Customer Stories

Karuna leverages Telnyx for HIPAA-compliant voice and SMS.

30%

increase in patients served

61%

Decrease in patients waiting more than 60 days for an appointment

96%

of messages responded to within 72 hours

COMPANY

Karuna Health was founded with the goal of driving patient access to care by seamlessly connecting underserved patients to care teams. Their platform is a workflow and automation tool that streamlines communication to promote engagement, efficiency, and health outcomes. So, care management teams can get back to what they do best — being there for patients when they need help most.

HEADQUARTERS

San Francisco, CA

FOUNDED

2018
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Karuna centralizes all patient outreach within their proprietary platform. It’s worth noting that Karuna doesn’t simply automate texting and calling, they build high-fidelity experiences for their users, accessible via their own phones.

With Telnyx, Karuna is able to integrate reliable voice and SMS to protect and secure sensitive patient health information while offering the convenience of everyday communication channels.

Everyone deserves a guide

There are a number of problems with patient engagement solutions today:
  • They’re channel-limited. Most providers deploy solutions across a single channel like the telephone or patient portals, which is not only limiting but can leave communication fragmented across several different systems
  • They focus on one-way, automated messages — high-touch, personal communications that really build trust with patients are ignored. The result? Elusive patients and burned out care managers.
  • They’re inherently insecure. Storing PHI directly on mobile phones leaves organizations wide open to data and security breaches.

Karuna builds solutions that tackle these core problems. First, they believe that patients should be able to talk with their care teams in the same way they talk with anyone else, whether via SMS, phone calling, or other common channels. The Karuna platform enables seamless, multi-channel communication flows.

Text messaging, in particular, is an integral piece of their model and underutilized by most platforms. Over 80% of Americans use text messages for daily communication, and 99% of texts are opened, with an average reading time of just three minutes. Not only is market penetration much higher for SMS than any other technology, patients want to engage via text. In fact, a recent study has shown that 91% of patients say they’d like to text their care team.

For providers, SMS is also real-time, measurable and incredibly cost-effective. Josh Green, Head of Strategy and Operations at Karuna, says, “Text messaging is a core part of our business — that’s why our partnership with Telnyx is so important. Our platform fully leverages its high response rates, and with Telnyx, we’re able to guarantee end-to-end security and HIPAA compliance.”

Second, Karuna is dedicated to enabling high-touch, personal conversations that build trust between patients and care managers. “We were founded on the belief that everyone deserves a guide to help them navigate the complex healthcare system,” adds Green. However, it’s important to arm those “guides” with access to the right toolkit. While care delivery teams see clear benefit from simply enabling SMS, Karuna also enhances existing workflows by leveraging an organization’s existing data and systems, so care managers have a comprehensive picture of all touchpoints for a patient anytime via desktop or mobile app.

Critical to building trust is understanding patient needs. And one clear demonstration of this is the way Karuna implemented call recording with Telnyx. “With our previous provider, we could only record from the start of the call. That might not sound significant, but many patients are sensitive to call recording and refuse to engage following that initial message,” says Green. “With Telnyx, we can do call recording in a much more flexible way. If you’re having a conversation and something does need to be recorded, we can deal with that midcall after establishing trust — and that makes a huge difference.”

Back to basics — reliable communications

In selecting a carrier partner, it was critical for Karuna to make sure they were able to provide users with consistently reliable call quality and high SMS deliverability. “With our previous carrier, calls were frequently dropped and we had very little visibility into why that happened,'' says Green. “Telnyx offers far more transparency, and that means we’re able to build in much more redundancy so that calls and texts always get through to the right person.”

This is because Telnyx manages a private network environment with complete control over call routing whereas other carriers rely on middlemen for core communications functionality. The result? Karuna has far more control over the experience of their clients and end users.

Why HIPAA compliance and BAAs are so important

More and more patients prefer to communicate via text, which can be problematic for healthcare providers as this opens up issues around HIPAA compliance. Care managers with unprotected patient PHI (personal health information) on their mobile device put their organization at risk for a potential data breach the moment the device becomes lost or stolen. This can result in fines ranging from $50,000 to millions.

On top of that, many providers have high staff turnover, so communication can easily get lost unless it is properly documented. With Karuna, it’s all centralized, data isn’t stored directly on any device, and it’s easy to restrict access if needed. This means that organizations, as well as the patients they serve, are better protected from many common challenging healthcare situations, including:
  • Lack of access to a care team member in an emergency or after hours, resulting in patients not getting the help they need or making unnecessary trips to the local hospital emergency department.
  • Loss of documentation when someone leaves the organization or loses their device, which not only impacts the organization financially, but can result in critical gaps or, at minimum, a negative experience for patients.

“We switched to Telnyx because they sign BAAs — in fact, they’re one of the few truly HIPAA-compliant platforms, and being HIPAA-compliant is critical to our business,” says Green “Karuna takes compliance and security very seriously, and that factors into every decision we make. At the end of the day, building relationships with patients is all about trust — and treating their data securely is foundational to that.”

To find out more about how you can leverage Telnyx, get in touch today. Or to learn more about Karuna’s solutions for your organization, visit www.meetKaruna.com.

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