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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.

With Luma now tightly integrated with Greenway Health, millions more patients will more easily access care, prepare for their appointments, and communicate with their providers

Luma is built on the core idea that it should be easier for patients to get to care, and the newly announced partnership between Greenway Health and Luma makes that possible for millions more patients across the United States. 

For patients to be successful, they need to:

  1. Access care more easily.
  2. Easily communicate with their providers.
  3. Be ready for care before their visit.

With Luma integrated directly into the Greenway Health EHRs as the native patient engagement solution, patients can self-service, with every action updating the patient’s record in Greenway. This puts the patient at the center and gets them what they need – without additional burden for staff. 

It supports these three pillars that make patients more successful and ultimately creates the positive consumer experience they expect. 

Here’s how the Luma-Greenway partnership supports the 3 pillars of patient success.

1. Access Care Easily

Access when and where patients want it

Patients expect more options than a phone call to access care, and research shows that they love having self-service options. Patients will even choose a provider based on whether they can self-schedule or change appointments without calling.

Greenway Patient Connect powered by Luma lets them:

24/7 access 

We’ve heard from countless organizations that they want to do more to improve patient access, but don’t have any more staff time to devote to it. They need to do more than ever before to gain and retain patients, with less staff effort.

Luma + Greenway lets patients take action 24/7, integrated directly with their patient record. It means no double-documentation for staff or manually filling open times. 

Instead, open times are automatically filled with offers to the right patients based on their appointment needs. Staff simply see fuller schedules in Greenway. For example, at DMOS Orthopaedic Centers, dozens of patients per day booked appointments online in the first full month with Luma.

2. Communicate with Providers


For patients to be successful without long wait times on hold, they need an easy way to contact their providers with questions. 

Luma enables secure staff-patient chat and allows patients to initiate by text or chatbot to get the answers they need. And if they’re on the phone and can’t wait for a staff member, they can receive a text instead to complete actions like rescheduling an appointment. 


To help staff communicate with patients more efficiently, they have options in Greenway Patient Connect powered by Luma:

3. Be Ready for Care

Clear next steps

Reminders directly to patients with the next steps they need to know help reduce no-shows and create a better experience for patients. 

Reminders from Greenway Patient Connect powered by Luma are driven by the schedule in Greenway and automatically let patients know when to arrive for their appointments, whether they have forms to complete, and more. Patients are more prepared for their appointments, without staff investing in manual calls down a list.

Easy, EHR-integrated actions

Instead of simply engaging patients by text and leaving next steps for in person or over the phone, Greenway Patient Connect powered by Luma lets patients take the next step themselves. It creates the self-service, simple consumer experience that patients have grown to expect. 

For example, they can:

These actions update the Greenway EHRs directly, allowing patients to actively partner in their healthcare journeys and ensuring staff members have one source of truth.

We couldn’t be more excited for the efficient, simple consumer experience patients will have access to with the Luma-Greenway partnership on Greenway Patient Connect powered by Luma. Simplifying these everyday interactions, providing self-service options, and removing friction from the healthcare experience are the true opportunities for innovation in healthcare right now. This partnership will improve the healthcare journeys of millions of patients across the United States with these pillars of patient success.

The previous norms for earning and keeping patients have shifted dramatically, as outpatient volumes continue to be lower post-pandemic. Staying competitive often means getting creative to not only reduce costs – which can only be reduced so far – but doing more with your existing resources.

Luma helps your team get more results from the efforts you already implement, helping you contain costs and grow revenue. 

Here are innovative ways that peers from the Luma community are containing costs: 

  1. Free up resources, then repurpose 
    • Instead of patients filling out forms in the office, Seaview Orthopedics, located in Ocean, New Jersey, implemented an automated intake process using Luma reminders. Patients are sent their intake forms via text before their visit, saving time and removing the manual process for staff. “I never thought that intake forms could be an easy process, especially because there are so many complexities in orthopedics,” said Christina Flaherty, Seaview’s Director of Project Management, “With Luma, we now can focus on next-level growth.”The Seaview team converted the now-empty waiting room space into additional physical therapy rooms, and in just five months, they earned over $765,000 ROI from increased patient volumes. 
  2. Evaluate the downstream effects of a pay-per-message strategy
    • At Specialists in General Surgery in Minnesota, 3-5 full-time staff manually called patients each day to remind them of appointments or pre-op instructions. Their pay-per-message vendor made it costly to remind patients via text, which led to the necessity of daily calls. After making the switch to Luma and using text reminders instead of calls, they started saving over 20 hours of staff time each week. “Luma takes an incredible lift off our team by giving them more time to focus on patients instead of reminder calls. I didn’t realize just how much of a tremendous employee morale booster Luma would be,” said Anita Caskey, Chief Administrative Officer, Specialists in General Surgery.
  3. Look for automation opportunities to save patients and staff time
    • Like Specialists in General Surgery, CommuniCare, an FQHC in San Antonio, Texas, now automates text reminders before appointments to let patients – and staff – skip the phone calls. In two months, more than half of their patients opted to confirm their appointments via text. The convenience of texting over calling is what patients expect, according to Sean Adams, VP, Chief Performance & Innovation Officer for CommuniCare. With Luma, CommuniCare saved over 3,000 hours of staff time in reminder calls, valued at $41,500 saved per month.  
  4. Utilize existing schedule spots to improve outcomes and drive revenue
    • GPW Health Center, located in Manassas, VA, gained an additional $30,000 in seven months from filling open appointments using automated waitlist offers.  Previously, when patients would cancel at the last minute, those appointments would stay empty, creating a loss of expected revenue for GPW.  Now, patients who need care sooner get Luma text message offers integrated with the eClinicalWorks EHR. Schedules stay full and patients are being seen sooner, without additional manual work from GPW’s staff. 

Want to learn more about how Luma can help maximize your return on investment? Schedule a demo today! 

Utilizing an enterprise EHR system is like traveling on a cruise ship. You and hundreds of fellow passengers are on the same journey, for better or worse. The ship is designed to keep everyone onboard happy. You know which destinations lie ahead, but the schedule may be impacted due to weather.

 But what if you want to stay a little longer in one port? What if you need to hurry up and meet friends at a different destination? What if you’re a little seasick and want to slow down? You’re out of luck. There’s no diverting the cruise ship from its set route, even when passengers aren’t on board.

We often observe this in healthcare. Many complex organizations benefit from the immense scope and scale of an enterprise EHR to care for a broad patient population, but one size does not fit all. Patient experience and engagement varies widely. Healthcare is a competitive market. In many regions, patients have a choice about where to seek care. Without IT tools in place to smooth the patient journey, this looks like:

Patients’ unique needs would benefit from speedboat flexibility to react to market conditions as they change. Enter patient engagement platforms: a solution that natively integrates with your EHR can implement new outreach strategies and realize results now. 

In competitive marketplaces, this is not a luxury but a necessity. If you don’t have the ability to reach patients now, you risk losing them to a facility that can. How do we know? Because 87% of surveyed healthcare decision-makers agree that ability to compete in a marketplace is a driver for implementing patient engagement solutions (source). Fortunately, you don’t have to lag behind.

Fill the Cracks, Fast

What if your organization could start seeing changes in a matter of weeks?

Most systems are designed to work when everything is going right: when patients are fully engaged with all of their tools. In an enterprise health system, the multitude of available tools can flow through a patient portal for a streamlined patient experience. But data shows that more than half of patients aren’t using patient portals, even after receiving opportunities to register.

A platform approach to patient engagement can integrate into the native EHR and bridge some of the cracks with a medium that everyone uses: SMS text messaging.

Unlike enterprise EHR modules, API-integrated platform solutions can be implemented and launched within 45 days – enabling your organization to not just keep up with the Joneses, but surpass their assets.

Break Free from Boilerplate

Why are 89% of patients between the ages of 17-74 reluctant to use online scheduling options? Reasons include lack of access to internet, lack of awareness that options exist, low computer skills, and resistance to changing habits (source). It can be challenging to change their ways when limited to boilerplate messaging options and a set number of scenarios. To activate these patients and keep them within a healthcare network, organizations must be able to think outside the box – and step outside of boxes, too.

Partnership with a flexible patient success platform keeps patients on that journey.  Over 1,000 messaging scenarios, and the ability to develop more, will accommodate your unique organization – and your patients – right from implementation.

Don’t Despair: Automate

When complexity abounds, organizations hesitate to adopt patient engagement technologies because their processes can vary wildly across the system. Specialities following different workflows keeps organizational knowledge siloed and ensures that valuable staff time is required to keep patients in-network. Many are surprised to learn that complexity doesn’t have to be a barrier to modernization. In fact, implementation of a platform is often an opportunity to simplify workflows and identify streamlined ways to automate tired processes. Administrators and staff alike are often pleasantly surprised to learn that people don’t have to manually undertake every step of the scheduling and intake processes.

The perfect mix

Automation is a hot topic right now, but it’s important to deploy a strategy that keeps humans involved when necessary. Sometimes it’s best to simplify the easy stuff and leave the personal touch for when it’s needed most. Main Line Health saved 15,000 minutes of human time per month when they implemented Digital Call Deflection. Inbound calls could be diverted to conversational SMS text messaging, enabling the call center to focus on patient interactions that benefited from a human touch.

What next?

Learn how an out-of-box solution can reach and activate the 40% of patients who aren’t using your organization’s patient portal. Request a demo here.

Patient care extends well beyond the minutes that a clinician and patient pass in an exam room together. The ensuing visit notes are just one piece of the continuum. Healthcare systems have long integrated selections from a smorgasbord of technology tools to document care, optimize practice operations, and integrate patients’ financial journeys…with varying degrees of interoperability and success. 

Moving into 2024, healthcare providers report momentum towards consolidating tech stacks, looking to existing solutions for add-on capabilities before evaluating new vendors. Many EHR vendors are expanding beyond their core functionality of care documentation with solutions across the patient care journey. But organizations should tread with care.

