Healthcare customer service satisfaction lags behind almost every other industry, and the COVID19 pandemic highlighted an immediate need for transformation.
Overwhelming demand for information and resources meant that hospital and clinic phone systems were completely overloaded. Healthcare switchboard operators and patient access center agents were stretched thin.

Problems persist even now. When you call a health system, it’s very common to hear a message like, “Please be patient. Due to staffing shortages, you may experience extended hold times.” There is significant pressure for CIOs, COOs, CTOs and other executives to move quickly and deliver solutions. Those solutions often include some AI and automation initiatives, as a part of an all-encompassing large-scale digital transformation.  But health systems must use automation to improve patient experience, not make it worse. No one wants to speak with a robot about a health concern. But no one wants to wait on hold either. What can be done?

Here are 4 ways to effectively speed up a digital transformation in healthcare: 

    1. Focus on delivering a quick win. Organizational transformation requires time for analysis, planning, and implementation, but the need for immediate relief is real! By offloading PBX calls with an automated speech solution, health systems can stabilize operations, improve patient experience, and create some breathing room to further optimize call center operations. When routine callers can use their voices to self-serve easily, call volume to operators goes way down, and that helps!
    2. Be sure to create a consistent experience. Patients don’t want disjointed robotic interactions, they want effortless interactions!
    3. Use your resources wisely! While a one-time software purchase may seem appealing, adopting the technology can take long periods of time that your internal IT or access center team just doesn’t have when facing pressures to automate quickly. Going a step further, your enterprise directory will degrade over time! Does your team have the time to synthesize and maintain an authoritative data directory? Up-to-date, trustworthy data is necessary in order to automate and offload more and more calls over time. Offloading management of the technology to an expert team who does the back-end work and guarantees performance, saves your organization effort and money. 
    4. The vendor you choose should have extensive experience in healthcare. Pay close attention! A big start up budget can’t buy deep healthcare industry experience in the realm of patient access! Trust a vendor who has delivered successful results for hundreds of hospitals and clinics!

By Annmarie Block