As we’ve seen in recent times, the healthcare system is always vulnerable to stress as demand increases and costs rise. Clinics, labs, and doctor’s offices everywhere face pressure to meet the large influx of patients while still delivering a high quality of service. Implementation of simple chatbots has already become common, but these tend to be difficult to interact with and are limited in their capabilities — causing frustration for patients and employees alike.
It’s no surprise that the vast majority of online patient complaints center around customer service and not the actual quality of care. If you manage one of these stressed medical institutions, however, there’s hope in Conversational AI. These “Super BOTS” run circles around the outdated chatbots of the past, seeking to provide a personable, humanlike experience that’s efficient for you and comforting for your patients. There are many different applications of conversational AI in a healthcare context:
#1 – Patient Authentication
One of the ways that conversational AI takes pressure off your call centers is by automating the patient authentication process. By interacting with simple text messages, the bot can identify patient intent and then route them to the appropriate department or caregiver.
This is made possible by AI components such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is a branch of AI that seeks to improve computers’ understanding of human language. Not only that, but the bots can interpret and manipulate language as well. This provides a humanlike experience for the patient rather than a robotic interaction and increases satisfaction on both ends, as you’ll find yourself dealing with less frustrated people.
#2 – Appointment Scheduling
Missed appointments cost your institution time and money, but so does having your employees manually call patients to schedule appointments and follow up. Almost all your patients schedule appointments over the phone, an area that conversational AI is revolutionizing.
The BOTS can handle all aspects of the scheduling process — setting the time, modifying appointments, or making cancellations, all without needing to involve any of your human workers. This frees them up to do other, more intensive tasks and also eliminates the worry of human error. Less missed appointments means more money saved for you, and automating this process will increase the overall efficiency of your office.
#3 – Billing and Collections
Conversational AI can also handle the financial side of your business, allowing patients to make payments over the phone with voice or text. AI isn’t limited to text only, as speech and voice recognition are both fast-growing areas of its development. This is another way a repetitive task can be automated in your healthcare business.
The system can collect payments and also notify patients of any outstanding charges on their account. Due to conversational AI’s more humanlike presentation, which adapts and improves with each interaction, the system will be something that can build trust with your patients while providing you with speed and efficiency far above human capabilities.
#4 – Account Management
Patient access to member services can be streamlined through intelligent automation as well. Through a self-service system over the phone, your patients can easily update or change any of the personal information you have for them on record.
They can even order medical supplies with simple voice commands, all understood and processed with the efficiency and convenience that only AI can provide. This further frees up your phone lines for more urgent matters and reduces the amount of time that the front desk spends retrieving and modifying patients’ files manually — ultimately cutting down wait times in the office as well.
#5 – Patient Outreach
Outreach is a crucial function of any medical institution because it establishes a strong sense of community and trust between you and your patients. Conversational AI can be deployed to help ramp up your patient outreach by giving them reminders about upcoming appointments or prescriptions that need refilling.
You can even configure the system to give patients general wellness tips. For example, every time cold and flu season rolls around, your AI can ask patients if they want to schedule an appointment for a flu shot.
#6 – Symptoms Triage
Intelligent automation can identify the urgency of care, and in the time of COVID-19, such a function’s usefulness immediately comes into focus. Your AI system could divert all COVID-19 related calls to text messages and guide the patient through a questionnaire in order to determine urgency.
From there, based on the user’s answers, the AI would advise to receive a callback from a doctor, go to the emergency room, or call 911 in the highest risk cases. This not only reduces the stress on your call lines but also increases the speed at which patients can be tended to.
Conversational AI – Helping Healthcare Thrive
As experts continue to foretell a strain on the healthcare system and its workers, intelligent automation solutions are becoming more and more of a critical investment to consider. If you’re running a medical institution, chances are you’ve already felt the stress associated with increased volume and demand for services. Conversational AI Staff Augmentation is a great way to take the strain off your business processes, optimize your workforce, and take advantage of the many other benefits AI has to offer.