Saturday, October 23Digital Marketing Journals

Appointment Booking Chatbot for Hospitals / Clinics | by Pragnakalp Techlabs | Jul, 2021


Pragnakalp Techlabs

This pandemic has really taught us so many lessons. Among all the bad things that happened during these terrible times, one thing that proved to be a savior to mankind is the innovation and investment done in the Healthcare IT sector. After the contribution of our frontline workers, Healthcare IT has proved to be the biggest asset a country would ask for.

The last few years have been the most encouraging when it comes to innovation in the Healthcare IT sector. Be it telemedicine, Video consultation, Online pharmacies, or rather the entire digital ecosystem of Healthcare. Those innovations came to the rescue in the tough times and now it seems to become increasingly prevalent in different healthcare environments in order to increase the efficiency, quality of care delivered and help reduce costs.

Healthcare hasn’t been an early adopter when it comes to new automation technology, and the number will increase even more if you take patient experience tech into consideration. This low adaptation level may not necessarily be due to the resistance from the consumer/patient side. Rather, the scenario is quite different, patients may not like to call just for an appointment. Yet, this is the situation in so many cases.

Study shows, If given a chance, a considerable number of people between the ages of 30 and 45 do not want to call a hospital or navigate through confusing looking online appointment booking for doctor’s appointments of a new or followup visit. According to research. They prefer a medium/platform where they don’t need to wait in a queue and ask their query in their own language.

One such perhaps a small but the most pivotal technology is the chatbot. A chatbot is being widely accepted across industries and we are seeing more and more healthcare institutes have started using chatbots to effectively serve their patients.

A chatbot is essentially a computer program/software which simulates and processes human conversation (either written or spoken), enabling users to interact through multiple chat channels such as website, Facebook Messenger, Google Assistant, Telegram, etc. Chatbots are very popular to carry out some of the most common yet crucial tasks such as customer service, FAQs, Lead Generation, Appointment booking without any human intervention.

Looking at the scenario where many clinics or hospitals want to have a system where they can easily manage patients’ appointments more effectively, we have developed a Hospital Appointment booking chatbot, which will help clinics or hospitals to manage their appointments.

We have been developing Appointment booking chatbots for various businesses which can help them to manage their appointments and improve customer experience. We have already developed one generic appointment booking chatbot which can be helpful to various businesses. But to manage the specific requirements and intricacy a Healthcare industry brings, we have designed an Appointment booking chatbot that will help Hospitals, Doctors clinics, Dentists, Therapy centers, and anyone who wants to automate their Appointments Booking system.

Hospital Appointment booking chatbot can be integrated with multiple chat channels such as Website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Google Assistant. We will integrate this chatbot on more chat channels such as SMS, Telephone (just as we did in PK Scheduler) in near future.

As far as the technological aspect of the chatbot is concerned, we have used the Dialogflow chatbot building platform to build this bot. Dialogflow brings its own strong NLP which makes the bot more intelligent. It also provides easy integration with multiple chat channels, which makes life easier for both developer and service provider at the time of integrating to their own preferred platform.

Choosing the right appointment management system is very important. Whatever the appointment management system you choose, it should be super easy to use for you or your employee. We have used Google Calendar to store the appointment. Google Calendar is super easy to use and accessible across the world. We have integrated this chatbot with Google Calendar, whenever a user booked an appointment it gets stored on google calendar.

Here are some of the key features and benefits offered by the Hospital Appointment booking chatbot.

  • Schedule Appointment
  • Reschedule Appointment
  • Delete Appointment
  • Answer FAQs
  • Send Reminder
  • Google Calendar Integration
  • Multiple platform integration [Website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Assistant (subjected to approval)
  • Available 24×7
  • Improve patient engagement
  • Decrease Human resource dependency
  • Reduce operational cost

Access Website demo: Hospital Appointment Booking Chatbot

If someone is managing a multispeciality hospital or someone is having their own clinic, managing appointments is the most crucial and quite annoying task. In the era where everyone is going for automation, having 24hrs dedicated to managing appointments hardly makes sense.

  1. When you compare expenses incurred in the form of the salary of an average individual (who is employed in managing appointments 24X7) with the cost of an Appointment booking chatbot, the difference becomes significant enough that a chatbot can be self-nominated.
  2. We, humans, tend to get influenced by the external environment, the performance may deteriorate in the bottleneck situation. Whereas a chatbot has the capability of performing SOPs in every situation.
  3. The current situation is such that we cannot afford the large gathering, systematic patient handling is the major task in the current situation. Appointment scheduling chatbot assists management by providing appointments to only permissible limits of patients.
  4. An appointment Booking chatbot is especially useful for Doctors who struggle to keep their business running on time, while also helping patients to schedule, reschedule or delete appointments.

Feedback gathering is the first step towards achieving greater customer/patient service. Chatbot makes the feedback gathering easy and exciting for the service provider as well as the customer/patient over filling out the feedback form.

Customer service executives have always been under pressure to deliver accurate and reliable information to the maximum number of patients/customers in the most customer-friendly manner, but achieving the highest customer satisfaction is quite a challenging task. We humans can attend to one customer at a time. So as a result, many customers have to wait in a queue, either to get an answer to their query or to schedule their appointment. Having been able to handle multiple customers by providing answers to the user query, chatbot eases the burden from customer executives so that they can do more complex tasks.

We have mentioned the patient experience a couple of times in our article, but wonder what that means? I am sure many would have already guessed it right. Similar to Customer experience (as marketing people keep iterating) patient experience involves a whole lot of things. Besides the care availability of health plans, Doctors and Nurses expertise and support, and other health care facilities, several healthcare delivery aspects such as quick and easy appointment scheduling system, easy access to information, complaint handling, and resolving mechanism plays an important role in patient experience.

A chatbot can be an instrumental system when it comes to achieving a better patient experience.

A source of quick and reliable response:

  • Hospital Appointment Chatbot allows patients to find out some of the key information quickly. Also, it helps customers to find out what are the available appointments on any given day.
  • Getting the answer quickly without waiting in the line increases the patient experience.

Chatbot being a programmed software has some limitations as well.

  • They can only perform those tasks that the chatbot is trained for. The chatbot may not understand each human context.
  • Functionality limitations may disappoint the user, as users tend to carry higher expectations.
  • It becomes important to convey what users can achieve through the chatbot for a better user experience.

Even with some limitations, chatbots are flourishing in every sector be it a food ordering chatbot to customer service chatbot, chatbots are getting popular in carrying out some of the routing simple tasks so that businesses can focus on some of the more complex tasks.

Chatbot’s scope of applications in the Healthcare sector is huge. It’s a matter of time when a novel technology will soon become the new normal and an early adopter will enjoy the early mover advantage in terms of increased patient engagement, improved revenues, reduced operating costs, and, most importantly: seamless streamlined operations.

Do get in touch with us at [email protected], if you have any feedback/questions regarding the Hospital Appointment booking chatbot. We would be happy to help you.

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