059: Bringing Heart into Building HubSpot with Berlin Heart (Office Hours)

C: Podcast

In this episode, learn how Optidge teamed up with Berlin Heart to customize HubSpot, revolutionizing their data management. Explore the challenges Berlin Heart faced with spreadsheets and discover how Optidge customized HubSpot to streamline workflows and enable remote accessibility. Hear about the benefits of tailored CRM solutions and join us as we uncover the transformative power of this partnership with Berlin Heart. 

An Optidge “Office Hours” Episode

Our Office Hours episodes are your go-to for details, how-to’s, and advice on specific marketing topics. Join our fellow Optidge team members, and sometimes even 1:1 teachings from Danny himself, in these shorter, marketing-focused episodes every few weeks. Get ready to get marketing!

Key Points + Topics

  • [00:35] – In this episode, we’re walking through a fascinating case study in which Optidge worked with Berlin Heart to customize the HubsSpot system for their unique needs
  • [00:45] Who is Berlin Heart? Berlin Heart is a medical device company that develops, produces, and markets innovative devices for mechanically supporting the heart – often for children. When someone’s heart isn’t working anymore but a transplant isn’t yet available, it helps the heart pump while they wait for a viable donor. The Berlin Heart team consists of healthcare professionals (AKA clinical leads) who communicate the benefits of these devices with various hospitals and their personnel. Additionally, they keep track of the machines currently in use, provide training for hospital staff, and communicate with patients and more. Additionally, the team has the team lead, Emily, who’s in charge of keeping the whole system running smoothly. 
  • [02:03] What was the problem? Berlin Heart, prior to switching to HubSpot, was managing a plethora of information across 12-20 spreadsheets that weren’t cloud-based, featured many points of duplicate information, and couldn’t be accessed anywhere other than in the Berlin Heart office. Given this job requires a lot of travel for the clinical leads, this was particularly difficult. If there was one data point that needed to be updated, say a patient’s birth date, the team member would have to update the information on five different spreadsheets – once they made it back to their office, of course. It’s a setup that leads to immense stress of something falling through the cracks. 
  • [03:04] What do we need to track?
    • Hospitals
      • Different staff contacts within each hospital
      • Different patients within each hospital (they’re assigned an anonymous ID number and never referenced by personally identifying data, thus complying with HIPAA standards)
    • Communication Logs
      • Emails
      • Training logs + questions for each hospital staff member
    • Maintenance Logs – these devices must be maintained on a rigorous schedule after so many hours in use. 
    • Device Location
    • Patient-Device Connections

It sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. But Berlin Heart and their team are dedicated and hardworking and managed in their previous system. The result was a lot of stress to keep everything working as it should. 

  • [05:55] What is HubSpot? HubSpot is a customer relationship management system (CRM). But, HubSpot needed it to do more than manage a list of potential customers. It needed to track hospitals, devices, patients, and so much more. It needed this info to be accessible from any location and reliable as a source of accurate, up-to-date information for the whole team! 
  • [06:19] How do we customize it? Our tool of choice – Custom Objects. HubSpot has objects that come built into the program like clients, leads, and more. You can also create custom objects that you can connect to others as you define it. This allows you to utilize HubSpot as more of a database management tool than just a CRM. 
  • [07:50] What was one of the custom objects? As mentioned earlier, there are certain maintenance tasks that have to be performed often and after a specific amount of time in use. Sure, this info could simply be left as a note on a device page. However, we created a custom object for “pump changes” that we then connected to other elements. This allows the team to visualize all pump changes across the entire organization, their timing, and set custom notifications and reminders to ensure they’re happening on time and with the correct frequency. There were also patient status updates that occur each week. As a custom object, these can be viewed at a grand scale rather than having to go into a comments section for each individual patient file. Finally – CRATES! Each of these amazing devices has to be transported using a sophisticated, custom crate that needs to be accounted for and tracked. 
  • [08:21] How did we implement it? Optidge first met with Berlin Heart to determine their needs. We then decided on the custom objects we would create. Then we had to strategize the transition. There was a mountain of data in disparate places that needed to be uploaded, reviewed, consolidated, and connected within HubSpot. It was a BIG transition. First, we identified the key workflows across the team by sitting down with each team member and walking through their processes. That led us to correctly connecting the various objects (custom and standard). 
  • [10:28] How do you transition to such a sprawling system? Honestly, the data migration was really tough. There was a LOT of data in many places, some of it “dirty” in the sense of duplicates and different formats. The “state” data point might be noted as “Texas” in one file and “TX” in another. Since data migration is such a big piece of this setup, it’s an important element and skill to consider when looking for a HubSpot partner. 
  • [11:13] How do you get the team onboard? User training and adoption might be the most important element of a system setup for it to be truly successful. We gathered all of the Berlin Heart team and sat them in a room for training. Everyone had their own laptops out walking through each step in the process as training progressed, allowing for any questions as they arose. Next, before the system was officially loaded with real data and “launched”, we gave the team the setup as a sort of playground for a couple of weeks. This way they could acclimate themselves to the new system, determine their own workflows, and find any potential issues for us to rectify without fear of “messing up” the real data. 
  • [12:40] How did Berlin Heart like their HubSpot set up? Well, here’s a testimonial from them:
    • “Seeing everything in one place allows for more efficient workflows in our office. It allows for our small team who travels alot to stay on top of patient requests and accounts even when we’re not in the office. The real time info sharing allows us to better navigate our dynamic environment.”
    • When asked what piece of working with Optidge they most appreciated, they had this to say: “It truly meets our needs thanks to your help in building the tool for us. The device tracking element has been the most exciting for our team because it takes the responsibility of device tracking off of one person and the whole team is becoming competent on this task. We’re very excited for the continued opportunity to integrate HubSpot into more of our operations!”  

