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Hartford Healthcare (hhc) Rev Horz
Seizing challenges, inspiring transformation

How Upfront reimagined the patient experience at Hartford HealthCare during the pandemic and beyond

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Hartford, CT



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Attract, Retain

The Background

At the height of COVID-19, Hartford HealthCare was asked to lead the charge for connecting Connecticut residents to equitable vaccine access. Upfront brought its deep healthcare expertise and data-driven technology to motivate the state’s population to immunize, at scale — then replicated its success to transform the system’s patient experience during the pandemic and beyond.

The Initial Challenge

With the new availability of COVID-19 vaccines, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) was seeking an intelligent framework for navigating patients through the vaccine process, while minimizing operational burden. Keeping equity in sharp focus, HHC turned to Upfront to implement a turnkey solution that could engage patients across risk groups and seamlessly connect them to vaccine distribution sites — leveraging its configurable platform to ensure that no one fell through the cracks.

HHC turned to Upfront to quickly get patients vaccinated — across risk groups.

The Solution:

Upfront collaborated with HHC to deliver a continuous digital engagement strategy in under four weeks.

Increase vaccine confidence

by educating consumers about the vaccination process and seamlessly matching them with accessible sites

Prioritize high risk groups

in hardship zip codes as identified by the Governor’s office

Develop personalized microsites

with educational content, one-click scheduling, and visit reminders, as well as second-dose notifications and symptoms follow-up

Reduce inbound calls

allowing HHC to refocus human resources on identifying access barriers and match patients with mobile or pop-up sites

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of vaccines delivered by HHC went to patients in hardship zip codes

Connecticut 1


patients received personalized microsites

of patients scheduled online


enrollment in patient portal

of Connecticut residents vaccinated by HHC

The Result: Driving vaccine program success

During the first 60 days of partnership, roughly 2 million patients received personalized microsites. More than 41% of patients engaged with the sites to schedule at least their first dose, a rate 4x the industry benchmark. Overall, HHC contacted 39% of the Connecticut total population and vaccinated 11% of residents — significantly contributing to the state’s Top 5 ranking in percentage of population vaccinated.

In addition, Upfront influenced uptake of other technology investments; HHC doubled enrollment in its patient portal and experienced a 200% increase in usage of their online symptom checker. Upfront then built on the established digital relationship and equity learnings, to motivate patients to resume preventative care, such as cancer screenings and wellness visits.

Explore the ongoing evolution of Upfront’s partnership with HHC and what healthcare challenges we’re tackling next.

With the success of the COVID-19 vaccine program, HHC established relationships with newly vaccinated patients, using Upfront’s continuous digital outreach to motivate them to resume preventative care, such as cancer screenings and wellness visits.

HHC also leverages Upfront to extend visit adherence strategies, support transitions of care, prevent referral leakage, increase care management enrollment, and close care gaps to help HHC maximize quality measure performance and guide patients to necessary care.

Together, we’re helping HHC attract and retain patients, and drive greater adoption of HHC’s legacy digital investments.

HHC continues to personalize their patient experience in partnership with Upfront.

To continue its goal to recall patients and drive revenue performance, HHC shifted its efforts to solving visit adherence issues. Patients were frustrated with having to call and reschedule visits, while staff was burdened with the manual EMR updates. Upfront streamlined this process by enabling patients to easily reschedule within the platform, seamlessly integrating the data with HHC’s EMR to remove demand on staff, effectively filling the gaps.
Upfront led a two-day design sprint with HHC to explore how they could reimagine the Medicare Advantage experience for the future. The goal was to understand existing workflows at HHC and develop personalized activation strategies to empower patients to enroll in MA plans, engage in preventative care, manage chronic conditions, and easily schedule referrals and necessary care. After aligning on key priority areas, HHC and Upfront are currently developing an updated project plan to put into action.
Amidst pandemic-related low employee morale, Upfront launched an employee engagement initiative to combat burnout and minimize employee no-shows. With Upfront, HHC uncovered employees’ communication preferences and delivered personalized messaging via text with a link to their shift schedule — without a login. Any inputs were then automatically integrated into daily operational reports to easily identify and address performance gaps, meeting compliance requirements and easing the burden on admin employees.

Upfront has not been a vendor to us, but a true partner. Upfront understands us ― our goals, our system, and our challenges ― and the results we have seen to date have made a significant impact on the health and well-being of our community.

Debra Hayes
VP and Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Care Partners, HHC’s clinical integration organization

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Deb Hayes (1)

No challenge is impossible to overcome

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