Enterprise EHR is not one-size-fits-all

Every organization has unique aspects that influence operation. The gap between patient expectations and system capabilities can be massive, presenting many opportunities for patients to fall into the chasm between.

What’s holding patients back? Research indicates that barriers to self-service include access to the internet, lack of awareness of services, low computer skills, and change in the habit of making appointments over the phone or face-to-face. But even for patients who engage with technology, a challenging process is likely to disenchant and deter. Patients expect a frictionless experience. Anything less will stand between them and a completed appointment. No pressure, right?

The good news is, in a competitive marketplace, healthcare systems have a huge opportunity to deliver a seamless experience to keep patients coming back.

Most systems are designed to work when everything is going right: when patients are fully engaged with all of their tools. But data shows that only about 20-30% of patients make it through a manual scheduling process to a completed appointment. In their wake, they leave the debris of administrative burden, network leakage, missed appointments, and ultimately: lost revenue.

To capture maximum value from an enterprise EHR, you will need supplemental capabilities and patient engagement guardrails designed to keep the other 70 – 80% of patients in network.

10 Ways that Patient Engagement Platforms Support Patient Retention

  1. End-to-end SMS capabilities: Patient portals can be limiting – many features hide behind walls of clicks and require a patient’s full, unsustained attention. Text message outreach can go beyond directing patients to their portal. Reach more patients by enabling them to make an appointment or complete pre-visit paperwork by way of text messages, start-to-finish.
  2. Smart Waitlist Management: Automate the patient-cancel-staff-scramble with a graceful pivot to an integrated process, filling newly-emptied appointment slots as they arise via automated text outreach.
  3. Streamlined Appointment Management: Enable patients to schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments through the platform, reducing no-shows and optimizing scheduling efficiency.
  4. Automated Appointment Reminders from a Recognized Phone Number: Text blasts are often ignored or filtered as spam. When patients receive reminders via a trusted organization’s phone number, practices realize improved appointment attendance rates and reduce administrative burdens.
  5. Secure Communication Channels: Stay HIPAA-compliant. Secure communication between patients and healthcare providers can be integrated within the platform.
  6. Health Risk Assessments: Administer and analyze health risk assessments through the platform, aiding in early identification of potential health risks and preventive interventions.
  7. Feedback and Satisfaction Surveys: Collect patient feedback and satisfaction surveys through the platform to gauge the quality of care and identify areas for improvement. Automate post-visit follow-ups and surveys to gather insights into patient experiences and monitor recovery progress.
  8. Pre-Visit Questionnaires: Collect relevant patient information before visits through digital questionnaires, optimizing visit efficiency and information accuracy.
  9. Remote Check-Ins: The digital front door is in patients’ fingertips. Conduct virtual check-ins through the platform, allowing healthcare providers to focus on what’s important and keep schedules on pace  patient well-being between scheduled appointments.
  10. Billing and Payment Integration: Streamline billing processes by integrating payment functionalities within the platform, enhancing the financial aspects of healthcare service delivery.

Simple, right?

Having all of these in place is great, but if they don’t integrate deeply with your EHR, your organization won’t reap maximum returns. Overworked staff can’t spend time tracking these things down manually. For true Patient Success, these workflows must be deeply embedded in a native EHR, automating processes with closed-loop referrals and EHR writebacks.

Navigating the happy path in the complex landscape of enterprise EHRs requires a thoughtful approach to patient engagement. By addressing gaps with personalized strategies, proactive waitlist management, and consideration of generational nuances, healthcare providers can guide patients seamlessly through their journey, leading to improved outcomes and increased value from their EHR investments.

RESOURCE: Learn more about how Luma integrates with EHRs like Epic to support patient retention.

It’s the dream come true: your specialty practice is highly regarded in your region, and you’ve built a reputation and the relationships that result in an opportunity to help a patient in your distinct area of expertise. 

Of course, you don’t know this yet. This patient, all the way across town, leaves their primary care provider’s office clutching a piece of paper. That single sheet is everything: the referral. But there’s only a 35% chance that you’ll ever realize this moment of opportunity took place, when the referral results in a completed appointment. It’s far too likely that the patient will end up following another path instead.

How much is this costing your practice?

Why does patient drift? It could be based in process: patients want easy scheduling. If they can make an appointment online, great. But oftentimes, new patient workflows are complex and require call-ins. It’s too easy to get lost before the process begins, be it to long hold times at an overworked call center, or phone tag with an office staff. In fact, 45% of referrals resulted in no communication back to the patient.

Once the appointment is scheduled, the wait begins… and the longer the wait, the greater the odds of patient cancellation or no-showing. Maybe they feel better and no longer feel the need for care. But it’s also possible that they are seeking faster service elsewhere… or that, by the time their appointment rolls around, they’ve forgotten completely.

It’s challenging to broadly quantify the cost of these missed opportunities. But it’s safe to say that accounting for wasted/redundant staff labor, no-shows, patient appointment leakage, and lost opportunities for procedures has occurred will add up to big losses.

We suggest three technology-based pillars for successfully changing outcomes:

  1. Provide patients with a direct link to scheduling and provider

Research shows that most patients want convenient ways to contact their doctor’s office, but barriers such as lack of computer availability and reluctance to change habits can be barriers to portal adoption. Yet even older generations are texting. Rather than guiding patients towards friction and roadblocks, send scheduling opportunities directly into their hands. Increase the likelihood of making appointments by sending patients an SMS referral notification when their referral is created. When the message comes from a trusted phone number, the patient is more likely to engage – not just by clicking through to make an appointment by text alone (no need for a patient portal), but by sustained interaction and conversational messaging with their healthcare provider.

  1. Keep patients engaged throughout the lead-in time to appointment, resulting in increased retention and fewer no-shows with minimal staff workflow

Enterprise EHRs often offer a singular appointment reminder with boilerplate language. While useful, this single touchpoint doesn’t offer the same reassurance as customized guardrails. A patient engagement platform enables tailored workflows with cadenced reminders sent to patients. Leveraging insights, such as those provided by Bedrock, helps practices determine evidence-based communication practices to drive results. The goal? The patient feels included and is less likely to migrate their care.

  1. Fill appointment gaps when patient plans change

When life happens to patients, it’s often accompanied by no-shows… and empty appointment windows. With a technology solution that automates the processes of: adding scheduled patients to a wait list, sharing cancellation opportunities, immediately offering newly available appointment times to canceling patients, and rescheduling the slot.

This cuts down on appointment lag for patients on the waitlist and quickly fills available slots – a win-win.

Bonus points if the referral loop can be written back within the native EHR, ensuring that all parties are aware that care has been received.

Managing patients’ health can be challenging, but the referral process doesn’t have to be.

Click here to dig deeper. Have specific business use cases and want to know how Luma can help? Schedule a demo.

When Michelle Winfield-Hanrahan took the helm as Clinical Chief Access Officer & Associate Vice Chancellor of Access at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in February of 2021, her mission was clear: find a patient engagement platform that supports the institution’s vision. While many platforms offered text messaging solutions, Michelle found Luma Health to be unique in their approach. “Luma really understood what we were looking for and they were willing to partner with us to determine the best fit for our organization,” emphasized Michelle.

One of the main issues Luma addressed for UAMS was the need for patients to effectively reschedule their appointments. Patients who canceled appointments often struggled to find a convenient time for rescheduling, resulting in gaps in needed care, longer wait times, and increased manual work for staff. These challenges ultimately affected the continuity and quality of patient care.

The Journey to Boardroom Buy-In

For Michelle, obtaining buy-in from the organization’s key stakeholders and senior leadership was a crucial milestone. As a new executive at UAMS, she faced the challenge of gaining support to invest in Luma. This milestone wasn’t just about getting approval for Luma; it was also a chance to improve the way UAMS delivers healthcare. Getting stakeholder support not only validated her vision but it also marked a turning point in modernizing UAMS’s healthcare delivery to meet the ever-changing needs of patients and staff.

Here’s Michelle’s blueprint for boardroom buy-in: 

1. Align with Organizational Goals

Initiatives should focus and align with the goals of the strategic organization, such as delivering positive patient outcomes and satisfaction. Michelle shared with stakeholders that embracing technology like Luma could reduce patient no-shows, streamline workflows, and improve patient experience. “We didn’t want to lose revenue or compromise patient care, so this became a strategic initiative,” she explained.

2. Create Momentum Across Departments

Positive buy-in from one department can lead to interest in adopting the technology from other departments, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and cross-team collaboration. “Once we saw the success of the texting capability and rescheduling in one department, it sparked interest from others. They saw how we were solving our problems, and other departments started reaching out, asking if we can implement this in their areas. We’re quickly rolling it out to the next service lines,” Michelle mentioned.

3. Showcase Progress and Impact

It is important to ensure that the tool’s impact across different areas plays a role in delivering excellent patient care, streamlining administrative tasks, and keeping operations running smoothly. To show how it affects patient care and operational efficiency, this involves using detailed data reports.

“Luma’s ability to show us everything that we’re doing from their reporting capability has been instrumental in getting better patient communication moving throughout the organization,” Michelle notes.

These reports help put actionable insights into perspective in order to make improvements in daily operations. From reducing the number of canceled appointments to ensuring patients are seen on time and maintaining patient satisfaction—these reports highlight the important role Luma’s suite of solutions plays in improving patient care. 

Transforming Healthcare Together

Michelle’s success at UAMS is the story of healthcare evolution: how technology and collaboration can shape patient success. Partnering with Luma Health can help organizations like UAMS usher in a new era where patients can actively participate in their own healthcare journey.

Interview based on October 25, 2023 Patient Access Collaborative webinar featuring Luma Health and Michelle Winfield-Hanrahan of UAMS.

If the current healthcare landscape could be summed up in a question, it might be: do we have enough support staff right now? 

As labor costs and staffing challenges increase across every functional area of care delivery, Luma is committed to delivering holistic success for patients and the healthcare system at large, so that your organization can focus on what it does best: providing high-quality care.

