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How NYU Langone Health strengthens its patient digital experience with a Twilio-powered platform

NYU Langone Health is a leading academic medical center that delivers top-tier care, resources, and education to patients and students throughout the New York metro area. The system, which encompasses more than 350 locations, needed a scalable platform to deliver data-driven health messages to millions of patients across a variety of care journeys.

The Results
Locations across the New York metro area
Best hospital in the country by US News & World Report

The rapid shift to digital healthcare has been long approaching, and has accelerated in the last 2 years, creating complex challenges for healthcare providers. For NYU Langone Health, a premier academic medical center, it meant doubling down on the need to put patient experience first, at every stage of the healthcare journey.

According to Suresh Srinivasan, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, “We had already spent years setting out a digital infrastructure for patient experience and had been actively evaluating a scalable solution to orchestrate and deliver vital communications to patients. Twilio presented itself as a viable partner that was able to provide these services.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they began testing Twilio’s Messaging product to reach millions of users with crucial care information, such as appointment reminders. Now, they’ve developed a fully integrated platform that consolidates insights from multiple systems to create contextual, meaningful engagement with patients at every stage of their unique healthcare journey.

Digital healthcare in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 changed how people learn, receive services, and stay connected to their care teams. That meant that NYU Langone Health’s leaders and staff had to navigate formidable challenges to continue delivering quality care.

For an organization like theirs, which includes several hospitals and hundreds of ambulatory locations, the array of patient journeys varies widely. They guide people through everything from standard care, like seeing a primary care physician, to multifaceted experiences, like cancer treatment. That means their digital journeys have to be flexible and intuitive, while also accounting for issues like security, regulatory compliance, language, and more.

Building a solution to tackle all of those considerations is no easy feat. At the earliest stages of development, their experts knew the hurdles they needed to overcome, but not how a single solution would be able to address them all. According to Michael Mainiero, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Innovation, the mindset going into the project was, “We had already developed a strong strategy to communicate with our patients, but needed a platform to build on that would allow us to scale and meet the needs of patients on different care journeys.”

We had already developed a strong strategy to communicate with our patients, but needed a platform to build on that would allow us to scale and meet the needs of patients on different care journeys.

Michael Mainiero, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Innovation

Solutions built to scale

Scaling was crucial when it came to NYU Langone Health’s earliest uses of Twilio at the onset of the pandemic. “The public was panicking and trying to figure out how to get access to care,” Mainiero said. “We needed to deploy millions of messages to our patient population quickly and cost-effectively. We were able to meet this need through use of Twilio Messaging.”

But today, NYU Langone uses Twilio services for far more than simply sending messages: they’ve integrated it into their digital experience infrastructure to deploy smart, timely, and relevant communications that fit each patient’s unique needs. That can mean anything from scheduling info and reminders, to wellness messages and accessing crucial care resources. “We do not look at [Twilio] just as a vehicle to transport communications, but also as an application platform,” said Mainiero. “What we are looking to achieve with Twilio is a logic layer and transport layer that can be built to scale.”

One example of this implementation can be found in NYU Langone Health’s radiology department, whose Twilio-integrated platform auto-generates reports listing appointments and orders, keeps staff up-to-date, and uses historical data—like prior service locations—to help inform future communication sent to patients.

Sustainable digital experiences

For healthcare organizations, digital engagement is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a necessity. “Consumers today are using on-demand services like Amazon and Uber that offer convenience and cater directly to their needs. In healthcare, if you’re not delivering that kind of consumer-grade quality, you’re going to be behind the game,” said Mainiero.

With a top-of-the-line digital experience that seamlessly integrates messaging and engagement tools, NYU Langone is able to keep evolving, innovating, and ultimately doing what matters most: giving patients the best care experience possible.