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Revolutionizing patient engagement


At a glance

We helped a healthcare organization use Salesforce to consolidate multiple datasets and set up personalization to engage with patients through relevant, targeted communications.


VillageMD is now better able to connect with its patients while cutting time and costs on its campaigns. Patients have a better understanding of how to use the healthcare services provided by VillageMD, and the company is poised for future growth across the enterprise.

Key Services

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System implementation
Experience strategy & design icon
Experience strategy & design
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Digital product building
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Planning & delivery
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Organizational change
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Healthcare provider

Key Technologies / Platforms

  • Salesforce

Working with disparate patient data

What if your interactions with healthcare companies were tailored to your needs so you received relevant, helpful content to help you navigate your healthcare journey? With data often coming in from multiple systems, this level of personalization can be a challenge for healthcare organizations. But it was a challenge that VillageMD was excited to tackle.

VillageMD is a physician-driven, patient-centric network committed to simplifying the complexities of healthcare and delivering a more responsive care experience for every stage of life through high-quality primary, specialty, and urgent care.

Having just completed an acquisition of CityMD and Summit Health, VillageMD was working with data from multiple sources. The healthcare organization was hosting all its patient data in an electronic health record (EHR) system called athenahealth. The data was then replicated or transferred into an on-premises SQL server database, maintained by the company’s IT department. Each brand had multiple patient records that needed to be unified into a single view. Along with relevant patient information, there was a vast amount of engagement data that needed to be ingested and linked with the unified patient records.

This was tens of millions of records. 

However, this solution wasn’t working—especially for the marketing department. In addition to wanting to navigate the changing technological landscape, the team couldn’t harness all the data between these brands to create a holistic view of the patient and market to them in a meaningful way across multiple channels.

The marketing team had to ask IT or the business intelligence (BI) team to pull custom lists when it wanted to execute a campaign, a process that took a week on average. VillageMD marketers wanted to be nimble with patient engagement and were feeling constrained.

I believe in the approach we’re taking. While this work stands out within the healthcare marketing space, success is gained by our ability to fit into personalized digital norms people expect outside of that space.

Blaze DiStefano
Director of Performance Marketing, VillageMD

Moving to Data Cloud for marketing autonomy

VillageMD decided Salesforce Data Cloud (formerly CDP, or customer data platform) would be the optimal solution to provide autonomy for the marketing team to do its critical work of identifying and engaging patients with personalized solutions.

That’s where Slalom came in—to assist VillageMD with the Salesforce solution, which included use of Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud Personalization. “We knew that this would set us apart and also drive acquisition, value, retention, and all of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that we’re trying to push for as a marketing department and as a company,” says Blaze DiStefano, director of performance marketing, VillageMD. “To tap into something like Salesforce Data Cloud would put us at the forefront of technology in our industry.”

With the use of the Salesforce cross-cloud architecture, Slalom was able to bring data from multiple EHR systems, web data from Marketing Cloud Personalization, and engagement data from Marketing Cloud Engagement into Data Cloud and unify it.

In fact, Slalom was able to unify more than 40 million patient records across the two brands into a more manageable 10 million unique, unified patient records—a 75% consolidation rate.

These records could then be used along with other patient and company location data to build complex and specific marketing campaign segments. Campaigns were then activated or used in email and SMS through Marketing Cloud Engagement, on the website through Marketing Cloud Personalization, and across social and ad media.

Custom performance dashboards were built within Domo, leveraging the Data Cloud Calculated Insights API, which enabled the client to obtain at-a-glance insights into the performance of Data Cloud segments.

Slalom also helped VillageMD use Marketing Cloud Personalization to understand its website engagements and learn more about who is visiting the site—and how they are using it—based on behaviors such as what actions the patient takes. From there, the team could build out personas to automatically showcase tailored content and unique experiences.

This work was completed in only 4.5 months.

Enhanced patient engagement, savings

By moving all the data into one system, VillageMD has created more than 100 Data Cloud segments for effective, targeted marketing campaigns that drive superior patient engagement. Instead of spending a week preparing an email activation with the previous solution, marketers can now create what they need in hours—a huge savings in both time and cost.

VillageMD can also view enriched performance dashboards, allowing the marketing team to track and analyze how well the solution is working—and it’s working well. For instance, more than 100K patients have booked an appointment within two weeks of receiving a Data Cloud-powered email. Campaigns powered by Data Cloud also have a click-through rate 3x higher than non-Data Cloud campaigns. Patients are getting more personalized care with milestone reminders for flu shots, mammograms, and other preventive tests and immunizations—and they are acting on these communications to improve their health. The Marketing Cloud Personalization component of the solution has also enabled patients to feel connected to an individualized experience on the website.

Enriched patient understanding and care

“This solution makes it easier for patients to understand, access, and use our offerings,“ DiStefano says. “Now we can use our data in smarter ways, and we can drop the data barriers between internal company labels and get the true benefit to people who need our services—helping people as we remind them to get the medical care they need.“

For example, personalization on the website helps patients find local providers who are accepting new patients and offering services that are relevant to the patient’s needs.

When a natural disaster occurs, VillageMD marketers can offer targeted communications, as they did during the Canadian wildfires that drove smoke into New York and other East Coast cities.  

Anticipated enterprise-wide growth

As Salesforce solutions continue to move into the generative AI space and Data Cloud capabilities expand, VillageMD will be there to continue building smarter, more personalized solutions for its patients.

“We’re focused on enterprise solutions in the future—expanding Data Cloud and Personalization to all the companies within VillageMD,“ says DiStefano. “I believe in the approach we’re taking. While this work stands out within the healthcare marketing space, success is gained by our ability to fit into personalized digital norms people expect outside of that space.”

Let’s solve together.