Healthcare WhatsApp Chatbot: Reasons Why This Industry Needs It

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WhatsApp Chatbot: Is This the Future of Healthcare?

Digital transformation programs in healthcare have quickly changed the way hospitals and medical centres work. Challenges like speed, customer service, agility, complexity, scale, and efficiency in healthcare have improved patient experience for the better with the help of automation, cloud systems, and proactive communications solutions such as WhatsApp chatbots.

Healthcare organizations are constantly looking for more efficient and better ways to manage patient bookings, repetitive tasks, provide instant responses to patients, treatment notifications, vaccination appointments, and more.

In the healthcare industry, communication is one of the most important factors to ensure that patients have the best care. A few examples include:

  • booking doctor appointments
  • delivering a diagnosis
  • handling inquiries fast
  • providing feedback
  • sharing patient information with other hospitals

In all these cases, communication is an integral part of managing patient care and treatments.

We believe that the WhatsApp chatbot is one of the new drivers in the digital transformation narrative for healthcare. Capable of providing instant responses and automating repetitive manual tasks, the bots can improve relationships between healthcare organizations, patients, and caregivers.

Let’s have a look at different use cases for WhatsApp bots in healthcare communications.

Healthcare Use Cases for WhatsApp Chatbot

Appointment reminders

A lot of the processes delivering messages to patients are now automated, efficient, and mobile. Monitoring patient satisfaction, cancellations, no-shows, and change in appointments cost healthcare institutions a fortune. For example, missed doctors’ appointments cost the NHS £216 million a year, with one in every 20 patients failing to turn up.

Reduce potential no-shows with automated messaging solutions. Bots are built to have one-on-one conversations with patients. And it can update existing appointments or send cancellation notifications.

Quick customer service resolutions

Customers expect quick customer service responses. While we all know customers have high expectations when dealing with airlines, retailers, hotels, utility companies, restaurants, and more, this also applies to healthcare professionals.

A WhatsApp chatbot can enable medical centres to deliver instant help to customer inquiries by automating conversations at scale. If you have frequently asked questions regarding doctor availability, opening hours, or test results, you can increase efficiency by mimicking one-on-one interactions. Bring a sense of personalization to add more value, and make sure you have an option to put patients in contact with a healthcare professional if requested.

Book Covid-19 vaccinations

The Government of India has recently put out a vaccination process in place for Covid-19. Anyone can register for the Covid vaccination via the MyGov chatbot on WhatsApp. Abhishek Singh, CEO of MyGov and NeGD, took to Twitter to announce the launch of this new service. “Now book vaccination slots by simply sending ‘Book Slot’ to @MyGovIndia Corona Helpdesk on @WhatsApp, verify OTP & follow the steps. Grateful to WhatsApp & @haptik for their continued support to build this chatbot,” he tweeted.

WhatsApp CEO, Will Cathcart also tweeted about the partnership adding that Covid-19 vaccination certificates can be downloaded via the app as well.

whatsapp bot healthcare tweet
Medical notification alerts

Pre and post consultations come with a myriad of questions and patient inquiries. A few questions might include diet, sleep, and medication routine. To free up medical consultant’s time, a chatbot is a better option because it can answer patient’s questions instantly, giving them peace of mind.

Addressing generic inquiries might be inconvenient for nurses and doctors, but not for a WhatsApp bot. Also, send appointment reminders closer to the date to reduce no-show doctor appointments. The patient journey offers the option to reschedule if the patient cannot arrive at the specified date and time.

Patient satisfaction

Patient satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction. People pay for their healthcare plans, whether that is national health systems or private care. The 2008/9 NHS budget roughly equated to a contribution of £1,980 per person in the UK.

Giving we pay so much for treatments and healthcare; patients expect to be treated well inside and outside the doctor’s office. A measure of care quality is to send regular surveys after each doctor visit to improve the level of customer care. Patient satisfaction leads to patient retention that improves the clinic’s reputation. With more hospitals competing for patients based on cost and quality of care, patient satisfaction scores are important to improve the patient-centric quality of healthcare.

Mental health counselling

We can all agree that the pandemic hit us hard. Our work-life changed, the usual day-to-day activities such as going for a walk, visiting friends, or going out became things of the past. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear were triggers for many mental health issues. People with pre-existing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety were more vulnerable to the Covid’s consequences.

In times like this, it’s important to offer as much help and support as possible. WhatsApp chatbots can offer remote mental health help, irrespective of where the patient is located and when they reach out for help.

Bot to human handover

The best thing about a WhatsApp chatbot for healthcare is to allow patients to quickly access patient support on emergency issues. For simple matters, health bots can solve patient inquiries, but for more complex tasks to handle, they are excellent handovers to the human medical team.

Strong communication plays a critical role when diagnosing patients. Collecting valuable medical patient information leads to better help and understanding when it gets picked up by a doctor or nurse. By reading the notes collected by the chat, it’s easier to assess the problem and diagnose it efficiently.

whatsapp chatbot healthcare

The Popularity of WhatsApp Business

In a recent report, Juniper found that chatbots are suitable for handling common inquiries such as healthcare diagnosis, where patients can select predefined answers which allow bots to assess health issues and recommend the next course of action for patients. By 2022, Juniper forecasts that chatbot-related tax savings in the healthcare sector are expected to reach $3.6 billion annually, having risen from just $2.8 million in 2017.

To show you just how popular WhatsApp is, we have put together a guide explaining how to get started and which use cases are currently developed.

Read More: WhatsApp Business Guide

Conclusion

Modern healthcare invests in digital technology and expanding its mobile communications reach to help as many patients as possible. WhatsApp chatbots can add a great benefit to healthcare systems that have started their digital transformation projects with improved access to information.

The idea to use this channel for healthcare is relatively new, but if you are looking to be one of the first to embrace accessible mobile technology, please get in touch with our team.

Contact Us


Published on: 9th September 2021


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