Because over 8 million active users interact with Luma on a daily basis, our goal as a platform is to continually adapt, rising to any challenge our customers face. At the end of the day, we strive for holistic success for not only patients, but the healthcare system at large. Staff engagement, efficiency, and satisfaction are key components of that success. 

With this in mind, we are excited to announce that commencing on October 31st and continuing through the year’s end, we’ll be implementing automatic updates to introduce our customers to the new UI and features. Designed with staff efficiency in mind, these new products energize pre-existing workflows for the Luma power user.

Updated User Experience 

Enjoy a quicker, consistent, and more intuitive way to access our platform. The latest update brings staff a modern User Interface, a simplified navigation designed around key focus areas, and a customizable home page that significantly improves support for patient success. All of the following new products and user functionalities are available only in this new UI, completing the enhanced experience.

Scheduler Assist [early access] 

Easier scheduling workflows, now at your fingertips. Scheduler Assist is designed to make staff members’ jobs easier when actively working with patients. Smart workflows streamline the appointment management process, ultimately reducing call wait times, improving patient and staff satisfaction, and providing a direct financial impact on your organization. 

Interested in learning more? Sign up for our Early Access program

Insights Center 

Make the most of staff time and create more successful patient journeys with actionable data. With patient behavior insights, visibility into the “true time” providers spend with patients, and more, it’s easy for any role – no matter how reporting-savvy – to understand your organization’s opportunities to better utilize providers or facilitate improved patient outcomes. 

Workflow Builder and Workflow Gallery

Turnkey solutions to solve customer problems right off the shelf. Users can choose from a library of pre-built workflows from the Gallery to customize or create new workflows in Luma with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface. 

Message Template Translations 

Translate templates to any supported languages with just one click. With the launch of our new UI, we’ve added the ability to automatically translate messaging templates in Mission Control. Now you can leverage AI to translate any of your messaging templates into one or more of our 33 supported languages with just the click of a button. 

As we close 2023 and look to the healthcare landscape of 2024 and beyond, we want your team to feel more supported, excited, and energized than ever before. We’re here to help guide that journey. 

This year at Lumanate 2023, we centered around patient empowerment and partnership. Why this theme? Why now? 

We know that the healthcare delivery landscape continues to increase in complexity – where patients (i.e. the customer) are seeking a great health outcome, alongside a stellar consumer experience.

Competition is further amplifying this challenge – patients (i.e. the customer) have far more options to choose from, be it a similar clinic down the street, retail care options like CVS Minute Clinic, or a virtual care option on their phone.

Given the numerous paths to achieving a patient’s desired health outcome, delivering a stellar consumer experience is critical – patients want to play a part in managing their healthcare journey.

Recent research shows that it is a key consideration in their choice of providers. 

Patients are often an underutilized resource. However, when empowered, patients take manual work away from staff and – unlike staff – a patient’s self-service efforts are scalable. 

This strategy doesn’t require ‘more technology’ – rather, successful healthcare delivery organizations have focused on framing technology, workflows, and staffing trade-offs with a clear focus on ‘what’s the right thing to do for our customer/patient?”.

Here are three guiding principles we’ve found to be critical in empowering patients: 

Don’t rely on the “digital front door” alone 

The patient journey extends before and after the front door (and don’t forget that some folks like using the garage door or side door).

 Think digital-first, but not digital-only

Patients want an omni-channel experience (i.e. meet them where they are, and pick right back up where they left off) – that’s not one-size-fits-all.

Look for “hidden” pitfalls to  patient success

Areas where patients might have trouble reaching you or getting what they need. 

It’s time to empower patients. Let’s get started together! 

Want more Lumanate 2023 content, including a recording of Adnan Iqbal’s kickoff? Visit

Originally published July 19, 2023 by HealthIT Answers.

Have you searched for something on a company’s website, then given up and called to speak to a customer service representative when you couldn’t find the answers you were looking for? This experience is all too common – especially in healthcare. Since 2020, digital front doors (DFDs) have become increasingly popular. And with the healthcare staff shortage projected to continue, and even worsen, until 2025, digital entry points into healthcare for patients are more important than ever.

But for too many patients, these “front doors” are broken and far too difficult to navigate – leaving them either without care or forced to navigate their own entrance into the health system. Technology can be a powerful way to improve healthcare equity and patient access, but a dysfunctional digital front door can create more hurdles for patients. Health systems and clinics must evaluate the true effectiveness of their digital strategy to care for as many patients as possible, more equitably, with fewer staff.

The Great Patient Disconnect

I’ve spoken to many health systems who struggle with having provided patients with digital options to connect, but coming up short when these channels and digital front doors don’t seem to be making a difference. This is the “Great Patient Disconnect,” where both patients and providers are engaged in the healthcare journey and have digital tools available, but still struggle to connect.

For many organizations, the primary digital front door available to the organization remains the patient portal. According to the United States Government Accountability Office, however, while 90% of organizations reported that despite offering a patient portal, only about a third of patients use them. It’s clear that this “front door” is insufficient for patients who expect and need more accessible digital touch points across the healthcare journey.

Barriers to patient adoption or effective use can include:

These barriers contribute to this “front door” being accessible to only a subset of patients. For healthcare organizations who provide care to diverse patient populations, not only do these disparities make healthcare access less equitable, but they increase the number of patients who need to request care via phone calls with already overburdened staff.

Despite the relatively low adoption of patient portals, patients of varied backgrounds are motivated to use technology to engage with their care. Data from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation’s National Poll on Healthy Aging highlights that 75% of surveyed adults aged 50-80 reported having a patient portal, and 85% of those patients reported using it in the last six months.

Meanwhile, patients indicate that the technology offerings available, like patient portals and digital front doors, are not always meeting their needs. A recent meta-analysis shows, for example, that although patients want self-scheduling and self-scheduling has significant benefits, healthcare organizations’ adoption of it remains low – with one of the primary barriers to adoption being the perception that patients would be hesitant to self-schedule.

Modern consumers have access to great digital experiences nearly everywhere they turn. These broken, underused digital front doors are no longer a viable option to serve patients – who need and expect to easily connect with their care in the channel of their choice.

We need to deliver an omnichannel digital continuum

The Great Patient Disconnect shows that a digital front door is no longer the right framework to meet patients where they are. A front door alone isn’t enough – patients need an omnichannel digital continuum that orchestrates all the points of their journey, not just bits and pieces of it.

According to Stacy Porter, VP of Digital at University Hospitals, “We need to move away from ‘random acts of digital’ to truly empower our patients to be successful.” At University Hospitals, every aspect of the patient journey, from digital to in-person, has been designed to avoid gaps, frustrations, and barriers and instead provide an orchestrated experience.

If you’re concerned that your digital strategy could fall prey to “random acts of digital” and contribute to the Great Patient Disconnect, how can you solve potential issues in the continuum to meet patients – your customers – where they are? Look for points of disconnection like:

If you’re seeing more than one of these pain points, it’s time to reevaluate your digital front door and move to an omnichannel digital continuum.

Attributes of an effective, equitable omnichannel digital continuum

An omnichannel digital continuum considers each interaction a patient has with your organization and creates an orchestrated journey across those interactions.

According to Jeff Johnson, VP Innovation and Digital Business at Banner Health, “We can’t just be a healthcare company that does some digital interactions. We must be a digital company.” Banner Health designs every consumer interaction with ‘Patient Sofia,’ their patient archetype, in mind – from finding care to the experience in the hospital and beyond.

What does a digital strategy look like when corrected from “random acts of digital” to an omnichannel digital continuum? Key attributes include:

One key factor in an effective omnichannel digital continuum is making it truly omnichannel – accounting for the communication preferences of a wide variety of patients. Most patients love the option for text or web interactions, but some don’t. Plan ahead for these preferences and ensure that patients have the flexibility to successfully get to the next step in their journeys, whether they use all or only some of your digital tools. For example, offer an automated option for a callback or a switch to SMS to patients who might have called despite preferring SMS or web. Doing so can free up your staff to address calls from patients who prefer them.

Finally, digital front doors can be improved by proactively asking for, then acting on, patient feedback regarding the digital options they want and need. The Great Patient Disconnect is exacerbated when patients can’t reach you, then quietly resort to another method or even go elsewhere for their care. By recognizing that simply having a digital front door doesn’t necessarily solve patient access challenges, and a more comprehensive digital continuum is a must, you’re already on your way to creating a better experience for both patients and staff.

Originally published July 13, 2023 on Physicians Practice.

Staffing shortages. For the last few years, this dreaded phrase has become an all-too-familiar reality. The health care staff shortage is projected to continue, and even worsen, until 2025. Meanwhile, a recent Guidehouse Center for Health Insights report states that 95% of health system executives are expecting outpatient volumes to increase this year.

To weather these contrasting trends, establishing omnichannel digital entry points for patients is more crucial than ever to save your team time, resources and energy — as well as to create a coordinated continuum across the patient journey.

But difficult-to-navigate digital tools and the lack of capabilities that patients really need can create a conundrum where both patients and providers want to connect but struggle to do so despite existing patient engagement tools.

The Great Patient Disconnect

It’s more important than ever for practices to be able to effectively leverage their digital patient engagement and communication tools to lessen the burden on staff. Many are still recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic on top of current budget constraints and expiring pandemic-era funding, and are struggling to staff enough people to reach patients by phone.

Meanwhile, with limited staff, practices are following up on care missed during the pandemic, competing in a crowded health care market, caring for large numbers of attributed patients and more.

I’ve spoken to representatives of many health systems who are dissatisfied with their digital strategy. They’ve invested in platforms or solutions to make engagement easier for patients but still deal with high call rates, no-shows and low portal adoption. This is the “great patient disconnect,” where both patients and providers are engaged in the health care journey and have digital tools available, but still struggle to connect.

