Healthcare Chatbots: A Complete Guide

Clearstep Media
Clearstep Team

Healthcare chatbots are changing the way that patients and healthcare systems interact. 

Chatbots can guide patients throughout their entire experience, from virtual triage to post-appointment follow-up.

Do you want to learn more about how AI chatbots revolutionize patient care?

We will talk about chatbots, how healthcare systems use them, their benefits, and their advantages to patients and healthcare systems.

Related: 5 Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling for Your Health System

How Chatbots Are Used in Healthcare

Chatbots can perform many functions in healthcare that can be of benefit to both patient-consumers and healthcare systems.

Chatbot Uses in Healthcare

  • Virtual Triage - Quickly and accurately diagnose symptoms and route their care appropriately.
  • Compare Prices - Provide transparent pricing before treatment to give patients options for care.
  • Scheduling Appointments - Make it easy for patients to search for and schedule appointments without playing phone tag or enduring long wait times.
  • Check Insurance Eligibility - Give patients the ability to see which providers are in-network or out of network. 
  • Automate Clinical Workflows - Automate complex clinical workflows like prescription refills, paying bills, and scheduling follow-up appointments.
  • Post Discharge Monitoring - Track patients’ symptoms after discharge to see if they improve or worsen. If they decline, it automatically triggers the following steps and the escalation of care.
  • Post-Diagnosis Support - Assist patients with the next steps following a diagnosis with automated check-ins and care reminders.
  • Post COVID Care - Check on patients with positive COVID tests to see if their condition is improving or worsening. If it’s deteriorating, automatically provide the next steps for treatment.
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The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

We’ve seen how Amazon, Netflix, and Google use big data and machine learning to know what we watch, buy, search, and then provide targeted suggestions. 

The healthcare industry is looking for artificial intelligence to provide significant improvements across all areas of healthcare. Health care systems are looking for AI to supplement and enhance the work that physicians and staff are currently providing, not to replace them. 

There is also evidence that AI algorithms perform as well, if not better, than humans in correlating symptoms and analyzing medical images. 

According to the National Institute of Health, it is estimated that using AI applications can cut US annual healthcare costs by $150 billion in 2026.  

Related: Pushing the Boundaries of Virtual Care

The Advantages of Healthcare Chatbots

Healthcare chatbots have many advantages for both patients and healthcare systems. Here are some of the top benefits that chatbots provide daily.  

Top Advantages of Chatbots for Healthcare

  • Reduction In Waiting Times - Chatbots enable patients to get immediate responses and guidance without picking up a phone, sending an email, or visiting a doctor or ER.
  • Timely Medical Advice and Care Routing - Chatbots can quickly and accurately triage and route care appropriately. The ability to virtually guide patient consumers to the right care can save health care systems time, money, and resources for unnecessary visits.
  • Scalable Customer Service - Chatbots are a great way to augment existing live agent capabilities for healthcare systems. Chatbots work great for patients, too, since they won’t have to deal with long hold times and inaccurate care routing.
  • Daily Reminders for Medications - It’s not uncommon for patients to have difficulties remembering to take their medications as prescribed. Chatbots can send a personal medication reminder to a patient about their prescriptions.
  • Appointment Scheduling - It can be a hassle for patients and healthcare staff to schedule appointments. Chatbots can allow patients to search for, be triaged to and book the the right care appointment, in the right setting.
  • Incredible Cost Savings - Patients can save time and money by not going on unnecessary doctor trips. Health care systems can rely on chatbots to automate much of the time-consuming administrative and scheduling issues that are a part of day-to-day operations.
  • Patient Feedback - Chatbots can automatically collect customer feedback, reducing the need for follow-up calls and customer surveys.
  • Automated Billing - You can configure many chatbots to help a patient verify their insurance coverage and automate the sending and remittance of invoices.

Using Chatbots to Fight a Global Pandemic

One of the best ways chatbots can help fight the global pandemic is by assisting in the war against misinformation. Unfortunately, since the pandemic’s beginning, there’s been much misinformation about the virus. 

Most of the misinformation has been harmless, but some can be harmful. AI chatbots can provide accurate information on the prevention, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19 while debunking myths about it.

Another way that chatbots can help fight the pandemic is to check in digitally with patients after positive tests to see if their condition is improving or declining. If it declines, the chatbot can automatically provide the next steps for care. 

Do you want to know how Clearstep’s Smart Care Routing™ helps increase patient satisfaction and retention? Click here to learn more about Clearstep’s patient-centric approach!

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Clearstep is the Clear Choice in Clinical AI Chat Solutions

The use of healthcare chatbots has exploded in the past decade. Both patients and health care systems enjoy the convenience, time-saving, and cost benefits of using chatbots to automate everyday interactions.

Clearstep’s Smart Care Routing™ platform and its three components, Virtual Triage, Patient Services, and Clinical Journeys, provide patient-centric care and increase patient satisfaction and retention. 

Smart Care Routing™ is configurable, can be white labeled, and can integrate seamlessly with your existing technology stack.

Let Smart Care Routing™ help empower your strategy and operations to convert more prospects to patients. While it helps reduce staff burdens and burnout from unnecessary call volume and administrative tasks. 

Related: How AI Chat Increases Health Systems’ Clinical Capacity and Builds Brand Loyalty

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