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Accolade Drives Member Engagement with over 50% Reduction in After-Call Work

Healthcare technology company Accolade has transformed member care with the help of Summarization AI, reducing after-call tasks by more than 50% and increasing service quality and productivity while reducing costs.

Over 50% reduction in after-call work

Launched in 2007, Accolade has gone from being a modest startup with just a handful of employees working in makeshift spaces to becoming a leading innovator in healthcare. Today, it plays a pivotal role in healthcare management and delivery, transforming how more than 14 million members access healthcare.

Using technology and data insights, Accolade serves as a vital guide for its members’ healthcare journeys, facilitating everything from benefits inquiries to virtual primary care and expert medical opinions. The company partners with employers across the United States to help them manage their employees’ healthcare needs. 

“We’re the number on the back of a member’s card, their first point of contact,” explains Ardie Sameti, Senior Director of AI and Automation.

Personalized Care at Scale

Central to Accolade’s success is its contact center, comprising around 1,500 highly skilled clinicians, physicians, medical directors, and Care Advocates. Unlike traditional call center interactions, these professionals offer personalized support tailored to each member’s circumstances. They also serve as the initial point of contact for a wide range of healthcare needs.

“Our Care Advocates are very knowledgeable about healthcare, claims and benefits, client support services, and provider services,” says Sameti. “These roles require a high level of expertise and empathy.”

Challenges of Scaling While Maintaining Quality

But as Accolade grew, maintaining operational efficiency at its contact center posed challenges.

As Sameti puts it, “How do you scale a business where trust, relationships, and empathy are at the core of everything? So, the technology we’ve built and the partnerships we’ve formed are anchored around this principle.”

This includes the strategies Accolade has adopted for notetaking and call summarization by its Care Advocates.

“Notetaking, or note summation as we call it internally, is a perfect example of the complexities of managing a contact center environment. It’s important for us to efficiently and accurately capture information from member interactions, so we save time and ensure the high quality of our care.”

Streamlining Notetaking

Traditionally, Accolade Care Advocates manually wrote their after-call notes, a tedious and time-consuming process. It also led to variations in note format and content, resulting in inconsistencies and potential gaps in capturing actionable items from interactions with members.

When Sameti’s team saw an opportunity to reduce the time Care Advocates spent on hold and on after-call work, they explored automating notetaking with generative AI.

“We wanted to preserve talk time and realized that we could cut our hold and wrap-up times to help streamline our operations while ensuring our service quality. So, we said, ‘Let’s take our existing Observe.AI platform that’s already listening to calls, already doing natural language processing, speech analytics, and transcription, and have it produce a summary after every call’.”

Reducing After-Call Work

This epiphany led to a collaboration with the Observe.AI team. Together, the teams worked on developing a “golden model” for note quality, prioritizing clearly defined data points, values, and next steps, as well as adherence to a templated format to ensure consistency.

Through iterative testing and by implementing safeguards, the teams ensured the production of high-quality notes using generative AI that were both consistent and actionable. 

“That was a ‘wow’ moment for us,” says Sameti.

After rolling out this solution, time spent on after-call tasks decreased by more than 50%, enhancing employee experience.

“We returned the time that Care Advocates spent taking notes during and after interactions back to the business, specifically to our Care Teams and operations’ leadership,” says Sameti. “This allows them to decide how they want to use the time, whether for training, taking another call, or any other purpose.”

Driving Member Engagement and Satisfaction

More importantly, Accolade’s Care Advocates are now able to focus on fully engaging with members and showing them empathy and understanding, instead of being burdened with notetaking.

“We’ve taken off their plate the cognitive load of trying to do multiple things at once. In a nutshell, we have leveled up our notes, saved the business time, and are fostering member engagement,” shares Sameti.

“Our Care Advocates report that it’s much easier to talk to members and stay present. This ability to better engage and drive member satisfaction is the perfect outcome for us.”

Increased Productivity and Cost Savings

Efficiency gains from reduced after-call work have also brought cost savings to Accolade. 

“When you reduce post-call activities, you’re essentially getting more out of your Care Advocates because you’ve removed some administrative work off their plate, which allows them to perform with higher productivity,” said Sameti

He adds that the implementation was more than just a cost containment exercise. “It was about leveling up and scaling our business and driving real value for our members and our customers. And this was a perfect example of how it all came together.”

Enhancing Member Records for Improved Care

By automatically generating call summaries and integrating them into its CRM system, Accolade ensures that each member’s record contains a concise yet comprehensive overview of their interactions.

Sameti says this not only streamlines record-keeping but also serves as a valuable tool for quality assurance. “These are safeguards in place to make sure that if there are discrepancies in the notes, you can actually listen to or see the interaction for yourself, and that’s all in the CRM system.”

With accurate and easily accessible summaries, Accolade has enhanced its ability to deliver personalized and efficient care—and improve member experiences.      Maintaining these high-quality notes also supports the company’s overall regulatory compliance, including adherence to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations for safeguarding patient data.

Empowering Future Innovation

This recent implementation was in addition to Accolade’s existing use of Observe.AI’s quality assurance, coaching, and post-interaction AI capabilities.

According to Sameti, the innovation of the Observe.AI conversation intelligence platform has empowered Accolade to achieve higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness in its operations. “Their support in driving proactive engagement with members has been crucial, especially as we rapidly scaled and expanded.”

Looking ahead, the company aims to integrate new AI-powered capabilities into its contact center operations.

“We’ve been discussing two exciting areas with the Observe.AI team,” shares Sameti. “First, there’s potential in conversational AI and looking beyond agent-centric solutions to deliver better services to our customers. Also, we’re interested in predictive modeling to gauge our customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score. It’s a promising direction we’re eager to explore further.”

Accolade is a personalized healthcare company that provides virtual primary care and mental health services, expert medical opinions, and care navigation to employers, health plans, and individuals.
Accolade sought to scale its operations while maintaining quality service, but the time-consuming manual notetaking process used by its Care Advocates was hindering operational efficiency. Balancing efficiency to provide personalized care was also proving to be challenging.
Through a partnership with Observe.AI, Accolade implemented Summarization AI to streamline notetaking processes and reduce after-call work while ensuring notes are consistent and actionable.
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
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