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As we enter 2023, it’s clear that virtual care isn’t going anywhere. And as healthcare organizations build long-term telehealth strategies, it’s crucial that virtual care leaders take steps to prioritize care quality, patient experience and staff satisfaction.

Whether through the implementation of new technology, the development of clear, consistent best practices, or the fostering of a culture of continuous improvement, there are many ways virtual care leaders can work to deliver the best possible experience for patients and staff. And, as has been true in nearly every industry of late, AI has a role to play in the future of virtual care.

Read on for my take on three of the top “to do’s” virtual care teams should consider for their list of new year’s resolutions — and how AI can make them possible, right now:

1. QA 100% of virtual care calls

Most virtual care leaders recognize the value of comprehensive quality assurance (QA): QA can help ensure teams are consistently meeting organizational standards, identify areas of opportunity and ultimately fuel a better patient experience.

But few organizations have the time they need to make QA a reality.

That’s because QA has typically been a mostly manual process, requiring virtual care team managers to audit individual call recordings or transcripts, make observations and — if they have the resources — use their findings to create reports, offer staff feedback or enhance training protocols.

Plus, even when teams have had time for QA, it’s typically been limited to only a small fraction of calls, which provide limited insight into the overall quality of a telehealth program.

Thanks to advances in AI and conversation intelligence for virtual care, however, QA on 100% of calls is now possible. Conversation intelligence tools can analyze and score calls in real time based on an organization’s best practices, allowing virtual care leaders once-unthinkable visibility into how consistently teams are meeting organizational quality standards.

In other words, we can now automatically QA every call, as it happens. With this new power, teams can no doubt drive improvements in call quality and patient experience, support internal growth, and, ultimately, boost their organization’s bottom line.

Now that these tools are available, virtual care QA is no longer just a “nice-to-have.” Virtual care leaders should resolve to make QAing 100% of virtual care calls a standard practice.

2. Improve feedback and training for staff

Along with offering virtual care teams the ability to QA 100% of calls, conversation intelligence and AI tools can empower team leaders with the insights they need to offer staff more frequent, contextual and individualized feedback and training.

Though most healthcare organizations rapidly expanded their virtual care offerings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have yet to prioritize virtual care-specific training, support and performance evaluation. This lack of clear guidelines and timely feedback can not only lead to an inconsistent patient experience, but also compromise staff confidence levels.

With the help of AI, team leaders can now analyze 100% of conversations and quickly spot trends — both positive and negative — in staff performance.

With a few clicks, managers can assess hundreds of hours’ worth of virtual care interactions and see not only how frequently team members are meeting an organization’s quality standards, but also specific areas where they may need additional training or support. Managers can also more easily identify top performers.

These insights can help managers create truly data-backed training plans and performance evaluations that help staff level up their expertise and find new confidence in their work. Meanwhile, top performers are in a better position to get the credit they deserve for their great work. Managers can also be tap into their approaches to inform coaching and training plans for less-experienced or -consistent team members.

Even seasoned virtual care leaders are often so busy keeping operations running day to day that staff training, coaching and kudos often fall by the wayside, leading to a poorer patient experience and underserved staff. In 2023, let’s commit to empowering care teams with the feedback and support they need to do their best work.

3. Give staff more time and energy for patients

Conversation intelligence and AI can also play a key role in freeing virtual care staff from tedious tasks that sap time and energy better spent on patient care. For virtual care leaders looking for ways to boost patient and staff satisfaction at once, this could be a great area of opportunity.

Along with eliminating the need for manual call audits for QA, feedback and training, AI can streamline administrative work like writing call notes. Key data like patient symptoms, medical history and previous interventions can be automatically detected and noted, saving staff hours of time and energy while capturing necessary data for record-keeping. Instead of focusing on note-taking, staff are free to focus on patient care (the reason they got into the field in the first place).

As virtual care leaders consider their new year’s resolutions for improving patient and staff satisfaction, it’s important to consider the role that AI and conversation intelligence can play in streamlining administrative work. By eliminating the need for manual call audits and automating tasks like call notes, care teams can free up more time and energy for patient care. This not only helps to improve the patient experience, but it can also help to boost staff satisfaction by allowing them to focus on the work they are most passionate about.

By leveraging the power of AI and conversation intelligence to save staff from admin work and give them more time and energy for patients, virtual care leaders can make significant progress towards their 2023 goals of creating top-tier telehealth programs.

Bottom line: AI can fuel a better virtual care experience in 2023

AI and conversation intelligence can help virtual care teams provide higher-quality, more consistent care, while also improving the patient experience. By leveraging these tools, teams can make significant progress towards their 2023 virtual care resolutions.

Waleed Mohsen

Author Waleed Mohsen

Waleed Mohsen is the CEO and founder of Verbal. He has been named a UCSF Rosenman Innovator and has over 10 years of experience working with leaders of hospitals and medical institutions in his business development roles at Siemens and Cisco

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