7 Ways a Chatbot Can Help Your Medical Practice
Emerging trends such as patient consumerization, the shift in focus towards 360-degree wellbeing, increase in service demand, and the skyrocketing costs of quality healthcare services are driving the adoption of new technologies in the healthcare industry.
One such technology that has taken the medical industry by storm is the use of medical chatbots. This technology harnesses the power of natural language processing and speech recognition to improve practitioner-patient engagement.
Ahead, we'll define what a medical chatbot is and look at ways it can help your medical practice.
What Is a Doctor Chatbot?
Medical/Doctor chatbots are AI-powered conversational tools that help healthcare providers, patients, and insurance companies to connect conveniently. Today, more medical practices are adopting the use of chatbots to better interact with their patients and provide them with better healthcare services. According to a recent study, the global medical chatbot market will reach $967.7 million by 2027. This study underscores the growing importance of chatbots in the healthcare sector.
So what is driving this exponential growth? What do chatbots offer medical practitioners? Below are some of the benefits medical practices accrue from chatbots:
Improvement in patient satisfaction: Through the robotic assistance offered by this application, medical practices can overcome inefficiencies caused by staff shortages. In so doing, it helps ensure that no patient is left unattended.
Easily manipulable for doctors and patients: Chatbot for healthcare has a conversational interface that is not only accessible but also easy to use. As such, patients and practitioners can conveniently communicate via this application.
It is easily scalable: It enables medical practitioners to deliver excellent customer service without the need to acquire additional resources.
Health monitoring: Chatbots enable doctors to provide their patients with ongoing post-discharge virtual medical care.
Instantaneous access to medical care: Medical chatbots can connect patients to a specialist quickly in emergencies. Additionally, it can alert the specialist of the ongoing changes in the patient's condition.
It offers better organization of patient pathways.
Offers solutions for simple medical issues by recommending the medication that you can buy over the counter.
Chatbot Uses in the Medical Industry
Now that you know what a medical chatbot is and what its potential benefits are, here are seven instances where medical practices can use chatbots:
1. Answering the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
One of the essential elements of medical practice's website is the FAQ page. This section is dedicated to providing patients with answers to general health questions. Today, many healthcare providers have transformed this section into an interactive chatbot tool to enhance its ability to provide patients with answers to general questions more engagingly.
For instance, a bot can answer questions such as what payment tariffs are available for patients, what documents are required for a given type of treatment, and how much of a given procedure is covered by insurance.
In a nutshell, when a chatbot is incorporated in the FAQ section, it acts as a one-stop shop for answering all general healthcare questions. As such, it eliminates the need for patients to call the hospital or clinic for information.
2. Scheduling Medical Appointments
Chatbots can assist patients in gaining an appointment with their doctor. Patients simply enter in their information, and the request is sent to the office manager. The office manager then finds an available appointment within their system and sets it up with the patient. Overall, this helps limit the amount of inbound calls that an office may experience. It also helps office managers to deliver top notch service.
3. Providing Medical Information
Medical information is essential in helping doctors assess a patient's medical condition. Chatbot algorithms can evaluate various healthcare data such as diagnostics, markers, disease symptoms, available treatments, and more. They have this capability because of the public datasets used to train them. Various conversational chatbots have different intelligence levels. As such, each chatbot provides information on various medical conditions based on pre-defined labels integrated into them during the training process.
4. Symptom Checking
Today, healthcare providers are using chatbots that enable users to check their symptoms and understand their health condition from the comfort of their homes. Such chatbots harness the power of Natural Language Processing to understand patient questions regardless of input variations. This feature is crucial for producing accurate responses, which are vital in symptom checkers. With all the information provided by the chatbot, the user can determine whether it's essential to seek professional treatment or whether over-the-counter medication will do.
The symptom-checking ability of bots results in a win-win situation—doctors can attend to patients who need urgent medical treatment. On the other hand, patients can save time and money by treating minor medical conditions with over-the-counter medication.
5. Tracking the Health of Patients
Some patients, such as those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, typically require medical assistance regularly. Such patients can benefit from doctor chatbots since these bots will enable them to track their health conditions.
Health providers can actualize the tracking of patient health by using chatbots to create a link with their patients. The bot will provide a comprehensive account of the tracked health condition and help evaluate the effectiveness of the prescribed management medication.
6. Hiring and Training Employees
Besides helping improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery, chatbots can also help medical practices with the hiring and training of new personnel.
Large healthcare facilities usually hire and board new employees constantly. Using conventional hiring and training processes leads to these facilities generating piles of paperwork that need to be completed and credentials that need to be double-checked for errors.
When such facilities adopt chatbots for the hiring and training process, the human resource management process becomes much more manageable. The Human Resource Manager (HRM) can use chatbots to send files to new employees and automatically remind them to complete various forms. Additionally, HRM can use the bots to automate other tasks such as maternity leaves, vacation time, and other HR functions.
7. Claims and Billing
One of the most daunting tasks medical practices have to contend with is dealing with claims, medical bills, and insurance companies. Fortunately, chatbots can help execute these tasks. Medical chatbots can assess existing coverage and help with the filing and tracking of claims. Moreover, bots can help medical practitioners efficiently manage billing inquiries.
Recently, healthcare and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are connecting to improve provider and patient experience. While at the moment, chatbots in healthcare can perform tasks such as billing, symptom checking, and scheduling appointments, with the rapid advancement in technology, there is a potential for these tools to be used to complete more advanced medical tasks.
Nonetheless, even in their current state, chatbots are helping reduce overhead costs and staff load, provide a 24/7 conversation channel, and improve patient service delivery. Get started with chatbots and healthcare in AI today. Contact DearDoc for cloud-based innovative technologies that will ensure that you provide better care for your patients.