Steve BrockDecember 17, 2020

How COVID-19 Forced Health Providers to Rethink the Patient Experience

Health providers struggled when COVID-19 first emerged, and now they are bracing for even more stress on staff and infrastructure with the 2020 flu and holiday season, which stretches well into 2021. But there’s still a silver lining. What has arguably been the most difficult time in public health history has become a defining moment of reform in health services, not just related to epidemics but also to serve the basic needs of patients. The key is to apply secure automation, monitoring, and reporting around communication applications, tasks, and workflow processes.

Avaya OneCloud is an award-winning Multi-Cloud Application Ecosystem that combines Avaya HIPPA compliant innovation with technology from many market-leading technology partners in areas such as secure monitoring and reporting to deliver Composable Healthcare Experiences. The solution allows health providers to quickly customize and deploy automated processes to address the many challenges of COVID-19, from Contact Tracing and Case Investigation to the approaching vaccine rollout, as well as after the pandemic by driving a better overall customer experience.

How Avaya OneCloud Can Be Used by Health Providers During COVID-19 and Beyond

Contact tracing and case investigation: Healthcare providers such as Harris County Public Health (Texas) are using Avaya OneCloud for Contact Tracing and case investigation to proactively engage with thousands of residents daily via automated outbound voice calls and SMS (text) notifications. Harris County has been able to increase its number of successfully investigated COVID-19 cases by nearly 25%. These automated notifications can be sent to individuals or groups with optional response tracking, text interaction, and auto-forms to capture information that helps streamline and improve critical decision-making.

Automatically triage calls and help people get the information they need: After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, healthcare providers such as Shared Health Manitoba’s contact center were inundated with thousands of calls per day. The limited capacity of its legacy premise-based solution meant callers could not get through. The health system is now using Avaya OneCloud solutions, which can be composed and implemented within a matter of days to automatically triage calls and help customers get the services they need.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Avaya OneCloud accelerates vaccine adoption by enabling customers to self-qualify with a proactive eligibility check. It also provides proactive notifications for vaccine appointment reminders, follow-ups (“you’re due for your second dose of the vaccine on XXX date”), arrival check-ins, and post-vaccine surveys for recipients to safely report side effects. For the influx of calls that will inevitably come (especially during the busy holiday season), the solution enables health providers to detect when calls are coming from a mobile device and deflect them to the mobile Web for a mobile application or mobile browser-based service experience. For example, callers can be digitally redirected to a COVID-19 FAQ (pre-and post-shot) on the health provider’s website or mobile app, helping free up agents to handle more urgent, complicated, and time-consuming inquiries.

General appointment and bill pay reminders, follow-ups, and between-visit check-ins: Proactive patient engagement supports general appointment reminders and follow-ups to avoid medication nonadherence, past-due payments, and costly patient no-shows. These automated notifications help patients better self-manage their health to deliver the best possible outcome while optimizing the use of internal resources that support the healthcare system.

Streamline other services: Olmsted County in Minnesota recently deployed Avaya OneCloud to create a virtual waiting system for citizens needing to take care of basic tasks like driver’s license and passport renewals. Automatic notifications can be sent to remind people about their appointment, their expected service timeline, and when to enter the building to meet with an employee. Olmsted County has experienced great success with the virtual waiting system and is looking to make it a permanent solution. Virtually any business with an in-car waiting system (i.e., veterinarian practices and emergency pet hospitals, curbside pickup at grocery stores and restaurants) can utilize this technology. The possibilities are endless.

Compose completely new experiences: After adding Avaya OneCloud to their tool chests, we are finding that health providers quickly identify other areas to automate to drive more efficiencies and higher customer satisfaction. For example, with the success of Harris County Public Health using Avaya OneCloud for automated outbound notifications, Harris County Tax Office decided to set up a separate instance to increase voter registration in Harris County ahead of the 2020 presidential election. This new composed experience proactively engaged with residents about their registration status, where to vote, how to register, and more.

COVID-19 brought with it many challenges. As Nebraska Medicine summarizes very well: “Flexibility is key in the current landscape as COVID-19 has made it difficult to predict what we’ll need to handle next.” Health providers are turning to Avaya OneCloud for Composable Healthcare Solutions to address current challenges and increase their agility to adapt to future ones.   

Learn more about Avaya OneCloud for addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and beyond.

How COVID-19 Forced Health Providers to Rethink the Patient Experience

Steve Brock

Steve has broad industry experience that includes the design, engineering and global deployment of innovative communications solutions. Steve has worked with customers all over the world to solve complex consumer and business communication problems. You can follow Steve at @SteveBrockRTP.

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