How Healthcare Providers can Leverage Chatbots to Engage with Patients

Robby Gupta

Chatbots have become the new norm in customer service. Industries ranging from manufacturing to engineering have already begun to implement chatbot to augment their customer service potential.

Chatbots in the healthcare industry are in their dormant stage for now. It’s a common fallacy that chatbots can’t address the unique needs of different patients. Chatbots can play a major role in assisting healthcare providers apart from medical analyses and services. Even though they can’t accurately analyze a patient’s unique lifestyle, they can assist in administrative tasks, routine checkups, helpdesks, appointment scheduling, etc. to save time for the clinicians and enable them to focus on more important tasks.

With the help of chatbots, healthcare providers can deliver personalized services to patients. They can provide query resolution 24×7 and answer common questions based on predetermined factors.

Use cases of chatbots in healthcare industry

There are several chatbots available that can perform a wide range of actions. They automate patient support, save time, and smoothen patient interactions with healthcare providers.

Appointment Scheduling
Appointment scheduling is a cumbersome task for both patients and clinicians. Chatbots are an effective answer to this problem. Patients can easily book and schedule appointments over texts and messaging with the help of chatbots. They can book an appointment online and some chatbots even track their visit history and follow-up with the patient for more information.

Chatbots offer a personalized experience while scheduling an appointment. They can also offer reminders to the patients about the appointments. Patients will be shown the available timings and they can make a payment online to book the visit.

Regular Health Monitoring
After the checkup, if the doctors can’t be at the disposal of the patient at any time, chatbots and virtual assistants can continuously interact with the patient and monitor their health. If a patient needs a resolution to any medical query, the chatbot can easily provide that. Chatbots also remind patients to stick to their medication schedule, encourage to follow a fitness regime, and provide important information on our health.

Some chatbots also send reminders to get the prescription refilled and remind of routine checkups. They are especially helpful for those who frequently forget to take their pills and medication. 

Better Patient Support
Patients with chronic illnesses and others as well may need 24×7 support from healthcare providers. In such cases, chatbots come in handy as they don’t sleep and provide answers to common questions instantly. They can also be equipped to solve minor problems that patients face in their health.

Even though chatbots cannot provide a proper diagnosis, they can track the health of a patient and notify the clinician in case of a critical situation. This reduces the number of calls that the patients have to make to the healthcare providers, enabling them to focus on important tasks that will enhance the overall quality of care delivery.

Research and Treatment
Today, data plays a major role in every industry. Earlier, doctors had limited data from which they could assess the health of a patient and create a treatment plan. Chatbots enable doctors to get detailed information about a patient by gathering data. With the help of chatbots and machine learning, real-time and actionable insights can be drawn from the data which can help doctors in making informed decisions.

Doctors don’t have enough time to analyze the data of each patient and prepare an action plan. AI and chatbots can scan through the data and allow doctors to make recommendations from that data. They can extract information that will save a lot of time in the emergency cases and the doctors can quickly take the appropriate steps.

Payment & Billing
Everyone knows that billing is one of the most tiresome processes while connecting with a healthcare provider. Chatbots in healthcare industry can play a major role in making this entire process hassle-free. They can be integrated with the back-end of the system to take care of billing, inventory, insurance, etc. and generate invoices based on this information.

These chatbots can be built with algorithms that answer specific billing related queries of the patients. They can also ask questions related to insurance, treatment, claims, etc. to make an accurate bill and receive the payments.

Emergency Care
Emergencies are frequent in healthcare and it is essential to make quick decisions. Sometimes, due to lack of information or other factors, these decisions can result in serious consequences for a patient. To ease this process, chatbots come in handy with their pool of information they have collected from the patient. Since doctors can’t take all the information by themselves, chatbots work as an assistant to accumulate the information and provide it at the right time in emergencies.

By integrating a chatbot, healthcare providers can mitigate the time they spend in searching patient records for the required information. They also reduce the chances of error in gathering information and provide a holistic and accurate view of the patient’s health condition. This helps the doctors and clinicians to be well-informed during emergencies and take the right treatment course as quickly as possible. 

From scheduling appointments to after treatment follow-up, chatbots can play a vital role in uplifting the healthcare industry. They can accomplish a major task of creating trust between the doctors and patients by providing accurate information, being available 24×7, and educating the patient. Even though there are still obstacles to its adoption, chatbots have the potential to transform the entire healthcare sector. 

Healthcare industry is still run by traditional methods. However, with more and more people moving towards technology, telemedicine, etc., it can be safe to say that chatbots will have a bright future. They will enhance the communication process and when equipped with AI and Machine Learning, it might also be possible that they provide a diagnosis of the health condition before the treatment begins. TechJini is a leading healthcare solutions provider that can augment your care delivery process through chatbot integration. Contact us today to kickstart your journey of better patient engagement with chatbots.

about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.