Hartford HealthCare Selects Upfront as its Partner in Transforming the Patient Experience

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Hartford HealthCare (HHC) will leverage Upfront Healthcare’s patient engagement and communication platform to further their goal of transforming the digital patient experience enterprise-wide, building on the success with Upfront for COVID-19 vaccine coordination. 

Upfront delivers dynamic, digital care navigation to improve patient experience, increase necessary visits, reduce no-shows and improve population health performance. Its flexible omnichannel communication capabilities, combined with personalized patient content and calls-to-action, eliminate common barriers to patient engagement and enable Upfront to support a nearly unlimited number of use cases and deliver a world-class patient experience, while driving a significant return on investment for the health system.

Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s only truly integrated healthcare system. With 33,000 colleagues and a medical staff of 4,000 providers, the system offers the full continuum of care with seven acute-care hospitals, the state’s longest-running air-ambulance service, behavioral health and rehabilitation services, a physician group and clinical integration organization, skilled-nursing and home health services, and a comprehensive range of services for seniors, including senior-living facilities and CarePartners of Connecticut, the system’s Medicare Advantage plan. All told, HHC serves more than 185 towns in Connecticut and beyond.

“The opportunity in partnering with a unique organization like Upfront is not just to catch up to the changing environment, but to leapfrog it and lead the provider segment in addressing the increasing consumerization of healthcare,” said Dr. Barry Stein, Vice President and Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at HHC. “We have to meet patients where they are and provide as smooth a journey as possible, digitally guiding them to the services that they need. In this sense, Upfront will play a critical role in helping us reinvent the patient experience.”

Digital communication delivered via personalized landing pages (microsites) embedded in text or email messages, as well as by IVR, will support critical patient initiatives and several key organizational objectives, including:

  • Motivate patients to return for vital preventive care, such as annual wellness visits, mammograms and colonoscopies
  • Improve medication adherence to promote the health of patients with chronic disease
  • Enhance access to care for the underserved and those too often left outside the healthcare system
  • Improve visit adherence and enable real-time rescheduling of visits as needed to drive down cancellations and late no shows
  • Enable real-time education about the purpose for and scheduling of referrals to avert patient confusion or apathy and eliminate ineffective, expensive outbound calls
  • Enroll patients in applicable programs with significant benefits, such as care coordination or suicide prevention programs
  • Achieve the organization’s strategic objectives by ensuring equitable communication and recall for patients to complete necessary care, maximize quality measure performance for CarePartners and impact Star Ratings

Success in achieving these objectives will be driven by HHC incorporating several Upfront solution sets including Necessary Care Completion, with a focus on care gaps, annual wellness visits and medication adherence, Visit Adherence with Embedded Rescheduling, to launch visit confirmations, visit reminders and post-visit surveys, and Enrollment and Optimization to drive awareness and participation in HHC’s Medicare Advantage plan, as well as their care coordination and transitions of care programs.

Collectively, these solution sets will transform patient experience through digital communication and frictionless self-scheduling, further differentiating HHC from local and regional competitors, helping HHC attract and retain patients and driving greater adoption of HHC’s legacy digital investments.

Driving COVID-19 vaccine program success

The relationship between the organizations kicked off both urgently and efficiently in February, when HHC partnered with Upfront to educate consumers about vaccines and ultimately ease the vaccination process for them. During the program’s first 60 days, 1.4 million patients, many of whom reside in hardship ZIP codes prioritized by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, received customized microsites. These sites contained educational content regarding vaccination and one-click scheduling information, visit reminders, missing second doses and post-vaccination symptoms. With 41 percent of patients engaged with the personalized microsites, scheduling at least their first dose, the campaign achieved an engagement rate roughly four times the industry benchmark. Overall, HHC contacted 39 percent of Connecticut’s total population with Upfront and vaccinated 16.3 percent, significantly contributing to the state’s top five ranking in percentage of population vaccinated.

In addition to high-risk individuals, HHC and Upfront built on the connection established with fully vaccinated patients, guiding them through on-going communications to resume necessary preventive care, such as cancer screenings and wellness visits.

Through partnership with Upfront, HHC achieved more equitable vaccine communication and distribution, a doubling of enrollment in HHC’s MyChartPLUS patient portal and a 200 percent increase in usage of ClearStep, an online symptom checker.

“Upfront has not been a vendor to us, but a true partner,” said Debra Hayes, VP and Chief Operating Officer of HHC’s clinical integration organization, Integrated Care Partners. “Upfront understands us?our goals, our system and our challenges?and the results we have seen to date have made a significant impact on the health and well-being of our community.”

“Hartford HealthCare’s vision for patient experience holds tremendous promise for the people of Connecticut,” said Carrie Kozlowski, Upfront’s COO and co-founder. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue collaborating with such a transformative group of leaders whose hard work and singular focus continues to deliver outstanding results at a speed and scale unheard of in this industry.”

About Upfront

Upfront’s Care Traffic Control platform proactively reassures and directs patients to the most relevant care options within the health system. Using advanced analytics, personalized content and strategic calls-to-action, Upfront aligns patient care needs with health system resources through a 1:1 digital experience based on deep healthcare operations and patient engagement experience. With Upfront, more patients will book and complete necessary care, use the most appropriate site of care, enroll in care coordination services, and successfully navigate a care journey or transition.