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IVR - The Benefits IVR Brings to Healthcare
September 17, 2012

The Benefits IVR Brings to Healthcare

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Interactive voice recognition (IVR) technology has come a long way since its inception, providing quality interactions and escape routes from the option maze. Now, IVR is even bringing value to healthcare organizations worldwide. 

Over recent years, IVR solutions are allowing employees to be far more productive than ever before, according to this Healthcare Finance News report. This finding is in contracts to a theory once floating around that doctors relying on IVR would become somehow less productive. Today, the facts show otherwise. Physicians across the board are increasingly more able to see patients, mostly through their ability to document cases through a voice transcription program through IVR technology.

IVR is impacting the healthcare industry so much so that some doctors are reporting seeing upwards of one-third more patients due to this practice. This increased ability to see more patients has more impact than on the healthcare facility’s bottom line. It’s also addressing a need in communities where baby boomers are aging into a demographic that requires more healthcare needs, and with fewer trained medical personnel to take on the influx, IVR is helping meet that need.

Coding in hospitals is also very important, as it not only tells other physicians and nurses what procedures were performed, but it also dictates how a patient (or insurance company) should be billed. IVR solutions work to address this by allowing health care professionals to reuse data from previous patients. This reusable data within the IVR system can help hundreds of hospitals that might otherwise be penalized for their readmissions. 

The IVR component helps remove the human error factor in coding, which can be a huge help in the billing department, as well as transcribing efforts. IVR technology has grown adept at transcribing for doctors, a chore that was time consuming and prone to error due to the human element. 

If corrections do need to be made, the doctor will see from the IVR’s transcription what needs to be reviewed and given a second opinion. Once the editing is complete, the information can be shared with the appropriate personnel who can administer the correct treatment and get the patient on the road to health.

Medical errors cost live – and in the end, massive lawsuits for healthcare facilities and their physicians. Often times errors are made, as a doctor refers a patient to another doctor and that patient’s information is shared. Many times, physicians use a form to help curtail errors, but these forms are often too narrow in scope and don’t spell out the patient’s history clearly enough. This is where IVR steps in to make the flow of information more conversational and less formulaic.

In a nutshell: IVR is proving to be a very flexible means of communication in the healthcare industry. Physicians are finding this flexibility in cloud-based IVR solutions that allow them to access information from anywhere at any time. This kind of agility proves its value when the time between when care is first administered to the time those procedures are recorded and coded can increase accuracy.

Interested in more about IVR? Be sure to follow major player in the IVR industry, Plum Voice, on twitter @PlumVoice to stay in-the-know!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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