Tag: Nuance Patient Engagement

How AI Is Revolutionizing Digital Patient Engagement

By Annalhees Elm, vice president, Nuance Patient Engagement.

So many aspects of our lives happen on digital platforms these days. After the pandemic forced everyone to do more online, we’ve grown accustomed to using technology to buy groceries, pay bills, and keep in touch with friends and family.

Digital has become such a big part of our everyday lives that we expect speed, simplicity, and convenience whenever we interact with any organization. In the healthcare sector, however, many organizations aren’t keeping pace with these expectations, so it’s unsurprising that 61% of patients want better engagement from their provider.

Many health systems have opened a “digital front door” that gives patients some level of online access to support and information. But it’s vital for organizations to look beyond and provide meaningful patient engagement in all channels.

Forward-thinking health systems are implementing new tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to make patient experiences as simple, effortless, and effective as the experiences they get from major retailers and banks. Here are just a few ways they transform patient engagement and enable health systems to close the experience gap.

Simplify Appointment Management

Managing appointments can put a huge strain on already overworked care teams and administrative staff—and it can be a hassle for patients. No-shows, for example, waste precious clinician time and impact the patient experience.

While automated appointment reminders are a good start, more sophisticated solutions take it a step further. The most advanced solutions allow patients to respond to appointment reminders in the same channel. So, instead of receiving an SMS reminder and then phoning the Patient Access Center to reschedule, patients can simply reply to the text and engage in a two-way, natural conversation to book a different time. By connecting to the EHR and backend business systems, organizations can use real-time provider appointment availability to maximize schedules — benefiting clinicians and patients alike.

Going further, organizations can allow patients to self-serve appointment scheduling to extend convenience and eliminate staff workload. Patients can contact their provider on voice and digital channels, look up existing appointments, make modifications, or schedule new appointments — all without involving a live agent.

Help Patients Manage Their Own Care

Anyone trying to promote good health knows it pays to be proactive. Many health systems are using AI-powered patient engagement solutions to strengthen their relationships with patients and increase patient accountability and compliance throughout their care journeys— improving patient outcomes.

Clinical and support staff don’t have time to check in with every patient and make sure they’ve booked follow-up appointments, taken their medication, or made important lifestyle changes. But automated systems can do all that and more, keeping patients on track in their wellness journey and serving as a care team member that maintains a helpful, watchful eye on patients.

For example, AI-driven technology can automatically text or call patients due for a follow-up scan and prompt them to book their appointment using details in the message. Or it can remind patients to refill their prescriptions. It can even provide easy access to all its vetted literature relevant to a patient’s condition so patients can take control of their care and avoid referencing unreliable internet sources.

Provide Effective Self-Service

Some health systems are using conversational AI to power self-service options, making it simpler for patients to manage their care. Patients get fast, effective service within a natural conversation with an Interactive Voice Assistant (IVA), enabling them to get answers to common questions, complete routine tasks, and access their health information.

One example of how these IVAs deliver value is by helping patients prepare for telehealth appointments. Too often, appointments start late, or clinicians end up providing technical support during consultations. By sending reminders beforehand that check for preparedness, patients can ensure everything is in working order. And, if not, they can interact naturally with an IVA to get answers to technical questions. Then, telehealth consultations can focus on care, not technology.

Patient Engagement Is Just The Beginning

AI-powered patient engagement solutions help health systems meet patients’ growing expectations. Proactive, personalized interactions throughout the care journey increase patient trust, making them more likely to follow clinical advice and engage fully with their treatment plan.

Better patient engagement has a direct link to better patient outcomes, but there’s a commercial impact too. With simple, convenient, and intelligent experiences, health systems can foster stronger patient relationships and build a reputation as a modern healthcare organization, helping attract and retain more patients.

In the end, patient engagement powered by AI is a win-win-win. Patients get better experiences and can manage their care more easily. Clinicians and those who support them can focus on care delivery. And health systems can gain efficiencies and reduce operational costs.