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Empowering Patients as Partners: An Interview with Tarun Kapoor of Virtua Health

Tarun Kapoor, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Transformation Officer at Virtua Health, sees patients not just as receivers of care but as active partners in their healthcare journey. To him, true patient empowerment means more than meeting requests—it’s about proactively understanding patient needs. 

Traditionally, patients were left on the sidelines, overloaded with information.“The goal is not just a transformative solution, but a mechanism where patients can be empowered,” emphasized Dr. Kapoor. His approach at Virtua Health centers on collaborating with patients as active participants in their care, because engaging patients directly leads to better outcomes for both the patient and the organization.

Empowering patients through consumer choice 

“I’ve heard some people say patients are less loyal these days. The way I look at it, you can’t assume people were previously loyal if they didn’t previously have choices,” said Kapoor.

“Today’s patients have choices and they’re exercising those choices, which now makes them consumers. Health systems need to think more like retailers in meeting patient needs with just-in-time information through convenient modalities (like SMS), and that’s where we are having great success with Luma,” said Kapoor. 

Empowering patients through personal customization

Through partnering with Luma, the Virtua Health team ensures patients receive tailored, relevant information before appointments. Automated appointment reminders engage patients in a friendly and accessible way, making healthcare feel less intimidating.This personal touch has streamlined visits and empowered patients with important knowledge about their health.

With now a 79.34% appointment confirmation rate, partnering with Luma has changed how Virtua Health optimizes appointments, making patient engagement efficient and impactful.

Empowering patients through larger system change

Dr. Kapoor advocates for patients playing an active and informed role in their care decisions, but the first move must be made by the larger healthcare industry: “Patients will not be able to empower themselves unless we create mechanisms to challenge our current system and ask ourselves, are we creating an ecosystem where patients can be empowered?” 

Fostering this kind of active patient participation is not just the future of healthcare – it’s the present, and it’s a journey that Virtua Health, with the help of partners like Luma, is eagerly embracing.

This blog was written based on Tarun Kapoor’s 2023 Lumanate keynote presentation. Watch it here.