Episode 4: How Salesforce applications improve the patient experience and transform the medical industry
Tanner Fritz, Chief Technology Officer at Sona Dermatology and MedSpa, discusses how his company is using innovative technology to help empower patients and redefine the doctor’s office visit
What would the world of healthcare look like if we could offer patients the same level of convenience and transparency that consumers enjoy?
For longtime tech specialist Tanner Fritz, this was a question well worth exploring. His own experience as a cancer patient kicked off his interest in helping healthcare professionals offer more efficient, modern care. Fritz describes Sona MedSpa’s focus on bringing its retail experience into the healthcare space and discusses how Salesforce applications allowed him to develop an app that uses real-time data to better engage with clients and allows them to make empowered choices about their health.
In this episode of Virsys12’s How I Transformed This podcast, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner spoke with Fritz about how focusing on bettering the patient experience can improve healthcare across the board.
Fritz began his career in software startups where he primarily handled product and market fit. He didn’t know much about the world of healthcare before his cancer diagnosis six years ago, and he hadn’t been extensively cared for by a medical professional or entity before. When his treatment began, he gained a huge appreciation for all of those in the field, especially the nursing staff, who he now calls “the hands and feet of healthcare.”
It was this experience that led Fritz to realize that the professionals who are helping to treat patients have to utilize tech applications that they may not have been trained on. When he saw those in the medical field struggling with that balance, he realized that he could leverage his expertise to help build more intuitive tools that would help, rather than hinder, them in the field.
After his recovery, he joined the team at Sona Dermatology and MedSpa where he began analyzing data on patient experience and researching modern hurdles that healthcare industry professionals could only clear with the help of an IT expert.
Managing the patient journey
Building on the foundation of Salesforce, Virsys12 worked with Fritz and his team to come up with an integration strategy that allowed Sona Dermatology and MedSpa to implement new software applications that have transformed the way their staff handles key administrative tasks like insurance claims management and submitting, scheduling, and collecting on open billing. Fritz was also able to develop better tools to manage the patient’s journey from beginning to end by helping to quickly answer important questions and improve administrative service along the way.
“We’re building out all of the wiring so that we can have the best customer and patient experience,” Fritz said. “We can integrate this data in real-time so that we can distinguish ourselves from the rest of the pack, and I think that’s part of our competitive advantage.”
Empowering patients with technology
Fritz was able to utilize Sona’s past focus on retail and high customer satisfaction ratings as the company transitioned to a dermatology practice.
“The consumer is starting to demand a higher level of access and convenience, and healthcare organizations that adapt quickly are the ones that are going to win out when it comes to better brand recognition and more loyal patients,” Fritz revealed.
His focus on bringing tools from the consumer and medical spa world, like online booking, service bundling, text alerts and reminders, chatbots, and subscription-based programs are already garnering positive feedback from patients who are increasing their calls for simplicity and clearer communication.
Perhaps the most groundbreaking tools Fritz has been designing are aimed at bringing pricing transparency into healthcare, which he admits is a big challenge. Although some providers and healthcare systems are nervous about listing prices online because of the differences in insurance plans, he’s confident that solving this issue will lead patients to become much more engaged in making decisions about their health.
“We do see a handful of hospital systems and others who publish things online in terms of their pricing, and I think that’s going to become more common,” Fritz explained.
Although pricing transparency is a key issue that technology can help solve, Fritz believes the most overlooked component is access to care. If a medical issue pops up over the weekend, and a patient doesn’t have a regular doctor or specialist that they can readily call, it can be difficult to find doctors with open availability near them.
“We’re trying to have convenient solutions available on our website that show our providers availability and some of the expectations for treatment,” Fritz said. But he suggested that innovation has to be far-reaching, and explains the importance of utilizing social platforms like Facebook and online review sites, or even advertisements and marketing campaigns, to publish helpful information on available medical services and providers.
Overall, Fritz is passionate about experimenting to find ways to collect and analyze consumer data in order to design more efficient tools that can help medical professionals provide better, personalized care.
“How do we analyze the customer experience, and where do we find opportunities to try out some of these solutions? That’s what I’m excited about,” Fritz shared. “We’re thankful for the core of all of this, which was working with Tammy. The Salesforce opportunity has been phenomenal.”
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