About Shankar Sripadham

As the Product Manager for Social Media at Angel, Shankar enjoys dabbling with new technologies and creating innovative products in the mobile and social networking area. He has a special interest in technology and understanding its role in our lives, and you will often find him blogging on this topic here. Shankar has both an MBA and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and over 11 years of experience in software development, project and product management areas for the telecommunications industry.

Proactively Managing Wellness Communications

MobileIt is often said that being a parent can be one of the most rewarding parts of life as well as one of the most difficult.  Balancing a full-time job, household chores and prioritizing family is not easy.  That’s why it is not surprising that more than one-fourth of preschool children lack at least one routine vaccination.  Additionally, children who are behind on immunizations are at greater risk of being behind on other preventive services.  So what can healthcare providers do to give parents a hand in keeping up with their family’s health? Pediatric practices can use proactive customer communication solutions, such as Outbound IVR, to provide personalized vaccination reminders.

While the phrase, “proactive customer communication” might stir up images of traditional telemarketing, that isn’t the case when patients are being provided with information they find helpful.  In fact, proactive customer communication has expanded beyond “old school” telemarketing and now includes multiple channels such as SMS, email, social, mobile and web with traditional Interactive Voice Response platforms to deliver a more complete, end-to-end outbound communications solution. With the ability to reach parents through multiple channels, it is easy to keep up with on-the-go families.

Delivering vaccination reminders for pediatric patients not only offers parents a personalized customer experience, but it also can help healthcare providers stay budget-conscious since key staff members will be able to focus on more strategic tasks. It is also of note that proactive customer communication solutions of today can also be delivered through the cloud, which helps eliminate additional costs for healthcare providers in regards to infrastructure and updates.

Clearly, proactive customer communication solutions have the potential to be a win-win for both healthcare providers and busy parents. It is important for providers to first ensure they choose a system that makes the most sense for their practice and their patient’s needs. Our whitepaper titled, “Enriching Your Customer Strategy with Proactive Customer Communications” presents key information on how providers can deliver greater value for an improved customer experience that will ultimately help differentiate themselves from competitors.  Most importantly, our guide can assist healthcare providers in making a strategic decision that will eventually help patients keep their loved ones healthy.



What is the Future of Provider-Patient Collaboration?

Provider-Patient Collaboration

Experts estimate that 20 percent of Medicare hospitalizations are readmitted within 30 days of being discharged. As the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, healthcare providers will be held accountable as the industry moves away from fee-for-service towards a bundled payment system, making efficient care management critical to staying within expected costs.

It is quickly becoming more important than ever for providers to avoid unnecessary treatments. Meanwhile, the readmission of Medicare patients alone costs $26 billion annually. In order to mitigate readmissions and additional costs, healthcare providers ought to automate post-care follow up calls to ensure patient adherence and improve post-care treatment. A proactive, personalized approach to follow-up care after treatment ensures increased patient satisfaction and improved patient adherence. This approach also frees staff from delivering time-consuming post-care instructions.

A proactive outbound IVR campaign is a cost effective solution to ensure patients automatically receive important information regarding their care across the channels they prefer. Furthermore, a good outbound IVR solution will incorporate patient data collected through both inbound and outbound interactions, ensuring a personalized care experience.

If you’re interested, you can read more about nurturing doctor-patient relationships and check out our healthcare solutions page to learn how providers can deploy customizable post-procedure follow up for improved patient communication.


Missed Appointments Equals Wasted Resources

Missed Appointments Equals Wasted Resources

With the Affordable Care Act expanding healthcare coverage for Americans, the pressure is on for healthcare providers to take on a flood of new patients. At the same time, medical practices have to maintain high standards of care and ensure patients have a positive customer service experience. In essence, healthcare providers need new strategies to manage an increased amount of communications without compromising quality of care.

