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Case Study

Increased Patient Satisfaction, Reduced Left-Without-Being-Seen Rates at Allina Health

As part of their ongoing operational improvements for patients, staff, and care teams, Allina Health recently implemented a transparency initiative that includes Vital’s patient experience technology. Their innovative approach has resulted in a positive impact to their emergency departments, including lowering left-without-being-seen (LWBS) rates and reducing negative patient comments about wait times.

The Challenge

Due to rising volumes and longer wait times in emergency departments (EDs) across the country, patients and their families often experience frustration, confusion, and uncertainty during their care episodes. While Allina Health has been no exception to this nationwide trend, their approach to addressing rising patient volumes has been exceptional.

Grounded in Transparency

In alignment with their mission to provide exceptional care, Allina Health's leadership understands the significance of transparency and providing timely information to patients and their families while receiving care at their hospitals. 

That’s why in 2022 Allina Health launched a bold initiative to improve the patient experience by demonstrating levels of transparency not often seen in hospital emergency departments. 

Fueled by their commitment to always put patients first, this initiative included introducing new patient experience technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to best set and meet evolving patient expectations.

The Solution

In November 2022, Allina Health introduced ERAdvisor, an AI-powered solution developed in and designed for EDs that provides patients with personalized updates and tools from check-in through final disposition. ERAdvisor is consumer-grade software that is easy to use, requires no downloads or passwords, and is available in multiple languages — an important feature for Allina Health and the diverse patient populations they serve. 

Upon arrival to the ED, patients receive a text message with an invitation to a web experience driven by Vital’s interface with the hospital’s electronic health record. Here, they are provided accurate, personalized, up-to-the-minute wait times, information about what to expect during their visit, and tips for a faster visit. Patients can even share status updates with loved ones through the app.

The Outcomes

Driven by ease of use and accessibility, over 48,000 patients have used ERAdvisor within six months of Allina Health introducing the solution. That’s nearly 60% of eligible patients.

“We are often wary of new technology that claims to improve patient experience and that patients actually want to use. With ERAdvisor, the patient adoption rates have been excellent. Not only that, but feedback on the app experience has been very high at 4.8 out of 5 stars.” Chris DuFresne, Vice President of Digital Experience at Allina Health

Because of ERAdvisor’s ability to set better patient expectations, Allina Health saw a dramatic decrease in LWBS rates within six months. With rates as high as 6.3% in November 2022, this number had dropped to 2.8% by June 2023. 

What’s more, this decrease has proven to be sustainable. Compared to the 3.5% baseline average the year before implementation, the year-to-date average collected in June 2023 was 3.02% — a 14% decrease in LWBS.  

“Reducing our LWBS rates has had a significant impact on our operations and financials. But it’s about so much more. It’s a testament to our commitment to caring for every person who walks through our emergency department’s doors. Carol Koeppel-Olsen, Vice President of Patient Care Services at Allina Health Abbott Northwestern Hospital 

The most impressive outcome was the decrease in the number of negative wait time comments received. In 2021, ED patient surveys conducted by NRC found that nearly 4 in 10 reported negative comments about ED wait times. In the first four months of 2023, — negative comments decreased by 15% from 39% in 2021 to just 33%. 

“The ED can be a stressful place, for patients and staff alike, the AI that powers this solution helps us keep patients informed while giving us time and energy back to focus on the things that really matter providing the best possible care.” Carol Koeppel-Olsen, Vice President of Patient Care Services at Allina Health Abbott Northwestern Hospital