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Ohio Gastroenterology Adds Digital Pre- and Post-care Engagement Tools Through Orbita Platform

Ohio Gastroenterology, which serves patients in central Ohio, has expanded its utilization of the Orbita conversational AI platform, introducing interactive virtual assistants to engage patients both pre- and post-procedure.

The region’s leading provider of advanced gastrointestinal procedures, Ohio Gastro implemented Orbita’s digital front door early in 2022. The practice had experienced a significant increase in call center volume – 40,000 calls a month – and sought a solution that would alleviate the strain on resources and ensure it continued to support patients in a personalized and timely manner.

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According to Bruce Hennessy, MD, managing partner, Ohio Gastro is rolling out the Orbita solution in three phases. The first, introduced last May, streamlined patient self-serve access to information about COVID-19, insurance coverage and billing processes. In mid-November, it launched automated outreach programs to support patient intake workflows, deliver patient preparation instructions and check on patient status after procedures. Outreach is cascaded across channels – email, text and voice – so patients can engage in the manner they prefer.

Raghuram Reddy, MD, another member of the leadership team, estimates automation of these routine workflows can save 45 minutes per provider a day, which would allow the practice to see more patients and potentially increase annual revenue by $4 million.

In 2023, Ohio Gastro will implement Orbita’s referral scheduling functionality, which prompts patients to use digital tools to book recommended appointments. Another breakthrough feature, Dr. Reddy adds, is a highly visual patient assessment, which will be sent via the proactive virtual assistant. The survey will include a range of images allowing patients to share detailed information – indicating where they are experiencing pain, for example, or variations in stool pattern and bowel habits.

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“Use of Orbita virtual assistants is having a significant impact on how Ohio Gastro operates,” Dr. Hennessy notes. “The call center is much more cost-efficient and we anticipate the self-scheduling functionality will help us reduce leakage and capture revenue. Plus, it’s important for Ohio Gastro to meet patients where they are most comfortable. With Orbita, we offer communication methods that are preferable for the patient and still ensure a personalized interaction.”

Healthcare-specific, the secure Orbita platform leverages natural language processing to understand words and phrases people are comfortable with, rather than forcing them to use clinical terms. Conversational AI technologies help guide patients through thoughtful dialogs, which pose questions to guide patients to the precise information they need.

“Ohio Gastro has shown strong leadership in demonstrating how a digital-first strategy can work,” says Orbita CEO Patty Riskind. “The practice has partnered with us to investigate where conversational AI and virtual assistants can address current business and care-delivery challenges – challenges common to healthcare across the country. At the same time, the team is deeply committed to ensuring patients are treated with empathy. We are proud they selected Orbita to help them chart this course.”

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