Leveraging Natural Voice Technologies to Boost Patient Engagement Substantially
How’s the weather today, Siri? We progressively rely on virtual assistants and smart speakers for everything from weather predictions and local news to playing music and even purchasing groceries, making them a vital part of our daily lives.
Voice assistants now enable a range of businesses, such as voice-based banking and online shopping, thanks to natural language processing (NLP) and AI-based speech recognition.
Healthcare can also benefit from voice technology in a variety of ways.
The healthcare industry is buzzing with patient awareness and engagement, fueled by the assumption that patients will have improved outcomes and lower costs when more involved in their treatment.
Nonetheless, many patients report that navigating the medical system is far from simple.
It’s past time for something to be done about this. This metamorphosis will take numerous forms, and voice will play an important role.
The Healthcare Conundrum
Despite technological advancements, 65% of patients still prefer to book appointments over the phone. Furthermore, for many medical clinics in the United States, calling to schedule or change appointments is the sole option.
Despite this, 50% of patients calling doctors’ offices cannot schedule an appointment on the first call. Those who aren’t successful will often keep trying until their requirements are met.
It results in more telephone calls, longer time on hold, increased patient annoyance, and heavy workload for internal staff.
With call numbers so high, numerous healthcare institutions would appreciate a drop in incoming calls. Having the proper forum in place can assist healthcare providers in reducing the number of calls they receive and the time it takes them to respond.
The Hefty Price of Preserving the Status Quo
It takes just over five minutes on average to modify, cancel, or verify a consultation, not including time spent leaving messages, listening to them, entering information into the management system, and so on.
While this may not appear to be a significant amount, the total is startling when multiplied by numerous calls per day.
Recurrent scheduling tasks cost medical clinics substantial money and time throughout the country. Practices are squandering resources and time without an intelligent technology tool to enhance scheduling.
Furthermore, scheduling issues frequently result in no-shows and cancellations, and error-prone, manual appointment procedures can leave slots unfilled, costing practitioners millions of dollars per day.
The entire cost of missing healthcare consultations in the United States is $150 billion per year. A physician spends one hour and $200 on average for each open, empty appointment slot.
The financial cost of exhaustion in the healthcare profession isn’t even included in those figures.
As per 2019 research in the Harvard Gazette, exhaustion among doctors alone costs the American medical system an average of $4.6 billion per year in billings due to lower hours, instability, and costs associated with recruiting substitutes.
Everyone Requires the Support of a Capable Assistant
Client calls, monotonous office responsibilities, time-consuming data entry, and administrative duties related to scheduling are all excellent candidates for automation.
Voice technology, when utilized correctly, has immense potential to alter healthcare, thanks to technological breakthroughs achieved by a variety of firms ranging from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon to smaller, albeit no less significant, niche companies enhancing voice’s resilience.
Though voice technology has grown in popularity and acceptance across many industries, it is only now finding traction in the healthcare industry.
Recent advancements in safety, dependability, HIPAA compliance, comprehensive user experience, and EHR connectivity have been rapid. It opens up intriguing possibilities for utilizing voice technologies more effectively.
Difficulties of Incorporating Voice Technology in Healthcare
Voice-based applications for the healthcare industry, like any other technology, present a unique set of issues that must be tackled from the beginning of a project.
- Voice must be handled as any other piece of medical data, and it must be carefully safeguarded. For enhanced security, secure data transfer protocols, role-based access control, data encryption, and other safety precautions must be applied.
- To preserve patients’ privacy, any personalized healthcare program that interacts with sensitive health information must adhere to HIPAA regulations. For healthcare purposes, Amazon’s Alexa, for instance, supports HIPAA-compliant skills.
- A variety of people can use Voice-based applications. Thus, they must respond to the speaker’s language to effectively comprehend and execute the desired action.
- Particular focus must be given to the design of voice-based interactions to make wayfinding and navigation as effortless as possible. Healthcare providers can incorporate audible or visual indicators to tell consumers when voice assistants are listening, available to use, or ready to respond.
- Finally, the expense of voice technology integration must be reasonable to encourage its adoption in healthcare.
How can Voice Technology be Beneficial in Improving Patient Engagement?
The waiting is getting old for the patients. Whether rescheduling a consultation or awaiting medical reports, professional services take twice as long.
Voice assistants may now integrate seamlessly with office communications systems and EHR in medical practices, making it easier and more convenient for patients to verify, cancel, or reschedule appointments.
Voice technology is intuitive, natural, and simple to use, and it’s often more practical than logging into a website.
Providing such schedule flexibility can do more than reduce phone volume and save personnel time – fewer inquiries and quicker responses can contribute to enhanced satisfaction and, eventually, increased engagement of the patients all through the clinical encounter.
Furthermore, empowered and engaged patients in charge of their routine are more willing to turn up, which could go a considerable way toward accomplishing a shared vision between your organization and your patients – happier and healthier people.
Healthcare organizations are under pressure to boost patient involvement and operational excellence.
Voice-based technologies can assist healthcare professionals in delivering improved patient experiences and expediting the change to value-based care by boosting medication adherence, streamlining hospital operations, and enriching senior care.
However, it is necessary to provide ease-of-use and seamless navigation to utilize technology properly. Integrate security and privacy measures to secure patients’ sensitive information and give them a sense of security.
Even though there is still work to be done, speech platforms and innovative approaches to IT design are already changing the way doctors and patients communicate.
The question isn’t whether or not significant changes will occur, but rather how rapidly they will.