My family’s health and healthcare coverage are the most important thing to me at times like this. My wife takes it to a whole different level though! Most of the time, what she knows about the healthcare industry goes over my head. Thankfully, she always knows how to bring it down to my comprehension level. She has shown me ways to identify bottlenecks and pain points in the healthcare system and to also see and understand the frustration from the patient’s point of view.
Understanding the pain from the patient’s side, and knowing those bottlenecks on the medical side, can give us the capability to bridge that gap in a systematic way. Being in the technology world, and having the opportunity to have conversations with tech wizards like Sidney Jones and Alex McDowell, systematic sales professionals like Greg Whitus, and the creative, visionary mind of Rob Howze, on a daily basis, is a blessing, as they allow me to see things from a totally different perspective and how we can together find ways to bridge that gap for any organization, no matter the industry.
Seeing what is happening now in our country is heartbreaking. When you think of our families and our children facing school, work, and social shutdowns, voluntary isolations, and mandated orders, we can’t help but think of ways to make a difference. Physically doing something to help would be great and we should do so if possible. However, there are ways we can help by utilizing technology and automation as well.
When I became aware that medical professionals spend most of their time patient scheduling, verifying insurance, and on information hotlines, I knew I had to do my research on how their system was currently working and how it would function if or when it got worse.
Getting a hospital or medical director to pay attention at this time is nearly impossible. Implementing a new technology or trying a new service is the last thing on their mind right now. However, these services can free up staff from manual processes and give them the opportunity to place that focus on patient care. Coming up with that game plan can take forever, but through long conversations and a lot of professional input we came up with a fast solution to target the pain points and bottlenecks to create efficiency.
I followed the health protocol and called the hotline that our state set up. I spoke with someone about scheduling an appointment. She asked me a set of questions that took about 15 minutes to answer, then she gave me her thoughts on the next steps to take. Before that, I was on hold for 30 minutes. It was rather frustrating. Every question she asked and every answer she gave, I realized her full position could be automated. What does that mean? It means that the nurse that was on the phone directing me could have been available to a patient who needed her more.
Building an automated system where patients could be scheduled and directed to the right protocol, (depending on diagnoses and insurance), would be of great assistance and would help save nurses hours of phone time. There would no longer be crowded waiting rooms. The next patient would receive a call, text, email (whatever they choose) minutes after the last discharge. Patients would be notified the moment a physician or nurse was able to take them. Being able to wait in your car until you get that notification would keep the hospitals clean and less chaotic, as well as allow patients to be isolated to avoid contagious outbreaks. These are just a few things that I know automation could help with immediately.
I know this idea had to grow some wings, so I reached out to Sharon Gonzales to get a better understanding of the inefficiencies on the operational end. She shared her professional medical knowledge with me, and we found ways that automation could make an impact right away. Once we figured out a way to speed up the process and identified the hurdles and roadblocks, I reached out to people I knew that could help.
We figured out a way to automate the appointment scheduling, insurance verification, and the information hotline process as we knew we could save thousands, yes thousands, of hours in manual labor. Hospitals are having to decide who they should and can treat because of their limited resources. With less paperwork and an automated patient directory, there will no longer be limitations.
This pandemic is causing panic everywhere across the United States and globally. Even healthy people are wanting to know their status to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Having a hotline readily available to patients and the community that could communicate through text, email, and voice can direct people to the next step and help bring calmness to those who are concerned.
Our current situation is having an emotional and physical toll on the hospital’s resources (Staff, Phone Systems, Patient Protocols, Supplies, Occupancy, etc.) Hospital staff and emergency responders are not only putting their lives at risk but their families as well. Our goal is to make lives easier and systems more effective, allowing for better safety measures. If there were more resources, and fewer bottlenecks, our medical industry could make a positive impact in so many ways.
If hospitals don’t immediately automate their patient notification system, the bottleneck and inefficiencies may be catastrophic both financially and physically for patients, employees, and the community. This is the warning that we need to prepare for. Even when our economy goes back to normal, we must have a systemized process in place for the unpredictable future. Preparing for what may arise will keep everyone calm during times of chaos. It will allow for a positive and effective impact at a faster rate and less panic.
Once this process is built the first time, the medical community will become aware of its impact and just how fast it can be implemented. From idea to deployment, to impact, within weeks. Technology has changed and understanding how to use it for your benefits are extremely important NOW.
This strategy will impact every hospital and give them all their resources back. Let the staff do what they do best, and the bot do the rest, Wilton Rogers III
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