Improve Patient Scheduling and Access to Care with AI

Article Summary: 

  • Improving patient scheduling and access to care is necessary for healthcare providers and hospital systems to maintain and refine their patient experience. 
  • Effective and efficient scheduling impacts both business objectives and patient outcomes. 
  • Existing data found in patient interactions is crucial to solving patient scheduling issues, and AI helps access that data at scale. 
  • AI dives deeper into patient conversations to discover trends, obstacles, and areas of improvement to address larger patient scheduling issues in the patient experience. 
  • AI can help improve patient scheduling by: 
    1. Uncovering patient friction points and brand detractors 
    2. Showing the whole patient experience to locate access to care determinants 
    3. Providing agent training opportunities that enhance performance and communication 

Healthcare providers and systems must be efficient and effective when servicing large patient populations. Providers cannot afford no-shows, increasing brand detractors, or inadequate communication from patient to agent to hospital. Scheduling can be a major challenge since missed appointments and patient scheduling difficulties (such as poor agent communication or lack of direction from a hospital-facing email) can lead to a waste of resources and reduced productivity. Quickly, these challenges can become patient detractors, spreading negative word-of-mouth, and impacting the healthcare provider’s reputation – which often leads to patient leakage and finding a new provider.  

With the deployment of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, automating and streamlining the scheduling process, reducing wait times, and enhancing patient satisfaction and loyalty delivers better healthcare outcomes – for the business and the patient. Simply, healthcare systems are better able to locate themes and disruptions, plan a strategy to address them, and act on solutions in real time.  

Using Patient Conversations for Effective Patient Scheduling

Effective and efficient scheduling is a vital process for the healthcare industry. It facilitates smooth functioning of day-to-day operations and ensures that patients receive timely and appropriate care. However, scheduling can become an unexpected roadblock within the patient journey.  

By leveraging conversation data, healthcare providers can improve efficiency in scheduling. This data comprises of all the recorded interactions that patients have with providers and hospitals, including phone calls, emails, and online chat sessions. Every interaction captured through conversational data holds a goldmine of insights and information that can help providers understand the needs and preferences of their patients.  

However, analyzing conversation data can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with large volumes of unstructured data. AI-powered tools can help providers access and analyze conversations quickly. With machine learning algorithms, AI identifies patterns and trends in the data, enabling data-driven decisions to improve the scheduling process. This means minimizing wait times, maximizing the number of patients seen, and improving the overall patient experience. By doing these, healthcare providers can provide their patients with timely and appropriate care, improving the patient experience, and in turn, battle leakage and competitive referrals.  

Authenticx for providers.

Addressing Scheduling and Access Issues with AI

Data that already exists in contact center interactions brings an ear-to-ground analysis of patient behavior, needs, and preferences. But how can contact center and health system leaders listen to each conversation without having to worry about the manual burden for employees? With AI’s advanced analytic capabilities, providers can unlock the full potential of conversational data and gain a competitive edge in the industry.  

Using AI to analyze conversation data turns contact centers into insight centers. Data from customer conversations can be used to gain a better understanding of what the patient is saying, how they are saying it, and why they are saying it. AI gives providers the ability to identify patterns, predict patient behavior, and make informed decisions that enhance their products and services.  

AI can also help dive deeper into emerging trends. With the vast amount of data generated by customer conversations, it can be difficult to identify the most important insights. AI analyzes data at scale to pinpoint recurring themes that might be missed by human analysts. Summarizing conversations helps to alleviate and give time back to employees to better focus on serving the patient. 

Notably, AI moves providers upstream to address scheduling issues in real time. Patient behaviors can be measured and reviewed to check how they impact scheduling. For example, if many patients are calling to reschedule appointments, an investigation can be conducted on whether there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. By addressing these issues proactively, providers can improve the patient experience and reduce the workload on the contact center.  

3 Ways AI Improves Patient Scheduling

Scheduling can be a challenging task, and it can often seem like an uphill battle to keep everything running fluidly. AI is revolutionizing the way healthcare approaches patient scheduling, bringing more efficiency and patient-centricity forward. Three (3) ways AI helps improve patient scheduling are: 

  1. Uncovering sources of scheduling friction. Pinpoint the sources of scheduling friction that may be causing delays or errors. AI can identify patterns and trends in appointment scheduling, such as common scheduling conflicts or bottlenecks in the process that may be causing inefficiencies. With this information, targeted changes can be made to streamline scheduling processes, reduce wait times, and enhance patient satisfaction. 
  2. Understanding factors in the patient journey impacting access to care. Break down the patient journey and the challenges that affect access to care. AI can provide insights into how patients are accessing care and the obstacles they may be facing. Data-driven decisions can be tailored to specific scheduling processes to better meet patient needs, such as offering more flexible scheduling options or targeted outreach efforts to specific patient groups. 
  3. Training agents to better optimize scheduling and access. Provide agent coaching and training to improve patient scheduling and access to care. By analyzing scheduling interactions and providing real-time feedback to agents, AI can help identify areas for improvement and implement scheduling best practices, leading to a more efficient, accurate, and patient-centric scheduling process in the care journey. 

By embracing AI as a valuable tool for improving the scheduling process, providers can gain valuable insights, make data-driven decisions, and optimize their operations to deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients. This approach can help them move forward with confidence and create a more positive experience for the organization, their vendors, and their patients. Don’t let valuable conversational data go to waste by failing to embrace AI to improve patient scheduling and access to care. 

Related Resources

Authenticx for Providers and Hospitals | How SDOH Impacts Scheduling | Patient Experience in Hospitals | Clinical and Administrative Obstacles and Opportunities

About Authenticx

Authenticx is the new standard for humanizing conversational intelligence in healthcare by analyzing millions of customer interactions (like voice, chat, or emails) to surface immersive and intelligent insights at scale. Authenticx was founded to aggregate, analyze and activate customer interaction data to surface transformational opportunities in healthcare. Using existing data that’s likely being stored and ignored in your organization, Authenticx reveals hidden barriers, motivators, and strategies so healthcare organizations can make confident, data-backed decisions. In 2023, Authenticx was ranked No. 349 on the Inc. 5000 recognized as one of America and Indiana’s fastest-growing private companies. 

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