How Provider Assist grew by 50% by building an app

Heroku and The Salesforce Platform allowed us to make sense of data and bring it to life so we could realise our vision and mission, and empower our customers to do the same.”

Aaron Tabone, CIO, Provider Assist
 
 

A reservoir of potential

Disparate databases only accessible from the office. Huge spreadsheets that would freeze with an overload of data. Paper notebooks. Reports exported to PDFs six weeks after data was relevant and actionable. 

Inefficiencies and disconnected processes meant Provider Assist’s clients – aged care facilities across Australia – were missing out on vital funding that would allow them to provide the best care possible.

It meant missed opportunities for the aged care facilities and, for a business built on the success of its clients, new potential to improve performance and deliver growth.

Using Heroku to build a suite of connected apps for staff and clients would prove the ideal way to bring that potential to life with speed and efficiency.

 
 

From dated to digital

The data gathered and analysed by Provider Assist for its clients in the aged care sector was crucial to building an accurate picture of the funding and resources available to them. 

But laborious manual processing meant that important insights and actions were often out of date by the time they were submitted as a report. 

“We were sitting on this huge volume of data,” explains CIO Aaron Tabone, “but it was spread out over different siloes and couldn’t be accessed and analysed in real time.” 

It was time to unite those disconnected silos of information with a digital platform that could provide accurate, real time insights into current data. Enter Heroku and The Salesforce Platform.

 
 

Independent IDC research has shown that companies using The Salesforce Platform to build apps achieve 545% ROI over five years. Download the report to get the full story.

 
 

Culture first and trust at the centre

What kind of skills and behaviours did Tabone look for in the developers that would help Provider Assist build the app? The answer might come as a surprise: “Friendliness,” says Tabone. “We always go with a culture-first approach when it comes to hiring.” 

Unexpected as that requirement might be, it speaks directly to Provider Assist’s wider approach – a tech developer team that isn’t isolated behind closed doors but works with and across other departments, and remains accessible and responsive to feedback. 

“We wanted to build apps that put people first, not tech,” says Tabone. 

And given the sensitive nature of the data the app would be leveraging, trust was and remains an essential component of the digital journey. In Salesforce then, Provider Assist found a partner that valued trust as much as they did; in Heroku they discovered a platform that complemented a culture built on trust and accessibility. 

“Salesforce really instilled confidence by articulating trust as a core value of their own culture,” Tabone explains.

The need for speed

Because Heroku eliminated the need to build app infrastructure, the development team - which included a Salesforce developer to help align and integrate the app across Provider Assist’s other Salesforce platforms - could move with speed and agility. 

“By using the power of clicks, drag and drop workflows and Salesforce ‘no code’ functionality, we could build stuff really fast,” says Tabone. “A lot of problems could be easily fixed with what Heroku already had in place, allowing developers to focus on addressing other challenges.”

And Heroku proved accessible enough that even those without tech backgrounds could understand it enough to communicate their needs and feed back to the development team.

“We really leveraged the power of Heroku to bring teams and product together, and to get to market faster,” explains Tabone. “We’d get bite sized chunks out to the market so people could touch and feel and get connected with the product.”

Real-time data has measurable value

With data updated in real time and accessible to all departments across shared dashboards, clients could be provided with actionable insights that had real value. 

Aged care facilities would benefit from predictive insights from Einstein Analytics, guiding decisions about which residents should be prioritised for needs assessments (the basis of government funding levels). Any incongruencies in those assessments – which had been a considerable problem in the past and hadn’t been picked up in time to fix – would be flagged and addressed immediately by Provider Assist.

Establishing the MyVitals app on Heroku allowed a huge reservoir of previously disconnected, hard-to-access data to be mined efficiently for the insights. By assessing funding gaps and enabling aged care facilities to access the funding they are entitled to, MyVitals would ultimately drive positive outcomes for aged care residents, and secure Provider Assist’s role as a trusted adviser and innovative partner in the aged care sector. 

This put Provider Assist at a considerable competitive advantage. The organisation already had 80,000 beds ahead of the launch of MyVitals – bed numbers are the measure of the size of an aged care sector business. The dynamism of MyVitals put Provider Assist in a position to scale even further, and they've already grown by more than 50% to just over 120,000 beds.

 
 

Recipe

 

App

My Vitals

Ingredients

Heroku and Heroku Connect

Developer team

A culture of trust and accessibility

Feedback from across the company

Method

 

Be clear about your outcomes from the outset - don’t fire up the oven before you know what you’re cooking.

 

Does the Heroku Marketplace have an existing tool to solve a problem? Use it and let the developers work on something else.

 

Look at who is consuming the data and what their expectations are - work from a people-first perspective, not a tech-first perspective.

 

Be lean, fast and agile, and get bite-sized chunks out for user testing.

 

Test, deploy, iterate fast – and keep using the in-built Heroku delivery tools and features so that your developers can focus on the components that need to be custom built.

 

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