Health IT, Hospitals

Luma Health updates messaging platform, assists North Florida Women’s Care

The startup, which counts North Florida Women’s Care among its clients, has unveiled new features of its platform, including one that lets facilities mass message groups of patients.

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Luma Health, a San Francisco-based startup with a cloud-based messaging platform that enables patients and providers to communicate, has unveiled a few enhancements to its solution.

The updates include the following: mobile insurance card uploads, custom audience broadcasts and a collaboration hub for clinical messaging.

The mobile upload capability lets patients upload a picture of their insurance card via a text message link sent by their provider. Luma extracts the data and saves the patient’s name and policy number, thereby reducing manual data entry for staff members.

The other two features are more useful to facilities and providers.

“What we’ve found is it’s difficult for providers to do one-time mass messaging to a particular group of patients,” Luma co-founder and CMO Dr. Tashfeen Ekram said in a phone interview. Thus, the custom audience broadcasts feature lets healthcare facilities inform groups of patients about physician sick days and office closures, as well as send flu shot reminders.

Finally, the new collaboration hub tool lets care teams virtually collaborate. The feature allows staff to converse with other team members, and it can also be used for internal operation activities that span multiple offices.

All of the new features are immediately available.

Founded in 2015, Luma Health’s overall goal is to improve how patients and providers interact. Consumers don’t have to download an app to utilize Luma’s features. Instead, they receive automated text messages directly to their phone.

One of the San Francisco company’s clients is North Florida Women’s Care, an OB/GYN practice in Tallahassee.

In a phone interview, CEO Bill Hambsh said his organization implemented Luma’s technology a little over a year ago. The practice previously utilized another system to reach patients, but a staff member came across Luma and showed it to Hambsh, who said he appreciates the wide-ranging capabilities that Luma offers, as well as its ability to more efficiently communicate with patients.

The startup’s technology has helped North Florida Women’s Care in a variety of areas.

“One of our main problems was our high no-show rate,” Hambsh said. The issue was partially due to “patients attempting to call our office to reschedule but not being able to get through.”

Using Luma’s solution, the practice can now send out text-based appointment reminders at various intervals, and patients can respond at any time. This, Hambsh said, has helped reduce no-shows.

Additionally, the technology has come in handy when it comes to referrals. Rather than having to call patients, North Florida Women’s Care now securely message patients who have been referred.

“We’ve seen a 25 percent increase in the amount of referred patients getting scheduled on our books,” Hambsh said.

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