our customers for better trending and tracking. We were able to reduce points of failure and improve patient care by automating the workflow between internal teams.
Now that our sales, marketing, contact centers, and laboratories are using Salesforce, we have eliminated disparate systems and created a clearer view of the customer. Adoption was fast and our call centers were up to speed in very little time. Call-center metrics help identifies opportunities for new products, enhancements for web services, and customer-facing solutions. We can truly see what is happening with our clients across the organization and provide them with a better user experience.
4. How do you see the evolution of the Salesforce arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?
We keep a close eye on the Salesforce roadmap and the focus on healthcare and life sciences. Big Data analysis is an important goal for us. As part of the ARUP mission, we aim to define best practices in test ordering and selection to ensure proper diagnosis of patients. We then educate physicians by providing them with information they need to order the right test at the right time to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment. Salesforce is making a lot of headway in this area, and we want to leverage our partnership to accelerate our own progression.
Salesforce is working to improve customer interaction with artificial intelligence, chatbots, and a customer 360-degree view. We are very excited to hear that it is collaborating with Cerner, ARUP’s laboratory information system provider, to expand the Salesforce Health Cloud and clinical platform. The majority of healthcare decisions are made based on laboratory results, so the more Salesforce can innovate around the lab space and allow integration with hospital and pay or information, the greater the cohesion in the healthcare delivery system. In the future, we hope to see Salesforce put more emphasis on the laboratory.
5. What single piece of advice could you impart to an aspiring professional in the medical laboratory field?
Salesforce is a dynamic platform, constantly growing and changing to meet many different business needs, so take advantage of as many core, out-of-the-box features as possible. Before creating a custom solution, check the Salesforce roadmap; Salesforce is likely working on a similar idea. I was once asked by one of our executives when we would be “done with the Salesforce project.” My response: when the business stops changing! Salesforce’s innovation helps keep ARUP at the forefront of the laboratory industry and customer experience without requiring us to invent solutions ourselves.