3 Ways Symptom Checkers are Improving Patient Experiences at Children's Hospitals

Brittanie Pervier
August 3, 2021

Improving patient experiences is a high priority for children's hospitals across the globe. Providing quick and clear communication after-hours can often be a challenge. Long wait times and limited access are some of the most frustrating obstacles parents face. However, many pediatric healthcare organizations are now leveraging the power of symptom checkers to help improve patient experiences. 

Symptom checkers can increase patient access by providing guidance and visit qualification checks 24 hours a day. They break down barriers by providing patients with the information they need most during those times when it can be difficult to reach a provider. 

How Do Symptom Checkers Work? 

Symptom checkers are used as patient-facing remote triage tools. When patients share their symptoms, they are evaluated to determine potential conditions and severity. This process helps the patient to identify what next steps are needed and if they should schedule a visit. These digital tools are helping hospitals improve patient experiences by addressing some of their toughest obstacles. 

1. Preventing Self-Diagnosis

One of the most troubling challenges that healthcare organizations are facing today is the alarming number of people that attempt to self-diagnose before seeking professional care. Recent studies have found that nearly 70% of Americans use the internet as a self-diagnosis tool. This is not exclusive to adults (1). Studies have also shown that 43% of mothers also use the internet to diagnose their children (2). This creates a variety of problems for both patients and providers. One of the most harmful is when misdiagnosis leads to the delay of care of someone with a serious condition. 

Symptom checkers are now helping prevent misdiagnosis in these situations. Symptom checkers are designed to help evaluate symptoms and potential conditions. They also assist patients in determining the next best steps to take. 

2. Increasing Patient Engagement and Accessibility After Hours

Symptom checkers are also helping children's hospitals engage with patients sooner and at times when providers may not be available by phone. Parents need access and assistance whenever a potential problem arises. Sometimes symptoms appear at night or when hospitals are busy. Hospitals that use symptom checkers can now engage with patients 24 hours a day and provide them with guidance when they may otherwise have to wait. 

3. Improving Patient Wait Times

Patient wait times continuously fluctuate throughout the day depending on community needs. However, emergency rooms often have some of the longest wait times in the evenings and nights (3). This is also a time where parents have limited access to their primary providers and makes it difficult for families to determine whether their children's symptoms warrant a visit to the ER. 

The severity of symptoms can be challenging to evaluate without guidance and can lead to unnecessary visits increasing patient wait times. About 30% of emergency room visits in a recent study were found to be unnecessary (4). Children's hospitals can now leverage symptom checkers to help patients conduct visit qualification checks before they ever leave home. This can significantly reduce wait times and prevent unnecessary visits to emergency care facilities.  

Improving Patient Experiences with Quincy and Isabel

QliqSOFT'S Healthcare Chatbot Quincy now integrates with Isabel, one of the most trusted symptom checkers in the industry. By integrating our conversational AI platform with this HIPAA-compliant triage tool children's healthcare organizations can now offer real-time visit qualification services. Isabel is programmed to recognize more than 6,000 different conditions. It is also NLP and AI-powered enabling patients to use texting to describe their symptoms. 

All customers using Quincy now have the option to include symptom checking in their chatbots. QliqSOFT also provides open access to its unique chatbot design studio enabling customers to easily add Isabel functions to their chatbot. This process can be completed in seconds without coding and can be deployed directly to patients through a variety of flexible access points including SMS, Email, QR code, and more.

Learn how your organizations can leverage Quincy the Healthcare Chatbot to improve patient experiences. 

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The Author
Brittanie Pervier

Brittanie is a passionate marketing specialist and content creator from Washington state. She has a background in both education and healthcare. Brittanie enjoys researching, crafting, and sharing stories that highlight how modern technology is transforming the healthcare industry.

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