Despite 71% of providers reporting that patient engagement is a high priority at their practice, data from CDW Healthcare notes that just 29% of patients said they would give their providers an A in patient engagement. And while 90% of organizations offer a patient portal, overall the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that only about a third of patients use them.

This disconnect can impact both patients’ care journeys and the effectiveness of the practice. For example, if pre-visit instructions or other important information are primarily accessible in the patient portal, patients without the portal may not be prepared for their appointments or recognize that it’s time for a follow-up visit. Meanwhile, if patients struggle to access the digital tools you provide, more pressure is placed on overburdened staff to reach them via outbound phone calls.

Addressing the disconnect and improving patient-provider communication

The good news is that patients want to engage with their providers using digital tools. The ubiquity of consumer-focused apps for delivery, transportation, shopping and much more shows that consumers will consistently use a simple and intuitive digital experience. In health care, many of the hurdles that create a patient-provider disconnect are caused not by a lack of engaged patients, but by patients not having access to the tools they need.

Recent KLAS Research data, for example, show that patients often want different tools to connect with their providers, such as self-scheduling and online bill pay, from what their providers are currently offering. Even if a patient accesses your website or patient portal, if they can’t get to an actionable next step, they are likely to call in instead, contributing to the burden on staff. But these patients should not be considered disengaged from their care; in fact, they are very much engaged.

Medical Group Management Association data show that about half of surveyed providers reported an increase in no-show rates between 2021 and 2022, attributed in part to long wait times for an appointment and the cost of appointments. But the 12% of providers who reported their no-show rates were going down cited digital reminders and digital check-in options as some of the reasons for the decline. These responses indicate that accessible digital options can help patients get to your organization and get the care they need.

I believe three factors are key to helping patients better connect with you using digital tools:

Considering these factors can help you identify inefficiencies or pain points that might be quietly contributing to the great patient disconnect and increasing the burden on your staff to bridge that gap manually.

Examples of effective digital strategies that bridge the disconnect

With a focus on solving potential points of disconnection, it’s possible to create patient journeys that are smoother and more streamlined and help you and your patients get more out of digital tools, creating a digital continuum of care.

In a challenging health care environment, it’s critical that we go beyond simply staffing more people to call centers or lamenting low engagement rates or high no-shows. Digital solutions can mitigate these challenges, address barriers to care and streamline staff capacity. To do so effectively, they must be driven by a patient-centered approach that identifies digital dead ends and points of disconnection and creates a unified digital continuum so patients and providers can get to the moment of care more quickly and easily.

With hours of manual outbound calls on their plates and phones ringing off the hook, many organizations using MEDITECH are looking for ways to stretch their limited staff farther to create the best-in-region experience that will continue to differentiate their brand. 

Imagine if your own organization had hours more time for each staff member to provide a truly concierge-level experience to your patients – ensuring they were up to date on preventive care appointments, checking in after procedures, providing resources to patients who needed financial, language, or other support, and much more. 

These Luma customers have integrated automated and self-service actions using Luma directly into their MEDITECH systems to take manual work off of their staff’s plates and enable a better experience for both patients and staff.

Northfield Hospital + Clinics

At Northfield Hospital + Clinics, “we’re like David between two Goliaths,” said Vern Lougheed, Director of IT. Northfield is located in rural Minnesota, and competes for patients who also have the option to visit large health systems in the Twin Cities like Mayo Clinic. 

Northfield chose Luma to power its patient experience initiatives by integrating directly with MEDITECH via APIs. The resulting efficiency helps Northfield stand out: “Our goal is to provide easy access to our organization anywhere a patient wants it,” said Debbie Oathoudt, IT Program Manager.
Before Luma, Northfield staff manually called each patient for appointment reminders, totaling 150-200 daily calls per FTE. Now, with reminders that are automatically sent to patients with appointments scheduled in MEDITECH, Northfield saves 80 hours in reminder calls every month. The reminders have also helped decrease no-shows by 15%.

Watch the Northfield Hospital + Clinics story

Phelps Memorial Health Center

For Phelps Memorial Health Center, where many patients travel long distances to get to care, better staff efficiency and more patient convenience have a direct impact on patient outcomes. 

API integration with MEDITECH helps Phelps Memorial patients prepare for visits ahead of time by:

Self-service and digital options have been “so well received at Phelps Memorial” by both patients and staff, says Director of EHR Kurt Schmidt. 84% of patients who receive intake forms from Luma complete them ahead of their appointment, and “different departments come to me and ask how they can implement Luma into their workflows,” Kurt said. Phelps Memorial reaches more than 98% of their patient population using Luma. 

Get Outcomes Like These

Northfield Hospital + Clinics and Phelps Memorial Health Center show the power of giving scheduled patients actionable next steps. Not only does this help patients remember and prepare for their appointments, but allowing patients to self-service takes hours of work off of your staff. What’s more, data from KLAS Research shows that patients want self-service options and will even select a provider based on available digital offerings. 

If you’re interested in the possibilities of integrating options like these with MEDITECH, book a quick call with a Luma + MEDITECH expert.:

Did you know that 60% of patients hang up after just one minute on hold? High call volumes can be a pain for both patients and healthcare staff. Patients are left waiting on hold, while staff are overwhelmed with repetitive calls.

The frustration also impacts your business. According to a recent report, 20% of patients say they would change providers to avoid long wait times.

Digital Call Deflection offers patients the option to switch to self-service SMS instead of waiting on hold. They can schedule appointments, request Rx refills, get directions, and more, all without the frustration of waiting on hold. Meanwhile, staff don’t need to monitor a chat line and have fewer calls waiting on hold to answer.

A better, more self-service experience reduces both the number of calls staff need to handle and the risk of losing patients to abandoned calls.

Luma’s self-service SMS chat flows are also configurable and conversational.

The results speak for themselves:

Evelin Manzanares, COO at GPW Health Center, noted, “As a federally qualified health center, we need to serve as many patients as possible while reducing strain on our staff. Luma’s Digital Call Deflection has allowed 25% of our patients to self-serve via text message, ultimately helping them get what they need while our staff focus on more complex calls.”

Digital Call Deflection is a powerful tool for reducing hold times and inbound call volume while providing a better experience for both patients and staff. Want to see DCD in action? Schedule a product demo today.

Digital front door. Before 2020, this phrase was relatively obscure in the healthcare landscape, jumping to the collective forefront when the COVID-19 pandemic drove providers to adapt quickly to digital care options. Three years later, the digital front door is here to stay, promising to: 

Digital front doors (DFDs) can be best defined as a digital platform with one or more of the following features: a portal, mobile app, provider directory, symptom checker, or patient scheduling. 

When a DFD works well, it seamlessly connects your communication, outreach, scheduling, and patient information, working in the background while your team provides in-person care. 

But what happens when a DFD strategy falls short?  Luma’s team of product experts share how to analyze your DFD experience, identify the areas for improvement, and move forward towards greater patient success.

Step 1: How to Identify Broken Digital Front Doors

According to the United States Government Accountability Office, 90% of organizations reported offering a patient portal, but only about a third of patients use them. When you’re doing everything “right,” but still lack patient connection, it can be frustrating to troubleshoot yet another solution. 

When a DFD is broken, you may experience:

The Trap Door: Trap doors bring patients in, then let them fall through the floor, resulting in patient frustration and need for additional, resource-consuming follow-up. Typically, the trap door is not a full platform experience. Instead, if this sounds like your organization, you might be using point solutions such as:

The Side Door:  Side doors occur when patients try to get in touch differently than the organization prefers, creating uncontrolled costs, overworked staff, and a fragmented patient experience. You might have a side door issue at your organization if you have:

The Rusted Door: Rusted doors occur when getting through the digital front door is too difficult for patients, resulting in low adoption and the organizational belief that patients don’t want or need digital tools. If this sounds like your organization, you might have: 

Step 2: How to Mend your Broken DFD

Broken digital front doors create frustrating bottlenecks for patients and staff, resulting in lower adoption of digital tools and a reliance on human capital to smooth the gaps. With healthcare staff reporting higher levels of burnout and sky-rocketing operating costs, you need solutions that work quickly, efficiently, and effectively. 

Here are four solutions for mending a broken system, plus discussion questions to prompt further action: 

Ensure Omnichannel Scheduling is available for every context

Different patients use different channels. Meeting, guiding, and transitioning from one channel to the next is the difference between a digital dead end and a seamless experience.

Luma Solution: Patient Self-Scheduling

Digging Deeper:

Simplify appointment management workflows

Life happens at the last minute. Making it easy for patients to cancel and reschedule while letting other patients know an earlier time is available creates two five-star reviews. 

Luma Solution: Smart Waitlist

Digging Deeper:

Increase intake ease and efficiency using digital options

Starting on the right track shouldn’t be a pain. Collecting necessary info up front means no wasted time for patients and providers – making it digital means fewer errors and potential back and forth. 

Luma Solution: Intake Forms

Digging Deeper:

Prepare in advance for patient customization

Each appointment type and patient have their nuances. Helping the patient complete tasks and follow important directions before their appointment increases the value for both the patient and the provider. 

Luma Solution: Appointment Reminders

Digging Deeper: 

Step 3: Further Resources

Our Luma product experts share solutions for fixing broken DFDs in this timely webinar. Or schedule a 1:1 consultation with a Luma product expert today.

The statistics are unavoidable–the United States faces a healthcare talent shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. According to a recent Definitive Healthcare report, since 2020, one in five healthcare workers have quit their jobs, suggesting “up to 47% of healthcare workers plan to leave their positions by 2025.” 

Recently, the Luma Health team met with Dr. Dan Vicencio, interim Chief Medical Officer and practicing physician at Near North Health, to learn more about how the Chicago-area FQHC system is navigating the current healthcare staffing shortage while maintaining mission-critical care. 

Luma Health: Near North has a mission to provide “culturally competent care.” What does that look like in practice? 

