In a recent article written by Mary Thomson and published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, she discusses how using an automated IVR system to monitor patients within a healthcare facility can identify patients at risk for prehospitalization. According to the article patients typically do not enjoy automated phone systems. However, once the automated system was implemented there was a 70% completion rate of 80% or higher on the assessment. A large part of the group in the study were patients with Cirrhosis considered to be noncompliant. Setting up an automated phone system allowed physicians to qualify what patients needed more communication based on the additional information submitted.
The additional information that was submitted by the patients using the IVR monitoring was that such as blood pressure, weight, and mental status. The patient was responsible to call in daily or weekly to submit the additional information.
Information submitted on the IVR monitoring system allowed the physicians to disperse their efforts to patients that required more attention. The Healthcare physician is in turn providing a unique patient experience determined by the patient needs. The more unique each patient is treated the better their experience will be. This is just one example of how automated systems can improve patient satisfaction, some additional ways include:
- IVR systems can be put in place to address customer service issues such as high-call-volume situations, or faster, more efficient off-hours responses.
- Automated calls can improve patient compliance with ongoing treatment regimens, improving healthcare outcomes and reducing readmission rates.
- Using automated system calls provide more connection between the patient and provider, which improves the patient's healthcare experience.
- IVR systems which gather data are often perceived as less threatening than human callers, especially when the data gathered is of a sensitive nature – for example, gathering statistics on sexual activity drug use, or patient satisfaction.
- Interactive Voice Response systems can be made to accommodate multiple languages, and are much more intuitive than web forms among certain demographics – especially the elderly.
Interactive Voice Response can be leveraged in the healthcare industry to improve interactions between patients and providers. As was illustrated above patient provider experiences can improve in frequency, accessibility, and reliability. The more comfortable clients are, the better their experience. Not only will the information reach the appropriate health providers, but the information will be accurate.