Reducing healthcare call volume: Generative AI helps manage and divert routine inquiries

The so-called “post-COVID” environment has produced new challenges for healthcare leaders. Two in particular have collided to create an incendiary situation:

  • More patients are seeking care – perhaps catching up from pandemic neglect – driving call volumes to unprecedented levels. Plus, the expansion (and necessity) of self-service options over the past few years solidified an expectation for consumer-friendly tools.
  • Concurrently, staffing shortages have reached critical levels. More patients are reaching out – but fewer resources are available to respond.

This dynamic must be depressurized swiftly before front desks, contact centers and support staff are completely overwhelmed.

 

Smart digital tools provide an easy-to-implement and easy-to-scale option. Recent advances in generative AI with tools like ChatGPT, combined with conversational and natural language technologies, equip healthcare leaders with virtual assistants that can interact with patients empathetically to deflect a significant portion of these calls.

Interestingly, the Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule) describes the current situation perfectly. According to an IBM study, 80% of routine tasks and consumer questions can effectively be managed by a digital virtual assistant.

Think about it: what are the most common topics patients ask about?

  • Locations
  • Directions to offices, facilities, care centers
  • Visiting hours
  • Concerns about symptoms and conditions
  • Scheduling and rescheduling

Most providers no doubt already provide this information on their websites. But patients might not be able to find it – and so pick up the phone. That’s where generative AI comes in.

 

It’s a quick and easy fix to a big problem. Orbita has introduced CallDeflectAI, a virtual assistant that can activated on a provider’s website within one day to begin reducing call volume.

CallDeflectAI ingests information from any provider’s website – big or small – and creates an interactive virtual assistant. Patients can go to the website, ask routine questions and get answers in a matter of seconds. Responses are based only on content from the provider’s website, so accuracy is ensured.

Ultimately, CallDeflectAI eases the workload and pressure on staff by providing patients with curated and consistent answers – without a phone conversation. Plus, patient satisfaction goes up because they have convenient access to important resources. 

 

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