You’ve undoubtedly grit your teeth as yet another device buzzed in your pocket. It could be almost anyone, and they could be calling for nearly any reason.

You’re with a patient. You’re busy with no time to read, process and respond to a message at that exact moment. It’ll have to wait — or will it?

We’ve covered what a unified inbox is as well as its benefits for your healthcare practice. Paired with AI tools, a unified inbox gets a massive upgrade. But those tools aren’t limited to AI text messaging, and it alone is a major shot in the arm!

Let’s see how a unified inbox with an automated communication system helps you not worry about mobile devices nipping at your heels night and day. We’ll also explore how automated communication boosts patient satisfaction and makes your staff’s workload less hectic.

[Related: Why a Patient-Centric Approach to Healthcare Is Crucial]

What Is Automated Communication?

Automated communication is the ability to — you guessed it — communicate with others without manual effort. And communication automation isn’t just for businesses. The healthcare sector can use automation to its immense advantage.

Besides secure phone, text and chat messaging, matters like notifications and alerts go to you and your staff, patients and colleagues. In turn, the smart automation process leads to smoother communication among everyone.

Additionally, AI-powered automated communication systems can cover multiple channels:

  • SMS/text messages
  • Email (like integrating with your unified inbox)
  • Phone calls and voicemails
  • Mobile apps
  • Patient portals
  • Chatbots

With instant replies and constant data-gathering, automated communication solutions speed your practice’s operations and increase efficiency. Your patients stay engaged, your staff members are less stressed — and you run less risk of burnout.

Those patient acquisition (and sanity-preserving) efforts pay off. Automation in communication and a unified inbox are a match made in healthcare heaven.

[Related: Virtual Medical Scribe: What You Need To Know]

How Automated Communication and a Unified Inbox Benefit Your Practice

Consolidating emails in a unified inbox is invaluable for overall efficiency. Adding a way to automate messages for different people, needs and tasks ups the ante.

Of course, you receive a lot of incoming messages — and from all directions. Sometimes integrated healthcare seems out of reach.

Automated patient communication takes the wheel and responds to matters that don’t require human intervention. Meanwhile, a unified inbox steadily collects your flood of messages. It’s like having two tireless, razor-sharp assistants working in sync.

Here are a few ways that an automated communication system benefits your practice, from first-time patients to seasoned staff.

[Related: Automated Medical Answering Services: Are They Worth It?]

Enhances the Patient Experience and Increases Patient Satisfaction

Patients want to exercise control over their healthcare while staying connected to you — a key factor in patient retention. With AI-driven automated communications software and a unified inbox, they can take matters into their own hands while doing exactly that.

Let’s check out some examples.

Easy Scheduling and Rescheduling

A new patient has a follow-up visit, and they receive an automatic message reminding them the day before. The text message is HIPAA compliant (a serious concern) and personalized, with options to reschedule. Their message includes a link to their patient portal for further action.

If they reschedule, your unified inbox captures the change and relays it to the right people. And you streamline the patient journey for all involved.

Fast Insurance Checks

A patient you’ve seen for years needs a new procedure, but they’re unsure whether their insurance covers it. They use your AI healthcare system to check, then receive an automated message noting whether their plan foots the bill.

Your unified inbox logs and sorts any email, phone, text and chat comments they have about the procedure. In turn, you gather a history of their concerns and condition.

Accurate Instant Messaging

A regular patient wants to know whether you’re open over the holidays. They check your website and speak with your AI chatbot. Via an automated communication system, they don’t just get answers — they get smart answers based on natural language processing.

And if they want more information and contact you while you’re closed, your unified inbox collects and categorizes their messages.

[Related: Streamline Insurance Eligibility Verification With These 5 Tips]

Reduces Staff Hassle and Human Error

The fewer tasks your staff have to shoulder, the fewer errors they tend to make. Critically, they can also pay more attention to each patient. With various messages in a unified inbox and automated communication, they can focus on what matters most — top-quality care.

A unified inbox with an automated communication system doesn’t just act as an assistant — it does time-consuming work cleanly and clearly. We’ll illustrate with a few scenarios.

Time Saved From No-Shows

Your staff prep for a patient’s arrival, but that patient never walks through the door.

With automated patient communication and a unified inbox, staff know the patient has rescheduled or canceled. They save time by not expending energy and resources gearing up for a no-show. A streamlined communication process lets them move smoothly to the next scheduled patient.

Quick Check-Ins

Instead of fielding pre-appointment phone calls, voicemails and emails, automated communication helps patients check in digitally. All the while, your unified inbox gathers appointment-relevant messages and puts them in front of the staff who need to read them.

As a result, your staff members don’t have to conduct as many in-person check-ins. They simply scan your unified inbox to see whether the patient checked in online and address any outstanding issues.

Note. Digital check-ins are indispensable in the COVID era. Questions screen for clear symptoms before viruses spread.

More Accuracy, Less Grunt Work

A patient wants to check whether an over-the-counter medication interacts with their prescription medication. Instead of calling your staff and asking a nurse, they use your chatbot as an automated communication system.

If the medicines interact, the chatbot gives tailored, data-driven recommendations and directs them to your staff if necessary.

Note. Automated patient communication is never a substitute for your expertise, despite its time-saving functions. A smart healthcare AI solution has built-in safeguards and puts patients first — always.

[Related: How To Do Patient Screening the Right Way]

Handles Messages Outside Office Hours

A unified inbox paired with automated communication tools gives your patients a 24/7 connection to your practice. It also caps off the two points above — satisfying patients and saving your staff time.

Let’s look at how it might work at your practice.

Urgent After-Hours Issues

A patient wants to see whether their symptoms warrant immediate attention, but you’re closed for the night. Your unified inbox gathers and flags their text messages, while your automated communication system sends you an alert.

You address the situation ASAP, even if that means referring the patient to the closest ER. One way or the other, your practice actually responds to your patient — an integral part of building trust.

All-in-One Communication

We’ll return to the previous example. You need to get a better understanding of whether your patient’s in an emergency situation.

You check your unified inbox for data about the patient’s history, past symptoms and treatment. Using integrated communication automation systems, their messages and data live on a single platform.

You’re not bouncing among emails, texts, voicemails and EHRs/EMRs looking for the right facts. They’re together in your automation tools, categorized and ready to view, helping you make a fast, informed decision.

[Related: Considering Using AI in Your Healthcare Practice? Here’s Where To Start]

Find Automated Communication Software With Wendi’s Unified Inbox

At Wendi, we specialize in AI-powered solutions for healthcare providers. We want your practice to grow, see sustainable growth and enjoy ongoing success.

Our unified inbox with automated communication tools is an essential part of that success. In other words, Wendi makes your day easier, your patients happier and your practice more profitable.

Intrigued? Meet Wendischedule a demo or contact us for more information.

Note. This is the third in our series on unified inboxes and AI for multiple communications channels. Watch for more articles in upcoming weeks!

Featured image via Pexels

Published On: February 28, 2024Categories: Healthcare

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