Dr. Dan Vicencio: To provide culturally competent care, we have a diverse staff, because it is important to have our care team and staff represent the community we serve. Second thing is to have information in multiple languages wherever possible. We have well over fifteen languages that we speak in the course of a given day with patients across Chicago – everything from Polish on the West Side, to Spanish, which is all over the city, to West African languages here in the South Side. 

LH: The state of Illinois’ official COVID-19 public health emergency status is officially ending next month, May 2023. What challenges are you facing post-pandemic?

DV: We are looking at getting a lot of our patients back into care. COVID-19 really disconnected us from our patients, and so we’re using many different avenues to get patients back into a system of care that they can trust and access readily. We find that a lot of our patients have been using telephones as their main mode of information. Letters are a thing of the past now.

Luma Health is one of the things that we’ve been using to get them back into care. The ability to reach all our patients on their phones is increasingly more important. 

LH: How have post-pandemic staffing shortages impacted Near North? 

DV: A good number of providers did not return to medicine after COVID because of burnout or not being in a place where they felt comfortable applying their trade as a healer. 

We as a healthcare system must find avenues to provide providers and staff with the time to just do what they do best, which is evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients.

We are trying to create that environment to better support providers and staff.  

LH: Does Luma help create that environment? 

DV: ​​Luma definitely helps address some of the staffing shortages that we’ve experienced. Not only does it help cut down on the amount of calls that go to our call center, but our patients now have access to reschedule and cancel those appointments any time of day. So instead of calling us after hours and getting a call center, they actually can get a text and a link from us to schedule.

In the old days, we would’ve had one person making phone call after phone call to reach patients. Now, Luma can reach out to a whole group of patients and give them the same message. And that consistent messaging is key, especially for attribution lists or gaps in care follow-ups. You don’t have that potential off-script variation in message that you would get with a person making manual calls.

Luma makes it as simple as possible to get our points across. The provider has another avenue to automatically reach the patient with important reminders like, “Hey, you need to come back for your three month checkup,” or “You need to make sure that you get your appropriate preventive care screenings.”

LH: What’s another Luma solution that has helped make life easier for your staff? 

DV: Broadcast! This is Chicago. We get a foot of snow sometimes.  With Luma, we can immediately reach out to staff and patients with weather closure information to keep everyone safe.  

Are you an FQHC interested in learning how Luma’s Patient Success Platform might integrate into your workflows? Schedule a 1:1 with a Luma squad member here. 

We’re thrilled to announce that Luma is now fully integrated into one of the healthcare industry’s top electronic health record providers to deliver powerful new capabilities to the thousands of healthcare providers that use the MEDITECH Expanse EHR. This integration will provide new and powerful features for the thousands of healthcare providers that use the Expanse platform.

As an initial member of the MEDITECH Alliance program, and currently the only patient-facing solution included in the program, Luma collaborated with MEDITECH to validate integration of its Patient Success Platform™ and MEDITECH-enabled workflows for integration with MEDITECH Expanse, including patient scheduling, conversational messages, operational and clinical forms, staff scheduling, and more.

Today’s announcement exemplifies how both healthcare providers and patients benefit when a major health system’s EHR provider opens API technologies. This is especially true when the health system goes the extra mile by providing a mechanism for third-party developers, such as Luma, to validate and perfect their own innovative solutions within a real MEDITECH EHR installation.

Five years in the making

Back in 2018, MEDITECH launched MEDITECH Greenfield, an application development environment to fuel the building and adoption of third-party applications. We paid particular attention to this announcement because it emphasized interoperability and offered support for useful technical connections like RESTful APIs, including FHIR. Better still, the program is backed by the MEDITECH technical teams to help developers (and, by extension, MEDITECH customers) maximize the value of the Expanse EHR.

When MEDITECH invited Luma to join the initial roster of third-party developers for the MEDITECH Alliance program, we jumped at the opportunity. MEDITECH Alliance provides greater transparency for organizations interacting with MEDITECH, and simplifies the discovery and purchasing process for customers who want to broaden the capabilities of their current systems. Over several months, we collaborated closely with MEDITECH’s technical and commercial teams to tightly integrate Luma with Expanse, ensuring a friction-free experience for our mutual customers. 

Beta testing in a live customer environment

After thoroughly validating Luma’s functionality within Expanse, MEDITECH invited a healthcare provider, Phelps Memorial Health Center of Holdrege, Nebraska, to pilot Luma within the MEDITECH Greenfield Workspace program. Phelps Memorial Health Center partnered with MEDITECH and Luma Health to leverage MEDITECH’s implementation of the Argonaut FHIR scheduling APIs, creating powerful workflows for staff to more successfully connect with patients. 

This FHIR API-based approach to integration is benefitting patients by allowing them to intuitively schedule and manage their own appointments using apps developed within MEDITECH’s Greenfield Workspace environment. The result of this collaboration and integration is a “single pane of glass” into the patient experience and Luma-enabled touchpoints—all fully integrated into the MEDITECH Expanse experience.

“We are an organization committed to providing a quality patient experience. Collaborating with MEDITECH and Luma Health has empowered us to be adaptable in serving our community’s needs,” said Kurt Schmidt, Phelps Memorial’s director of electronic health records. “Using APIs has resulted in more efficient workflows and a better digital experience for patients who want immediate access to their care.”

Benefits for providers and patients alike

Phelps Memorial has experienced efficiency gains and improved patient experience by working directly with MEDITECH and Luma Health.  For example, 81% of patients now complete digital intake instead of in-office paper forms. 

Phelps Memorial is just one of the many healthcare systems now taking advantage of this deep integration, which uses MEDITECH Expanse APIs to connect appointment, demographic, and schedule data directly with Luma. Then, Luma sends rules-based text, email, and voice reminders to patients based on Luma Bedrock™ data-driven best practices.

When an appointment is confirmed through a Luma communication, the information is instantly sent back into MEDITECH, changing the appointment status to confirmed or canceled. This gives MEDITECH customers an up-to-the-second view of their day. Patients can also schedule their own appointments through Luma, and these appointments are immediately synced to MEDITECH’s scheduling module via MEDITECH Expanse APIs.

[RESOURCE] How Luma integrates with MEDITECH

Want to learn more? Book a quick call with a Luma + MEDITECH expert.

Today, we announced Luma Bedrock™. Here, we share more about the background of Bedrock and why it’s already making a difference for our customers. 

When we talk to our customers – big, small, rural, urban, and everything in between – no matter how different their business or patient population, they have one particular goal in common.

“We want to meet patients where they are.” 

We asked ourselves, “Beyond creating the best possible product and focusing on customer support, what can we do to support these organizations to serve their patients and meet them where they are?” With 8 years’ experience serving more than 650 healthcare organizations, we had a hunch that data could be used to better understand what patients want from their digital healthcare journey, how they most like to be engaged, and what makes them more successful in their care

And when healthcare organizations across the country are short-staffed and doing more than ever before with limited resources, we believed that sharing this data could make a real difference in how our customers reach their patients.

The Luma Bedrock project began with the scientific method. Our data scientists started by analyzing more than 717,000,000 data points over nearly 81,000,000 patient interactions. They created hypotheses for the best use of every single Luma product, working deep in Python notebooks and machine learning models to understand all the various nuances that could affect how patients connect with their care.

With hypotheses in place, they went beyond the data to gather human insights. Luma’s experts in implementation, product development, solution design, and technical support came together to ask questions and understand how the hypotheses matched up with proven customer workflows and operational processes. 

When those things matched up, it was magical.

Our documentation team translated all of these inputs into easy-to-use recommendations and best practices in our Help Center. Any Luma customer can access the articles at any time, free of charge. The articles include actionable recommendations like:

The Luma customer community has already begun implementing these recommendations and seeing results. Every expert-led implementation starts with Bedrock recommendations, giving our new customers a starting point to get immediate results based on insights from the entire community. As they continue to use Luma and work with our implementation and customer success experts, they fine-tune to exactly the right approach for their unique demographics, location, and more — and we welcome their insights to create even more Bedrock resources in the future. 

“Bedrock has been a treasure trove of information about how we can better connect with our patients. We are already evaluating how we can implement the findings.”

Christine Beneke, Quality & Process Improvement Supervisor at Specialists in General Surgery

Bedrock is the best of what Luma Health does: bringing together the power of our community, a market-defining Patient Success Platform, and data-driven expertise to create great outcomes and ultimately, patient success. 

At Houston ENT & Allergy, CEO Chuck Leider is committed to using technology to improve the experience for both patients and staff. Using Luma integrated with their NextGen EHR, Chuck and his staff get more patients in the door, provide a white-glove experience, and automate manual tasks – all creating revenue savings of $1.2 million in filled appointments, $1.8 million annually in prevented no-shows, and $575,000 in scheduled referrals.

At a Luma community summit for NextGen EHR users, Chuck shared insights that help Houston ENT & Allergy create success for patients, staff, and the system. Here are 3 things he’s focused on: 

Solving for Patients’ Pain Points and Feedback 

The digital patient experience journey at Houston ENT & Allergy began, fittingly, with patients’ insights. 

After years of manual phone calls to remind patients about their appointments, then an automated voice reminder system, Chuck and his colleagues wondered why no-shows weren’t going down. Revenue was majorly impacted by no-shows, and providers were frustrated that they weren’t seeing as many patients as they could be. 

To get to the bottom of the issue, Houston ENT & Allergy interviewed 65 patients about their experiences. 

“We thought our system was highly effective. But patients were telling us that the calls came through and they didn’t pick them up. Sometimes, they didn’t recognize the number – we have a number of clinics, and they often didn’t realize we were calling about their appointments. At other times, they couldn’t take a phone call because they were in a meeting, for example.”

Houston ENT and Allergy also has a large geriatric population that reported issues hearing the message in an automated call. 

With patients’ feedback, Chuck and his team realized they needed a solution that would meet the specific needs their patients pointed out. After moving to text-first appointment reminders with Luma, Chuck calculated that a 9% reduction in no-show rates saves Houston ENT & Allergy $1.8 million in annual revenue. 

