Hospitals around the world are facing pressure due to increasing patient numbers – and they need to embrace digital transformation in order to provide healthcare services more efficiently, while also scaling up and improving overall satisfaction.
Over the past few years, chatbots have helped several hospitals because they have opened the door for better patient experiences. Patients prefer talking to digital assistants because of the politeness and timely, quick response given by the digital assistants.
Taking advantage of patients preferring digital assistance, why not incorporate WhatsApp chatbots in your day-to-day patient care?
WhatsApp Business API for Healthcare
For a new channel or platform to gain prominence in an industry, it must solve recurring problems plaguing the current situation. The goal is to present a unified healthcare platform that will bring down overhead expenses and provide patients with a channel to seek help from, even in emergency situations.
WhatsApp Business API helps healthcare companies access resources and communicate with the vast community of users in a cost-efficient manner that automatically mimics everyday interactions and offers more personalization to patients as well as clients. The most common problems faced by patients and clients while dealing with healthcare organizations are things we take for granted — repeated delays, zero to no personalized attention, incapable patience service, and a gap between online and offline experience
Key Benefits of WhatsApp for Healthcare
WhatsApp virtual assistants have now become indispensable for several industries. However, in the healthcare industry, it is still a relatively new concept to incorporate in everyday life.
- Instant Resolution
With the WhatsApp chatbot, healthcare companies and institutions can provide instant resolutions to the queries and concerns of each and every client, regardless of what time of the day it is and where the person is located.
- Bot-to-Human Handover
Having seamless chatbot-to-human handover feature ensures that complex queries or concerns can be addressed by the customer support executive as and when required. This will help save time and maximize efficiency, allowing physicians to attend to people who have specialized queries, instead of spending hours answering routine questions that do not require them to think or strategize.
- Record Keeping
Increased patient demand and medical data require a more sophisticated data storage method. In today’s age of electronic health records, you can use WhatsApp chatbots to store such documents for extended periods of time. This helps doctors and patients access information when dealing with major medical crises.
- Easy Notifications
IHealthcare institutions can also use the chatbot to send broadcasts or notifications to patients and clients at scale. This can be done to remind patients of future appointments or inform them about a new healthcare product or service that they can make use of through the medical institution or company.
- Secured Data Transfer
Sending and receiving patient data is currently unsecured, which can result in the loss of confidential information. This can decrease the patient’s trust in your hospital. Well, you do not have to fret about this anymore
9 Key Use Cases of WhatsApp for Healthcare & Patient Engagement
Digital technology presents healthcare professionals with an unprecedented opportunity to serve clients conveniently and easily. Below are some key use cases of WhatsApp for healthcare & patient engagement:
- Automated Appointment Booking
Most hospital appointment systems are still phone-based, where the patient can get stuck in phone queues due to a busy network. This helplessness can quickly lead to frustration, especially for those desperate to talk to a doctor and in need for urgent healthcare. For such problems, WhatsApp can provide a sidestep.
Your patients can use WhatsApp appointment booking feature for healthcare where the chatbot will book an appointment depending on the type of health condition and the doctor’s availability. Also, chatbots can handle several appointments simultaneously. This will free up your phone lines for those who need to receive immediate medical attention.
2. Appointment Reminders
Did you know that hospitals nearly lose $150 million annually due to missed appointments? This is why it is essential to incorporate a system for sending automatic reminders to the patients at set intervals. And what better way to send reminders on a mobile application widely used worldwide? With WhatsApp chatbots, you can send automated messages without much effort and ensure that your patients make it to the hospital per appointment.
3. Patient Monitoring & Report Collection
One of the significant use cases of WhatsApp healthcare chatbots is easing the document-sharing process. Via WhatsApp, you can quickly request your patient’s history or current prescriptions before the appointment for review, and to plan the treatment. You can also store patient records in your database for future reference. Your doctors can also use WhatsApp to relay crucial medical information to their patients, such as advising blood tests or pending health check-ins.
4. Post-Consultation & Follow-Up
Suppose your doctor has to call their patients for a follow-up. Take another example where the doctor has suggested tests and calls for discussing reports later. In that case, your doctors can also opt for WhatsApp healthcare as discussion of reports and further suggestions may not always require face-to-face visits. In both cases, your doctors can use WhatsApp patient engagement chatbots.
5. Promotional Engagement
WhatsApp marketing is one of the best tools for connecting with patients and promoting your hospital. This is because, unlike other social networking sites, WhatsApp has a higher reach and shares unlimited text, audio, video, or images.
All you need is to know the contact number of the patients and build a database to send them messages. Then you can share all critical updates to your patients, for example, the opening of a new hospital franchisee.
6. Handle payments
You can allow your patients to make instant payments via WhatsApp, which has a Unified Payments Interface. This allows your patients to make payments via a virtual payment address, which is fast, easy, and available round-the-clock. Also, WhatsApp payments do not store your bank details, such as your account number or PIN. Therefore, handling payments via WhatsApp can help patients avoid the tiring multi-step manual payment processes.
7. Automated FAQs and WhatsApp Customer Support
It is not new for your staff to face daily calls from patients with repeated queries. WhatsApp healthcare chatbots can be easily trained to handle such questions, provide relevant data, maintain documents, or hand over calls to support teams, if necessary.
8. Mental Health Counseling
You can use WhatsApp healthcare to offer mental health counseling for patients that live in remote areas or cannot easily/regularly visit hospitals. Chatbots use NLP and patient data based training to generate context-based responses for counseling patients.
9. Take Feedback and Surveys From Patients
If you show empathy and compassion towards patients, it helps improve adherence to treatments, decreases malpractice and mistakes, and increases patient satisfaction. You can ask your patients what they think about your hospital services, doctors, other staff members, and overall experience through WhatsApp chatbots.
The Role of WhatsApp to Enhance Your Patient Experience
For health care organizations, ensuring that patients receive proper care takes more than just performing procedures and making diagnoses. Communication is a critical component in all the stages of the healthcare process. Whether it is a health center sharing patient information with another hospital, or a group of doctors and specialists at a hospital discussing the right treatment procedure for their patients, there is always a need for effective communication in the health sector.