Healthcare providers are having to navigate an increasingly complex and complicated industry. Having to negotiate with healthcare insurance providers, staying up to date and informed on modern treatment methods, ensuring the privacy and accessibility of client data are all challenges medical practices face on a daily basis. When you add actually caring for patients and providing treatment in the office, there’s very little bandwidth remaining for handling customer service and the logistics of following up with patients, scheduling, and other administrative tasks that help to keep the doors open. In order to add the additional bandwidth, and ultimately save money along the bottom line, more and more healthcare providers are leveraging AI-driven chatbots. In this article, Charlotte-based healthcare IT services provider Apex Technology shows how a chatbot driven by strong healthcare informatics can save a practice money over time by minimizing revenue loss and maximizing the patient experience.
A Medical Practice is Still a Business That Needs to Convert Leads
Without a steady flow of patients, a medical practice is just a building full of bored healthcare providers. Traditional community outreach and referral marketing is an expensive undertaking, so using a chatbot to engage the community across social media pages, websites, and other platforms, medical practices can actually increase client engagement. Increased engagement with a well-designed chatbot can lead to both an increased flow of patients as well as increased patient retention.
Chatbots work in the background answer patient inquiries at all hours of the day and night, and can be configured to set appointments and issue appointment reminders. This is especially important when a single missed appointment can cost the practice on average $200. That might not seem like much if it were something that didn’t happen often, but it does; missed appointments cost the industry more than $150 billion a year. And if a patient misses an appointment, they’re 70% less likely to return within 18 months. If initial contact with the chatbot ensures an appointment is made, and the automated systems working behind the scenes send out reminders and verify appointments, the savings per year to your practice would be significant.
Reducing the Costs of Customer Service While Maximizing Billable Time With Patients
People take their healthcare fairly seriously, and often have a lot of questions when it comes to your medical practice, medications, treatment, and medical equipment. For the questions that are redundant and often repeated, a chatbot is a much more affordable and appropriate solution to providing the answers to clients, as it wouldn’t make sense to hire and maintain a team of expensive customer service representatives for such questions.
When it comes to the more complex and complicated medical inquiries, these can often take significant time and resources for a customer service representative to research and provide the answer. However, for a chatbot tied into numerous medical databases, client records, answering questions about medication interactions for prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, symptoms and related illnesses, and any number of technical medical and health inquiries patients might have that aren’t specific to an upcoming appointment or an emergency situation is as easy as a database inquiry and retrieving the answer for the patient.
By not bogging down your office staff with redundant or complicated inquiries, everyone can focus on caring for patients, maximizing efficiency in the office, and the flow of customers through the practice. This in turn creates an increased flow in revenue and an overall satisfaction with the practice that will keep patients coming back as well as build positive referrals and word of mouth throughout the local community.
Improving Your Healthcare IT is Our Business
At Apex Technology, we understand that the Charlotte healthcare landscape is highly competitive and your medical practice needs access to the best tools in the industry today. Our familiarity and expertise with building healthcare IT solutions compliant with HIPAA requirements that are also focused on maximizing the client experience gives us the knowledge to help you build a healthcare informatics driven chatbot that can easily save your practice money over time. Contact our agency and let’s chat about chatbots and the other services we provide to healthcare practices.