Alleviating Errors in Healthcare Appointment Bookings with AI

Alleviating Errors in Healthcare Appointment Bookings with AI

Christopher Rabin
September 15, 2023
Alleviating Errors in Healthcare Appointment Bookings with AI

Table of contents

In an era where innovation reigns supreme, the healthcare landscape is undergoing a transformative shift, driven by the integration of AI technology. A mere glimpse at the statistics paints a vivid picture: according to IBM, the global AI in healthcare market is projected to skyrocket to an astonishing $187 billion by 2030, a 17-fold multiplication from its $11 billion valuation in 2021 (source). The impact is profound, revolutionising the way we perceive and deliver healthcare services. 

The Administrative Burden on Staff

Traditional healthcare appointment systems, once rigid and impersonal, are now embracing the winds of change. Patient satisfaction is no longer an abstract notion but a metric that holds immense significance. The desire for personalised experiences is an ever-present sentiment, echoed by 90% of consumers in a Epsilon study (source). 

Everyone who works in healthcare wants to help patients, not be stuck sorting files and crunching numbers. In a study done by Wakefield, 36% of clinicians reported spending more than half of their time on administrative tasks instead of being with patients. However, it is not simply a matter of hiring more administrative staff. 64% of executives believe that there will never be enough staff to handle the sheer volume of patient data. In fact, 99% of executives have faith that AI will empower employees to focus on more impactful work (source).

Outdated appointment systems often lead to overbookings and underutilization of resources, resulting in escalated operational costs (source). The solution lies in the swift adoption of AI-based systems, which automate administrative tasks and optimise resource management. Healthcare workers should not fear being replaced by AI, but look at the innovation as an opportunity for tech to liberate them from mundane duties. In short, AI empowers them to focus on what truly matters – delivering exceptional patient care.


AI as a Panacea to Inefficiencies

Even if the booking process is digitised, there are many manual aspects that are prone to errors, delays, and misunderstandings. According to Wakefield, 95% of patients have had to provide the same information more than once, while medical administrative staff believe that an average of 21% of patient records have at least one error (source). 

Looking at the existing process of booking a healthcare appointment, it is easy to see how frustration builds in both patients and staff. The current process relies on administrative staff fielding calls during working hours and manually entering data. Even if there is an online form or app system, some patients prefer to speak to a human being who can handle complex issues.

While AI cannot replace the human connection, it does free up healthcare personnel by doing the following: 

Seamless Online Booking: Patients can have 24/7 convenience to schedule appointments without being constrained by clinic hours.

Instant Availability Information: AI-powered platforms provide real-time information on available appointment slots, reducing the frustration of back-and-forth calls and scheduling conflicts.

Automated Data Entry: The data entry process can be automated and validated, reducing the risk of errors without taking up valuable time from healthcare staff. This also means patients’ information is accurately recorded, improving the overall quality of care.

Smart Reminders and Confirmations: Appointment reminders can be customised to each patient, reducing the number of no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

Personalised Experience: AI systems can analyse patients’ requests, preferences, and medical history to offer personalised recommendations.

AI-enabled platforms like KeyReply unlock a new realm of possibilities – tailored recommendations, proactive engagements, and precise wait time estimates. The outcome? Every patient is equipped with pertinent information, supported by personalised pre-care scheduling and post-care follow-ups. The result is not only enhanced patient satisfaction but the establishment of enduring relationships built on trust and efficacy.


The Singapore Scene

The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) is pioneering an Appointment Scheduling Optimiser (ASO) that goes beyond a first-come first-served basis to minimise average patient waiting times. The ASO will process and learn from such a huge pool of data that no employee could anticipate all the variables in real time. Over time, it will pick up patterns and can then give predictions for different patients’ estimated waiting time as well as manpower planning (source).

The power of data-driven insights cannot be overstated. Traditional systems often left healthcare providers in the dark, bereft of critical patient behaviour trends. AI flips the script by deciphering patterns from vast datasets, equipping medical professionals with the knowledge to optimise services and refine care plans. 

The efficiency of AI in healthcare can save 5-10% of healthcare spending, according to a report by McKinsey and Harvard (source). Given that healthcare constituted $11.3b of Singapore’s 2022 Budget (source), integrating AI like KeyReply into appointment booking systems can save more than $1 billion.

KeyReply stands as an unwavering ally in this journey, offering expert guidance to navigate the transformative power of AI. The choice to embrace AI is no longer a luxury but a necessity, an unmissable opportunity to carve a path toward sustainable growth and unparalleled success in healthcare.


Ready to embark on the AI revolution in healthcare appointment booking? 

Take the first step with KeyReply here (Contact KeyReply).