Vital Decisions, a firm specializing in providing a personal approach to advanced illness decision-making and support, harness the power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-premises to enables its specialists to help even more people in a more efficient and personal way.

The Situation

Vital Decisions’ name perfectly sums up what they’re all about. Simply put, they exist to help people facing advanced illnesses make their values and wishes known to the people around them providing their care. The company employs around one hundred and eighty masters-level counselors (Specialists) who work directly with the members of the insurance companies that hire Vital Decisions.

Specialists walk members through a series of planning sessions to identify their values and their thoughts around communicating their wishes to their families. It’s important, sensitive work that requires compassion, patience, and a pretty complex CRM system to keep all the details straight while still keeping things efficient.

That was the big challenge with their existing system. In order to handle the complexity of the work they do with members, Vital Decisions had to layer two separate systems on top of each other. One system was a behavioral health product, and the other was a CRM system.

While the combined systems worked okay together, the experience for users was clunky and not very intuitive. More importantly, it was almost impossible to make changes to the system, partially because it was really hard to tell where one system ended and the next one began.

Vital Decisions knew it had to make a change. The company was growing, and if they were going to continue that growth they needed to provide enhanced functionality and increased efficiency for their Specialists. Tina Cavaliere, Vital Decisions’ Director of IT & Security, was charged with implementing a new CRM solution, and she knew they were going to need some additional help to handle the complexity of the project.

The Solution

Vital Decisions wasn’t new to CRM. They were already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as their CRM underneath the behavioral health product they were using. Because of their experience with Dynamics, Cavaliere and her team decided that upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 On-Premise was an obvious choice.

With this upgrade, Vital Decisions decided to invest in heavy customization so they could optimize their process and get it all built in one system, eliminating the need for two systems stacked on top of each other. It was a very forward-looking decision aiming to facilitate further growth while improving the member experience. Cavaliere outlines the project objectives this way:

“A lot of work was manual in the old system and, therefore, slower and more prone to errors. This new system would walk through the process automatically, offering only the options that are applicable at each stage. It would be faster, cleaner, and much more efficient.”

Vital Decisions put out a request for proposals and ultimately chose Ledgeview Partners to help them customize their new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 On-Premise system. Cavaliere explains, “They clearly understood what we wanted to do. We loved the approach they outlined. They just got it, as complex as this was.” Ledgeview created a design document that outlined the phases required to achieve Vital Decisions’ vision for their new system and got to work.

Ledgeview and the Vital Decisions team collaborated on the implementation, dividing up the work as appropriate. The teams had weekly meetings where they circled back to the design document and verified their work up to that point. Cavaliere comments, “I had no reservations about the execution between our two teams. Furthermore, there was no time in that process where I regretted the decision to bring in Ledgeview. They understood our business and even learned our terminology. We’ve made them honorary employees.”

When the project was completed, Vital Decisions had one true CRM system in place featuring some pretty major advances over their previous system:

  • They had phone integration and a portal that allowed the outside insurance companies they work with access to parts of their CRM.
  • They utilized javascript to customize the workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 On-Premise, presenting only certain field options depending on the active client’s status in their system, reducing errors and increasing efficiency.
  • They built in logic so large parts of their process could be automated with buttons, verses depending on Specialists to remember everything that had to be done at each stage.

The Benefits

Vital Decisions went live with their new system on July 5, 2017. “This is the smoothest conversion that I’ve ever been through,” explains Cavaliere. “Better yet, people are really excited about using the new system.”

Vital Decisions is still getting used to their new Dynamics CRM, but they’re seeing the benefits of upgrading already. For example, the level of documentation for each case they log in their system is much improved. Now that their process is automated in Dynamics CRM, data is cleaner and more consistent. In the past, Vital Decisions would need to scrub their data quite often, and it would take a member of Cavaliere’s team an entire week to do it. Today, they don’t scrub the data nearly as often, and it takes a fraction of the time.

Most importantly, Specialists can help more people. Thanks to custom dashboards, Specialists can quickly determine what they need to focus on. They can also see the outcomes of the various sessions that members move through. In summary, they have better data, faster processing, and reporting that enables analysis and improvement. Combined, those things add up to a huge gain in the effectiveness of Vital Decisions Specialists, and to improved outcomes for members.

Vital Decisions isn’t done, though. They have plans to enhance dashboards and reporting, add marketing integration, and more. And they plan to continue to work with Ledgeview Partners to make that all happen. Cavaliere says, “The experience with Ledgeview Partners has been really good, really positive. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

And we wouldn’t hesitate to help you and your organization experience the gains in efficiency, focus, and effectiveness that Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM can deliver. If you have a complex challenge like Vital Decisions, give us a call. Let’s collaborate to solve it!

About the Company

Since 2008, Vital Decisions has specialized in Advance Care Planning Behavioral Science, offering a customized program that integrates technology, interpersonal and family interventions to facilitate more effective advanced illness decision making.

Our company mission is to be the force, the catalyst in this country, to fundamentally change how individuals are cared for during an advanced illness. Each year we conduct over 30,000 unique patient engagements, making us by far the most experienced Advance Care Planning specialist in the country.

We seek to improve the inadequate or sometimes non-existent communication and decision making processes that occur among patients, families and physicians. Through our focused behavior change based methodology, Vital Decisions’ Specialists catalyze patients and families to become active in, and improve the quality of, their communication and decision making processes. The specific goal is for individuals to identify and communicate their quality of life priorities so these preferences serve as the basis for current and future health care decisions.

The result? A consistently more collaborative decision-making process that better reflects each individual’s deepest values and priorities, fewer unwanted treatments, and significantly reduced costs.

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Ledgeview was very helpful throughout the whole process. We were thrilled with the service we received, and continue to receive. 

Tina Cavaliere, Director of IT & Security, Vital Decisions

“This is the smoothest conversion that I’ve ever been through. Better yet, people are really excited about using the new system.”

Tina Cavaliere, Director of IT & Security, Vital Decisions

“The experience with Ledgeview Partners has been really good, really positive. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

Tina Cavaliere, Director of IT & Security, Vital Decisions

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