Hyro Survey: Generative AI to Transform Healthcare Sector

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NEW YORK – August 3, 2023  — Healthcare conversational AI company Hyro today announced the publication of a report, “State of Healthcare Call Centers, 2023.”

The report, based on a survey of call center managers, directors and executives at US healthcare providers, offers an overview of the landscape of US healthcare call centers and analysis of patient satisfaction with current call center technologies, leading drivers of inefficiencies, annual operating costs, and benchmarks, such as average hold time, average handle time (AHT) and cost per call (CPC). The report also assesses the healthcare industry’s interest in and implementation of AI solutions to streamline operations and improve patient experiences.

The report finds that 46% of US healthcare providers are planning to deploy or are already in the process of deploying LLM-based solutions (such as ChatGPT) to their call centers within the next 12 months.  Also, the research finds that there is a correlation between the size of the healthcare system and the likelihood of implementing these technologies – larger, more complex multi-hospital systems are more likely to adopt LLMs, in part because AI assistants can play a key role in alleviating the bottlenecks that often afflict large organizations.

Healthcare call centers lag far behind private sector entities in customer satisfaction, with just 51% of patients reporting that they were satisfied with their healthcare provider’s call center. The report also identifies a positive correlation between patient satisfaction with call center service and profit margins for healthcare organizations; profit margins were deemed ‘better than expected’ for the 69% of respondents who reported that patients were ‘very satisfied’ with the level of their call centers’ service. Yet, 84% of respondents reported that their centers still rely on interactive voice response (IVR) for inbound calls, a largely outdated technology that was first developed in the 1960s and is often associated with poor customer experience.

Further, it was found that, on average, 42% of annual call center operating budgets are spent on labor costs: hiring, onboarding, salaries, and benefits. However, despite 39% of respondents noting staff burnout and turnover as primary causes of call center inefficiency, on average, they allocate only a meager 0.6% of their operational budget to technologies designed to combat agent burnout.

“The healthcare call center ecosystem is on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation transformation, powered by advances in generative AI capabilities,” said Israel Krush, CEO and Co-Founder, Hyro. “Overburdened staff are quitting the industry in droves, leading to perennial staffing shortages, and hiring more agents is not the solution to improve call centers’ outputs.  Conversational AI solutions can help rectify these pain points by performing the vast majority of repetitive tasks, optimizing workers’ time and saving resources for their employers.”