The Healthcare Chatbot

What You Need to Know and Why

Although chatbots are popping up everywhere, there is often confusion about what they do and why it matters. Here’s a quick discussion on the use of chatbots in healthcare applications.


A chatbot is a software application powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology designed to automate time-consuming, repetitive and routine tasks. Chatbots act as conversationalists capable of simulating natural language (for example, English or Spanish) to interact in a human-like way with multiple people. Chatbots can also incorporate visual aids such as forms, educational documents and videos to augment a conversation.


In healthcare, chatbots are commonly deployed as “virtual assistants” or “virtual humans”. They proactively engage with patients to offload administrative tasks traditionally handled by physicians, nurses, clinicians and care team members. If a patient has a complicated problem to resolve, a healthcare employee can take over the chat to assist the individual.

With minimal human support, providers can use chatbots day and night to guide patients to perform a series of self-empowering activities, which include:
Schedule and Change Appointments
Intake Process
Prepare for
Prescription Refills
Test Results
Review After-Visit
Arrange Video
Connect with
In-Network Providers
Gaps in Care
Check It Out


Knowing whether you’re communicating with a human being or a custom-built chatbot during these digitally transitional times can be challenging. There are two types of chatbots comparable to human intelligence that respond to queries based on smart algorithms:
  • Rules-Based Chatbots
    Are structured to provide pre-determined answers to questions based on rules they’ve been “trained” on.
  • AI Chatbots
    These chatbots go beyond simply answering questions. They learn from repeated interactions with users to generate usually correct answers to complex and unseen queries.
By incorporating chatbots into their patient intake workflow, First Choice Neurology was able to save 18 minutes per patient visit.


The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified clinician burnout and contributed to the Great Resignation. Critical worker shortages are choking the U.S. healthcare system, and use of chatbots is one way to relieve clinicians of administrative work so they can focus on patients.
  • High healthcare worker turnover persists.
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment estimates indicate that the healthcare sector has lost nearly half a million workers since February 2020.
  • The pain of labor loss spans all healthcare sectors.
    Inpatient, community clinics, ambulatory practices,  medical specialties, and post-acute settings all are experiencing staffing shortages.
In the “State of Automation 2022 Report,” a national survey of 1,000 American healthcare professionals, respondents on average said that their staff spends 57.5% of their time on repetitive tasks such as data entry and documentation. Employee burnout emerged as a top concern due to the administrative burden.  

These issues can be costly, impacting physician retention, health system profitability, and, most importantly, patient outcomes. McKinsey & Company reports that the worsening clinical labor shortage is a significant contributor to the projected increase in healthcare costs over the next five years.  

What’s more, today’s consumer has adopted digital engagement in other aspects of their life. They expect seamless transactions and engagement online as part of clinical care. Patients are smarter, more skeptical, and have more options in healthcare. Now more than ever, healthcare organizations need to attract, retain, and continually satisfy a high patient volume wherever they are.


Healthcare chatbots provide a tireless, constant source of 24/7 convenience and companionship for consumers. Patients want instant answers at the first point of contact, not generic information prompting them to figure out its impact. Chatbots respond immediately to patient-initiated requests and reach out to provide and collect data. Patients entrust sharing their personal information thanks to the anonymity associated with chats, which lessens the fear of being judged.  
These same benefits make chatbots further useful for chatbot-to-staff interactions that contribute to increasing profitability and practice efficiencies while improving the patient experience.


A healthcare chatbot is a cure to deliver much-needed relief and resources to revitalize and help overwhelmed healthcare workers, promoting life-work balance to reduce burnout and improve retention. The accelerated adoption of telehealth has given patients and providers a new willingness to use digital tools, resulting in new models of virtual care.

The healthcare industry is embracing chatbot technology, with the market expected to grow $3.62 billion by 2030. S019 that 77% of surveyed call agents reported they use technology like chatbots to automate routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. This helps to increase revenue by reducing operational costs. Current refinement of regulatory processes is expected to expand patient access and reimbursement of telehealth services, further increasing chatbot demand.  

With the influence of AI, a custom-built healthcare chatbot is considered a game-changer for improving customer service. By modernizing the healthcare experience, they can increase revenue and efficiencies by keeping satisfied patients in-network and driving incremental revenue to close gaps in care.  


These six must-have features can help a healthcare chatbot be transformative patient engagement success and sustainability:
  • Self-service tools.
    Chatbots that provide these empowerment tools minimize ownership costs and support rapid learning cycles and improvement in chatbot interactions. These no-code tools empower provider end users to design and quickly modify unique chatbot workflows as organizations learn and optimize use.
  • EHR integration
    Your chatbot should integrate with any electronic health record-agnostic system to further minimize staff burden and streamline shared data collection.
  • Easy customization
    Services that help you identify, implement and refine your chatbot use for a multitude of use cases within your workflow are pure gold. The more personalized and customized the chatbot, the more efficient the AI tool is in meeting patient needs and behavioral patterns.
  • Immediate, proven results
    Do expect automating tasks to provide immediate results. Capture pre and post-measurement of results and use chatbot analytics to help you measure and prove ROI.
  • Best Practices
    Creating an effective chatbot is achievable by following proven guidance that explains how best to use the AI tool to ensure patients and staff are served adequately and precisely. Remember ─ user experience is everything!
  • Designed for HIPAA-Compliance
    A healthcare chatbot must provide a HIPAA-secure experience addressing the complexity of healthcare privacy and security requirements handling sensitive health and medical data including protected health information (PHI).

Launch Your Chatbot Strategy

Contact us today to discuss your challenges and allow us to develop a personalized solution for you.

Thank you, we've received your inquiry.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.