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continuity of care and the patient experience

By: Karri Alexion-Tiernan, VP of Product MarketingArtera

In my previous blog, I discussed how virtual assistants in healthcare can help CMOs open another channel to reach patients who are visiting their website. Today, I’ll focus on the importance of the continuity of care and the patient experience when the virtual assistant is unable to address the full scope of the patient’s needs.

Patients will engage over multiple digital channels and when one channel is insufficient, the handoff to the next channel can be the difference between abandonment and conversion. 

of patients are willing to switch providers if they are provided
a broken communications experience

Let’s take a look at how Artera Care Assist, our virtual assistant, and Artera Harmony, our modern patient communication platform, can work together to create seamless handoffs across your website, campaigns, automated conversations and your provider’s staff.

1. Handoff from Virtual Assistant to Live Human.  

continuity of care and the patient experience

While virtual assistants in healthcare are amazing helpers, they are not at a state where they can replace all levels of human engagement; therefore, there are times when your customer may want to talk to a live person. This can be simply initiated by typing or speaking the word “agent.” Artera Care Assist’s virtual assistant will engage the appropriate staff and bring them into the live chat without changing the interaction experience. 

To fully assist, staff members can engage in a live discussion via the Artera Harmony Staff Console. This console allows them to see all open patient conversations and provides the ability to engage in real-time to address questions. Through the staff console, they may perform verification steps to best serve the patient, may offer to switch to a live call if preferred by the patient and can loop in other staff members using @mentions. Either way, the handoff from virtual assistant to live human is automated and seamless.  

continuity of care and the patient experience

2. Patient Appointments, Reminders and Re-Scheduling 

Your Care Assist Virtual Agent offered the option to schedule an appointment for your patient but they didn’t follow through in the moment. After engaging a live agent, the appointment is secured. But ensuring that the patient shows up is a whole different nurture stream that needs to be tended to. From sending reminders to providing pre-visit prep instructions to ensuring insurance information is current, these are requirements of every visit, regardless of condition. 

Artera Harmony provides omnichannel conversational communications tailored specifically to increase patient engagement. The platform is 100% focused on getting the right messages to patients so they can act on their health care and providers can assist them while also capturing revenue. With Harmony, all of your patient communications come together in a single view regardless of human intervention, automated conversations nurture your patient through their care journey. This approach enables scheduling, reminders, preparation, rescheduling, post-visit actions, and referrals from patients to be handled from a single platform.

3. Enhance Your Patient Outreach: Using Artera Harmony to Create Engaging Campaigns

Diving deeper into Artera Harmony, two key capabilities can ignite a CMOs ability to keep messaging on brand visually and tonaly for optimal engagement based on the segmented audience and demographic.  

Campaigns enable you to build lists of up to 30,000 recipients in a single send over a toll-free line and schedule specific messages on specific topics to ensure you are reaching the audience that requires the information and not spamming those who don’t. Using data from your EHR and the patients’ communication preferences, these campaigns are highly targeted, thus yielding strong results.

The silver lining of Campaigns in Artera Harmony, you can easily configure them to be delivered via phone, email or text simultaneously and throttle the send as needed.

Once delivered, our reporting capabilities will give you robust information to understand the impact of your Campaigns through response rate, patient reach, booked appointments and delivery metrics so that you can further tune your outreach. 

4. Automating Engagement and Inbound FAQs throughout the Patient Journey: Conversation Templates

As we progress through different stages in life, our healthcare needs change but the patient journey has similar steps for how we proceed through receiving care from our providers. Because we already know that staffing is a struggle that care teams continue to face, time is not something that is readily available. But, it’s a catch-22 – how do you get ahead when you are understaffed and already behind? Work smarter, not harder.

Automation is a key component of leading the charge to create modern patient engagement, but it doesn’t need to be a heavy lift. At Artera, we are helping you to get started by providing predefined automated conversation templates for common tasks and workflows to supplement your team AND increase patient throughput. You’ll get many default conversations and the ability to turn on more via our Conversation Packs which address tasks throughout the care process. These are proven and tested, so you get best practices from the start.

5. Patient Engagement Analytics and Unified Communications History

The Artera Harmony platform provides a robust set of capabilities to improve patient communications and engagement. Knowing how your communications are performing is the only way to keep improving. Key areas that signal success or failure include message delivery, engagement (did they click your CTA), slot utilization, reduction in no-shows and so much more. Beyond the dashboards and reports built by us, you can also leverage our self service analytics to create custom reports with full access to your data. Check out our Analytics Plus reports to learn more.

As health system CMOs navigate the evolving landscape of healthcare marketing, understanding which tools will help modernize the patient experience, deepen patient engagement and convert them through personalized conversations will be critical. Artera is 100% focused on making healthcare #1 in customer service and that starts with delivering a great patient experience at the first touch. Certainly, you could look at other platforms that focus on medical records, customer relationship management or generic marketing automation, but you’ll get generic tools and deliver a generic experience. We’ll all be patients at some point in our lives – let’s deliver a personalized experience together.

In our final blog, we dive into Conversation Packs a bit more to help you expedite your path to digital patient communications using proven best practices.

  1. Artera Trends in Patient Communications Report, 2023 ↩︎
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