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Novant Health Automates 85% of All Incoming Support Center Calls with Adaptive Communications

Novant Health Automates 85% of All Incoming Support Center Calls with Adaptive Communications

Featuring Amber Fencl, VP Digital Health & Engagement and
Michael Guerin, Director of Digital Product at Novant Health

  • 250+

    Calls Handled Daily

  • -99.4%

    Call Waiting Time

  • 85%

    Automated Resolution Rate

  • -540%

    Average Handle Time

In a Nutshell:

Faced with an influx in support center calls surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, Novant Health deployed VAXA, Hyro’s AI-powered vaccine access tool. The 24/7 support center assistant helped deflect the surge in calls by fielding low-touch vaccine-related FAQs, in addition to verifying eligibility and scheduling appointments with limited human intervention.

The Challenge
A Surge in Calls and Misinformation
In early 2021, as news of a gradual COVID-19 vaccine rollout began spreading across the U.S., Novant experienced a dramatic surge of calls to its Care Connections support center from patients eager to gain clarity regarding the vaccine and schedule vaccination appointments.
Novant identified that 65% of all incoming calls revolved around vaccine eligibility, timeline, and other low-touch FAQs that created long backlogs and repetitive work for the Care Connections team. This influx in call volume threatened to overburden support staff and leave thousands of concerned patients unanswered.

The spread of misinformation across Novant’s communities surrounding the vaccine’s safety and legitimacy was a further cause for concern. Novant sought a communications platform that would help deliver accurate information certified by reliable sources such as the CDC and WHO while warding off unwarranted vaccine hesitancy and suspicion.

Our Care Connections support center team is only so big, and we were getting calls that were taking up tons of time for general questions around the vaccine itself—its safety, manufacturing information, and eligibility requirements, throughout our Novant footprint. We were looking for a way to provide immediate lift for those call center teams.
Michael Guerin
Director of Digital Product, Novant Health
The Solution
An AI-Powered Vaccine Access Tool
As call volume continued to mount, Novant Health, which had already been using Hyro’s web-based virtual assistant to help patients find physicians and book appointments, needed a solution that would help deflect the uptick in calls and relieve their overextended live support teams, as well as boost system-wide vaccination scheduling.
In record speed, Novant deployed Hyro’s VAXA, an AI-powered COVID-19 vaccine access solution in the form of a 24/7 AI-powered call center assistant, to deflect the influx of calls to the Care Connections team by fielding low-touch vaccine-related FAQs. VAXA also helped Novant confirm patient eligibility, offer continuously updated time slots, and schedule vaccination appointments with limited human intervention.
We were looking for a way to provide lift for our Care Connections team and Hyro reached out to say ‘we’ve got a voice automated solution to tackle frequently asked questions and schedule vaccine appointments, maybe you should try it out.’ And we happily agreed.
Michael Guerin
Director of Digital Product, Novant Health
The Results
Providing Access to the Vaccine and the Facts

Since deploying VAXA, a total of 100,000 calls have been routed to the call center assistant, including 87,480 conversations and 324,840 total automated messages, producing an industry-leading 85% deflection rate across Novant’s entire Care Connections support center.

Hyro drastically reduced call hold times from an average of eight minutes to just three seconds — a decrease of 99.4%. VAXA’s Adaptive Communications technology gave callers the option to obtain vaccine-related information and schedule inoculation appointments on the spot, providing Novant’s Care Connections team with the lift they needed to take on more nuanced, complex issues at a quicker rate.
On average, the AI assistant received and resolved over 250 calls per day from patients and community members alike trying to gain access to trustworthy information on the vaccine. With VAXA, Novant was able to encourage non-patient callers to open a MyChart account to schedule their appointments, allowing the healthcare system to expand its patient base by offering future assistance outside of COVID-19 services.
One of the major things we’ve been able to do through VAXA is to provide access to readily available facts when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine information. There’s so much misinformation out there and being able to have an automated system to disseminate facts without delay has been a big help in our communities.
Michael Guerin
Director of Digital Product, Novant Health
Through thousands of patient interactions with VAXA, Novant was able to obtain crucial, anonymous, and objective conversational intelligence on their communities’ top needs and requested services. These insights helped Novant anticipate high vaccine demand, with 30% of patient interactions revolving around COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration. Knowing that 33% of all patient conversations pertained to Vaccine Rescheduling also prompted Novant to revamp their rebooking process.
The Future
Expanding Into New Use Cases

VAXA is one of seven Hyro Adaptive Communications interfaces currently live across Novant’s digital channels. In an ongoing process of growth and analysis of patients’ needs, more use cases are slated to unroll in the coming months, including specialty routing flows for web and voice, a social media virtual assistant, and a mobile app conversational layer.

Hyro’s innovative Adaptive Communications Platform provides a natural interaction with automated technology for much of our customer base. Being able to consistently make improvements and iterative changes to keep abreast with our community, our callers, and the folks that we engage with has been a positive experience for our communities.
Michael Guerin,
Director of Digital Product, Novant Health

With Hyro, Novant Health has automated the following interactions using voice and text conversational AI:


–  Find physicians and services using multiple attributes and contextual understanding

–  Schedule telehealth appointments

–  Schedule physical appointments

–  Book mammograms via Facebook

–  Orthopedics specialty routing

–  COVID-19 testing

–  COVID-19 vaccination registration

–  Website navigation with AI-powered search

–  24/7 live handoff to support teams

–  Troubleshooting MyChart

–  General FAQs

Successfully automate routine calls and
messages across channels using AI.