WHATSAPP BUSINESS PLATFORM
Hospital El Cruce
Enabling personal patient connections at scale while reducing call center volumes
Hospital El Cruce developed a virtual assistant using WhatsApp Business Platform to provide the hospital’s Intelligent Communication Center with a channel to help provide care to patients and their families with greater speed and personalization, while reducing call volumes.
of patients find WhatsApp easier to use than other channels
decrease in call center volumes attributable to WhatsApp
of patients resolve medical questions by using WhatsApp to chat with experts
of patients resolve questions in WhatsApp without escalating to a live agent
Raising standards of patient care
Hospital El Cruce provides some of the most complicated, advanced medical care in Argentina. The hospital takes referrals from other hospitals to provide patients with access to more involved medical services that can include a variety of diagnostic exams and specialized surgeries.
Focusing on patients in need
The Hospital El Cruce Intelligent Communication Center faced a surge of calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of call center deflections reaching an all-time high during the pandemic, the hospital required a fast and effective patient communication channel.
One-on-one care, delivered at scale
When caring for patients with complicated, serious illnesses, every second counts. Providers at Hospital El Cruce, a leading hospital in Argentina, deliver care grounded in speed, accuracy, and transparency – whether seeing a patient in person or answering questions over the phone.
Team members operate the service lines at the Intelligent Communication Center, taking patient questions ranging from appointment times to requesting lab work and other medical testing. Nursing staff assisting pediatric neurology patients also offer insights on how those patients can take medications and manage emergencies.
Ensuring that providers can quickly respond to emergencies requires an efficient way to prioritize and respond to calls. When the Covid-19 pandemic created a massive surge in healthcare demand, inquiries to the Hospital El Cruce patient line doubled, reaching 2,000 calls a day. Call volumes proved overwhelming for care teams, and the number of people hanging up before speaking with a representative hit 80 percent. The hospital needed a faster, more streamlined way to communicate with patients.
WhatsApp is a widely used communication channel in Argentina, so Hospital El Cruce worked with omnichannel chat platform Chattigo to develop a digital assistant through WhatsApp Business Platform. When a patient calls the care line, they’re given the choice to move non-emergency conversations to WhatsApp. Using menu options, patients can get answers to frequently asked questions or connect with agents to complete common tasks like changing or confirming appointments, getting information about their medications, or inquiring about symptoms 24/7.
If patients have Covid symptoms, the assistant connects them to video chat with a nurse in real-time – allowing providers to prioritize the most critical cases.
Virtual assistant welcomes patient with menu prompts
Virtual assistant prompts patient to enter their data to proceed
“Ensuring patients can quickly get the right level of care is the heart of what we do. WhatsApp helps us do exactly that, with about 99 percent of patients we’ve talked to say that engaging us via WhatsApp is faster and easier,” says Daiana Franco, Coordinator of the Intelligent Communication Center. “We’ve seen our call center volumes decrease by 37 percent as more patients choose to use WhatsApp, letting us allocate resources more effectively to reach people with different needs.”
Previously, nurses and other agents could only interact with one patient at a time. According to Juana Martin, Digital Marketing Team Leader, Chattigo, “the scalability and immediacy of chatting through WhatsApp now allows nurses to conduct 10 to 15 chats simultaneously – while maintaining a sense of a one-on-one conversation.”
With lower-risk patients moving to WhatsApp, more vulnerable patients can get through the traditional patient care line much faster. Call abandonment rates have dropped from 80 percent to 30 percent.
“Most patients can get the answers they need through our virtual assistant, with 91 percent of patients resolving administrative questions by chatting with a patient care agent on WhatsApp,” says Franco. “However, the versatility of information we can share in WhatsApp allows 40 percent of patients to resolve inquiries without escalating to a live agent.”
The streamlined experiences of communicating with patients through WhatsApp has inspired Hospital El Cruce to re-team with Chattigo to develop a virtual assistant specifically for employees. Instead of calling or emailing HR, team members predominantly working from home can simply send a chat in WhatsApp without taking time away from their current tasks.
“Using WhatsApp enables us to work quickly, without giving up the personal touch that our most vulnerable patients need to feel safe,” says Franco.
Reduced call center volumes
A virtual assistant created by Hospital El Cruce using WhatsApp Business Platform enables care teams to prioritize emergency patients while reducing call center volumes by enabling patients to get answers independently.
- 99% of patients find WhatsApp easier and simpler than other channels
- 37% decrease in call center volumes attributable to WhatsApp
- 91% of patients resolve medical questions by chatting with experts in WhatsApp
- 40% of patients resolve questions in WhatsApp without escalating to a live agent
“Ensuring patients can quickly get the right level of care is the heart of what we do. WhatsApp helps us do exactly that, with about 99 percent of patients we’ve talked to say that engaging us via WhatsApp is faster and easier. We’ve seen our call center volumes decrease by 37 percent as more patients prefer WhatsApp, letting us allocate resources more effectively to reach people with different needs.”
WhatsApp Business Platform
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