It’s no secret that when things are going well, we overlook problems that may be bubbling under the surface. This is why cars have lights that come on for tire pressure and windshield washer fluid, why the age-old adage says, “The squeakiest wheel gets the oil.” Our days are busy and addressing all of the problems that we see is not feasible. When COVID-19 hit, one of the systems that had been working just well enough for the majority of citizens was upended: Healthcare.
All of a sudden, the failing healthcare system was spread across headlines and newspapers everywhere. Treating the onslaught of unexpected COVID patients combined with the daily preventative and emergency treatment, healthcare professionals were drowning, in fact, many still are. Now, to be fair, most healthcare workers would say this was a crisis that everyone in the field saw coming—not necessarily COVID, but the bureaucratic entanglement and resource shortage that became apparent. But as headlines across the country and world finally shed light on the real problems that healthcare field encounters daily, technology, like Aisera’s AI Service Desk, stepped up to the plate.
The way of the future
Artificial intelligence, algorithms, and technology, are used in so many sectors at this point, we all don’t even know half the occurrences where it has impacted our experience. One study published in Science magazine in 2019, reported that an algorithm was used to treat 200 million people in the United States each year. From depression questionnaires to online scheduling, technology is primed to make an overtaxed system work better, like Aisera’s AI Service Desk.
Hospital IT and admissions administrators have been overrun for years. Often overlooked and spread thin, their departments deal with increasing admissions, appointments, emergency care, and daily patient questions and concerns. Current hospitalizations are at more than 36 million each year in the United States alone, so finding ways to alleviate the burden of simple processes is key. Additionally, a recent CB Insights report on AI in the healthcare industry after COVID, found that US hospital administrative costs exceed that of all other countries in the world, accounting for about 25% of total healthcare spend—putting this number at roughly $2,500 per patient. Service desk tasks can eat up time and people resources, being one of the costs that adds up to these skyrocketing bills. Luckily, that’s where AI can step in—automating and streamlining the process for many patient tasks.
Providing hospital support
Manually routing incoming service requests consumes a lot of time that a service agent could use for more important tasks. Until now, IT and customer service desks have automated service request routing by defining rules that categorize requests based on preset conditions and parameters. However, these rules are static—meaning they won’t adapt or improve with time. With the help of AI technology like machine learning (ML), service desks can now create a categorization model based on historic service desk data.
Aisera’s Service Desk utilizes ML and Conversational AI, priming it for use in healthcare IT service desks. Aisera’s Conversational AI searches and correlates multiple siloed knowledge base systems, to be readily accessible to employees and patients. In one impressive case, Aisera improved employee experience by 80%, with 90% improvement in mean-to-time-resolution. These statistics are life changing for healthcare providers, which in turn, means its life changing for patients. By automating ticket creation and resolution, allowing patients the ability to use self-service options for many of their questions, employees can spend their time on helping patients with things that require human support.
By tapping into the disruptive technology of robotic process automation, conversational AI can enable enterprises to quickly, more efficiently, and cost-effectively automate routinely tasks and processes that historically demanded the use of code or service agents. Employees and customers are equipped with a comprehensive, enterprise-grade process management and automation solution that streamlines simple problems. From application assistance, password management, network troubleshooting (VPN, Wi-Fi, etc.), and more, conversational AI makes it easy for healthcare providers to provide resources for support. Patients can simply text, chat, or speak with a conversational AI agent, which understands their questions and responds with the information they need. With Natural Language Understanding or NLU techniques, these AI agents understand precisely what someone is looking for, can find and provide the right snippet of content quickly. This type of automation is going to be key as needs increase and resources decrease.
AI can play a critical role in reducing administrative workloads – offering patients effective self-service while ensuring efficiency and accuracy in providing emergency care. With a predicted shortage of 12.9 million healthcare workers worldwide in the next few years, finding ways to supplement human tasks with automation is crucial. With Aisera’s AI Service Desk, hospitals and patients can utilize around-the-clock self-service, providing immediate attention to questions, with up to 75% of tickets being automatically resolved.
Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.