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Arming Cancer Patients with Education

Episode 387

Recommended Book:

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Best Way to Contact Daniella:

dk@daniellakoren.com

Company Website

ARCHES

Arming Cancer Patients with Education with Daniella Koren, Founder and CEO at ARCHES transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Arming Cancer Patients with Education with Daniella Koren, Founder and CEO at ARCHES was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the privilege of hosting Daniella Koren. She’s the CEO at ARCHES. Daniella is a successful serial entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, and healthcare customer engagement expert. Her goal is to think outside the box, remain agile, and focus on the results. Her career focus has been to harness the power of education and positive relationships to help make the world a healthier place. Her dedication to patient education, direct response marketing, technology and analytics, have been honored with the words such as top 50 NJBIZ women and that would be New Jersey businesswoman right, Daniella?

Daniella Koren:
Yes. Yes.

Saul Marquez:
So I make sure I get there right. And collectively her companies have earned over 60 industry awards for innovative work in the digital patient engagement sector verticals of focus include oncology, women’s health, cardiology, rare disease, and specialty surgery. We are going to cover a lot as far as her perspective on business in the healthcare space and it’s truly a privilege to have you on the podcast Danielle. Thanks for joining me today.

Daniella Koren:
Thanks for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. Now did I leave anything out in your intro that you want to share with the listeners?

Daniella Koren:
I think you covered it. We’re definitely honing in on oncology. ARCHES has decided in the past year to kind of focus in on that verticals. So that’s sort of an update since you got my bio.

Saul Marquez:
Awesome. So maybe we could focus in a little bit about that on the podcast today. So what made you get focused on healthcare Daniella?

Daniella Koren:
Yeah that’s a great question. I sort of fell into it. I don’t have a medical background. My major in college was philosophy and I always knew that I wanted to work in advertising and marketing and I got linked up with somebody who was leading a department ah what is now a great healthcare. And she brought me on and said “oh you know we have this Procter and Gamble client and a couple of food accounts we’re doing some health marketing for our food accounts like decaf coffee that’s an oil.” And I thought “oh well Procter and Gamble is a great client and this is a nice person and then they might as well you know take this job.” I didn’t really understand what medical marketing was. And I noticed that everybody around me was working on other things like diabetes and cardiology and I was over there working on the food brands and realized that eventually I would need to get to know some of the more data oriented products that were being marketed as well and so I just continued to work in that sector and I sort of fell into it. But I’ve been there ever since.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. Yeah it’s interesting you know from food you eat to the amount of sleep you get all the lines really inevitably can lead you in the healthcare so it’s pretty cool to hear your beginning story. So you’ve been in the business for a while now several different companies, lots of awards, success. What would you say a hot topic that needs to be on health leaders agendas today and how are you and ARCHES addressing that?

