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Based on complaints from their patients about a lack of patient engagement solutions compared to other organizations, Sansum identified Artera as a patient communication technology partner in 2018. Located in the California Central Coast, Sansum Clinic is committed to providing high-value healthcare to the communities they serve. In order to do this, they knew it was essential to invest in patient engagement technology that provides them with the flexibility to evolve to meet the rapidly changing needs of their patient population.

The new Artera Conversation Builder functionality is designed to do just this by providing the capability to create custom conversations with patients using Natural Language Understanding (NLU). This new patient communication technology enables multi-step automated patient conversations and is more technically advanced than traditional chatbots. NLU uses machine reading comprehension and the ability of computers to interpret, analyze, and approximate human speech.  

Conversation Builder streamlines telehealth appointment workload

Sansum Clinic first piloted Conversation Builder with certain departments for a small set of use cases. For example, Sansum staff would call patients before their telehealth visits to ensure the patient had the technical capabilities for telehealth, however, these calls were repetitive and time-consuming. Conversation Builder had a big impact on streamlining Sanusm’s telehealth appointments by automating these outreach calls through ​​patient text messaging. Using Conversation Builder, Sansum sent HIPAA compliant text messaging to patients a couple of days before their telehealth visits to determine if they needed technical assistance. This significantly decreased the number of phone calls that were needed, allowed staff to do other tasks, and ensured the telehealth visits ran smoothly.

Sansum administrators quickly realized that they could use Conversation Builder for all of their patient communications and quickly adopted it for almost all of their departments. Lindsay Cortina, Director of Organizational Initiatives said, “It’s really because of the underlying trust and relationship we have with Artera. We trust the technical capabilities of the tool, and we trust the advice and expertise we get from the Artera team.” 

Conversation Builder makes patient intake easier with secure patient texting

Sansum also needed a portal enrollment and patient intake solution for insurance verifications. After using a pre-built Conversation Builder conversation for their MyChart patient portal enrollment, Sansum staff saved hundreds of work hours by using secure patient texting to send an activation code to the patient. Sansum also used Conversation Builder to build a conversational flow to automate the insurance verification process along with a solution to identify which patients needed additional authorization. 

During crisis: Conversation Builder vaccine workflow implemented overnight

As a vaccination center, Sansum’s supply of the COVID-19 vaccines was inconsistent and they often found out last-minute when they were getting a shipment, so they did not have much time to contact patients to schedule appointments. The staff had to manually call people, starting with their older patient population but found out most people were already were vaccinated.  Only one in every six phone calls would result in a patient needing a vaccination. Sansum knew they needed a more efficient way to send out COVID-19 vaccine patient communications whenever they received the vaccine. They reached out to the Artera team who helped them deploy a new vaccine text message and phone call campaign within 24 hours. In a ten-day period, this new Conversation Builder workflow sent out 26,600 messages, saving the staff 159 hours of work.

Future plans for Conversation Builder

Sansum is working on using Conversation Builder to create patient text messaging that sounds like “genuine conversations with friends” since they believe the Artera Conversation BuiIder is the next level of patient communications.  Cortina commented, “We want to make all of our messaging feel conversational and not like a robot.  We get really excited about how we can continue to use this new technology to meet operational challenges in a way that lives up to the high-touch care we provide our patients, all in a very agile way.”

Download the 2021 Sansum Clinic/Conversation Builder case study to learn more about Conversation Builder capabilities for patient communications.♥

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