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How Upfront engaged half a million patients for necessary care at Prisma Health by applying behavior science

As one of the 50 largest health systems in the U.S., Prisma Health was significantly impacted by the pandemic fallout: staff burnout, delayed preventative screenings, and low medication adherence were all increasing the strain. Prisma enlisted Upfront to engage and activate patients, using behavior science to return patients to necessary care.

Partner since



Greenville, SC



Patient base


Upfront Solutions

Retain, Attract

The Challenge

Overcoming fear and uncertainty

Prisma Health serves roughly 1.5 million patients annually across their inpatient and outpatient services, but a growing sense of fear and uncertainty during the pandemic prevented its patient population from scheduling care and refilling prescriptions, potentially putting lives at risk. To combat these emerging care gaps, the South Carolina-based healthcare system relied on its staff to conduct patient outreach, but the back and forth phone tag yielded minimal results and quickly led to employee burnout. Prisma turned to Upfront to decode patient behaviors using its data-driven technology and motivate patients to return to vital care — without burdening its staff.

The Solution

Proactive, personalized digital engagement

After uncovering Prisma’s primary challenges, Upfront worked with the healthcare system to initiate a proactive and personalized outreach strategy, combining deep behavior insights with the capabilities of the Upfront platform. This work included the deployment of omnichannel outreach and personalized microsites where patients could access healthcare education and online scheduling. The platform automated recall for preventive screenings and eliminated the game of phone tag, driving patients to complete a strategic mission - completing necessary care and adhering to medication. With zero lift from their operations team the change was transparent to staff, prompting a leader from their mammography department to ask their ambulatory operations team, "What are you doing different? We are seeing more women than ever before! It's amazing!"

The Results

$2M in operating savings and better outcomes

Over a period of 2 years, Prisma’s partnership with Upfront resulted in recalling over half a million patients (one third of their population!) to complete preventive screenings and close care gaps without staff effort. The result? $2M in operating savings generated - the equivalent of 133,000 FTE hours of phone calling! And better outcomes: 50% of patients previously off track with medication adherence were activated to refill their prescriptions or flag a barrier to care for their care team to address. And over 40% of patients engaged in next steps to complete preventive care, including scheduling care and reporting care completed outside the system so gaps could be closed.

Upfront’s digital outreach program was so successful that Prisma recently extended the relationship to replicate its performance across their clinically integrated network. They are also implementing outreach solutions for additional care gaps, post-discharge medication reconciliation, and referral coordination, all in service to their system-wide strategic goals to improve health across their population as well as members of their Medicare Advantage plan.

By the numbers

recalled to close care gaps and adhere to medications over 2 years
in operating savings generated
of patients engaged in next steps to complete preventive care
patients activated to refill medications or report a barrier to care

Upfront has helped us feel more like we’re connecting to our patients. So, it’s not just this never-ending list of care gaps that keeps going. We have seen our care metrics get better and better, but it didn’t take burning out the staff to get there. And it’s really what draws us again and again to Upfront.

Katie Lawrence
Executive Director, Ambulatory Optimization & Integration at Prisma Health

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