Daniella Koren:
Yeah. So our hot topic and what we think should be on every medical leaders agenda is patient education and preparation. So what we work to do with different types of healthcare organizations and also life science companies is really work on helping patients reduce their fear and anxiety around their health conditions, their treatments, their procedures. And we know that we can do that by giving them the right information at the right time and really preparing them and giving them the relevant content that they want in the way that they want to receive it and so when we talk to medical leaders especially at healthcare organizations, they know that it’s important but it is not necessarily a top top priority. And there’s been so much in the… on the tech side of things it’s been so much work being done in the EMR space in terms of integrating those platforms into the operational work streams that it’s kind of like well we’ve been working on this tech stuff and we need to take a little breather and there are some functions within EMR platforms that are good in terms of appointment reminders and things like that that definitely have been shown to impact outcomes and impact patient engagement. But I think that we really need to strengthen the connectivity between the patient and the healthcare system at a time when time is getting a lot scarcer. Appointments are getting shorter. And healthcare providers are also getting scarcer. There’s going to be a shortfall of physicians more and more as the years go by. So yeah we are working on everything that we do is about how to deliver the right content to a patient or a caregiver at the exact moment that they need it so that they’re less fearful and anxious about the treatment that they’re going to be going through.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah. Very very key and you’re right. I mean the amount of time that physicians spend in the office with patients is really decreasing and a lot of times you’ll leave the doctor’s office not knowing what to do and you have questions and that fear and anxiety is very real. So it’s fascinating to hear this is the core focus is a big need. Give us an example of how you and the company are doing this and could be maybe highlighting one of the products that you guys offer or just diving into a case scenario.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah sure. So we’re working right now with a group called Kettering Health and we have a product called my care compass which is for cancer patients and it’s completely integrated with their EMR platform ethic. And so the beauty of this is that the minute somebody goes in and schedules an appointment let’s say for their first infusion, the epic platform will send… our platform which is called Keystone, a message to say so-and-so is scheduled an appointment and based on business rules that we’ve designed with Kettering our platform is able to deploy information before and after that first infusion. So based on years of working with cancer patients and deploying content and looking at that data that engagement data about what people want and when, we have designed a program where we know when to send out let’s say a first video on how to get ready for your first incision and then the next email or the next text message or the next phone call and that cadence is something that we are really perfecting over time as we look at the engagement results and see and even talk to patients and oncology nurse navigators to say “hey you know what’s this information at a common time. Was it clear? Did you get value from that video or from that content? And what could we be doing better.” So we’re surrounding an appointment or a milestone for a patient with the right content at the right time. And also it’s important to know what channel they want to receive that information is because one size doesn’t fit all. So not everybody is going to respond well the email they might prefer ask them ask them I prefer a phone call and what this is really done is reduces the uncertainty. And so what we hear from healthcare centers is there’s a lot of phone calls a lot of questions before an appointment because of that anxiety because patients and caregivers are fearful about the unknown. They call the office a lot. And so many believe with preparation we’re gonna reduce the amount of burden on the administrators and really help patients and caregivers go into these appointments in a more positive way.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating and what I find very very interesting is that the decision to integrate into EMR and marry the solution to the workflow. I find that one of the biggest areas of struggle that folks that are trying to play in this space that are having difficulty getting engagement is this is that they’re trying to somehow insert themselves into the workflow but I think Daniella what you and your team did of integrating into the EMR is crucial. What was the thought behind that?

Daniella Koren:
Yeah it was… I mean this for me after spending my entire career basically working on patient engagement until we’ve been able to do this we’ve had to rely on patient reported information. In other words somebody needs to opt in and tell us where they are in their journey or what treatments they’re taking. What appointment they have next. And that may be accurate the day that they tell us that information but it completely change the next day. And so the beauty of this I like to call it zero degrees of separation between the patient and the healthcare system because no human has to intervene. They don’t need to give us the information it’s all automated. And so this kind of opens up a whole new world of opportunities because we don’t need to talk about things like we profiling a patient’s information, we know exactly where they are and we receive the data and every single touchpoint along their journey. So for example with Kettering, we have a few different modules going on one is for infusion chemotherapy patients. And so we’ve picked out a few different milestones along with their clinical team by the way. We didn’t do this on our own. We worked with oncologists in oncology nurses and administrators to figure out where are the gaps where are you getting the most phone calls with questions. We also have a module that we just did for immunos, immuno oncology, immunotherapy and we had a conversation with them last week about what’s next. And it might be oral oncology. They actually brought up as they like to do a module on estimate which we haven’t even thought about asked and care but what they were saying is that patients are so unprepared and they don’t understand what’s going to happen.

Saul Marquez:
Such a change.

Daniella Koren:
Such a change, they’re so emotional when they arrive that they don’t pay attention to what anyone is saying about the care in the future how to how to replace the bags and so on and so this is the right time to really come in and develop a module for something that we would have never come up with that. And I think it’s really interesting to go to the point of care and talk about those gaps and those pain points sort of feet on the ground and then develop the modules from there. So this is sort of an organic process for us in oncology specifically and the epic integration, EMR integration just makes all of this. It’s a whole new world that makes patient engagement go to the next level.

Saul Marquez:
Totally agree. Totally agree. And a fascinating approach. Obviously with EMR, you know even the best have issues. So I love to hear whether it be on that and that aspect or even on the business model a time when you had a setback and what you learned from that setback to make you and the company better.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah. You know with EMR integration it’s that probably wouldn’t be the example of the setback, everybody cringes when we say EMR integration. It’s sort of that that everything…

Saul Marquez:
It’s just is. It’s like toxic right. You’ve got to do it.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
You can’t avoid it.

