National healthcare leader saves $2MM with conversational AI

Impact analysis uncovers significant operational efficiencies and cost savings through smart technology integrations and automation

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The Challenge

A national healthcare organization needed a strategic approach and trusted advisor to help address costly inefficiencies within their patient care center. With live agents handling over 73% of incoming calls, they were incurring unsustainable operator costs resulting in a $1MM negative financial impact in one year alone. At the same time, they didn’t have budget to invest in a large, multiyear initiative to bring about the business transformation they desperately needed.

The Solution

In line with their values, our client wanted to maintain their commitment to quality healthcare by optimizing their patient experience. They partnered with Waterfield Tech on a two-phase approach to assess and document their current situation and create a path to positive gains without the need for additional funding.

A comprehensive analysis and solution roadmap

Waterfield Tech and leaders within the healthcare organization partnered on an Impact Analysis initiative to map out their processes, technology, and costs across the contact center to

  • Validate what was occurring in their call center today
  • Calculate the exact cost of their current state per year
  • Map their processes and document pain points affecting their associates and patients
  • Identify opportunities for automation and cost reduction

The amount of work to simply understand our current state was overwhelming. Waterfield Tech helped us get a clear view into our operations, sort through all of our options and worked with us to create a long-term and short-term plan that we could create capital around. ~Director, Contact Center

Our customer experience (CX) consultants partnered with our client to measure and align their operational processes with their organizational strategy and map a total solution that addressed their business drivers, technology needs, and the financial impact to their organization.

Through our analysis, we identified two quick win opportunities and constructed a financial model and business case demonstrating how automation could reduce operator-handled calls by up to 48% resulting in a net financial gain of $2.1MM over 5 years.

Addressing costly pain points with AI

“We didn’t just create a high-level roadmap and walk away,” said Chanley Geveshausen, VP of CX Consulting, Waterfield Tech. “We came in and helped facilitate discussions with the business leaders to say, ‘Okay, here’s where you’re sinking a lot of capital. If you invest $X in automation here, you’ll see a return within 12 months. What groups do we need talk to to get this underway?’”

With consensus on the strategy and clear goals in hand, we brought in Waterfield Tech’s customer experience delivery team to design and implement a conversational AI-powered solution to ease friction across the caller journey and reduce the number of agent-handled interactions.

The solution was designed to reduce call transfers for two high-traffic areas

  1. Patient lookup and directory: A conversational AI-powered patient directory and lookup was developed with full integration between the IVR and Epic.

    Today, if someone calls in with conversational AI and says, “I need to be connected to the patient room for Jane Smith” the system, via IVR, automatically transfers the call to the patient room. No room number needed. No operator involvement. 100% automated through a conversational AI-powered directory saving $1.8MM in operator costs by a 25% reduction in call transfers.

  2. Appointment scheduling: The introduction of a virtual agent to assist patients in self-scheduling appointments for select procedures with automated outbound appointment reminders further reduced agent transfers by 23%.
The Results

Our client faced a significant challenge across their patient care system with unsustainable operator costs. By partnering with Waterfield Tech, they were able to quantify the financial impact of their existing process and align on a strategic plan that would lower their agent transfer rate and deliver immediate savings. Within the span of a few months, the newly implemented automated patient directory and scheduling system reduced call transfers by a combined 48% netting a significant financial upside of $2.1MM.

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