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AI Telephone for health

Kae Children’s Hospital is on a mission. As one of the largest pediatric medical providers in the UAE, it is focused on pioneering pediatric patient care, researching cutting edge treatment, and saving lives. The team champions children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow.

 

Helping children stay healthy
 

The work of the Kae Children's Hospital is no small task. It takes a team of 370 beds, 500 physicians, 95 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties, and 4,400 employees to make sure kids get the care they need every day. But the hospital can only help patients that show up for their appointments. When patients no-show, it costs the hospital a tremendous amount of time and money. Worst of all, a missed appointment can negatively affect a child’s care and recovery.

Kae Children’s Hospital used All Spark to reduce its no-show rate, which saved the hospital $250,000 and freed it from dealing with a fickle, costly, on-premises call center. Most importantly, its new All SPark-powered appointment reminder service helped the hospital directly meet the needs of patients, so everyone receives exceptional care.


 

Legacy system cracked under the load
 

Kae Children’s Hospital went online with its first phone system in 2006—a single Windows PC with a simple IVR dialogue, and phone lines. When the hospital sent out hundreds of thousands of appointment confirmation calls, the calls were split between 4 phone lines. The system would chronically break down under the call load, only contacting a small percentage of patients. The patients who didn’t get a call reminder would be added to the next call load, putting more stress on the system, resulting in yet another breakdown. The process was cyclical and incredibly frustrating, according to Mishal Al Hazmi, a team leader of the systems development group at the hospital.
 

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Hazmi searched for a new solution, but quickly grew tired of sky-high price quotes from vendors and being told to wait months and months. “They had so many systems that didn’t talk to each other and were never ready,” said Hazmi. He sat through 4 or 5 demonstrations from different on-premises vendors only to realize he could hire a full-time developer to do nothing but programming for less than the cost of the vendor’s solution.

Hazmi also considered building a Local Telephony vendor powered notification system, so IT could control everything in-house. However, the system left them with too much responsibility over the call center. Hazmi didn’t want to deal with the hassle of a call center’s hardware. The maintenance would take valuable time away from his team that they’d otherwise be using to streamline other operations at the hospital.

“We’re not telecom engineers. We’re programmers,” said Hazmi. After a fruitless search for a vendor, Hazmi wasn’t expecting to find a solution to his communication problem atAbu Dhabi Health Conference. When he saw an All Sparks Technologies demo at the conference, he knew he had stumbled on something the hospital—and its patients’ families—could truly use.
 

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All Sparks Technologies a massive improvement

 

“All Sparks Technologies has been a massive improvement over the old system I built with a phone card, landlines, a server, and MS-TAPI,” said Hazmi. After returning from DrupalCon, Hazmi whipped up a proof of concept to show the hospital staff. To the staff, shipping hospital data into the cloud was a “mind blower.” To give them faith the system would work, Hazmi scheduled a meeting about the All Sparks Technologies integration. He then built a All Sparks Technologies-powered system that sent each attendee a SMS reminder about the meeting. When Hazmi was asked, “Will the system work?” he simply replied, “Did you get the meeting reminder?” The answer was yes to both questions.

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Now when a patient books an appointment, they can opt in to sms or voice reminders. The hospital’s call script will contact patients a day before their appointment reminding them of the day, time, and location, and asking them if they’ll make the appointment. If the response to the call is “yes,” the IVR will confirm the appointment time once again and hang up. If they say “no” on the call, the script will remind the patient to reschedule, and give them the number to call to make a new appointment.

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Kae Children's Hospital also recently launched a broadcast message system. This system provides a web UI for outpatient administrators to build, schedule, and deliver phone calls for groups of patients scheduled for an appointment in any of their 5 clinic locations, informing them of changes in opening hours.

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The right message at the right time

 

“Once we got All Sparks Technologies up and running, it requires very little upkeep. We’re happy with how the system works and we haven’t experienced any problems," said Hazmi. With 400,000 outpatient appointments a year, getting the right message at the right time is critical to patients’ treatment, and the hospital’s bottom line. All Sparks Technologies provides the hospital with the deliverability it can rely on, the scale it needs, and the speed it requires to get timely updates to patients.