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Patient Experience: IVAs Overcome Healthcare Communications Challenges

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Today’s healthcare professionals are met with various challenges that complicate healthcare communications and the patient experience. From staffing shortages to outdated technology, providers navigate internal and external challenges to maintain quality patient support.

The nursing shortage across the U.S. strains hospitals in need of more staff, especially with high numbers of patients. Outdated technology also stands as a challenge. The ability to streamline and automate healthcare communications is an effective strategy to improve patient experience. 

Today, technology offers intelligent tools that help healthcare providers stay up to date and overcome healthcare communications challenges.

Current Healthcare Communications Challenges

IT decision makers need to understand healthcare communications challenges before they can invest in tools to make improvements. Many of these challenges stem from ineffective communications and outdated technology. Poor or inefficient healthcare communications can result in decreased quality of care, poor patient outcomes, wasted resources, and high overhead.

Delays in healthcare communications directly impact patient satisfaction. Consider a patient who needs their doctor’s approval to refill a prescription. If the doctor’s approval is delayed due to poor communication methods, the patient experience is negatively impacted. Not only is delayed communication frustrating, but it can greatly impact patients who have time-sensitive or chronic health conditions.

Communications between healthcare staff and patients must be quick, accurate, and effective to combat delays. Also keep in mind that dated technology for healthcare communications exasperates these delays. For example, many providers use pagers and legacy solutions for communications. Human error is also a factor with legacy and manual processes. Modern, intuitive technology streamlines communications. 

It is difficult for healthcare providers that utilize dated technology to maintain a competitive advantage. They may also find themselves unable to deliver proper patient support or manage high call volumes and staffing shortages. Successful healthcare providers adapt to new technologies that automate business processes and help mitigate healthcare communications challenges.

If these challenges are left unchecked, they result in a negative patient experience. Providers can improve patient experience with tools and processes that enable immediate, personalized, and accurate patient support. Modern communication technologies like conversational AI for healthcare can combat these challenges and improve patient experience.

Three healthcare communication challenges: manual or siloed processes, delays in reporting, and dated or legacy technologies.

What is Conversational AI for Healthcare?

Healthcare communications tools, such as intelligent virtual agents (IVAs), help mitigate errors and miscommunications. Conversational AI for healthcare is an application of IVAs specific to patient support and healthcare communications.

For reference, conversational AI is a form of intelligence that facilitates real-time, human-like communication between a person and a computer. Conversational AI for healthcare streamlines communications, automates tasks, and makes for a more effective patient experience.

Patient Support Use Cases 

Below are four primary use cases of conversational AI for healthcare. These use cases help providers improve patient experience and patient support through automation, intuitive technology, and personalization.

Appointment Reminders

Healthcare providers can use IVAs to automate and send appointment reminders. Appointment reminders help patients stay on top of their healthcare. The ability to automate these types of healthcare communications reduces the administrative and manual requirements for hospital employees.

Appointment reminders also mitigate appointment no-shows, which can save hospitals money. IVAs can also reschedule appointments for patients and automatically update appointment reminders accordingly. Hospitals can tailor these messages so they will resonate with their patient population. Through conversational AI for healthcare, providers can customize patient communications to be nuanced and human-like.

Appointment reminders remove burden from provider's shoulders, ensure consistent communication, and help patients manage their healthcare.

Example of a text sent to a patient to improve healthcare communication.

Patient Verification

IVAs also enable and automate patient verification. Here, the IVA asks a series of questions to verify the patient’s identity quickly and securely. Patient verification through an IVA enables instant patient support, eliminating initial wait times.

The ability to automate patient verification removes burden from staff and potential for human error. IVAs collect information from interactions in real-time and without error. This mitigates miscommunications and costly impacts of redundancy.

Like appointment reminders, conversational AI for healthcare communications, specifically patient verification, improves efficiency of patient support. Hospitals can tailor patient verification questions to align with patients’ needs. 

Medication and Treatment Adherence

Alongside appointment reminders and patient verification, conversational AI for healthcare also provides prescription refill reminders. These reminders help patients prioritize their care and refill prescriptions easily without the need for a live provider.

IVAs for healthcare communications also deliver treatment reminders (e.g. dialysis) and make it easy to check in on high-need patients. High-need patients might include elderly patients whose health may change day to day. These tools help provide timely patient support to improve patient experience and maximize productivity for providers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Conversational AI for healthcare allows providers to offer answers to frequently asked questions. This method means patients can have their most basic questions answered without waiting on hold for a live provider. 

Frequently asked questions may include information about flu shots or COVID-19 vaccination, insurance information, office hours, and more. Conversational AI for healthcare also allows providers to notify patients of special circumstances, such as local community health concerns.

Benefits of IVAs to the Patient Experience 

As teased above, conversational AI for healthcare and IVAs have several benefits for both providers and patients. Conversational AI for healthcare can mitigate the negative impacts of healthcare communications challenges. Many of these challenges are out of healthcare providers control.

IVAs offer the following benefits to patient experience and care: 

Personalized Care via Self-Service Options 

These tools offer instant patient support available 24/7. IVAs offer patients autonomy and freedom regarding when and how they’d like to receive help. Conversational AI for healthcare makes these communications nuanced and human-like, which positively impact patient experience.  

Improve Operations and Revenue

IVAs streamline healthcare communications, which reduces the need for healthcare employees to manually send reminders. The ability to automate appointment reminders and patient verification, for example, results in cost savings related to IT resources and staffing. It also increases patient support capabilities. A hospital or its contact center can support more patients without hiring additional headcount.

Added Control and Intelligence

IVAs use of conversational AI for healthcare improves innovation and modernizes the technology hospitals use. These tools securely track and report data about the patient to the team of providers. Healthcare providers can use this insight to improve individual care and overall patient experience.  

Three benefits of IVAs to the patient experience: personalized care with self-service options, improved operations and revenue, and increased control and intelligence. 

Improve Patient Experience with Mosaicx

Conversational AI is a proven and powerful tool to improve patient support and the patient experience. With Mosaicx, healthcare organizations can enhance automation capabilities and provide quality patient support at an affordable cost.

Conversational AI for healthcare provides agents with accurate insight into patient needs and automates processes to improve patient experiences. We automate and add human nuance to healthcare communications such as appointment or prescription refill reminders.

Mosaicx helps providers navigate healthcare communications and operational challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system. These tools improve patient support through personalization, automation, and intelligence.

With IVAs, healthcare organizations and their contact centers can save money, relieve providers of significant burdens and improve patient experiences.