Challenge: Build an in-room concierge that reduces logistical questions for medical staff. Improve patient satisfaction and survey response rates, and test whether a voice interface can improve patient and caregiver interaction while complying with HIPAA and applicable state regulations.
Solution: Smart hospital capabilities were implemented by services from Hitachi Vantara and used Alexa development tools. A set of five skills was implemented, accounting for varying cultural backgrounds, dialects, levels of English proficiency and other factors while conveying sensitive or complicated information.
The smart hospital solution:
The not-for-profit healthcare system provides a wide range of healthcare services through its network of hospitals, outpatient centers, emergency services and physicians. The nonprofit had three main goals for an in-room concierge system:
Meeting these goals required balancing the need for technical proficiency with integrity of protected health information (PHI). The system had to handle requests for care as well as information on dining and other general hospital information for patients and visitors.
In addition, the system was required to initiate a brief satisfaction survey that would alert the medical center to any negative experience, and enable it to take corrective action in real time. It also facilitated state-sponsored surveys at the end of the stay, which are critical to maintain reputation and operating certificates.
Using the Alexa development tools to implement a set of five “skills,” Hitachi Vantara reprogrammed Alexa to provide in-room concierge, information services and healthcare provider efficiencies for the nonprofit, while accurately capturing critical patient information. The system was architected to ensure that Alexa did not access PHI, but rather interacted with the patients anonymously. This reprogramming was performed in a manner that did not create conflicts with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or state regulations. The available interactions are:
The most challenging aspect of this project involved the variability of language between staff and patients. It was critical that the skills compensate for different cultural background and dialects, different levels of English proficiency, age, sex and other factors while communicating complicated information. The original scripts provided by the nonprofit required significant optimization using a phonetic scoring method to compensate for language variations and technical complexity.
AWS Services Used
The smart hospital solution included the following Amazon Web Services offerings:
Benefits of the smart hospital solution included:
1 HIPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act