Meet Jill: Your New Healthcare Avatar

August 11, 2014 Audrey Dalton
healthy coloradan logoCSHP Leads the Way in Digital Patient Engagement Jill, the newest member of the Colorado Springs Health Partners (CSHP) team, needs no sleep, never has a bad hair day, and is always in a good mood. Jill is a healthcare avatar also known as an intelligent virtual assistant who will begin working on the newly released FollowMyHealth portal this summer. She’ll ease in to her new role by offering help in a few select areas:

Jill the Avatar on the CSHP FollowMyHealth Portalenrollment, navigation to locate electronic health record (EHR) information gathered from Allscripts, answering basic questions, scheduling appointments, and refilling prescriptions. As she gets more adept, she has the potential to take on even more responsibilities in the future.

Most people are familiar with avatars, as they’ve grown in popularity over the years. From uses in gaming and movies, people have been exposed to online characters and character simulations in one form or another.

So why the popularity? 

Gaming CharactersFrom the beginning of time, we’ve been dazzled, entertained, and intrigued by characters and cartoons in movies and on television. The social intelligence that these characters emulate keeps people engaged, attentive, and learning.

Healthcare is no different.

 

Gaining momentum, healthcare avatars have been tested and vetted in various healthcare settings. For example, a virtual nurse named Louise is part of Project Red, created by researchers from Boston University. She provides patient discharge instructions, which has been effective at reducing readmissions by as much as 30%. In another study, an avatar named Gabby was used by the CDC for preconception care instructions and guidance. At the end of the study, Gabby created positive behavior change on 73% of the tested risk factors. And recently, in the case of an avatar being used to assist with the ACA open enrollment, one insurance company observed nearly two thirds of enrollees used the avatar to explore all available insurance options–taking full advantage of her presence rather than contacting customer service.

Moreover, larger studies across multiple industries found that avatars or virtual assistants are preferred up to 90% of the time when presented in the right social context and role with 3D/interactive avatars being the most preferred.

CSHP Blazes The Healthcare Consumerism Trail

CSHP Briargate Office

Colorado Springs Health Partners, founded in 1946 by WWII physician veterans, has always been on the forefront of progressive, consumer-oriented healthcare changes. They are one of the first physician networks to participate in an Accountable Care Organization in coordination with Cigna insurance, one of the first to deploy the iTriage mobile app, and now one of the first to use a a healthcare avatar, developed by CodeBaby, to increase enrollment and engagement on their patient portal.

Patient Simulation Using a Tablet with CSHP Portal

Patient Activation

CSHP chose to use an avatar for several reasons. First, they realized that simply rolling out the portal and expecting high levels of engagement might not be enough. Patient activation can be a challenge for any organization, but the benefits are worth it, for both the provider and patient. Results from studies have proven that people who use a web-based portal have higher levels of engagement and self-care. CSHP’s use of Jill has the potential to increase activation and engagement by at least 30% according to research as well as CodeBaby metrics.

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healthy coloradan Meet Jill Your New Healthcare Avatar Article

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About the Author

Audrey Dalton

Audrey holds nearly 10 years of B2B/B2C sales, marketing, and communications experience. She manages the content strategy and development for multimedia campaigns and digital marketing programs at CodeBaby. She also has wistful aspirations to be a globetrotting mega DJ.

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