“Looking at the reasons our patients are having trouble getting to us, and making things simpler for them, has created huge value for our patients. Hearing from them directly has paid off,” said Chuck

Streamlining the Solutions Staff Need to Learn and Maintain

As Houston ENT & Allergy has grown, their tech stack has, too. Now, Chuck is focused on eliminating redundant systems to make staff’s days simpler. 

“With several different platforms, it gets very hard to train people. They’re having to master the EHR and multiple other technologies, and it’s challenging,” Chuck said. “Especially if the staff are patient-facing, navigating these systems can interfere with the white-glove experience we want to provide.” 

Looking for ways to pare down systems where possible – especially when the system performs a single function – has made Houston ENT & Allergy’s day-to-day operations more efficient, and helps avoid training and re-training on many different systems.

Eliminating unnecessary technology has the additional benefit of saving money, Chuck pointed out. 

“We chose to layer in Luma to request feedback after appointments, instead of using a separate system. And just getting rid of that additional system saves us $2,500 a month. With budget constraints, containing those costs makes a difference.” 

Automating a Great Experience and Removing Manual Tasks

Like other healthcare organizations, Houston ENT & Allergy is struggling with staff shortages but committed to providing a great experience that keeps patients coming back. According to Chuck, self-scheduling and customizing automated reminders are key to this balance. 

“It is harder for us to compete for limited staff, so we look at technology to take on manual tasks,” he said. 

Instead of staff “constantly monitoring the phones or on the computer personalizing each message,” reminders integrated with NextGen are automatically personalized based on each patient’s personal information, provider, appointment, and more. From scheduling referrals alone, Houston ENT & Allergy has gained $575,000 in scheduled referrals. 

An automated waitlist has provided some of the biggest value to Houston ENT & Allergy. Now, instead of staff answering calls from patients who need to cancel, then reaching out manually to patients who might be able to take the appointment slot, both the cancellations and the waitlist offers are automated. 

“We’ve saved over 1.2 million because of Luma’s Smart Waitlist,” Chuck said.

Finally, Chuck encourages other organizations to offer self-scheduling online. It helps reduce phone calls and follow-up, but even more importantly gives patients better access to Houston ENT & Allergy. 

“We get great feedback from patients that come in and say how easy it was to get in with self-scheduling. Maybe their kid had an earache in the night, and they can find us online and book an appointment for nine o’clock the next day,” he said. 

“Our website is open 24/7. Over the holidays, I saw so many patients booking appointments.” 

Interested in using Luma + NextGen to see value like Houston ENT & Allergy? Contact us to learn more. 

With fewer staff and more revenue challenges, healthcare organizations need to quickly reach their patients and keep schedules full. 

Integrating Luma with their Epic EHRs helps Luma community members superpower their patient outreach. Using patients’ preferred messaging channels makes outreach more effective, while API-based EHR integration means no double-documentation or manual work. 

Here are some ways the Luma community gets more out of their workflows. 

With Luma integrated with Epic, Luma community members’ outreach is:


At Franciscan Health, reminders are customized to each patient and appointment type, making them more relevant and actionable.

Details already documented about the patient in Franciscan’s Epic system – from appointment details to preferred contact method – drive the outreach.

For example, patients who have a follow-up appointment the same day or who have previously been seen at Franciscan see different reminders than someone being seen for a new patient appointment.

With these text reminders, Franciscan Health sees a 70% click-through rate – about 50% more than with their previous email reminders.  


By switching to text-first outreach, Columbus Regional Health immediately saw results. Before implementing Luma, Columbus Regional Health reminded patients about their appointments by automated call, which patients were less likely to pick up or respond to.

“We often have patients make appointments six months out, so it’s important that we provide them with reminders,” said Gayle Wilson, Senior Systems Analyst at CRH. 

Luma reminders are automatically sent to patients on CRH’s schedule in Epic. To get even more out of the switch, they made the decision to move from text opt-in to text opt-out, where communication preferences in the EHR use text by default. Now, CRH is sending SMS reminders to more than 80% of their patient population. 

Since delivering most reminders via text, CRH has seen no-shows drop by more than 40%


Montefiore Health System in New York sees many of its patients via referral. To ensure as many referred patients get through their doors as possible, Montefiore sends Epic-integrated Luma messages reminding those patients to schedule. 

From the message, patients can schedule with just a few taps.

The referral in the EHR is linked to the reminders to keep them up-to-date and actionable. so if a patient hasn’t scheduled, they’ll receive another nudge to schedule. When the patient schedules, the referral is closed automatically and the patient no longer receives reminders. 

Want to learn more? Book a quick call with a Luma + Epic expert.

Federally qualified health centers, or FQHCs, make up a core part of the United States’ healthcare landscape, as more than 1,400 currently provide care.

While these organizations serve different regions and patient populations, they all have one thing in common  – the need to reach patients quickly and efficiently, no matter where they are in their journey, what language they speak, or what communication channel they prefer. 

To consistently reach more patients and keep those patients healthier, FQHCs are automating their outreach and removing the burden of manual calls from their staff. 

Here’s how FQHCs use Luma to amplify their reach: 

At Cook County Health, a Chicago-based FQHC serving the second-largest county in the United States, the team needed a consistent method to reach their vast patient population. Since partnering with Luma, CCH has sent over 4.9 million appointment reminders to bring patients in for important vaccinations. “We need a partner that can handle whatever we throw their way. Luma always delivers – whether that’s deep scheduling integrating into Cerner, scalable vaccine operations, patient outreach, or flexible messaging capabilities,” Adam Weber, Executive Director of Operations and Support Services

As the only health center in a 20-mile radius, Alexander Valley Healthcare in Cloverdale, California often has a lengthy attribution list to nurture. Before, referred patients could miss out on preventive screenings or other needed care. With Luma, AVH automated their attribution list outreach, reminding new patients of due care and helping them schedule. Alexander Valley Health scheduled 30% more preventive screenings, with 38% more attributed patients receiving care.

For Ryan Health, which serves patients throughout Manhattan, multilingual messaging has helped amplify communication across their diverse patient population. Using Luma, Ryan Health reaches patients in over 35 different languages.“Luma helps us extend our reach to our neighbors and serve even more people,” said Sam Bartels, executive director of Ryan Health’s mobile, West 97th Street, and Wadsworth locations.

Virginia’s GPW Health Center needed a more efficient way of managing patient communication. Their team was overwhelmed with manual processes, such as calling patients back to reschedule appointments and sending paper mailers to reach patients with details like referrals or test results. Switching to patient self-scheduling and automated reminders significantly reduced the volume of inbound calls and the need for a dedicated team to confirm appointments. Patient engagement has increased by 70%, while no-show appointments decreased by 11%. 

Want to learn more? Schedule a demo today! 

The previous norms for earning and keeping patients have shifted dramatically, as outpatient volumes continue to be lower post-pandemic. Staying competitive often means getting creative to not only reduce costs – which can only be reduced so far – but doing more with your existing resources.

Luma helps your team get more results from the efforts you already implement, helping you contain costs and grow revenue. 

Here are innovative ways that peers from the Luma community are containing costs: 

  1. Free up resources, then repurpose 
    • Instead of patients filling out forms in the office, Seaview Orthopedics, located in Ocean, New Jersey, implemented an automated intake process using Luma reminders. Patients are sent their intake forms via text before their visit, saving time and removing the manual process for staff. “I never thought that intake forms could be an easy process, especially because there are so many complexities in orthopedics,” said Christina Flaherty, Seaview’s Director of Project Management, “With Luma, we now can focus on next-level growth.”The Seaview team converted the now-empty waiting room space into additional physical therapy rooms, and in just five months, they earned over $765,000 ROI from increased patient volumes. 
  2. Evaluate the downstream effects of a pay-per-message strategy
    • At Specialists in General Surgery in Minnesota, 3-5 full-time staff manually called patients each day to remind them of appointments or pre-op instructions. Their pay-per-message vendor made it costly to remind patients via text, which led to the necessity of daily calls. After making the switch to Luma and using text reminders instead of calls, they started saving over 20 hours of staff time each week. “Luma takes an incredible lift off our team by giving them more time to focus on patients instead of reminder calls. I didn’t realize just how much of a tremendous employee morale booster Luma would be,” said Anita Caskey, Chief Administrative Officer, Specialists in General Surgery.
  3. Look for automation opportunities to save patients and staff time
    • Like Specialists in General Surgery, CommuniCare, an FQHC in San Antonio, Texas, now automates text reminders before appointments to let patients – and staff – skip the phone calls. In two months, more than half of their patients opted to confirm their appointments via text. The convenience of texting over calling is what patients expect, according to Sean Adams, VP, Chief Performance & Innovation Officer for CommuniCare. With Luma, CommuniCare saved over 3,000 hours of staff time in reminder calls, valued at $41,500 saved per month.  
  4. Utilize existing schedule spots to improve outcomes and drive revenue
    • GPW Health Center, located in Manassas, VA, gained an additional $30,000 in seven months from filling open appointments using automated waitlist offers.  Previously, when patients would cancel at the last minute, those appointments would stay empty, creating a loss of expected revenue for GPW.  Now, patients who need care sooner get Luma text message offers integrated with the eClinicalWorks EHR. Schedules stay full and patients are being seen sooner, without additional manual work from GPW’s staff. 

Want to learn more about how Luma can help maximize your return on investment? Schedule a demo today! 

OrthoNebraska is an innovator in orthopedic care, but accessing that care was challenging for patients. OrthoNebraska’s leaders knew they wanted to completely overhaul the patient experience and create a unified digital front door – not just look for a quick fix. 

“We wanted a great consumer journey to deliver ease of access as well as quality care,” said Nikki Green, senior manager of patient access. “But we didn’t want to select a vendor that would create redundancy or be unable to scale with us as we grew.” 

The first challenge to tackle: high no-show rates. Instead of requiring patients to call to change their appointments, which led to no-shows and thousands in lost revenue, OrthoNebraska envisioned becoming the first orthopedic practice in the region to offer self-scheduling. 

