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Practice spotlight: Digestive Health Services uses GASTRO BOT to ease scheduling burden

Patients can make appointments via text message, thereby reducing the amount of time office staff spend scheduling. 
Getting connected to new opportunities
Getting connected to new opportunities

Digestive Health Specialists (DHS), an Amsurg Center in Massachusetts and member of the AGA-Rx.Health Digital Transformation Initiative, has adopted an innovative digital solution to address open access scheduling, referrals from primary care providers as well as patient recall. Dr. Geetanjali Akerkar’s practice noticed a lot of patients with overdue procedures due to COVID. Traditionally, DHS would send reminder postcards to the patients’ homes and call patients multiple times when they did not respond. The same burdensome process was used for patients referred to their practice for endoscopy by primary care providers.

During COVID, Dr. Akerkar’s practice started to use a GASTRO BOT that was designed and executed by Rx.Health as part of the AGA-Rx.Health Digital Transformation Initiative. DHS prescribed the BOT to patients’ cell phones and it reminded patients that their colonoscopy was due. The BOT would then ask them for their basic details like their name, DOB and their preferred appointment time. This creative approach reduced the cost associated with sending postcards and schedulers time conducting initial calls to ask patients about their preferred appointment time.

DHS also printed business cards (see below) with information on how this GASTRO BOT can be accessed by patients and sent it to primary care providers (PCP) in their network. The PCPs then provided patients with this business card with details about the GASTRO BOT when they referred their patients to DHS. This workflow was effective and minimized referral leaks.

GASTRO BOT is now available to any AGA member practice free of cost for 2020. You can enroll by sending an email to [email protected] or by texting GI to “64722” and entering your details.

"Our ability to prescribe GASTRO BOT to referrals, patients needing recall as well as making it available on our website has given our new and existing patients a 24x7x365 method of seamlessly requesting appointments for office visits, video visits or endoscopy, saving us precious staff resources during COVID. I can’t imagine our practice going back to tedious back and forth with reminders and phone tags."
Dr. Geetanjali Akerkar
Geetanjali Akerkar, MD, AGAF
Gastro bot business card