Banner Health Innovates with LifeLink Chatbots to Enable Virtual Waiting Rooms for Telehealth and In-Person Appointments

Conversational mobile technology supports COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and allows patients to safely access care across network of 1500 physicians

Oakland, California, UNITED STATES


OAKLAND, Calif., May 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LifeLink today announced the successful deployment of a next-generation virtual waiting room with Banner Health.  LifeLink (lifelink.com) mobile chatbots interact with Banner patients in a conversational style to help complete digitized intake forms, provide education and enable remote check-in capabilities for all telehealth and in-person visits. This is part of Banner Health’s initiative to re-imagine the care delivery experience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The healthcare industry must rapidly innovate in order to ensure all patients can see their doctors again through safe, private, and convenient channels,” said Jeff Johnson, vice president, Digital Business at Banner Health. “The traditional pre-visit process of walking into an office, filling out paper forms, reading instructions, and then waiting for an exam room had to change. LifeLink chatbots have already helped hundreds of thousands of Banner patients navigate Emergency Room visits so the concept of digitizing regular doctor appointment visits with a mobile, virtual waiting room chatbot assistant was a natural extension of the technology.”

LifeLink chatbots welcome patients for telehealth virtual and in-person visits with their primary care physicians and specialists. The chatbots interact with patients on their mobile device or computer using automated conversational messaging to remotely accomplish a number of tasks that were previously handled in-person, including:

  • Appointment reminders and updates
  • Intake form completion and approvals
  • Telehealth technology instructions
  • Informing patients when to go directly to their exam rooms

The technology is live and rolling out across Banner Medical Group, a network of 1,500 physicians across 300 clinics that cover more than one million patients across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires an entirely different level of thinking when it comes to providing routine patient services,” noted Greg Johnsen, CEO at LifeLink.  “Like the changes we are seeing in retail, healthcare providers need to adapt, and the waiting room experience is one area that will need to change. We take great pride in knowing that LifeLink chatbots are providing peace of mind and convenience for the patients that need to see their doctors.”

While COVID-19 social distancing guidelines are driving rapid innovation, conversational technology is also delivering significant operational benefits to providers. At Banner Health, a previous intake automation initiative that was focusing on Medicare Annual Wellness Visit appointments for seniors resulted in a 70% reduction in appointment cancellations and practice process efficiency. Patients have also shown preference for chatbots as a workflow digital assistant through high satisfaction ratings.

“One of the key benefits of chatbot technology is the ease of use,” added Johnson.  “Interactions that use natural language eliminate the need for user training and there are no apps or passwords required so it’s simple for patients to interact with us securely, on any device. We have seen high engagement rates as a result.”

About Banner Health
As one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the team at Banner Health is committed to ensuring all Banner locations are a safe place for care. Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals and an array of other services, including: Banner Imaging, Banner Telehealth and Banner Urgent Care. Team members are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of patients, be it a routine checkup, elective surgery or an urgent health service. Waiting room and employee workstation layouts maintain proper social distancing; screenings are conducted at hospital entrances to verify that all employees and visitors are well; and, all Banner physicians are equipped to visit patients remotely. Learn more about Banner's commitment to safety at bannerhealth.com/safecare.

About LifeLink
LifeLink builds mobile conversational chatbots for healthcare. Large hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare service providers use LifeLink bots to engage patient populations at scale, across a spectrum of workflows and scenarios. For more information, visit www.lifelink.com.

Contact:
Harvey Henao
+1 773 294 0816
harvey.henao@finnpartners.com