Episode Links

Full Episode Transcript

Danny Gavin: 0:05

Hello, I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Optidge, marketing professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor.

Danny Gavin: 1:14

Today we are going to review an awesome case study on Berlin Heart’s digital transformation. So Berlin Hart came to Optige for help implementing HubSpot, for unique usage of the software, for a complex, multifaceted tracking system where every minute really matters. 

So who’s Berlin Heart? Well, they develop, produce and market innovative devices for mechanically supporting the heart, often for children, when someone’s heart isn’t working anymore but a transplant isn’t yet available, it helps the heart pump while they wait for a viable donor. If you think about it, it’s a miracle of modern medicine. Without this technology, many people who have heart conditions don’t survive. You’re waiting for that transplant, especially for children, where maybe it’s a little not common, but these are really life-saving and such an amazing technology. 

So when we talk about the Berlin Heart team, we’re talking about a group of healthcare professionals or clinical leads. Most of these are registered nurses, you know, may have their masters and things like that, but what they do is they go to hospitals to consult with the purchasing departments and the actual doctors and nurses and explain how the equipment would benefit patients but even live cases. They’ll also be traveling to patients while they’re installed and they’re doing a lot. They also have to keep track of all the devices that are currently in use. So think about all the different patients that have these devices on them. They have to keep track and we’ll talk more about that further in the podcast. In addition to this team, there’s obviously also a team lead for all of the clinical consultants and that’s Emily, where she not just oversees the people, but really oversees this whole system of keeping track of what’s going on.

Danny Gavin: 2:45

The problem Berlin Heart had is that they had multiple spreadsheets where they track the various elements of this whole system. When we talk about multiple, we’re talking about 12 to 20 spreadsheets, and these spreadsheets weren’t on the cloud and could only be accessed and updated in the Berlin Heart office. They weren’t connected and often featured a lot of duplicate information. And this was a particular challenge, as this work requires a lot of travel and is reliant upon extremely accurate, up-to-date information. So you can imagine that if you’re traveling and you’ve just taken a bunch of notes, you can only you gotta wait till you actually come back to the office to update it and then think about it. Let’s say, it’s a birthdate update that you have to make. This birthdate might be in like five spreadsheets and you have to remember, okay, where’s the birth date and I got updated in this one and that one, that one. You can imagine, with this whole system and everything we have to do, there’s a big possibility and a risk for things falling through the cracks. So think about the stress that everyone on the team had in order to keep all these balls in the air and especially the team lead, emily, who’s like kind of the buck stops with her making sure that everything was running and you’re able to keep track.

Danny Gavin: 3:47

So, getting more detail, let’s think about what are the things that they had to track. So, number one we’ve got to track hospitals, the different contacts within those hospitals. It might be nurses, it might be purchasers, then also the patients within those hospitals. And I want to make an interesting point about the patients. the actual names of the patients aren’t floating around the Berlin Heart offices. Every patient is given an ID, a number, so it’s all remained anonymous. So when it comes from a HIPAA compliance perspective, that is not something that Berlin Heart really had to worry about, because these ID numbers remained totally anonymous, keeping track of the patient and then also what hospital they were at. In addition, they also had to keep track of the communication logs. So communication logs of every email that is sent. And when we talk about emails, if you have an email just on your computer, what if you’re out and other people need to look at that email? But also there’s important information, that information that had to be taken out and put into a spreadsheet pretty crazy In addition is also the training information. So in order to deal with a complicated device like this, many people in the hospital and different departments need to be trained on how to handle what needs to happen. There are somewhere between 10 to 20 trainings, and that’s another thing that Berlin Heart had to keep track of in a spreadsheet.

