Laura Clemons

An Innovative Lung Cancer Screening Program Bolstered by Trinity Health’s Call Center

by Laura Clemons | Jul 30, 2021

The marketing team at Trinity Health doesn’t see their call center as just an investment center. They see it as a way to save lives.

As the largest Catholic health system in the U.S., Trinity Health serves communities in 22 states. At St. Joseph Mercy Health System, a member of Trinity Health, the marketing team launched a lung cancer screening program in December 2018. Since that time, they’ve generated more than 2,000 inbound leads and acquired more than 300 new patients because of the screening program.

Mitch Holdwick, Director of Consumer Engagement for the Michigan region of Trinity Health, and Danielle Gordon, Marketing Specialist at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, described how the team combined both clinical and marketing needs to make this screening program successful at the Contact Experience Conference (CEC). They were joined by Dan Lavelle, Associate Vice President of Client Development at Healthgrades, which helped develop the customized platform that made this campaign possible.


“We wanted to increase our lung screening volume and drive revenue, but we also wanted to craft a care delivery experience that was effective and enjoyable for our patients,” Gordon says. “To do this, we got a variety of perspectives from our call center representatives, nurse navigators, lung program staff, marketing team members and Healthgrades.”

Holdwick shared an example of Molly, a user persona, to explain how the program works:

  • Molly, an ex-smoker, clicks on an ad to learn more about her lung cancer risks.
  • Molly begins the lung screener on the landing page but has questions, so she calls to learn more.
  • A customer call representative was able to address Molly’s questions quickly and easily and help her complete the screener using the same scoring logic from the landing page.
  • Because her risk score was high, Molly received weekly emails with custom wellness content and was encouraged to see a specialist ASAP for a follow-up.
  • Seeing that Molly still hasn’t scheduled an appointment, an outbound call is launched and a lung navigator helps schedule her screening. Molly is also emailed some information describing the appointment to ease any worry.
  • Months later, Molly calls to ensure her husband is evaluated and a customer call representative walks her through the screener on her husband’s behalf before making an appointment for him.

“Every step is intentional,” Gordon says. “Every touchpoint was proactively thought about in advance. We wanted to make this easy. We wanted to take away the burden for consumers, so they can take the next step.”

Holdwick agreed, saying that no customer journey is linear. That’s why they made it easy for the consumer to call someone at any time, if they had questions. Call center representatives were empowered to help answer those questions. They also wanted to make it easy if someone was calling on behalf of a loved one.

Once a person finished the screening, they were sent on one of three customized journeys:

  • High (someone called them within 24 hours to schedule a screening)
  • Medium (they were sent information about selecting a primary care physician and smoking cessation information)
  • Low (they were they were put into an “automated journey” with nurturing tactics like information on Trinity’s local smoking cessation programs which included ways to personally connect with their “tobacco free” manager.)

“We wanted each of these journeys to be relatable and provide hope,” Gordon says. “For example, with some of our marketing material, we showed the importance of early detection screenings. We had testimonials from former smokers who talked about how they quit.”

The screening questionnaire has gone through 18 versions. The team constantly tweaks it, based on preventative health recommendations for lung cancer and feedback from everyone who was involved in creating it.

“Our KPI isn’t necessarily about volume or revenue,” Holdwick says. “If we can save a life, that’s what matters most.”

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