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At the Heart of Patient Communication

The heartbeat is the pulse of connection, a palpable sign that blood is flowing freely and life is moving forward. For Artera, customers are the heartbeat of our operations – a life force that makes our job worth doing. 

That’s why we developed Artera Heartbeat, a connection point for all of our customers to discover what’s possible when information flows just as freely – and gets where it needs to go without interruption. Heartbeat, the three-day event that took place on May 22-24, 2023 in New Orleans, brought together patient communications thought leaders from across the country for inspiring, innovative discussions around digital transformation and patient experience. Beyond the content, however, Heartbeat provided a space for networking, connecting, and celebrating wins in the Big Easy. 

Industry Experts Take the Stage at Heartbeat

Heartbeat welcomed an impressive lineup of industry thought leaders who shared their personal experiences and provided valuable perspectives on the latest trends and innovations disrupting the patient engagement space. Others discussed Artera-specific features and functionalities, such as referrals, ChatAssist AI, and Call-to-Text, that have enabled them to more effectively communicate with patients. 

Featured speakers included leaders from a variety of health system and Federally Qualified Health Center Artera customers, such as Hanger Clinic, TrueCare, UNC Health, Cedars Sinai, Baptist Health, UnityPoint Health, Altura Centers for Health, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Hackensack Meridian Health, Clinica Sierra Vista, and Houston Methodist. 

With panel discussions, fireside chats, live demos, customer spotlights, and a Ted Talk-style presentation, our customers had ample opportunity to learn, connect, and engage with fellow colleagues and like-minded peers. Speakers covered a range of topics from how to successfully execute conversational messaging to the cutting-edge of automated patient engagement and implementing digital empathy to drive outcomes.

Meg Aranow, SVP, Platform Evangelist at Artera, leading a panel discussion on “Digital Empathy to Drive Outcomes.”

Additionally, attendees had a chance to hear from a special keynote speaker, Duncan Wardle, Former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney. With his interactive and engaging session, Duncan challenged customers and internal colleagues to think way beyond their traditional styles of thinking. His presentation gave us the formula for success in building – or growing – a culture of innovation through exercising our creativity, intuition, curiosity, and imagination, leaving us feeling empowered with the tools we need to start innovating across our respective organizations. 

Duncan Wardle, Former Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney, presenting at Heartbeat ’23.

What’s more, customers were able to hear first-hand from Adam Cherrington, VP of Digital Health at KLAS Research, who shared exclusive, never-before-seen KLAS data and research, specifically around patient communication and engagement. 

Overall, despite a wide variety of topics and session styles, there were a handful of recurring themes that permeated throughout the conference as a whole. Let’s cover the top five themes and takeaways covered at Heartbeat together. 

The Top 5 Themes for Health Systems at Heartbeat 

1. Stagnation is detrimental. 

We all know change within a healthcare organization can be hard. Whether you’re part of a large enterprise health system or a small FQHC, implementing change to your digital patient engagement strategy can seem like a daunting task for most. That being said, remaining stagnant is even harder, and can ultimately be detrimental to your health system. 

As a provider, it’s critical to embrace change and continue evolving your digital experience to not only meet the growing demands of your patients but to remain competitive in the market today. In order to continue iterating on your digital patient engagement strategy, retain your patients, and attract new ones, you must work internally as a team to fight for change (and budget). In fact, to do this, many of our customers are rolling out governance boards with key stakeholders to ensure digital investments are being considered and prioritized accordingly. Create a sense of urgency for what you – or your patients – are seeking, design a strong vision or set goals, remove any barriers, and come prepared with all the necessary value points to make your case to your upper management. Once executed, make sure to document any and all small wins so you can continue embracing new changes to your digital strategy. 

2. Challenges are inevitable along the way. 

It’s clear our customers – and most providers in general – are all facing similar challenges as they move forward in the digital transformation era. Factors like staffing issues, tight budgets, and pricy cost estimates are getting in the way of an exceptional patient experience. What’s more, call center staff continue to face high call volume and patients are dealing with long hold times on the phone. Even when you do get approval to implement new technologies within your health system, a lack of staff training and sometimes lengthy implementation processes can remain as top challenges – and once you go-live with a new product, you will likely still face a few bumps in the road as well. 

While these challenges can seem frustrating and tiresome at times, see these as opportunities to learn, grow, and iterate on your digital patient engagement strategy. Prioritize any changes you can control and review internal data on a regular basis to identify opportunities for improvement. 

