Because of pandemic restrictions, this non-profit healthcare provider in Mexico promoted its WhatsApp Business Platform channel to serve millions of patients who need fast and secure access to critical information about lab appointments, tests, and results.
of Salud Digna’s interactions don’t require live agent support
less time spent on incoming calls
increase in call center operational productivity from call deflection to WhatsApp
growth in interactions in 2020
Dignified, accessible health services for all
Founded in 2003, Salud Digna is a nonprofit healthcare provider in Mexico committed to offering a national program that provides affordable diagnostics and effective disease prevention to the largest segments of the Mexican population impacted by deficits in government-funded healthcare.
Quality patient laboratory services
Salud Digna needed to automate handling millions of inquiries from people relying on its affordable lab services. When COVID-19 overwhelmed healthcare providers, the nonprofit aimed to continue timely care for people needing tests and other critical lab services.
Maintaining a standard of comprehensive care
Salud Digna views affordable, accessible healthcare as a human right and strives to deliver services to people in need. Prioritizing three areas of care, including lab diagnostics, imaging centers, and optometry, its mission is to provide highly accurate services as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, while sustaining itself as an independent healthcare provider. Salud Digna is known for the lowest prices and the shortest delivery time of all laboratories in Mexico.
When COVID-19 impacted Mexico, their clinics faced their highest demand for testing ever, while government-mandated pandemic restrictions limited operations to fewer locations with a small number of staff who couldn’t see patients on-site.
With service inquiries coming in at an unsustainable rate—along with the organization’s commitment to serving vulnerable individuals and minimizing emotional impacts on patients and employees—Salud Digna set out to adapt its digital channels, with the aim to keep offering patients the responsive, high-quality services they’ve come to expect from the provider.
Working with business partner Sinch, Salud Digna automated most of its incoming queries and integrated messages to address patients’ heightened emotional concerns. As a result, the organization not only became even more responsive to patient needs but also reduced risks for employees who previously encountered long lines of often frustrated people trying to access services at the few open locations.
Virtual assistant flow to obtain test results
Virtual assistant flow to quickly get a quote for a test
"The WhatsApp virtual assistant enables us to quickly address common questions that previously would have resulted in an in-person patient visit. Providing these highly responsive communications through WhatsApp is much faster than having to provide the same information in-person or over the phone,” says Pedro Josue Vidal Moreno, digital laboratory manager at Salud Digna.
Visits to Salud Digna’s website grew by 151 percent, and due to the successful WhatsApp channel integration, patient interactions with the bot grew to 89 percent. By deflecting calls to the virtual assistant, the call center reduced the average time spent on calls by 50%, enabling live agents to increase the volume of calls they could handle by 30 percent. By the end of 2020, the organization interacted with more than 9.75 million patients, presenting a growth of 712 percent in interactions. By 2021, cumulative interactions reached 35.2 million patients, with 16.2 million served. “It’s clear that WhatsApp is now a key tool in how we interact and serve our patients,” says Julio César Rocha Cázares, digital marketing manager of Salud Digna.
As inquiries skyrocketed, the number of WhatsApp interactions reached over 190,000 in one day. With the virtual assistant bot, Salud Digna can continue to deliver a high level of automated support as people look to make appointments, access test results, find clinic locations and hours, confirm appointments, and handle other critical everyday activities.
In addition, the virtual assistant communicates details about possible wait times and other issues that could impact their care at the clinic, which helps to better set expectations when people arrive for appointments. In just over a year, the lab has handled close to 3.7 million test result queries, sent appointment confirmations for nearly 5.1 million COVID-19 tests, and securely delivered close to 5.8 million test results automatically via WhatsApp.
“Maintaining compassionate patient care through an automated app can be a challenge, but WhatsApp allows us to engage with people directly, without sacrificing the quality of care we deliver. We can serve many more people every day in ways that are easily accessible, accurate, and dynamic,” says Rocha. “Faced with this new normal, we had to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the changing care needs of the more than 15 million people who come to us for services throughout the year.”
Salud Digna plans to expand its use of WhatsApp to provide patients with even easier and faster access to a broader range of the organization’s services.
Organized care at scale
With an automated care service channel through WhatsApp Business Platform, Salud Digna maintains patient trust and better manages demands, while reducing complexity for its call center and the logistics of managing diagnostic services.
- 89% of interactions don’t require live agent support
- 50% less time spent on calls, enabling agents to handle 30% more calls
- 712% growth in interactions in 2020 and 135% growth in 2021
- 32.5 million cumulative interactions with up to 190,000 patients in one day
- 16.2 million patients served since the pandemic began
- 3.7 million WhatsApp queries made to date
- 5.1 million COVID-19 test appointment confirmations sent
- 2 million COVID-19 test results securely delivered automatically
“Maintaining compassionate patient care through an automated app can be a challenge, but WhatsApp allows us to engage with people directly, without sacrificing the quality of care we deliver. We can serve many more people every day in ways that are easily accessible, accurate, and dynamic."
"The WhatsApp virtual assistant enables us to quickly address common questions that previously would have resulted in an in-person patient visit. Providing these highly responsive communications through WhatsApp is much faster than having to provide the same information in-person or over the phone.”