Interactions IVA will power a true conversational experience for scheduling appointments across the University Hospitals network

Franklin, Mass. and Cleveland, Ohio — November 2, 2021 — University Hospitals, one of the United States’ leading health care systems, and Interactions, one of the world’s largest standalone artificial intelligence (AI) companies, today announced they will work together to streamline and enhance the patient experience. University Hospitals will deploy Interactions Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) to enable patients to quickly and easily schedule appointments across its network.

University Hospitals, a system of 150 hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care facilities in the Cleveland metropolitan area, receives approximately 2.2 million calls annually to its contact center, 1.7 million of which are related to scheduling, rescheduling or canceling appointments. Traditionally, these types of calls can be frustrating, particularly when patients encounter long wait times or accidental misdirections. With Interactions IVA, University Hospitals is reimagining this experience through highly effective conversational self-service options that empower patients to manage these processes on their own time and on their own terms.

“At University Hospitals, we’re committed to providing the best patient experience at every touchpoint; Interactions IVA will help us deliver on this mission,” said Sam Brown, Vice President of Operations at University Hospitals. “In order to foster consistent patient-provider relationships, and ultimately drive better health outcomes, people must be able to meet with their doctors, specialists and technicians. Now, patients will have the flexibility to manage the appointment process with state-of-the-art AI technology that is designed to enable a frictionless experience.”

At University Hospitals, Interactions IVA will:

  • Capture intent: Each conversation with Interactions IVA begins with an open-ended “How may I help you?”, enabling customers to speak in their own words to get the help they need. From there, the IVA can route the patient to the appropriate next step, avoiding frustrating and time-consuming misdirections.
  • Identify and Authenticate: Interactions IVA is capable of understanding even complex alphanumeric phrases, like dates, addresses and emails, which enables it to securely and effectively authenticate customers through information like their date of birth, mailing address, social security number and phone number.
  • Provide Self-Service: Interactions IVA provides every patient with a personalized experience after authentication (i.e., “Are you calling about your appointment on October 30th?”) and enables them to manage a number of tasks on their own, without waiting for an agent. Self-service options include:

    • Scheduling an appointment (with referral on order)
    • Rescheduling or canceling an appointment
    • Receiving appointment details, including physician information and facility address
    • Updating patient profiles
    • Navigating FAQs, like what to bring to an appointment and how early to arrive

“Scheduling, and rescheduling, appointments that work for patients’ busy schedules is a common pain point for health care providers; University Hospitals is doing something about it,” said Jim Freeze, CMO at Interactions. “With Interactions IVA, University Hospitals is focusing on the outcomes that patients want, setting a new standard of simple, easy experiences that work better for patients and staff alike.”

To learn more about Interactions work in the healthcare industry, or to hear Interactions IVA appointment scheduling capability in action, see here. To learn more about University Hospitals, see here.