Providers can manage these challenges by taking advantage of technology that improves operational efficiency, lowers cost, improves patient satisfaction and empowers patient self-service.  One instance of how technology can help is with automated appointment reminders. The Medical Group Management Association reports there is a seven percent no-show rate to doctor’s appointments, causing medical practices to waste time and resources. Meanwhile, 72 percent of practices say their staff could be more efficient by focusing on tasks other than manual phone calls. The good news? Inbound and Outbound IVR solutions can also improve quality of care and customer satisfaction in addition to lowering overall costs, improving efficiencies and increasing revenue.

Delivering personalized appointment reminders through Outbound IVR and providing instant access to scheduled appointments via Inbound IVR can help reduce patient no-show rate and free up staff from time-consuming manual tasks like confirming appointments and increase the organization’s revenue. Here at Genesys, we’re committed to providing IVR solutions designed specifically for the healthcare market. That way, providers are able to quickly and effectively respond to inquiries from patients while reducing customer service costs.

However, before providers begin putting IVR solutions into place or revamp an existing system, it is important to first assess needs and make an informed decision on what will work best. Our webinar titled, “Assessing the Customer Experience: Getting Your IVR Off to the Right Start” offers tips on how to review the entire experience of your IVR from design to implementation:

    • Uncover what’s frustrating your customers and stunting your growth, causing inefficiencies and ballooning costs
    • Define a possible solution to the issues you are facing
    • Explain the cost impact of adopting change or doing nothing at all
    • Identify real ROI within your current IVR and contact center infrastructure

So what are you waiting for? Help your staff focus on more complex tasks and your patients remember to make it to their appointments using our IVR solutions.


How Asynchronous Callback Improves Outbound IVR


We’re very excited to announce that our team recently released a new API feature called Asynchronous Callback.

If you are a programmer, you are probably saying “YES, YES, and YES!!”

And if you are non-programmer, you are probably going “Asynchronous what?”

Fair enough. In either case, some explanation is in order. If you have previously coded against the Angel outbound REST API, you would have noticed that you had to periodically poll the outbound service to find out whether or not your call completed.


Rather than consistently poll the outbound service, our new API feature provides comprehensive visibility into the success of any outbound call. For example, our API allows you to specify your interest in receiving a “callback” (not to be confused with a telephone call back) when the call is either answered by a human or voicemail, when a call fails, is not answered, or the line is busy. Angel’s outbound service will then Click here to read more »


Voice for Facebook – A New Engagement Tool for Radio Stations

Have your voice heard!

Radio stations all over the US are rapidly adapting to the changing technology landscape. Internet radio stations, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter simultaneously pose an opportunity and a threat.

New Internet-only radio stations, operating on a shoestring budget, pose a credible threat as they steadily erode market share from the bigger, more established radio stations by creating new micro-content niches. Established AM/FM broadcast stations are, in-turn, leveraging the Internet as a complementary channel to reach a much wider, Internet-savvy audience.

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks compete with more traditional media such as newspapers, TV and radio stations, for audience attention and advertising dollars. On the other hand, they provide a conduit for traditional media to reach a global audience that was hitherto inaccessible.

This disruptive techno-climate calls for radio stations and other traditional media to innovate, change, and adopt a more radical strategy – one that embraces technology.

A recent innovation in this space is a service from Angel called Voice For FacebookRadio stations in the U.S. are leveraging Voice for Facebookto better engage with their listeners using the communication medium of choice, namely, voice.

In this blog post, I will provide answers to some of the common questions I get about this service:

What is Voice for Facebook?

Voice for Facebook is a service that lets radio stations engage their listeners on their Facebook page using voice.  The service is as simple to use, as it is to set up.

How can my listener community and I use Voice for Facebook? 

You and your listener community can post voice comments to your Facebook page. To do so, simply pick up a telephone and place a call to a Voice for Facebook provided phone number. Once connected, you can speak a voice message into the phone that will get posted on your Facebook page. Yes, it’s really that simple!

How does it work?

When you (a radio station employee) sign up for Voice for Facebook, our service will provide you with a unique phone number. You can advertise this number any way you choose – on your Facebook page, announce it during your programs or publish it on your website. Your listeners can then call into this number and start using it to post voice comments!

Click here to read more »

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