Impacting one life is a success. With Health Cloud, we’re ready to impact thousands of lives.”

Robert Van Tuyl, Chief Innovation Officer, Easterseals

When Johnny Negrete was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, his family was struggling to communicate with him. “Nobody knows how to parent to begin with. How do I become an expert on autism at the same time?” asked Johnny’s father. As overwhelmed parents, he and his wife didn’t know where to turn for help until they found Easterseals Bay Area.

“If you are a family with a child with a disability or autism, you already have your hands full without worrying how you can afford or access services,” said Robert Van Tuyl, Chief Innovation Officer at Easterseals Bay Area. “We are working to make care seamless for families — from the point of referral to treatment and any step in between — focusing on providing the best care possible for every child and young adult.”

As one of the more than 70 global Easterseals affiliates, Easterseals Bay Area wanted to help more kids like Johnny and — with autism diagnoses on the rise, and states increasingly adopting legislation that requires insurers to provide behavioral health services at home — the organization is getting the opportunity as more and more people are turning to it for help.

To meet the demand, Easterseals Bay Area management knew it needed to be faster, more agile, and more efficient with everything from referrals to billing to scheduling. For Van Tuyl, that meant making new investments in technology, abandoning old manual processes that were slowing down care, and limiting the company’s ability to scale. “We wanted to pioneer new capabilities so clinicians could spend more time with families and more time helping patients than tracking down addresses or filling out spreadsheets,” he said.

That’s when company leaders turned to Salesforce. Salesforce Health Cloud provides Easterseals Bay Area staff with a complete view of each patient over time — everything from tracking appointments, to conversations between families and care teams, to measuring progress toward health goals. “We need to be able to see all of the important factors when providing services,” said Van Tuyl. “That includes the traditional questions about what medicines they’re taking, sleep and diet trends, and also what is happening in the family. Can we measure and take all of that into account? With Health Cloud, we can.”

Van Tuyl sees Health Cloud as an all-in-one solution for patient engagement, going beyond electronic health records to put patients at the center of everything the company does. It unifies the entire network of more than 3,600 practitioners, 600 employees, and over 3,500 clients. It works across the entire care cycle, allowing Easterseals Bay Area to deliver more efficient services and improve the quality of long-term patient experiences. And it gives the company the means to achieve the integrated patient experience that management strives for.


“It is one of those fundamental shifts, to get that information in a centralized location. It means faster turnaround time when situations need to be escalated, more real-time collaboration between providers, and more integrated data from electronic medical records,” said Van Tuyl.  

All of this is key when treating young populations in the prime of development. The ability of practitioners to adapt treatment plans quickly can sometimes make all the difference. And, since Health Cloud is supporting Easterseals Bay Area for more than 80,000 client visits per month, centralized information can provide invaluable insights on outcomes and effectiveness, populating data that could help identify trends in incident rates, causes, and new autism solutions down the road.

Thanks to Easterseals’ help, Johnny is now entering kindergarten with a newfound confidence — he’s playing with other kids and speaking in full sentences. His mother, Kat, said Johnny’s progress has given her new hope: “Easterseals has been like a tool belt, equipping us with the necessary tools to ensure a better life for not just Johnny, but our family as a whole.”

By setting the standard for autism and disability treatment in Northern California, Easterseals Bay Area is improving the care and lives of all the children it assists. And now, company leaders want to magnify Easterseals Bay Area’s impact — having already quadrupled the number of clients the company serves by using technology to create efficiencies, Easterseals Bay Area has become the best-practice example for the entire Easterseals network. Management plans on deploying Health Cloud throughout its national and global affiliates, sharing the world of possibilities to take on disability together. “This is not just about autism, it is about lives,” said Van Tuyl. “If we impact one life, that is success. Fortunately, now we’re ready to impact thousands of lives.”

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