Challenge: Handle unprecedented demand for lab testing and millions of patient inquiries with restricted mobility and limited staff.
Solution: AI-powered WhatsApp virtual assistant to automate patient support
Results: Quick handling of patient inquiries enabling responsive, high-quality healthcare and better working conditions for employees.
of patient inquiries don’t require live agent support
reduction in time spent on incoming calls
increase in call center productivity
Challenge: Delivering responsive, high-quality healthcare with limited resources throughout the pandemic
As COVID-19 spread and pandemic restrictions started being enforced, Salud Digna was faced with record-high numbers of lab testing inquiries, with fewer open locations and limited staff.
In order to live up to its commitment to offer top-notch healthcare services to Mexico’s most vulnerable populations, the non-profit needed a smart, cost-efficient solution to provide millions of patients with fast and secure access to critical information about COVID tests and results.
Solution: Real-time patient support through a WhatsApp-based virtual assistant
Salud Digna teamed up with Sinch to automate most of its incoming patient queries and minimize the emotional impact of the pandemic on patients and employees.
And so Salud Digna’s WhatsApp virtual assistant was born, enabling easy and secure access to lab testing appointments and results and releasing stress for employees working in direct contact with patients at the few open clinics.
"The WhatsApp virtual assistant enables us to quickly address common questions that previously would have resulted in an in-person patient visit. Providing these highly responsive communications through WhatsApp is much faster than having to provide the same information in-person or over the phone,” says Pedro Josue Vidal Moreno, Digital Laboratory Manager at Salud Digna.
The successful integration of Salud Digna’s virtual assistant enabled the organization to efficiently handle the drastic increase in inquiries while ensuring great service quality for patients looking to book appointments, access test results, find clinic locations and opening hours, and more. By 2021, the total number of patient interactions since the beginning of the pandemic reached 35.2 millions, with up to 190,000 interactions per day.
Salud Digna also uses the WhatsApp bot to inform patients about waiting times and anything that could impact their experience.
“It’s clear that WhatsApp is now a key tool in how we interact and serve our patients,” says Julio César Rocha Cázares, Salud Digna’s Digital Marketing Manager.
Results: Five-star healthcare at scale
Salud Digna’s automated WhatsApp support channel enabled the non-profit to maintain patient satisfaction and trust even during the most challenging times, all while improving operational efficiency:
- 89% of interactions no longer require a live agent
- 50% less time spent on calls, enabling agents to handle 30% more calls
- 712% growth in interactions in 2020 and 135% growth in 2021
- 32.5 million cumulative interactions with up to 190,000 patients in one day
- 16.2 million patients served since the pandemic began
- 3.7 million WhatsApp queries made to date
- 5.1 million COVID-19 test appointment confirmations sent
- 2 million COVID-19 test results securely delivered automatically
Salud Digna is now planning to use WhatsApp Business API to improve patient experience for more of its services.