Despite the many patient portals, chat bots, mobile apps, and other online options for accessing healthcare, most patients still prefer to use the voice channel (the phone) to schedule appointments, talk to doctors, and handle more complicated issues. The phone provides a more personal connection and is easier for many healthcare consumers, including elderly and disabled patients who may struggle with other methods. However, many health systems have neglected the voice channel for decades. By extension, they are also neglecting callers. Accessing care should be effortless for all callers — as easy as using your voice. Implementing conversational AI-powered self-service in the voice channel is the solution to delivering a seamless patient experience.
Many health system voice channels utilize old-fashioned automated attendants and IVR (interactive voice response) systems. These outdated systems frustrate callers by forcing them to wait in long hold queues and repeatedly telling them to “press 1” or “press 5” through an endless maze of phone trees. Incorporating modern IVRs and IVAs (intelligent virtual assistants) enables healthcare consumers to speak naturally and connect quickly to access care. Speech-enabled IVR systems let callers use their voices to quickly access the people, departments, and services they need within a health system. IVAs offer more personalized service; in addition to call routing, they handle routine tasks that would otherwise need to be performed by an agent, including appointment scheduling, providing directions, and administering COVID screenings.
Improving the phone experience doesn’t benefit patients alone. When intelligent automation allows callers with routine requests to self-serve, patient access contact center agents provide a better experience to those needing more complex support. This enables agents to work at the top of their skillsets and thrive in a more productive work environment. Giving patients easy and fulfilling caller journeys increases consumer loyalty and agent retention, guaranteeing cost savings and reducing revenue leakage for health systems.
Parlance has always believed that callers deserve friction-free, voice-driven access to the resources they need. We offer a managed service solution, incorporating advanced speech technologies such as automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding to update traditional IVRs and automated attendants into user-friendly voice-driven tools. Modern IVRs and IVAs offer quick, intuitive assistance to callers who know what they want, while reducing frustration and minimizing hold times for those who require the assistance of a live agent.
By Chris DeRizzo