Use cases for conversational AI and chatbots for Healthcare
Difficult times and low margins have prompted healthcare providers to find new ways of optimizing processes. Hospitals and clinics are now exploring automation as a game-changer for improving operations throughout the organization, with benefits both staff and patients. New technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation enabled by AI chatbots, are key for achieving their goals of reducing costs and improving patient care.
Our partners at Element Blue have compiled a list of use-cases for deploying conversational AI chatbots and RPA in hospitals and clinics that help staff with the increasing number of repetitive tasks, but also provide a superior experience to patients.
1. Appointment Scheduling
Managing appointments is one of the more tasking operations in the hospital. Although scheduling systems are in use, many patients still find it difficult to navigate the scheduling systems. Some of the tools lack flexibility and make it impossible for hospitals to hide their backend/internal schedules intended only for staff.
With a messaging interface, the website/app visitors can easily access a chatbot. The chatbot can schedule appointments based on the doctor’s availability. In addition, specific chatbots can be designed to interact with CRM systems like Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce to help staff track visits and follow-up appointments for a particular patient, while keeping the information handy for future reference. Chatbots may even collect and process co-payments to further streamline the process.
2. Serving Patient Healthcare Information
Pre- and post-consults result in a multitude of frequently asked questions/general inquiries about diet, sleep routines, medications, and more. These questions are important, but seldom need input from a busy provider who has many more patients to attend to. “How can I get a prescription?” “How long is someone contagious after a viral infection?” “When is the next vaccination for my 2-year-old baby?” “Is there a specific diet to be followed during my medication period?” “How often should I change my bandages?”
Questions like these are very important, but they may be answered without a specialist. A chatbot is able to walk the patient through post-op procedures, inform him about what to expect, and apprise him when to make contact for medical help. The chatbot also remembers conversations and can report the nature of the patient’s questions to the provider. This type of information is invaluable to the patient and sets-up the provider and patient for a better consultation.
A chatbot trained for FAQs can address these generic patient queries. Because the chatbot is live 24x7x365 on a website, it can address patients’ inquiries at their convenience and, if help is needed, provide a connection to a live agent.
3. Symptom Assessment
A symptom checker bot, such as Conversa, can be the first line of contact between the patient and a hospital. The chatbot is capable of asking relevant questions and understanding symptoms. The platform automates care along the way by helping to identify high-risk patients and placing them in touch with a healthcare provider via phone call, telehealth, e-visit, or in-person appointment.
During COVID, chatbots aided in patient triage by guiding them to useful information, directing them about how to receive help, and assisting them to find vaccination locations. A chatbot can also help patients to shortlist relevant doctors/physicians and schedule an appointment. This way, no matter the time of the day, the chatbot greets the patient with relevant diagnostic questions in a conversational manner and provides a warm and reassuring customer experience at the beginning of the patient’s journey with the caregiver. With the help of a healthcare chatbot, caregivers can access necessary details beforehand – such as frequency and severity of symptoms – which helps them to gain a better understanding of the patient’s current health situation.