The Benefits of Automated Outreach

Ensuring patient populations are getting the care they need is a challenging task that many healthcare providers are struggling with today. We’ve discussed before some of the ways that consumer scheduling and referral coordination solutions are helping providers improve patient access. We also recently wrote about how we are specifically helping call centers. Now we would like to discuss how automated outreach combined with the ability to schedule appointments in real-time can help close gaps in care.

Call centers are often overworked and understaffed, struggling with inefficient systems for patient scheduling. Meanwhile, patients lead busy lives and often fail to be proactive about their health care – which means that necessary care appointments slip through the cracks. Forgotten appointments and other gaps in care then lead to diminished health outcomes. It’s a problematic cycle that has been operating inadequately for decades.

Fortunately, advanced technology has provided a solution to this problem. Automated patient outreach via interactive voice response (IVR and text messaging SMS) is now effectively closing gaps in care and streamlining the entire scheduling process from start to finish.

Data from a recent MyHealthDirect campaign featuring automated outreach to 2,047 patients via IVR or Text (depending on their preference) resulted in the following:

  • 158 patients booked appointments via MHD’s text/IVR outreach
  • 10% of the patients contacted booked by SMS
  • 6% of the patients booked via IVR
  • 52 of these bookings, nearly 1/3rd, occurred in the Spanish language

Providers partnering with MyHealthDirect to implement IVR and SMS self-scheduling are seeing numerous benefits. Among them:

  1. Extended Outreach Capabilities – An automated and technologically advanced outreach system has far greater capacity to reach patients, when compared to the bandwidth of traditional call centers. The system enables thousands of automated calls per day that don’t require an agent.
  1. Appointment Bookings Increase – Reaching more patients means more successfully booked appointments, which in turn means better health outcomes for patients, and greater profitability for providers. Our technology successfully automates the process all the way through the booking itself, scheduling far more appointments with much less effort.
  1. Higher Patient Satisfaction – Automated outreach ensures that patients are notified on-time about their necessary follow-up care, and then makes it easy for them to quickly book appointments that fit their schedule. This convenience and simplicity drives greater patient satisfaction.

Using a targeted patient outreach list, our automated calling and texting system manages the bookings, coordination and follow-up – lifting the burden from the provider and call center. Additionally, the technology tracks patient metrics (i.e. response rates, booking rates, opt-outs, etc.) in real-time, which enables providers to identify areas for improvement and make the necessary changes to their processes. For these reasons – as well as the benefits outlined above – a growing list of providers are choosing to employ automated outreach technology.

To learn more about how automated outreach and other aspects of our digital care coordination solution help accelerate call center operations download our free guide by clicking the button below.