Upfront, the market-leading, unified patient communication and engagement platform, has continued its rapid growth in the first six months of 2020. The company found new ways to create value for health systems confronted by a pandemic that both drove high interest in patient guidance and required closures that canceled thousands of patient visits.
“We responded to our clients’ need to quickly pivot in support of ever-changing information related to COVID-19. Our enterprise ‘Care Traffic Control’ platform retains, navigates and empowers all patients so it easily enabled these new use cases in under three weeks,” said Ben Albert, co-founder and CEO of Upfront.
Pivoting to tackle COVID-19
Upfront quickly responded to the needs of its clients by deploying its platform in new ways to meet COVID-19 patient communication, engagement and care delivery needs. These programs delivered multi-channel communications more quickly to patients and saved thousands of hours of time for provider organizations grappling with the pandemic.
For an academic health system in the Midwest, Upfront developed a program to deliver coronavirus test results to about 50,000 patients. The program achieved a 70 percent engagement rate, leading 80 percent of patients who required follow-up care to schedule appointments. By eliminating 50,000 outbound calls, the health system has saved 4,000 hours of staff time, or the equivalent of a 40-hour work week for 100 employees to date.
Upfront also worked with a community health system in the Midwest on COVID-19 awareness and symptom monitoring. The program provides education about the disease and enables patients to self-report symptoms. Out of 105,000 patients contacted, 42 percent engaged with the outreach, and 79 percent engaged with follow-up outreach based on reported symptoms. The program has saved 8,700 hours of work, or the equivalent of 218 employees working a 40-hour week to date.
Bringing patients back
An ongoing challenge for provider organizations is convincing patients to return to physician offices and other care facilities for necessary care. Upfront provided a multi-specialty group practice serving a metropolitan area with a multi-specialty-care recall program to reschedule appointments canceled because of COVID-19 and schedule patients for necessary recurring visits. The program engaged 30 percent of patients and led to nearly 4,000 appointments, generating revenue that provides a return on investment of 10x.
New clients, partnership, enhancements
Upfront also began work in the first half of 2020 with Prisma Health, serving the Midlands and Upstate regions of South Carolina.
For Prisma Health, Upfront is developing recall programs to identify patients needing either annual wellness visits (for both adults and children) or screenings for colorectal cancer and breast cancer and then engage and guide those patients to necessary care. The programs reach the right patients at the right time with clear, personalized guidance to the care they need. The content adjusts in real time based on patient responses and fits our collaborative approach to working with patients to strengthen their health and wellness.
Upfront also expanded its work in 2020 with Riverside Health System, based in Newport News, Va. Riverside has used the Upfront platform to reach out to nearly 300,000 patients and employees with COVID-19 information and education and also to provide check-ins for patients practicing self-quarantine.
“Delivering more to our patients through smart, practical innovations has never been more critical for Riverside Health System,” said Eileen Varnson, vice president of marketing for Riverside. “The Upfront platform offers incredible personalized content and was able to customize for Riverside Health System’s patient and employee populations.”
Upfront and Zipnosis began a strategic partnership to provide every patient with a safe and efficient way to schedule and receive care while helping health systems restore their business and recoup revenue. The partnership combines Upfront’s market-leading, proactive patient communication and personalized engagement platform with the Zipnosis device-agnostic virtual care solution. Working together, Zipnosis and Upfront deliver trustworthy digital communication to patients and intelligently guide them to the best mode of care for their needs and comfort level—whether that is in-person or a virtual visit.
Upfront also made several enhancements to its products and platform:
- Upfront Appointment Booking proactively offers personalized options at the most appropriate site of care allowing patients to schedule their visits with just a few clicks, became available this spring in the Epic App Orchard Marketplace.
- Patient specific care journeys improve outcomes by guiding patients through unique care pathways and episodes of care across multiple specialties.
- Upfront Insights (powered by Tableau) provides reporting, patient-level analytics and strategic recommendations across the enterprise.
- The company accelerated technical investments to expand the capacity of its platform by 12 to 18 months to meet the growing needs of its clients.
- Upfront streamlined its implementation process to more quickly implement programs for clients, delivering impactful results in a matter of weeks.
Upfront also was named one of the “Best Places to Work” in Illinois, a statewide award sponsored by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council and Best Companies Group.
“Today, more than ever, health systems need to create a unified patient experience that builds trust and enables each patient to use all of the health system tools and services to safely access necessary care,” Albert said. “Upfront’s Care Traffic Control platform drives patient engagement and delivers an impactful ROI for the health system.”
Upfront’s Care Traffic Control platform proactively reassures and directs patients to the safest and 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, successfully navigate a care journey or transition, and understand how to stay safe in unusual conditions.