Daniella Koren:
In fact tomorrow. So the epic integration really wasn’t bad there’s actually technology out there that help us sync up with epic. But there have been other barriers other mistakes that we’ve made and areas where we could have known better one example that I was thinking about was more in the area of engaging with metastatic breast cancer patients. We were working with a life science client a while ago and we were developing patient engagement sort of disease awareness for these metastatic sufferers and we’re developing visual assets. You know we were deciding what the look and feel of this education should be, and what color it should be, what the name of it should be. You know at the top of the email or what have you. And we just assume that we should make the visuals pink because that’s sort of the breast cancer color right. You know all the ribbons and the walk of phones and everything everything is pink around breast cancer and at the last second I think the client had said you know let’s just do a sanity check with the metastatic breast cancer patients and see what they think of these visual assets. And we did and they absolutely hated the pink. And what we were…

Saul Marquez:
That’s interesting wasn’t it.

Daniella Koren:
It really was. Well what we didn’t realize is that they all associate themselves with the general breast cancer population adjuvant population. They see themselves as you know sort of in a different camp almost having a different disease altogether and they want to recognize for metastatic breast cancer or not for breast cancer overall and so that was a really important lesson in terms of always talking to the patients and caregivers that we are wanting to develop deep relationships with because just something as simple as a color could be really off putting and we need to understand the patient mindset. We need to understand what they’re going through. We ourselves haven’t gone through their experience and we really can’t know unless we talk to them about what it is what their perceptions are how they’re feeling and what they’re going to respond to the best. So that was. It was a way back when kind of example. But it’s one that really stuck with me and my team in terms of always bringing the patient into the conversation.

Saul Marquez:
It’s a great insight for sure. So what’s the the opposite side of that coin look like, one of your proudest experiences with the company to date.

Daniella Koren:
Yes. So I think that they’re definitely what I was talking about regarding Kettering and this integration with an EMR platform. This is going to really stick out as as one of the proudest moments in the company because of everything I described. All of the advances that we’ve made technologically and we’ve been building our platform since 2006. Our platform Keystone and it’s gone through many iterations. It wasn’t cloud-based in the beginning. We kept enhancing it. We’re working on it and honing it based on the needs of the industry and so to be able to get to the point where our platform can integrate seamlessly with any and my platform. It’s definitely one of the proudest moments. If I had to pick another one I would say just I’ve built a couple of companies and building a team has been an amazing experience. Just coming up with a common set of core values that we can all sort of rally around as we’re working with our clients and working on this important patient education business that we have, just creating a strong company culture. I would say I’m looking back that would be you know another highlight for me.

Saul Marquez:
Wonderful. Yes. You guys are definitely doing some great things and folks if you’re curious about the work that Daniella and her team are up to the website is archestechnology.com. You could find more information about how their vision this gap between providers and patients. And also go to the website outcomesrocket.health and checkout Daniella’s podcast you’ll see links to her company as well as things that we’ve discussed, a full transcript, the short notes everything will be there. So tell us about an exciting project. I mean it sounds like this is the exciting project and maybe we could dive deeper into it. Or maybe you have something else that you want to share.

Daniella Koren:
This is really the exciting project. I would say if I had to pick another though, we have a patent pending technology that’s A.I. powered and so…

Saul Marquez:
Interesting.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah. So one of the things that we’re really interested in doing is we’re sending out all of this education and content to patients. We wanted to figure out a way to optimize that content with artificial intelligence. And so what we do now is sort of what I described which is we deploy content, we look at the data on the back end to see “Okay how many people engaged with this content. How many… what was our email, open rate, click rate, opt out rate, content engagement rate.” You know we can get down to you know videos how far in the world watched and all that great stuff but we’re still going in as humans and looking at the data and then talking about how we can optimize it to create that never ending optimization loop and so what we came up with was a way to do that through A.I. And so that’s something that we’re still working on. Like I said we have applied for a patent pending we should receive it probably in the next five months or so. So we haven’t brought it to market and started working with customers on it we’re still figuring out how it works and how that can create value for different kinds of healthcare organizations.

Saul Marquez:
That’s really interesting. So it would be taking a look at these back end analytics and the whole optimization process. It would be automating it.

Daniella Koren:
It would. So it would be taking a look at keywords so just the way that we think about keywords and search, we would be able to look at keywords and email text and figure out what the common keywords are in the most engaged with emails. And then we could replicate that and we could figure out how to optimize the content leveraging the keywords that we know are engaging our target audience.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. That’s a fascinating idea. And I think one that will provide a lot of value. The work’s being done and if there’s a way to make it smart and work on its own would be very very exciting. So kudos to you and your team Daniella always ahead. This is very cool. So getting close to the end. This is the lightning round so we’re going to have a couple of questions, quick fire, and then we’ll finish that with your recommendation of a book to the listeners. You ready?

