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2023’s Top 4 AI Use Cases in Healthcare Communications

Roni Jamesmeyer
Roni Jamesmeyer Senior Product Marketing Manager

Senior Product Marketing Manager

I recently had a scare during the holidays when my octogenarian father, visiting from out of town, fell in the kitchen during our Christmas Eve gathering. My heart skipped a beat at that moment and 10 things ran through my mind about what to do next, like wishing we had a doctor in the family!   

The injury to his shoulder wasn’t life-threatening, thankfully. So going to the ER was not the answer. However, we had concerns for him, and I needed some peace of mind. Could I give him Tylenol, or would that interfere with his current medicines? I had to know if we were doing the right thing for him that evening. 

We could not reach a clinician on Christmas Eve nor on Christmas Day (they deserve time off too!). So, I wondered, could I have gotten assistance from an intelligent virtual health agent? That question led me to investigate the top 4 desired uses cases for Five9 Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) by healthcare users. 

First, let's frame the analysis. Five9 has been deploying IVAs in the healthcare sector for over two years. Our users are healthcare providers, payers, pharma clients and suppliers. These are their top four applications. 

  1.   Better PX thru Communications 

Call Steering is currently the #1 application of IVAs across the healthcare industry. Users intend to apply Call Steering in 30% of the total use cases. Routing callers correctly using NLP (natural language processing) to the best available person, along with their relevant information, achieves many things. It lowers the abandoned call rate, keeps callers from bouncing around in frustration in the IVR call trees, and allows clinicians to operate at top of license because unnecessary work is taken off their plate and answered by the virtual agent. 

Queued callbacks and SMS follow up notifications were also popular use cases. 10% of our healthcare users want virtual agents to arrange follow-up communications. IVA’s 24/7 work schedule helps release some healthcare employees from the overnight shift, while keeping everyone efficiently engaged. 

  1. Improving Security 

The 2nd top use case for IVAs is authenticating the user at 13%! Since almost 100% of healthcare-related calls involve PHI (personal health information), authentication is a must.  

Our IVAs save 20-30 seconds of time authenticating a user. Plus, authentication is a menial task many agents would rather skip--bonus! 

About 5% of our healthcare customers are using IVAs for automating password resets and activating and deactivating employees from backend systems to prevent possible security breaches during the offboarding process. These simple tasks can be done by IVA 24/7 and remove human error potential. 

  1. Generating Additional Revenue 

Yes, revenue from interactions like scheduling/rescheduling appointments and pharmacy refills are extremely important for health systems. But, so far, our Five9 healthcare users are only applying IVA in these applications between 5-7% of the time. This low adoption rate, at first, puzzled me.  

If more healthcare systems centralized these functions, then the volume would be higher, which would justify this investment. Call centers are slowly becoming the communication control tower of a health system as IT consolidates their budgets. So, I expect these revenue-generating use cases to rise. In fact, Five9 has started many IVA pilots with IT departments that are focused on expediting revenue capture at less cost than current means. 

  1. Reducing Administrative Burden 

Finally, we see about 15% of our healthcare customers using IVAs for status checks (test results, claims, etc.), processing new or replacement ID cards, providing FAQs or other simple tasks. Once again, IVA adoption starts with one defined use case and then expands to other areas where automation makes sense and provides great value. 

I realize that no decision will be made solely on any technology unless it demonstrates a quick payback to prove its value. 

To wrap things up, I am thankful that my father is OK. One week after he returned home, he saw his doctor and must now do physical therapy on his shoulder, which he isn’t happy about. The fact that he’s grumpy about this, though, makes me happy because, that’s my dad! 

IVR, IVR System, IVA, Intelligent Virtual Agent  


Roni Jamesmeyer
Roni Jamesmeyer Senior Product Marketing Manager

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Call 1-800-553-8159 to learn more about Five9