By Becky Watkins 

When Microsoft announced its recent deal to acquire Nuance Communications, it told the world that the healthcare technology industry is serious about leveraging the latest technologies to move the industry forward. For several years now, healthcare has been leveraging more technology—in all facets including patient care, physician charting and documentation, medical technology and procedures, and especially facility amenities. 

Microsoft’s deal with Nuance is of particular interest because it will enable more physicians to leverage speech recognition technology as physicians seek to increase the speed of patient documentations through dictation rather than traditional note taking. 

If anything, the recent pandemic has certainly expedited the way healthcare and insurance professionals are leveraging technology to increase patient care and overall efficiencies to improve the all-around customer experience. 

Healthcare Technology Today Isn’t Just Assisting Physicians

Resolving customer inquiries faster, and helping patients and their families connect with more of the important information they need in a speedier manner are just a couple examples of how has already been playing a larger role in the healthcare industry. 

For several years now, patients have been increasingly interacting with technology during their medical experiences, either at home or within the walls of the medical facility. This interaction has not always been smooth, and at times it has created more problems and confusion when patients simply can’t get the answers they need to questions they have. 

Patient resolutions are a critical and necessary part of the healthcare process today, and it’s important that healthcare organizations and insurers leverage the right technology to reach resolutions more quickly, and more accurately. 

Helping Patients Resolve Issues More Quickly

As an example of this, today’s patients want customer service representatives to meet their unique needs and provide them with answers that serve as an extension of their medical providers’ offices. When a question needs to be answered, patients want the right assistance at their fingertips.  

To meet this need, healthcare providers are leveraging highly sophisticated customer service technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI); self-service; and new, advanced chatbots to provide a resolution-centered, stress-free solution.  

With technology adoption at an all-time high, tools that allow self-service customer response techniques are more important than ever—and are being openly embraced. Expanding online options can help alleviate healthcare facilities’ high call volumes. Self-service is a rapidly growing customer care pathway that can make a significant impact on workforce load for hospitals, healthcare facilities, and insurers.  

Self-discovery tools such as interactive tutorials, adaptive FAQs, interactive guides, and videos that contain the simple, DIY answers many patients are looking for reduce contact center volumes, reserving agents to address more complex customer inquiries.  

These tools allow the patient to solve most of their needs themselves, putting the power back into their own hands. A patient can tap into multimedia-support materials for productive learning that mimics the experience of chatting with a live agent. Self-service tools such as interactive tutorials and videos can also aid patients in their customer care journey by visually showing them how to resolve a problem. 

In a fully AI-enabled customer support environment, not only are patients relying on self-service and FAQ tutorials themselves; contact center agents can also retrieve AI-curated content from the same source materials, creating a fast and personal experience for the patient versus agents relying on scripts. What’s more, the AI-powered information hub often allows agents to be quicker and more accurate in resolving a customer issue. 

Furthermore, in some instances, patients are seamlessly redirected from a chatbot to a live agent for more technical questions that require a higher level of expertise to provide satisfactory answers.

With the AI-powered resolution technology available today, more healthcare and insurance contact centers can empower the delivery of healthcare through technology. It is becoming clearer every day that health and insurance organizations that embrace and accelerate their digital, AI investments can improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, scale appropriately, and arrive at quicker customer resolutions. 

Becky Watkins is senior vice president, relationship management, at ResultsCX. She leads account operations for all healthcare support services and serves as the senior point of contact for our healthcare clients. Questions and comments can be directed to 24×7 Magazine chief editor Keri Forsythe-Stephens at [email protected].