Even among small teams, field service management using whiteboards and spreadsheets can quickly become unwieldy.
With field service software, the utilization rate of field service personnel is maximized. A high level of customer service is maintained.
When field service management is a component of an organization-wide CRM system (vs. a standalone application), information entered and maintained in different departments across an organization is easily accessible within the field service component.
This means that a field service team has access to more customer information with fewer expensive integrations to other systems.
Highly visible forms of field service operations include plumbers, heating contractors and home computer techs. Vans for those service providers can be frequently seen parked in front of residences.
The type of software that runs these field service operations also applies to both healthcare and life sciences organizations.
Life Sciences: Medical Equipment Field Service
In the case of a medical equipment manufacturer, field resources are equipment service technicians. The customer location can be a hospital, a clinic or a lab.
Resolving Medical Equipment Issues
As with any type of field equipment, medical equipment is subject to wear, tear and malfunction.
Issues reported by customers are normally logged as service Cases (a.k.a. Tickets) within a CRM system.
When a customer service agent cannot solve a customer’s hardware or software issue remotely, ideally they can generate a work order directly from the service Case. The work order can, in turn, be associated with an on-site service appointment.
Based on customer location, type of issue and the asset involved, appropriate and available resources can be presented to an customer service agent in a dispatch console.
If an “ideal” resource is not available for the needed response time, other “recommended” resources can be selected.
The assigned field service tech should have a mobile app that always reflects their current service appointments.
Healthcare: Post-Acute Care Field Service
In the case of post-acute care in the home, field resources include physical therapists, occupational therapists and skilled nurses. The customer is an in-home patient.
For example, an in-home PT moves from patient home to patient home over the course of a day. The PT’s schedule should be centrally managed to account for new patients, patients who no longer need in-home care, and any cancellations or rescheduled appointments.
There may be contract resources who are available for a limited number of hours each week. The field service software needs to account for the non-standard or variable availability of those resources.
Caregiver skills may need to be matched with patient needs.
Common Components of Field Service Software
Regardless of whether the “customer” is a medical facility or a patient, field service software delivers a similar set of benefits through a set of common components.
This table shows the flexibility of CRM field service software to serve divergent needs in healthcare and life sciences.
|Component||Medical Equipment||Post-Acute Care|
|Services||Repair, upgrade||Rehab, medication management|
|Subject data||Model number, serial number||Patient demographics|
|Historical information||Equipment service history||Patient medical history|
|Skills||Certifications, equipment specialities||Medical specialties|
|Customer schedules||Office hours||Patient availability|
|Vehicle inventory||Spare parts||Oxygen, medication|
As a database, field service software is structured to store and track information about:
- Service Appointments
- Service Resources
- Service Territories
- Resource Skills & Expertise
- Work Type Templates
- Schedules and Operating Hours
The user interface allows for easy data entry and maintenance. It also presents visualizations of data for greater productivity.
Field Service As a Component of Healthcare CRM
Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning (FSL) has been designed with the above requirements in mind.
FSL is one of the pre-developed Salesforce Health Cloud structures (see our LEGO analogy) that is available to healthcare and life sciences organizations.
Unlike standalone field service software, Salesforce’s field service capability is just one part of a comprehensive business software solution for healthcare and life sciences companies.
Many medical device manufacturers use Salesforce to run their entire sales and customer service operations. Field service capability is a compliment to both.
A post acute care organization can also use Salesforce Health Cloud for functions ranging from caregiver recruitment to physician referral management.