Conversational AI is helping a whole new generation of businesses overcome staff shortages. This is most evident in industries like healthcare. Due to the pandemic and economic factors, professions like nursing are now in crisis mode. Shortages abound all throughout the country.
Current State of the Healthcare Industry
Americans and the healthcare industry itself are at odds right now. Even the human beings communicating aren’t always seeing eye-to-eye. COVID-19 expedited the inevitable confrontation between Americans and their own healthcare system. Right now, there are dozens of issues that patients have with their care in America, but here are a few of the glaring issues facing American hospitals and private practices:
- Doctor and nurse shortages,
- Underpaid doctors and nurses,
- Fewer people going into healthcare occupations,
- Rising costs,
Americans spend more and get less from their healthcare system than any other wealthy nation. That’s not a very pleasing fact to patients. Norway has free healthcare for all citizens and Norwegians live about 83 years on average. Compare that to the spectacularly more expensive American healthcare system. Patients here pay more and live only about 76 years. None of these problems are pleasant to confront.
Five Ways AI is Helping to Calm the Healthcare Crisis
Americans know that there is a healthcare crisis, but it’s up to doctors and hospitals to solve this issue. For now, many healthcare businesses are mitigating the crisis by implementing conversational AI software. It’s a small but important step in letting customers know that they’re not forgotten during this trying time. Here’s what AI is good at in the healthcare industry.
1. Great for Booking
Sometimes the first step to good healthcare is simply getting to the doctor in the first place. This can be challenging if a doctor’s office is experiencing staff shortages. Conversational AI is capable of setting up appointments for patients, and it can also remind them when to show up. This clears other office staff to handle more complex issues.
2. Sharing Basic Facts
Patients who have a healthcare crisis sometimes just need more information on what their condition might mean to them and their life. Supportive conversational AI can quickly give patients information about a diagnosis and general info. Even though this doesn’t treat a patient, it gives them peace of mind and the ability to let a doctor know what’s on their mind.
3. Communicating with Staff
Patients aren’t the only ones with questions. Staff often need to know about important issues, too. For example, if a staff member needs to know their next pay date, conversational AI can share that with them immediately. If a staff member needs to know their next shift, AI can share this with them, too. A well-informed staff means a lot to any healthcare organization today.
4. Reaching out to Patients
Appointment reminders and general welfare checks are important. With staff shortages, humans often don’t have time to call and check on patients who haven’t been into the office for awhile or who might need to schedule an annual wellness exam. If patients have a central account they can use to check on health issues, this chatbot might be able to respond to them when they log into their account.
5. Medicine Management
Conversational AI is capable of keeping track of a patient’s medicine schedule and list of medicines. This can be important later on if a patient has questions about these medicines. Responses can be tailored to the patient’s individual medicines and then delivered to help them learn more about when, how, and why to take the medication.
Using Conversational AI to Calm the Healthcare Crisis
American doctors, nurses, accountants, and receptionists need relief right now. AI is one of the simplest and most cost-effective supports available to them. It’s capable of handling basic inquiries about scheduling, diagnostic procedures, and aftercare, and it’s widely available for customers right now.
Even if a doctor’s office hasn’t implemented AI yet, it might be time to do so. It’s going to be by far cheaper than hiring several more staff members that may or may not be able to handle the stress of the ongoing healthcare crisis. As more healthcare organizations adopt AI, customers will also feel a sense of relief that they at least have a 24/7 stream of information to access when they’re worried about their health.
There is good evidence that AI has a future in healthcare. It’s an industry where accurate information is essential, even if it’s just a casual contact between the patient and their providers. Medical appointments, medicine schedules, and basic facts about disease are all things that AI is good at tracking and sharing.