Danny Gavin: 5:02

Now, when we get into these devices, there’s a couple of points that have to be tracked on the devices. So number one are the maintenance logs. A big thing about these devices is that they have to be maintained on a rigorous schedule after so many hours of continuous use. So think of it as a battery right After a certain amount of time, there’s no more battery and it’s out. So same thing with these devices. After a certain amount of hours, they can’t be used anymore. So you have to be well aware like okay, there’s 10 hours left, we’ve made sure that we send another device and take this one off. In addition, with so many things going around the location of those devices, as well as which devices on which patient, there’s a lot of things that have to be tracked. So, once again, if you step back for a second, imagine a world where there’s healthcare. There’s lives involved, there are devices, things across the country, and we are tracking all of this within 12 to 20 spreadsheets that I can only actually edit when I get back to the office.

Danny Gavin: 5:56

It sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen, but, honestly, Berlin Heart is an amazing company and they did well. But the question is, why do we need to have that stress, why do we need to have that extra work? And that’s where HubSpot comes into play. At the recommendation of another firm in the medical device space, Berlin Heart found HubSpot as a solution. Hubspot connected Berlin with Optage to manage the setup and customization of the platform for Berlin’s heart-specific needs, and I want to just give a shout out to Optage. The cool thing is we did such a great job with a different medical device company. The rep at HubSpot was like ooh, a new medical device company, I’m definitely going to send them to Optage. And that was how the connection started. Management system. But BerlinHart needed it to do more than just manage a list of potential customers. It needed to track hospitals, devices, maintenance schedules, patients and so much more, all in a secure manner that, most importantly, was easily accessible from various locations. So how do we do more?

Danny Gavin: 7:01

Hubspot has certain objects as defaults out of the box. These are things like contacts and companies and deals, and these are things that you know. If anyone opened up a free HubSpot account, they would go in and they could start keeping track of their leads and things like that. However, HubSpot also has a special thing called a custom object, and that is something that you can create and connect to other elements within the database as you define it that you can create and connect to other elements within the database as you define it. So really, it’s about taking HubSpot and looking at it as sort of a database management software.

Danny Gavin: 7:33

So let me give you an example to better understand. Imagine, for example, you have a database of all the players, team staff and owners in the NBA and all the relevant details of each element. One of the teams decides to change their name from the Pelicans to the Hornets, rather than having to find each mention of the team name for each player staff member, right? Imagine, like you’ve got all the players and I have to update. This player no longer is on the Pelicans, it’s called the Hornets. Then the next one, the next one and the staff members. Right? That’s crazy. With an interconnected database, you only need to update the team name in one place and then it will update across the system for all connected items, and that’s basically the power of a database. Now, when we talk about databases, seemingly it’s like okay, you have to know database management. That’s complicated, but the cool part is HubSpot has this database power and you can customize yourselves.

Danny Gavin: 9:13

So for Berlin Heart, they needed HubSpot to track devices and patients more than leads and sales, though that piece is important as well. The pumps on the devices have to be changed out often and after a specific amount of time and use. Sure, that could just be left as a note on a given device. However, if we create a custom object for pump changes, not only can we visualize all the pump changes across the system, but we can also set custom notifications and reminders tied to that object to ensure that the pump changes are happening at the proper frequency, and I don’t just need to check my spreadsheet every five seconds and say, okay, do we need another pump change? But all of that can be automated. So how do we actually implement this?

Danny Gavin: 9:54

So first, Optige met with Berlin Heart to determine what the needs of the HubSpot system needed to be. Once the various existing and custom objects were decided upon, we had to walk through what the transition would look like. There was a lot of data from disparate places that needed to be uploaded, reviewed, consolidated and connected in HubSpot. It’s a lot of work. So let’s get through some of the details of walking through this implementation and transition process, which is a big transition from a company being used to working in this system, although it’s a big, crazy system, but it worked for them. And moving to a simplified system, but maybe more technical. Maybe people aren’t so quick to just jump on the bandwagon. So, number one, we had to identify the key workflows and processes, literally sit down and go through each member in the company and what they do, what is that process? And really detail that out in a very specific manner to make sure that we don’t miss any step.