Because OrthoNebraska treats such a wide range of conditions, “implementing self-scheduling seemed like a daunting task,” said Green. “We need to get patients to the right provider. The patient’s current needs, their age range, their clinical history, the approach they’re looking for – all of these factors affect scheduling.” 

Deep integration with their Cerner EHR was a must-have. Other vendors OrthoNebraska evaluated weren’t equipped to match each patient with the right appointments and providers for them, according to Green.

Ultimately, Green and her colleagues chose Luma as the foundation for their digital front door. 

After integrating Luma with their Cerner system, “we felt more comfortable giving that self-scheduling power to patients,” said Green. “We were able to trust that the technical build itself would direct patients to the right provider.”

The choice of a platform over a scheduling point solution has already allowed OrthoNebraska to solve more inefficiencies on their journey to a unified, simple patient experience. 

“Our nurses are very busy, so patients calling with clinical questions would need to leave a message,” said Green. “With Luma, nurses can respond to patients via text while they’re multitasking, which has been huge for patient success and nurses’ job satisfaction.”

Green sees wins like these as the first steps in OrthoNebraska’s digital transformation. 

“It’s exciting that huge improvements like self-scheduling are just the beginning. We’re confident that Luma will complement the initiatives we’ll tackle in the future.”

Want to learn more? Book a quick call with a Luma + Oracle Health expert.

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

Turning 16 is often a milestone that brings big changes – prom, driver’s licenses, college tours. For Kevin Railsback, it brought something completely unexpected: a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

Navigating his new diagnosis “was a sudden and challenging switch from having a ‘typical’ childhood to now having to manage my health every day,” Kevin said.

To regulate his blood sugar and avoid adverse effects, Kevin made lifestyle changes and began regular check-ins with a care team spanning PCPs, endocrinologists, medication specialists, ophthalmologists, and podiatrists.

He learned to administer his insulin before every meal and check his blood sugar at least 5 times each day. In the process, Kevin learned how to advocate for his health needs and navigate big life changes, like pursuing an acting career in LA.

But when Kevin moved back home to Orinda, California for a new start in health tech, he encountered another unexpected challenge in his healthcare journey. Switching his health plan after his move meant starting over with assembling a diabetes care team.

“I needed to establish a relationship with a new PCP, who would then refer me to a new endocrinologist, then a medication specialist, a foot exam, eye exam, blood labs,” Kevin said. “When people with chronic conditions switch health plans, it’s a very frustrating multi-step process that can get significantly delayed by one missed connection.”

Having convenient access to his entire care team directly impacts clinical care for patients like Kevin.“If I can’t get in to see my PCP, that could have a trickle-down effect of not being able to get my usual insulin prescribed by my specialist team,” Kevin said.

In his work at Luma, Kevin is passionate about making life easier for patients with chronic conditions: “My status as a diabetic is not my fault, but managing my care is my responsibility. Similarly, while it isn’t their fault that care access is cumbersome, health systems are responsible for offering patients the tools to ease an already challenging journey.”

Kevin hopes to see chronic care become easier to navigate with technology like Luma and wearable devices. “Luma is helping bridge that gap for patients like me. I love challenging the status quo and saying, ‘hey, we can do better,’ then seeing positive change. That’s why I work in healthcare.”

Patient Success Advocate Profiles highlight the perspectives of providers and healthcare leaders in delivering world-class healthcare access and outcomes.

Dr. Medhavi Jogi notices the little things – especially when they could cause bigger issues down the road. This skill has served him well during his years of practice in endocrinology. Dr. Jogi’s reputation for thoughtful care has helped place his practice, Houston Thyroid and Endocrine Specialists, on the map.  

When he founded HTES, he quickly noticed that his patients often faced the challenge of learning about their new diagnosis and managing it. Dr. Jogi tried to empower each person with as much information as he could during their visit, often spending over 90 minutes in a single visit. 

However, “it often became information overload. I’d find myself repeating the same information at each appointment. What I wanted was an automated system to connect with our patients, which in 2009 was crazy talk,” he recalled. 

Dr. Jogi found Luma when looking for a better way to teach patients about new diagnoses. “I consider myself to be an educator first, and I needed to find a better way to teach my patients,” said Dr. Jogi. “Luma was the solution I’d been looking for since I started my practice.” 

Now, HTES uses Luma to automatically send each new patient an educational video before their visit based on their specific health and appointment needs. “Immediately, we saw outcomes improve – patients were coming to their sessions better informed and ready to dive deeper into nuances of their needs,” Dr. Jogi said.

“Because the videos already covered the basics, appointment times dropped from 90 minutes to often just ten minutes, focusing on more interesting questions and complexities. This absolutely changed my relationship with patients and has kept me sharp as an educator and practitioner,” said Dr. Jogi. 

Dr. Jogi credits Luma with helping HTES reach more patients and allowing him more time to focus on the little things about each person and their needs.

“Patients just want to talk to the right person who can help them,” he said. “Luma has helped my practice connect patients in need with the care that will help them be healthier.” 

Want to learn more? Book a quick call with a Luma + eClinicalWorks expert.

At Luma, the patient comes first–and our job is figuring out ways to make their healthcare journey successful. From easily paying a bill to quickly rebooking an appointment or getting a question answered via 24/7 chat, our goal is to make the hard parts of getting care easier. That’s what patient success means to us. 

As our platform has grown, we’ve expanded beyond patient engagement and toward making the entire care journey successful. Our new brand reflects this shift.

So how does our patient success mission translate to our new look? 

One of the most key aspects of our new brand is Luma’s new logo. This is our first new logo since our inception in 2015, and we created a logomark with a trifold meaning that represents our core values. The logomark took inspiration from the Chinese character for “light,” an energy spark, and an upward arrow, representing our name and vision for better healthcare.

Warmth has always been a key component of our branding and you can see how that translates in our new palette and visual elements. We’ve added additional vibrant colors, which lends Luma a confident, distinctive style with a dash of optimism to match our mission. We’ve also included more photography to highlight the very real faces of patients and providers.

We also updated our website to focus on the patient’s journey to success, including graphics illustrating the individualized journey, which often extends beyond the point of care. Healthcare is not transactional — it’s personal. As patients, it takes a lot of trust to put our health in the hands of another person, which is why the patient-provider relationship continues to be so essential to good care. Other industries may try to replace or automate face-to-face interactions. Our goal is to enhance them. 

The future of healthcare remains bright–and here at Luma, we feel lucky to help our customers share that spark of success, connection, and care with patients. 

Today, we announced the Patient Success Platform.™  Here, we share why we believe patient success is healthcare’s top priority.

Patient success has always been our mission. 

When we launched Luma back in 2015, we had conviction healthcare should understand a patient as more than just a patient sitting in front of a doctor, and play a more active role in delivering patient success at every step of a patient’s healthcare journey:

Though we’ve used different words over the years, we’ve always focused on making it easier for people to find, access, and get their needed healthcare. As we celebrate the milestone of connecting more than 35 million people in the United States to healthcare, choosing the right words and naming our mission as the core of our company and our product was a natural fit.

‘Patient engagement’ has always been an insufficient way to truly capture our efforts here at Luma. After all, no patient wants to be “engaged” – at the end of the day, patients want to be helped

Our own stories as patients and caregivers remind us how personal healthcare is, and how hard it can be to need a doctor’s care or advocate for yourself or your loved ones. Needing healthcare in itself is hard, getting the care you need should be easy. 

Today, too many patients and their loved ones have to be their own champions – advocating for the care they need, waiting on hold, preparing for visits, collecting medical records, verifying insurance, finding the funds to pay, and more. Then, it starts all over again the next time.

Providers across the U.S. have told us about The Great Patient Disconnect, and how much they want to solve it. But their existing tools haven’t been enough.

With the Patient Success Platform, we’re proud to help address the Great Patient Disconnect and support our customers, who truly deliver patient success every day. The more than 650 integrated delivery networks, specialty clinics, FQHCs, and health systems in the Luma community provide care for more than 35 million Americans, and their impact continues to grow. 

We’re also proud to partner with innovators across the healthcare space to amplify our collective impact and make patients more successful. These companies include:

Every offer to see a doctor a week sooner, and every appointment slot filled, creates a tangible difference in a person’s health journey.

It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to bend the arc of healthcare, even by a percent or two – directly impacting and benefiting millions of people.

Making patients successful as individuals, and ultimately changing the hard parts of healthcare in a meaningful way, is our North Star. We couldn’t be more excited to announce the Patient Success Platform!

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

“You have so much on your plate, but you’re also trying to spend time with your loved one and make things as normal as possible,” says Kashif Sheikh, a customer success manager at Luma. As a caregiver for both his father and his son, Kashif has experienced the difference that guidance and resources can make for families navigating serious health conditions. 

Kashif’s father Dr. Javed Hasan was a primary care physician who often provided extra medication to his Medicare and Medicaid patients at no out-of-pocket cost. “He had such a patient-centric view of healthcare,” Kashif said. When Dr. Hasan was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer in 2013, “becoming his caregiver put that legacy into perspective.”

A family full of physicians and his father’s care team on speed dial helped ease some of the uncertainty of providing full-time care. “My Dad’s doctors even gave us their personal phone numbers,” said Kashif. “That was a comfort during a really challenging time.” 

Kashif’s next experience as a caregiver was quite different. His son Zayd was born with a rare genetic condition and spent much of his first year between the NICU and a bevy of specialists. “The entire first year, Zayd went to 4 appointments a week – a different doctor for each health issue.”

Managing Zayd’s health journey meant daily calls to different offices and hospitals, and multiple Excel spreadsheets to keep track of the details. “My wife Sara is a rockstar at planning, and she handled a lot of the day to day when I first went back to work – and after she returned to work herself as well,” said Kashif. “Our biggest struggle was coordination of care and figuring out referrals – it was a full-time job.” 

