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Case Studies : Vocantas
By Ed LaBanca, Independent Analyst, CollabGen. Inc.
Vocantas, Inc. CallAssure uses speech technology to enable clinics and hospitals to more easily monitor patients with the goal of mitigating adverse effects that are common in recently discharged patients. According to studies conducted in both Canada and the US by Dr. Alan Forster and his team of researchers, as many as 20% of patients experience adverse events upon release from the hospital. One third of these adverse events lead to at least temporary disability and three percent lead to death. One third of adverse events are preventable and healthcare facilities can play a role in this prevention with comprehensive patient follow-up.
CallAssure has recently completed clinical trials in North American hospital environments with favorable results. The results of the most recent trials were released October 11 in Ottawa as part of the Halifax 7, Canadian Healthcare Symposium, with Dr. Forster of the Ottawa Health Research Institute presenting his findings. The study, conducted in Edmonton, Alberta through Capital Health, concluded that by using CallAssure, 88 percent of the post-discharge work related to telephone monitoring of patients was eliminated, with nurses having to contact only those few patients who required their intervention.
"Patients were keen to participate in the study and were advised in advance of what to expect," says Rinda LaBranche, Clinical Quality Consultant from Capital Health in Edmonton, where Dr. Forster’s research took place. "Several carefully designed questions determined if they were having any adverse events and if so, the patient could transfer directly to a nurse at HealthLink Alberta or request a callback. If the patient’s verbal response highlighted a significant issue, the system advised them to seek immediate medical attention."
Patients’ responses revealed an extremely high acceptance of the automated follow-up system and independent research further revealed that, when asked, two-thirds of patients actually preferred the system over speaking with a nurse. This high level of patient acceptance facilitated effective follow-up by nurses when required. "If there are requirements to contact patients post-operatively to assess their condition then an IVRS-based solution such as CallAssure is a feasible and practical solution," says Dr. Forster. Often, due to lack of resources, appropriate follow-up by healthcare professionals is not being conducted with recently discharged patients. New accountability regulations across North America will hold medical establishments accountable for post-discharge adverse patient events, and the market is seeking solutions that will reduce nurse workload, costs and potential liability while ensuring that patients are receiving the necessary follow-up. CallAssure responds to this market need with a cost-effective, plug-and-play solution.
The fully customizable IVR Solution eliminates the up to five manual dials required to reach patients, removing a large amount of unproductive workflow for already busy nurses. Vocantas designed CallAssure based on real calls with nurses so that the resultant data correspond directly with the information that would have been gathered had a nurse conducted the call. As a result, the system asks the right questions, based on the needs of the particular healthcare facility. CallAssure is easily integrated into existing telephone systems and can either be installed on site or hosted by Vocantas. Vocantas CallAssure strictly adheres to privacy policies in both Canada and the U.S., ensuring that patient information is kept secure and that only the appropriate hospital resources have access to private health information.
CallAssure products include CallAssure Classic and CallAssure CDM (Chronic Disease Management). With CDM, patients on high-risk medications are reminded of testing appointments and are alerted of their dosage changes. It seamlessly integrates with dosing technology to deliver accurate and timely information relevant to a patient’s treatment plan.
In my briefing with Gary Hannah, Founder / CEO & President of Vocantas he discussed other Vocantas solutions, which include:
Team OnCall – Significantly advances emergency preparedness plans and is able to reach large volumes of emergency team members in seconds. Updates central command with real-time reporting to track messages and review responses. There is no special infrastructure or training required since it enables secure access from any internet or telephone connection to deliver emergency or general messages.
Pandemic Planning – Provides status monitoring and reporting of illness progression for effective planning.
About The Author: Ed LaBanca, Principal Analyst & Consultant, CollabGen - Ed LaBanca has Over 8 years as an independent analyst & consultant. Prior professional experience includes positions as Product Manager of Voice Processing / IVR for Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division, and Senior Product Manager of Voice Processing/Messaging for Fujitsu Business Communication Systems.
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About Ed LaBanca:
Ed LaBanca brings over 30 years experience working for both large and small equipment manufacturers and software development organizations in the computing and telecommunications industries. His current emphasis is on voice / data convergence technologies and products related to contact centers and areas where the Internet, Public Switched Telephone Network, front office and back office systems merge.
About CollabGen Inc.:
CollabTel, formerly dba CollabGen is an independent industry analyst and management consulting firm. They provide analyst reports and consulting services for medium-to-large enterprises and contact centers.
About Vocantas, Inc.:
Since 2003, Vocantas has been a pioneer in the development of voice solutions for patient monitoring, student engagement and utilities self-service. Vocantas currently serves a wide range of clients in Canada and the US.
Published: Friday, November 23, 2007