How Hospital’s Development Officers use CRMs to support Grateful Patient Programs

Last updated: September 15, 2023

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The majority of hospitals in the United States are nonprofit organizations and rely heavily on philanthropy to fund their mission of providing patient care, community-based health care programs and to fund research to discover how to prevent, treat, and cure diseases.

It’s well known that University Development offices track alumni in their fundraising system as the key constituency to reach out to for philanthropic support of the university’s programs. In that same manner, patients are the key constituency of Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers to reach out to for philanthropic support.  


Security and Privacy Considerations In Building A Healthcare Fundraising Program.

For hospital grateful patient fundraising programs, there are additional considerations and complexity in building a fundraising program given the sensitive and private nature of health care received by patients. There are federal, state, and local laws regarding patient privacy that must be taken into account and safeguards put in place to protect protected health information.  

The most well-known is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which also restricts what patient information can be shared with a health care Development office.  

Given the need to track patients as potential fundraising prospects and the strict security requirements around patient information – the selection and implementation of a fundraising system becomes more complex. 

ascend is a 100% Salesforce native application, and the Grateful Patient module inherits Salesforce’s HIPAA compliance standards.

Medical Development offices, when looking to upgrade their fundraising system with newer technology and functionality, put the ability to configure system security at multiple levels at the top of their system requirements.  

UC Innovation’s ascend CRM system is on Salesforce’s platform and has the ability to leverage Salesforce’s compliance categorization model to flag fields that have special privacy requirements and require additional security controls in concert with Salesforce’s security model which uses object-level, field-level, and record-level security to secure access to object, field, and individual records.

Our ascend CRM includes a Grateful Patient module that is tightly integrated with the Biographic, Gift Processing, and Prospect Management modules. The Grateful Patient module provides the ability to track medical encounters, service lines, and patient referrals in ascend while also being able to seamlessly leverage the functionality in the other modules.   

For example, clients have created Patient Only Contact Reports that are separate from Contact Reports for major gift prospects using the security features to restrict viewing of the Contact Reports to the designated business users.   

Managing Patient Privacy by User Role

UC Innovation’s ascend Clients have leveraged Salesforce’s security model to restrict the patient specific information to be viewed only by users within specific medical fundraising roles when implementing the ability to track medical encounters, service lines, and patient referrals in ascend.


They have applied automations to share a patient’s name and contact information conditionally once the patient has donated a gift to the Academic Medical Center to other gift officers. This limited donor information is shared while the medical encounters, patient referrals and service lines continue to be hidden security from view.    

Salesforce provides a comprehensive and flexible data security model that clients have leveraged in implementing ascend’s Grateful Patient module to enforce their policies and procedure around sharing patient information.  

Clients have designed their organization’s security model and automations to support the ability to have a single constituent record in ascend streamlining data entry and optimizing operation processes. Resulting in being able to apply conditional business rules to share information outside of protected health information when appropriate to collaborate on a prospect fundraising strategy for a patient who indicated a desire to make a gift.  

Given the flexibility of the ascend system and Salesforce’s security model, clients are able to design and implement their data security controls and automations to align with their organization’s policies and business processes. To learn more about the ascend Grateful Patient module, contact us.

Written by Admin

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