How automated communications improve patient engagement

Intelligent, automated patient communication systems extend far beyond the phone to reach patients where and when they will be most responsive to clinical, administrative and financial messages. 

Acute and ambulatory healthcare organizations face the challenges of increasing access, improving contactless patient engagement and making care more cost-effective.

Providers continue to make strategic investments in online bill pay, digital communication, social media, nurse hotlines, online scheduling, care manager services, clinician support and interactive, contactless patient engagement—each of which can benefit from a collaborative, automated contact center.

Today’s healthcare contact centers play a bigger part in patient care than ever before. Contact centers must have multichannel outbound and inbound communications to deliver convenient, personalized support that keeps patients safe, informed and engaged in their care without having to visit a healthcare facility.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) impacts three major healthcare functions


There was once a fear that automation in healthcare would detract from the human interaction that patients would expect in regards to provider communications. This fear handcuffed many healthcare organizations into inefficiently dedicating skilled clinicians to making manual phone calls to patients for continuing care.

Practices like this are no longer sustainable as organizations must continue to serve a growing patient base with limited clinical resources.

Automation has come a long way—it doesn’t force patients to speak to a machine anymore. Instead, intelligent automation connects patients with clinicians when the patient is ready, extending the reach of those same clinicians to focus more on patient care.

Automating basic interactions with a reliable cloud-based infrastructure helps providers better utilize clinical resources to serve all patients, drive business value and improve patient and employee satisfaction.


The growth of telehealth has presented both a challenge and an opportunity for differentiation among healthcare providers. 52% of patients surveyed in a J.D. Power U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction study said that they faced at least one barrier to telehealth access, leaving plenty of room for improvement.1

Healthcare organizations that successfully automate multichannel patient communication—with options such as interactive voice response (IVR), self-service appointment scheduling, digital messaging and chat, appointment reminders, transitions of care and centralized scheduling and billing—will experience first hand the benefits of enhanced patient engagement and satisfaction.

Personalized communications, streamlined scheduling and timely patient alerts help healthcare providers reduce no-shows and scheduling gaps.


The key to better profit margins is patient retention and the best way to increase retention is through higher patient satisfaction. The key to higher patient satisfaction is improving the overall consumer experience (CX), not just the clinical experience. Studies show that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits more than 25%.3 Improving patient retention significantly impacts the bottom line by avoiding patient acquisition costs. Effective communication not only brings more patients in the door and influences the billing cycle, but also quite literally impacts health outcomes. A report recently showed how communication failures resulted in $1.7 billion in malpractice costs and almost 2000 preventable deaths—80% of serious medical errors were the result of miscommunication.

With multiple touchpoints throughout the patient journey—including acquisition, care and post-service—the contact center is uniquely positioned to improve satisfaction with timely, targeted communication.

Ready for a next-generation contact center?

The role of the contact center continues to rapidly expand across healthcare organizations in all critical patient touchpoints, from patient acquisition to patient retention. If your organization is struggling to improve patient engagement and satisfaction, consider cloud-based contact center technology from Windstream Enterprise that can unify your voice to the consumer and deliver a more personalized healthcare experience.



1 Adams, Katie. “Telehealth patient satisfaction soared in 2020 despite persisting disparities: 6 stats.” Becker’s Hospital Review, October 1, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2021.
2 “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Reducing No-Shows and Cancellations In Your Practice.” Accessed March 9, 2021.
3 “Prescription for cutting costs.” Bain & Company. Accessed March 9, 2021.
4 “Effects of Poor Communication in Healthcare.” HIPAA Journal. Accessed March 9, 2021.

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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