News • Digital assistance

Chatbot campaign for flu shots bolsters patient response rate by 30%

Brett Swenson, MD, deployed a chatbot to improve engagement from EHRs to triage and found real success in reaching patients with information about flu shots.

Communicating with patients can be tough. Reminder pamphlets often go straight into the rubbish and emails are deleted before they are read. But one doctor found that chatbots could be a key to patient outreach. Brett Swenson, MD, is no stranger to digital health. He runs a concierge practice in Arizona and started working with EMRs about 20 years ago when they were first introduced. He said he is a keen adopter of new technology. So when he heard about using chatbots at a conference a little over a year ago he decided to dig a little deeper. A number of vendors are offering chatbots for healthcare, notably Babylon Health Buoy Health, Catalia Health, Florence, Memora Health, SapientX, SimplifiMed and Your.MD, among others.

Source: Pixabay/WikiImages

Chatbots can be used in a number of different ways. One is to triage patients. In this scenario, the patient tells the bot about his or her symptoms and the bot responds with further options. Another way bots can be used is for administrative purposes, such as scheduling and communicating with patients. Swenson decided using the bots for administrative tasks was the best decision for his practice and he went with a product from SimplifiMed specifically to help facilitate communication between patients and clinicians.

The response rate was dramatic

Brett Swenson

A key example of when his practice used this function was its annual flu initiative. During flu season the practice typically sent out pamphlets and emails to remind patients to get their shots. “We designed a campaign around the chatbot and sent a message invitation to all in the practice saying flu shots are in, are you interested in getting one?” Swenson said. “The response rate was dramatic.” That response rate, in fact, jumped from around one percent when the practice used other channels to 30 percent with texting. The time it took patients to respond was also much faster than usual. “When you look at response rates the one [medium] that has nearly a 100 percent read rate is a text message as compared to an email or other channels,” Swenson said. “The chatbot really takes advantage of that.”  

What’s more, chatbots are also helping improve value-based care, according to Swenson. “We are responsible for providing a whole host of services and improving the health of our patients and being able to document all of the outreach that we need to do,” Swenson said. The practice has recently switched over to athenahealth so the chatbot can now integrate with the EMR system. In the future he said the practice will expand the chatbot use to some of the triage purposes.


Source: HIMSS/Laura Lovett

26.01.2018

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Call for robust standards

How will AI impact doctor-patient relationships?

Clear ethical standards and guidance are needed for AI in health settings to protect the relationship of trust between doctors and patients and to safeguard human rights, according to a new report.

Photo

News • Surface treatment

Preventing deadly hospital infections without antibiotics

Hospital-acquired infections are dangerous for patients and costly for clinics. A novel surface treatment could help improve the safety of medical devices and ease the economic burden.

Photo

News • Effective prevention

Covid-19 vaccination greatly reduces infectious viral load

By comparing the infectious viral load caused by ancestral SARS-CoV-2 as well as by the Delta and Omicron variants, scientists highlight the benefits of vaccination.

Related products

Agfa HealthCare – Rubee for AI

Artificial Intelligence

Agfa HealthCare – Rubee for AI

Agfa HealthCare
Associates of Cape Cod – Fungitell STAT Assay

Identification/Susceptibility

Associates of Cape Cod – Fungitell STAT Assay

Associates of Cape Cod Europe GmbH
Beckman Coulter – Remisol Advance

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Beckman Coulter – Remisol Advance

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
Canon – Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine for MR

Artificial Intelligence

Canon – Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine for MR

Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.
Subscribe to Newsletter