Improving the patient journey through speech analytics

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Improving the patient journey through speech analytics


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Data is everywhere. It informs decision-making, recognizes critical trends, and increases the overall quality of patient care. However, collected data is often unstructured or not easily accessible. It’s estimated that upwards of 90% of data is unstructured according to Forbes. Speech analytics can bring value to an organization by analyzing data, gaining context, and drawing actionable meaning.

What is speech analytics?

“This call may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance” is a familiar line many customers hear. Speech analytics (or Natural Language Understanding) is becoming a more standard tool that leverages artificial intelligence to analyze recorded conversations for an organization. It highlights words and phrases most used by callers to identify themes and trends.

The global speech analytics market is expanding rapidly, especially in the healthcare industry. The market is predicted to be worth $4.5 billion by 2026, a 20.5% increase from 2021. While the global healthcare AI market is expected to expand to $194 billion by 2030 (from an estimated $8.2 billion generated in 2020). Speech analytics technology can be leveraged to help better understand friction in the customer journey and improve customer retention.

Examples of speech analytics include word clouds, transcription, and sentiment analysis. These tools show what is top of mind for a caller, like billing, benefits, digital accessibility, and so on. However, these insights are not always actionable because the context is usually missing. Organizations are missing ‘why’ these words and phrases are top of mind. A word cloud may show a customer is frustrated, but what are they feeling frustrated about? Meaningful change can only happen if context is applied to data.

Digital transformation through speech analytics

A Deloitte survey with the Scottsdale Institute found 92% of health systems listed better patient experience as the top desired outcome from a digital transformation.

Speech analytics can prompt action and change by unearthing the root cause of an organization’s problems or concerns. When organizations find customer journey disruptions, they face:

  • A strong indicator of customer turnover
  • Low customer satisfaction
  • Gaps in patient care
  • Patient confusion on prescriptions, treatments, or status updates
  • Lack of customer knowledge around medical and insurance terms

A digital transformation including speech analytics can help reduce costs, predict behavior, and improve the patient experience by identifying disruptions in their journey. You’ll also be able to identify key behaviors, define recurring trends, and better understand the patient’s point of view.

Accessing unstructured data with speech analytics

Most data is undefined and unstructured when initially collected. You need tools that make the most of unstructured data. Without that, the voice of the customer becomes lost and unclear. Data becomes valuable once turned into actionable insights. The key to that is context, and in healthcare, context is everything.

When looking for a speech analytics solution, you want software that allows you to listen to your customers and engage with the stories they share. By using speech analytics to bring the patient’s voice forward, organizations can identify themes directly from patients instead of making assumptions or conducting a survey.

Data is only a starting point

Listening to your customers can have an invaluable impact. Context becomes clearer, disruptions are identified, and actionable next steps can be made.  Most organizations have various ways to collect customer data. However, more than data alone is needed for a truly patient-centered, goal-oriented approach that can facilitate impactful change.

It’s tough to make changes all at once, so be sure to prioritize next steps. That could mean:

  • Identifying ways to listen to the patient experience at scale by investing in speech analytics tools
  • Using customer voices to guide your plan by leveraging qualitative analytics and human listening
  • Accelerating what’s already in motion with existing customer interactions
  • Re-evaluating processes and identifying where change needs to happen

Not all patients understand the business of healthcare, so you need a speech analytics tool that can identify sources of confusion, frustration, and pain impacting their journey. Speech analytics provides opportunities to make sure all voices are heard and actionable steps can be made.

Photo: filo, Getty Images



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