Daniella Koren:
Awesome.

Saul Marquez:
All right. What’s the best way to through business, help improve healthcare outcomes?

Daniella Koren:
Measure them. I think that what we measure is what we improve.

Saul Marquez:
What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Daniella Koren:
Don’t assume that it’s all figured out. We still have a long way to go.

Saul Marquez:
How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Daniella Koren:
So I think protecting the core of what the organization does but stimulating innovations.

Saul Marquez:
What’s one area of focus that drives everything in your company?

Daniella Koren:
Our hippo compliant software platform and now oncology too. I would say those are the two focuses.

Saul Marquez:
And these next two are more on a personal note. Number one is what is your number one health habit?

Daniella Koren:
Oh boy. My number one health habit is dancing. I’m an avid dancer. Always have been. And it’s just what keeps me healthy, sane, engaged, energetic.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. Any particular dance?

Daniella Koren:
So right now I… for the last decade or so I’ve been involved in ballroom dancing.

Saul Marquez:
Wow very cool.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
It’s very cool. There’s definitely a lot of style and beauty to that. So…

Daniella Koren:
There is, it’s just a classic. I always loved the dresses. I think that’s what I love wanting to wear one of those beautiful ball gowns. Now I get to do that and sort of drift into that world a little bit.

Saul Marquez:
Good for you. You know I always thought about so my wife and I were getting ready for our wedding we were this was five years ago we were doing dance lessons for the dance. The first dance.

Daniella Koren:
Yes

Saul Marquez:
And I got to tell you the mind works when you’re figuring these things out and then it goes into autopilot. There’s something that needs to be done or maybe it’s has already been done about mental health and dancing.

Daniella Koren:
Oh yeah. There are tons of studies. I think even for Alzheimer’s is that I recommend dancing. Yeah. Because I mean I can tell you when I’m dancing I can’t focus on anything else. It would be impossible to think about epic or patient education.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah it’s completely like meditation. There’s a lot of parallels actually allow partner dancing and then business because everything that comes out of my dance teacher’s mouth I say like I got down…

Saul Marquez:
On business right.

Daniella Koren:
This is so important.

Saul Marquez:
Oh my gosh. That is…

Daniella Koren:
So similar. Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. I love it. And this next one is what is your number one success habit?

Daniella Koren:
I would say getting out of town travel and changing up my environment. We were talking about that a little bit at the beginning but I think that a change of environment just brings new energy especially in living in New York and having you know the winter, the winter doldrums kind of things I think for me that’s been an important habit to just kind of keep on with the creativity and the innovative ideas.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. And what book would you recommend to the listeners Daniella?

Daniella Koren:
Yes. So I think that you know in terms of health patient engagement I am addicted to my Google alert. You know that’s what I read the most every day I have that patient engagement. Every day I get a migraine articles and links. Right now I’m reading. I just thought Brene Brown last week speak in a small fireside chat. And so I’m reading Dare to Lead and I really liked it so far and she talks about the importance of compassion and community. And I it just made me think about how this applies to patients and caregivers who are really going through tough times and I think deeply about always talking to patients and keeping what we’re actually doing at the very center. We can get caught up in technology and project management and business stuff. And I think you know I really love what she’s talking about in that. So I’d recommend that.

Saul Marquez:
That’s a great recommendation. So folks again go to outcomesrocket.health in the search bar type in Daniella Koren or type in arches, her company and you’ll see this podcast pop up with links to the book. Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead. And on the the short notes on the fire round the lightning round that we just did. Before we conclude Daniella, I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners can connect with you or continue following your thoughts and work.

Daniella Koren:
Yeah. Thank you so much. This is super fun. And I guess you know the closing thought is to lead with compassion. I think we’re all patients we’re all going through something we’ve all had an experience and just looking at each other with a little more compassion and understanding I think does help make the world a more positive place. If you want to connect with me my email address is dk@daniellakoren.com. Happy to talk to you and tell me your thoughts, share.

Saul Marquez:
I love it Daniella. Well really again just want to say thanks for carving out time for us and sharing your thoughts. Really appreciate you doing that.

Daniella Koren:
Thanks Saul.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

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