These experiences ultimately spurred a professional shift to healthcare. “When I started at Luma, things clicked,” said Kashif. “Patient access is incredibly important, and I see administrators light up when they’re able to communicate with patients more easily. It seems simple, but it really makes a difference.”

Kashif is driven to make a difference for other families in his work at Luma.

“Getting the care you need shouldn’t be a burden – needing care is enough stress in itself. My family has been so lucky to navigate this process with amazing healthcare resources, and with physicians in the family who can provide guidance,” Kashif said. “So many others don’t have those resources – we have to meet every patient where they are.” 

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

“I initially came to healthcare out of a passion for sports,” said Maggie Hanlon, senior manager of operations at Luma. “But it wasn’t until I sustained an injury during a sprint that I truly understood how hard it can be to navigate the healthcare journey as a patient.” 

From a young age, Maggie was interested in health from a sports perspective – she played soccer and was a competitive sprinter for a decade – and was excited by technology. “My brother convinced my parents that we needed a computer, even though that was uncommon in the early 90’s,” Maggie said. She eagerly switched majors to study health informatics after discovering the field at university, and gained hands-on experience working as a project analyst for the University Health Network in Toronto.

In 2015, during Maggie’s graduate program, she became a patient herself after tearing her meniscus. “I got the impression the orthopedic surgery I needed would be no big deal, but I wasn’t prepared for how intense recovery would be,” Maggie said. “I realized I didn’t know how to gauge normal symptoms of recovery or when to call my doctor.”

She recalled scheduling a treatment for her knee before commuting to work, not realizing that she’d be in significant pain later that afternoon. “I could have planned ahead and scheduled things differently if I had known,” she said. 

Her mum flew to Toronto to help Maggie take care of daily tasks after surgery, but recovery took longer than expected, and Maggie struggled after her mum returned home. “I needed someone to check in and ask ‘how’s your pain level?’ or ‘how is your wound healing?’, but there was no patient-to-provider texting,” she said. “If I needed to get in touch with my doctor, it was by phone calls.” The experience showed Maggie firsthand how much patients rely on hands-on guidance from their care teams. 

At Luma, Maggie has made it her mission to get the right information to patients. “When I started as a customer success manager, I realized that the right technology and processes could improve experiences like mine,” she said. Her experiences as a project analyst, and a patient herself, have helped her build workflows and technology to meet customers’ unique needs. “I love technology and computers, but I’m always trying to keep the patient’s real-life experience top of mind,” Maggie said. 

“Patient Success is thinking about what we can do for a patient’s care journey, instead of leaving it to them to be engaged,” Maggie said. In her operations role, she’s dedicated to helping patients be more successful across the Luma community. “Anything we can do to make other peoples’ lives easier, and in a way that scales, that’s powerful.” 

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

“On a daily basis, something in our manual system fell through the cracks,” said Kristin Bowen, RN, about her past work as an oncology nurse. “I loved the patient care side – my patients often became like family – but I’d wake up in the middle of the night worried I’d forgotten to fax in a patient’s cardiology referral or give them important instructions written on one of my hundreds of sticky notes.” 

Kristin split her workdays between direct care and helping her patients navigate their next steps, including tests, referrals to other specialists, new cancer treatments, and anything else that arose during their healthcare journey. Details were documented manually, which meant hundreds of sticky notes to track.

She remembers having to choose between completing her manual follow-ups and teaching a much-anticipated class about what first-time chemotherapy patients and their families could expect.  “The paperwork was overwhelming at times, and meant that I spent more time managing paperwork than caring for my patients,” Kristin said. “It felt like a disservice when I needed to cancel the class, but at the end of the day, coordinating patient services took priority.”

Eventually, patients felt the direct impact of an inefficient system. “When patients with GI cancers were scheduled for surgery, they were handed a piece of paper with a long list of prep instructions. If a patient missed a step, the surgery sometimes had  to be rescheduled at the last minute. That meant unused OR time for the hospital, and it was extremely frustrating for the patient, who likely took time off or had family in town to help with recovery.”

After 10 years in direct patient care, Kristin decided to make a difference in other ways, working in policy advocacy and research with Medicaid before joining the Luma team.
As a customer success manager, Kristin sees the impact of technology on clinical outcomes. “Patients are just people trying to live their lives,” she said. “They don’t have unlimited time or energy for repeat trips to the pharmacy or daily calls for their place on the waitlist. I love knowing that when I take a manual task off a nurse’s plate, it means they’re able to make life easier for their patients. I wish I had something like Luma when I was a nurse!”

Why Patient Success is a series from Luma staff about their experiences as patients and caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

“I’d been experiencing symptoms for weeks before I mentioned anything to my doctor. I was in a lot of pain, but I thought it was normal,” said Ashley Gordon, who leads technical documentation at Luma Health. In late 2018, Ashley started experiencing abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding, which her OBGYN diagnosed as a symptom of a large uterine fibroid.

Only after her diagnosis – over a year after incapacitating symptoms began – did Ashley discover that uterine fibroids are a common condition affecting 20-70 percent of women during their reproductive years. “There are a lot of conditions that women don’t always talk about or get diagnosed with,” said Ashley.

For Ashley, open communication was vital during her treatment and eventual surgery. She says the ability to message her provider’s office with questions was both convenient and reassuring. On the other hand, when her ultrasound results were released early, “no one reached out, and I panicked.” Ashley said. “I read the results but didn’t understand what they meant for me and my care journey. I didn’t know what to do.”

Ashley is feeling better since her 2019 surgery, but she still feels a sense of vigilance and urgency around her health. “Every month, I’m still concerned,” she said. “Am I bleeding heavier than usual? What is normal supposed to be? And who do I talk to about this, if needed?”

The experience validated Ashley’s mission as a technical writer at Luma Health. She’s passionate about playing a part in keeping communication candid and open between patients and providers.

“Messaging was so valuable for me as a patient – anytime I needed to reach my doctor, I could send a quick message. It’s been meaningful for me to be able to work with the product team at Luma on features like patient-initiated texting, so that patients can stay in touch with their providers. I love using my writing skills to improve the lives of doctors and (especially) patients.” 

Ashley encourages anyone experiencing health concerns or symptoms of any kind to communicate with their care teams and feel confident in advocating for themselves. 

“Patient Success is about empowering patients to have control over their healthcare journey – especially those who might not feel comfortable speaking up,” Ashley said. “I saw firsthand how important that was in my own healthcare journey.”

 Today, we announced a new co-development partnership with Change Healthcare. We are so excited to be teaming up with such a passionate and intelligent group of healthcare leaders. 

Together, we will create innovative solutions to meet health systems’ demand for a more intentional, unified patient experience by connecting patients’ clinical, operational, and financial journeys.

With a shared patient-first and interoperability-focused approach, our partnership will empower patients on every step of their care journey, from the moment they need care to after they receive it. Take a look at our official announcement here.

Today, we announced our $130M Series C funding led by FTV Capital. You can read the full announcement in our press release, but here, we want to talk about why we at Luma Health are obsessed with unifying and automating every journey that you have as a patient.

In 2015, we set out to build a company with a singular purpose – to make it easy for patients to get access to healthcare. We’d all been patients, and we’d all experienced the frustrations that are all too common – struggling to get an appointment and figure out how much it’ll cost; finding it impossible to ask follow-up questions; spending long wait times in busy waiting rooms; and more. But we’d all also experienced that one moment we need most when we’re sick: time with the doctor to hear our issue and get the help we need to be healthy again. Getting patients to that moment was the founding principle that brought the three of us together to launch Luma Health. 

Early on, our ideas were simple and small, even if our vision was big – our very first set of products included a Smart Waitlist and our Actionable Reminders. Simply put, we wanted to match patients who were waiting for care with patients who needed to cancel an existing appointment. To make that work, we had to build some of the deepest hooks and most sophisticated integrations into the system of record in healthcare – the electronic health record. Over the years, we continued to evolve from two initial products to now more than 25 unique products that form a complete end-to-end platform, enabling health systems to automate and orchestrate nearly every part of a patient’s journey. 

As we continued to work with clinic managers, practice administrators, physicians, nurses, and health system executives, it became clear that we needed to continue to evolve, and not just automate the simple parts of connecting patients to healthcare, but also to help simplify all the hard, complex, and gnarly stuff, too. We needed to make it easier for patients to connect all three key elements of their journey from patient to person – their clinical journey, their financial journey, and their appointment journey. That’s why we’ve built an engine to put all these pieces together: the Healthcare Engagement Engine™.

Today, we’re excited to announce a $130M Series C investment from FTV Capital, ensuring that we can scale and grow a world-class platform, helping more patients in every care scenario in the United States (and across the world) get access to the care they need. With FTV, we’ve brought on board a new partner who shares our vision of the Healthcare Engagement Engine™, and is committed to scaling this platform to connect patients with their doctors and care team when they need it most.

Since we founded the company in 2015, we’ve been fortunate that we’ve never had to pivot, never had to change our focus, never had to deviate from our founding vision. The need for seamless and simple access to healthcare at enterprise scale has never been more clear as it is now. Suffering through a pandemic has made it crystal clear that the old way of doing things in healthcare not only has to change, but is actively changing. We’re excited to help catalyze that change with our new partners at FTV Capital, our teammates at Luma Health, and most of all, our customers who tirelessly deliver care to patients and to their communities every single day.

This article was originally published in the October 2021 edition of the Northwest Primary Care Association’s Northwest Pulse newsletter.

Federally qualified health centers, or FQHCs, are critical to keeping communities across the United States healthy, especially those with significant underserved populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, their role has become even more important, as many patients postpone or struggle to access routine healthcare needs. 

At the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center (ANHC) in Anchorage, Alaska, proactively reaching patients who might not have the resources to get to a healthcare provider is a priority. ANHC is committed to providing a variety of healthcare services to all patients, regardless of ability to pay, and even provides a shuttle service to help people get to the clinic.