Proactively managing referrals for hospitals using salesforce

If you are a hospital managing your patient referrals and reporting on them is always a challenge when you use legacy system like Epic which does not have much reporting capability. When you are in the marketing department involved in managing relationships with your physician clinics or hospitals, the nightmare of dealing with excel based reports from Epic and proactively acting on them becomes a challenge. This article talks about a solution where you can manage the referrals in and out using salesforce and also proactively monitor your top referrals and act on them instantly .

Integration of Epic with salesforce

If you do not have an integration built with EPIC and salesforce , then most of the hospitals have access to excel based referral reports which have patient data which are referred by your partner phyisician network, referral outs which are patients which your hospital staff referred out patients to external physicians . So the question is how do we integrate this data in salesforce and still prevent duplicate referrals to be loaded in salesforce?

We built an access based solution for a leading healthcare organization. So using our solution, the client will upload the referrals in and out file to access and click a button which would match the organization name of the partner hospitals with accounts in salesforce and create an file with matching account ids if the partner organization matches the account name. If the name does not match the partner organization name, we create a new account record which would be loaded in salesforce.

Preventing duplicates and referral typos.

As you are aware in Epic, most of the referrals names are hand typed by the hospital staff and it is very difficult to match with with a standard account name. We built an intelligent key solution where once the referral file is loaded in our access solution, it would try to match the partner hospital name based on fuzzy logic and if the name matches, it would grab the account id automatically on the account file. If the name does not match, we would create a fuzzy key in access which would save different variations of the same account name and have the staff validate the key. Once the staff validate the matched account name, the referral file will be ready to be uploaded to salesforce.

Proactive Monitoring relationships

Once the referral file is uploaded or integrated with salesforce, our solution validates the number of referrals in and out with an average referral indicator for the partner account. If there is an increase in the number of referrals from the average, it notifies the community outreach team for partner physicians who would take the next step to work with the partners. The same scenario happens when there is a decrease in the number of referrals which would populate a variance dashboard of top 10 referrrals, top 10 lower referrals and top relationship variance referrals which are partners who had significant decline or increase in the referrals.

Our solution also creates a 3 tiered partner level called premium, basic and emerging partner levels which would bucket the partners into these tiers based on proactive behaviors like referrals, activities, active discussions etc.

Preventing problems

One of the challenges in referrals is to identify the date when the referral was done. Some times there is no admission date, discharge date or a patient order date on some of the referral records because the patient would have just inquired or did a quick visit on the hospital. So in these scenarios, we would automatically create a referral date based on the file export from EPIC and keep that as the referral date. This becomes the key when you run your referral reports based on dates because it is hard to go by just admission , discharge or any other date.

Data quality has to be managed on a consistent basis in salesforce for key partner accounts so that duplicate accounts are not created, naming convention for child or branches defined which would cause huge number mismatches in the reports.

Here are the key takeaways for you to consider for your salesforce org.

1. Ensure that there is an integration built between salesforce and epic.

2. Have a strategy to manage duplicates in partner accounts and referrals.

3. Define rules for referral dates for both patients referred in and referred out.

So using our solution, our current healthcare organization were able to generate referral reports for their partners and proactively manage the relationship. Feel free to post your comments and please feel free to email me at for questions on our solution.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at or call me at 302-438-4097

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