What is IVR? Learn How Interactive Voice Response Systems Can Improve Patient Care

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The initials IVR stand for Interactive Voice Response. IVR is an innovation in psychiatric health care. It enables psychiatrists to evaluate patients with the use of a telephone or computer instead of personally meeting with them, which is not always possible. The IVR programs are being delivered to a variety of facilities to be used in evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, education monitoring, screening and self-treatment. Healthcare Technology Systems, Inc. (HTS) is the company that has developed this technological advance in psychiatric care. HTS also provides consultations and lectures to train health care professionals in a variety of treatment techniques for behavioral and mood disorders.

The Creators of IVR Technology

HTS is a new company. John H. Greist, MD is the Chief Executive Officer, James W. Jefferson, MD is President and David J. Katzelnick, MD is Chairman of the Board of HTS. They are three of the leading psychiatrists in the Madison, WI area and have a great deal of experience in their field. Vice President for Operations is Keith Wenzel. Wenzel was Director of Management Information Systems and Applied Research at the Dean Foundation, before accepting the position with HTS.

How IVR Works

The IVR system is a computer program that allows interactive sessions with patients without a doctor having to be present. The programmed responses can identify a variety of behavioral and mood disorders and the patient is able to communicate with the system for advice and help. It is much like the interactive phone systems used by some businesses, although more sophisticated. These professionals in the health care business know what questions to ask and what answers to give so the interaction can work efficiently. IVR can be used in a variety of settings and will patients of any age.


Computer technology is advancing all fields of modern medicine from surgery to psychiatry. Innovations in treatment and patient care, via computers and computer programs like IVR, can ultimately reduce costs and use the patient/doctor time more efficiently. New technology companies are opening up with improved methods of caring for patients. Being able to identify a problem is the quickest way to find a solution, whether in health care of any other field. Programs like IVR offer solutions to location and time constraints that have delayed treatment for some patients in the past.