3. Diversity is innovation.

According to Heartbeat’s keynote speaker, Duncan Wardle, Former Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney, “Bringing people together through diversity of thought is what allows new and innovative ideas to be born.” Wardle firmly believes the real power of diversity is helping organizations navigate outside their own entrenched “River of Thinking.” 

By connecting a diverse group of people with various experiences, there is an amazing opportunity to spark new points of view around a given challenge, enabling established experts to break out of their customary “Rivers of Thinking” and to develop truly innovative ideas. Our customer attendees at Heartbeat left Wardle’s session feeling particularly inspired to bring together diverse people at their organization – even patients and their families – to innovate and share ideas together. 

4. Providers want a unified and orchestrated communication experience. 

Hospital digital leaders are coming up against a dilemma: while they want to keep their patients well-informed, the last thing they want to do is bombard patients with messages from a variety of vendors. In fact, most providers today are worried their patients are getting over-communicated with messages whether it’s regarding billing, appointment confirmations, referrals, Rx reminders, or more. 

Moving forward, providers are looking to unify all of these conversations through one streamlined channel, so as not to overwhelm their patients with too many messages across far too many phone numbers. Take a holistic look at your system to understand when and how your patients are currently being communicated to develop a more streamlined and efficient strategy. 

5. Patients are the whole point. 

The various discussions at Heartbeat gave us a friendly reminder while we’re ultimately all in the healthcare industry: to help patients – or rather, people. In fact, the real reason we all do what we do is to support people throughout their entire healthcare journey, no matter how challenging it can get.

We heard this numerous times at Heartbeat: “The complexity of healthcare does not need to be passed on to the patient, so let’s remove the friction.” Hospital leaders must remember to keep the patient at the center of all of their decisions. The most critical changes they make to their digital strategy must be revolved around enhancing the patient experience and enabling greater access to care. 

As Lauren Hardison, VP, Strategy & Consumerism at UnityPoint Health said so eloquently in her Heartbeat session, “Above all else, the future of the patient experience should be built around the patient and their desire for convenient and personalized engagements.” 

Unveiling the Future: Product Roadmap and Demonstrations

Outside of the major key themes, one of the most exciting aspects of Heartbeat was the unveiling of Artera’s latest product roadmap and solutions. Attendees had the exclusive opportunity to witness live demonstrations and get a firsthand look at significant feature enhancements, specifically around Artera Automations (Conversation Manager) and ChatAssist AI (Conversation Builder). 

Artera Innovation Organization (IO) leaders Ashu Agte and Isabelle Meyer Stapf also had the chance to present the current Product Roadmap, highlighting recent launches such as Extended Language Support and Self Service Analytics, as well as upcoming releases and feature updates – all of which support our key product priorities: increase patient engagement, reduce staff workload, deploy and manage Artera at scale, turn data into insights, and unify patient messaging. 

Attendees also had the opportunity to individually connect with Artera product experts to learn more about specific features and functionalities, and even inquire about signing up for early action for various items. 

Building Relationships and Honoring Our Customers

Beyond all of the riveting discussions, we also had the opportunity to connect with our customers on a more personal level through laughter, fun, and collaboration. In fact, we really embraced New Orleans culture, experiencing a traditional Second Line – a foot parade led by a brass band – and heading to Preservation Jazz Hall for a series of Jazz concerts and delicious food. 

To honor our customers and their wins, Artera CEO Guillaume de Zwirek led our first-ever customer award ceremony, the Hearties, at the end of the event. The award recognized Artera’s top customers facilitating connected patient experiences, which are based on three factors: 

  • Reached Patients – patients that received an Artera communication
  • Responded Patients – Of those reached, the percent who responded (highlights a next level of deeper communication with patients) 
  • Connected patients – Those who responded who also had a meaningful conversation

Based on these factors, these were the distinguished leaders from this year: 

  • User of the Year: Miranda Martin, Virginia Urology
  • Department of the Year: Cedars Sinai Spine Center
  • Community Health Center of the Year: Community Health Centers of Central Coast 
  • Health System of the Year: Texas Health Resources

We look forward to continuing to celebrate and honor our customers’ wins year after year through the Heartie Awards and beyond.

Overall, Artera’s Heartbeat conference left a lasting impression on all who attended. From the engaging sessions with industry experts to the unveiling of cutting-edge solutions, the event successfully energized connections and inspired innovation. Heartbeat served as a testament to Artera’s ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of patient engagement technology, while simultaneously empowering its customers to thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape. As attendees left the event, we hope they carried with them a renewed sense of inspiration and a wealth of knowledge to drive their organizations forward, even when challenges exist. 

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