Danny Gavin: 10:50

We also had to customize HubSpot to fit Berlin Heart’s unique needs. Remember, we have to track patients, devices, those pump changes, those status updates. Every patient, every week, there’s a status update on the device for this patient that would be tracked in its own object, in its own table, so that you could keep track of all the status updates in an easy, quick way, instead of just making it once again a note on a patient record. Training records like we said, when they train people to hospitals, it’s important to track who is trained on what. And finally, something that we haven’t spoken about crates. These big, expensive crates. In order to transport the devices from place to place, it’s important to know where they are. Sometimes they’re at the home base, sometimes they’re at the hospital. They could be in many different places and therefore we need to keep track of the crates as well. Another thing that we had to go through was managing the various aspects of patient consultations, implant tracking and device tracking and making sure that, as we build the custom object for those implants and devices, are we tracking the correct components, are there any automation, countdowns and things like that.

Danny Gavin: 11:58

I’ve touched upon data migration, but that was really tough because we had a lot of data, multiple spreadsheets and dirty data. I don’t mean like it was messy, but you’ve got duplicate elements formatting. Maybe you’ve got Texas as TX or TEXAS, and when you upload that into a system, that all has to be cleaned up first right. All of that has to be bundled into one database with interlinked objects. So prepping all that data to get it to where you could upload it and then cleaning up the errors after upload took a lot of time, but it paid off greatly in the end. And that’s another really important thing that people have to think about: when you’re moving from one system to the next, there’s always going to need to be that data cleanup. And who’s going to do that data cleanup? Is it going to be internal? Is it going to be your vendor, but that’s something that time and effort you have to keep track of in successful CRM implementations. We know that you can have the best software out there, the best system, but if people aren’t going to use it, if they’re scared of using it, if they’re going to reject it, then what’s the whole point? And many people say it’s 50 to 75% of the battle.

Danny Gavin: 13:05

So how did we deal with this? So part of the training was just sitting in a room with everyone, with all the different people who are going to be using the system and going through each step of the process. Everyone has their laptops out so they can do it for themselves while learning about it. In addition, a couple weeks before we imported that final data, we gave it to them as a sort of a playground to see how it works without the stress of messing up a given field or messing up a record or deleting something, and that is so, so helpful. So, even though it’s a little bit tedious where, okay, I’m doing my day-to-day work and I need to update the spreadsheet and then also go into HubSpot, but this really allows the user to start to get comfortable with it, really iron out any kinks that were in the process that we didn’t catch right. So it lets us work out a lot of those tiny details that might be better set up in a different way, and it’s extremely helpful in getting the users to want to adopt that software, to adopt HubSpot, and to get rid of their old methods.

Danny Gavin: 14:02

So how did this migration and digital transformation for BerlinHart actually go? Well, let’s hear it from them. I’m going to read off a testimonial that they wrote after the implementation. Seeing everything in one place allows for more efficient workflows in our office. It allows for our small team, who travels a lot, to stay on top of patient requests and accounts even when we are not in the office. The real-time information sharing allows us to better navigate our dynamic environment. And you know what? We also asked them what was the most appreciated piece of implementation and customization. So they answered that it truly meets our needs, thanks to your help in building a tool for us. The device tracking element has been the most exciting for my team because it takes the responsibility of tracking off of one person’s plate and the whole team is becoming competent in this task. We are very excited for the continued opportunity to integrate HubSpot into more of our operations. So the great part is there was a phase one, but there can be a phase two and three. As everyone gets comfortable with the system, they are able to look at other areas of the business that maybe they can now move into HubSpot to really have that one-stop shop of everything that you need in order to be very successful with their goal of prolonging people’s lives who have heart conditions.

Danny Gavin: 15:14

The key points that I want you to take away from this episode HubSpot is extensively customizable for a variety of use cases. You just need the right partner to create the right objects, alarms and connections to make the system fit your needs. You need that architect to be able to take what your problems are, what your systems are and your systems are, and how can I then create a system within HubSpot in order to make it work? Number two within HubSpot, custom objects can do some major heavy lifting. We’re not limited to just those typical CRM fields, but there are custom objects or databases that we can build. That really changes this from a CRM to a business management software.

Danny Gavin: 15:56

Finally, we have the technology. Things don’t have to be managed in a dozen different places, with all of the data management relying on one member of a team. This information can be stored, updated, accessed and exist in a very secure space simultaneously. So I want to encourage you to reflect on your own digital marketing tools and strategies and think about what are the things that you can automate, what are things that are taking you time, and are there systems and processes out there that you can really transform by using a digital tool that will help you be more effective, efficient and get your goals done better and a lot quicker? Thank you for listening to this very special Office Hours episode of the Digital Marketing Mentor Podcast. If you have any questions about HubSpot or digital transformation, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, or you can always reach out to my team at optidge.com I hope you have a great day and I look forward to speaking to you next time.

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