TOPICS: Chatbot for Healthcare    Chatbot Optimization   

Chatbot For Healthcare - Challenges with Online Healthcare and How We Can Make A Win-Win Situation Using Chatbots

Online healthcare. Those two words may have raised eyebrows a couple of decades back, but today, it’s standard practice to look for medical assistance on the internet. However, while people go about asking Google about their symptoms, treatments and procedures, online healthcare providers are hard at work making sure that the information and assistance delivered online remains authentic and reliable. Chatbot development has emerged as a solid support system for online healthcare in this regard. Let’s take a look at how healthcare chatbots address some of the common challenges that the industry faces today.

Chatbot for healthcare

Mobile-oriented users:

Healthcare is a highly interactive industry. Or in other words, one that hinges on direct interactions with its customers. Where other businesses can treat customer support as one of their many verticals, healthcare establishments have to dedicate the bulk to their resources to it. One of the main challenges for online medical platforms involves catering to mobile-oriented customers.

In this mobile-first age, people are turning away from classic customer support tools, and opting for instant messaging instead. Whether it’s scheduling a meeting or conducting a banking transaction, keystrokes on a Healthcare Chatbot screen is the preferred way to go. And the same holds true for online healthcare. A modern medical website has to be ready with instant responses to questions and requests like:

"Need an appointment with a dermatologist."

"Which health insurance providers do you accept?"

"What do these symptoms mean?"

And so on. Building chatbots for their mobile websites and social media channels allows healthcare practices to stay relevant and grow their customer base.

Authenticity of information:

The average person conducting a Google search for medical conditions or symptoms, is immediately inundated with information. This information can range from articles by medical experts, all the way to casual forum discussions. Which of course means that there’s a good chance that the patient can end up making the wrong conclusion about their diagnosis or course of treatment. Not to mention all the stress that comes with juggling multiple opinions, most of which may not even come from genuine sources.

Healthcare websites looking to build a credible reputation in this sea of conflicting online information, have found building healthcare chatbots to be an excellent solution. When programmed with the right scripts and actions, healthcare chatbots can do a great job of putting patients at ease and assuring them that they’re getting authentic and relevant information about their condition.
Medical websites that create a chatbot also ensure that their visitors don’t have to navigate their way to the answers they need. Instead, the chat window becomes the go-to place for all their questions, leading to efficient interactions.

Budget constraints:

Small medical practices such as private clinics don’t usually have the manpower or the resources to give their patients the time and attention they’d like. The average clinic staff is usually overloaded with back office work, and can’t dedicate time to helping patients with tasks such as filling out forms. Healthcare chatbot development has turned out to be particularly helpful in such situations.
Without running up huge recurring costs, healthcare chatbots are able to serve as ultra-efficient administrative staff for private clinics that have their own websites. Thanks to these online chatbots, a few seconds is all it takes for a patient to book an appointment with a specialist, as can be seen in the following conversation on a dental practice website:

Chatbot: "Hello and welcome! I’m your personal medical assistant. How can I help you today?"

Patient: "I’d like to make an appointment."

Chatbot: "I can help you with scheduling an appointment. Have you booked an appointment with us before?"

Patient: "No."

Chatbot: "Please select your preferred date and time slot on the calendar below."

Patient complies.

Chatbot: "Would you like to pay now, or at the clinic?"

Patient: "At the clinic."

Chatbot: "To complete your booking for [date] and [time], please fill out the form below. I’m here in case you have any questions."

Information gaps:

With so many medical practices competing for the same pool of patients, an effective medical practice website must ensure that potential patients don’t lose interest seconds after arriving at the site. A lot of the time, potential patients are turned off by the lack of information about the clinic, its doctors, facilities, payment methods, etc. Clinics can fill these information gaps by building chatbots for their websites. These chatbots can provide visitors with all the information they need, without asking for too much time or effort in return.

For example, a patient doesn’t have to talk to multiple staff members to figure out which doctor they need to see.

Chatbot: "Can you select your symptoms from the list below, so I can match you with the right doctor?"

Patient selects the symptoms.

Chatbot: "Thank you. You can see our ENT specialist, Dr. Barrie. If you’d like to see a GP instead, you can also opt to do so."

Similarly, a patient can also check back in whenever they need an update about their appointment or scheduled procedure.

Chatbot: "How can I help you?"

Patient: "I made an appointment with Dr. Andrews last week. I’d like to check if it’s still on."

Chatbot: "Please provide your booking ID or email address so I can check that for you."

Patient does that.

Chatbot: "Your appointment for [procedure] is confirmed for tomorrow at 18:00hrs. Please note that dietary restrictions are applicable 6 hours prior to [procedure]. You can read about them here. Please let me know if you have any questions."

Given the wide range of challenges that it overcomes, healthcare chatbot development is quickly evolving into a necessity for modern medical practices. To learn more about building chatbots for healthcare websites or any other industry, keep reading our blog posts or get in touch with our team.