Closing the Feedback Loop: An Interactive Voice Response System to Provide Follow-up and Feedback in Primary Care Settings
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Health Information Technology | Primary Care
In primary care settings, follow-up regarding the outcome of acute outpatient visits is largely absent. We sought to develop an automated interactive voice response system (IVRS) for patient follow-up with feedback to providers capable of interfacing with multiple pre-existing electronic medical records (EMRs). A system was designed to extract data from EMRs, integrate with the IVRS, call patients for follow-up, and provide a feedback report to providers. Challenges during the development process were analyzed and summarized. The components of the technological solution and details of its implementation are reported. Lessons learned include: (1) Modular utilization of system components is often needed to adapt to specific clinic workflow and patient population needs (2) Understanding the local telephony environment greatly impacts development and is critical to success, and (3) Ample time for development of the IVRS questionnaire (mapping all branching paths) and speech recognition tuning (sensitivity, use of barge-in tuning, use of "known voice") is needed. With proper attention to design and development, modular follow-up and feedback systems can be integrated into existing EMR systems providing the benefits of IVRS follow-up to patients and providers across diverse practice settings.
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Citation: Willig JH, Krawitz M, Panjamapirom A, Ray MN, Nevin CR, English TM, Cohen MP, Berner ES. Closing the Feedback Loop: An Interactive Voice Response System to Provide Follow-up and Feedback in Primary Care Settings. J Med Syst. 2013 Apr;37(2):9905. doi: 10.1007/s10916-012-9905-4. Link to article on publisher's site
Willig, James H.; Krawitz, Marc; Panjamapirom, Anantachai; Ray, Midge N.; Nevin, Christa R.; English, Thomas M.; Cohen, Mark P.; and Berner, Eta S., "Closing the Feedback Loop: An Interactive Voice Response System to Provide Follow-up and Feedback in Primary Care Settings" (2013). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 368.