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Dr. Chatbot Will See You Now

by Sara Foster | Nov 29, 2017

Note: This is a summary of one of the concurrent sessions from the CRM and Analytics track at the recent 21st Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Austin, TX.

Margaret Sabin, President and CEO of Centura Health, opened her HCIC presentation with a very personal story.

Two of her siblings died, due to bad lifestyle choices.

“Healthcare in America can be judgmental and punitive toward people who make poor lifestyle choices,” Sabin says. “That’s why I wanted to spend the rest of my career running great hospitals and providing education and information to keep people living healthy, active lives. I want to nurture the health of people in my community.”

With a focus on population health, Centura Health partnered with a local Colorado school district to see if they could improve the lives of educators. Sabin, a big believer of one-to-one personal health coaches, thought that educators would see a benefit from meeting with a personal coach.

She was wrong.

Educators kept canceling appointments. They complained they didn’t have enough time. Or that making the appointment caused them stress. Or they were worried about privacy.

But instead of giving up on the coaching idea, Sabin tweaked it. With the help of Healthgrades, she turned toward chatbot technology. Healthgrades helped design a chatbot that is simple and convenient to use. There’s no log-in or download required. Plus, it’s always on.

“With a chatbot, we meet patients where they are,” says Donna Siegfried, senior director of project manager at Healthgrades. “It’s voice-activated, conversational and it’s a great way to increase customer service. People are looking for better ways to have a conversation — and a chatbot is one way to do that.”

In fact, by 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationships with companies without interacting with a human. (Cue creepy sci-fi music.)

But educators didn’t find the chatbot (named Kate) creepy at all. In fact, they loved “her” (or…it?). Here were some of the results:

  • 3 times more people participated with the chatbot vs. in-person coaching program.
  • 80% of people said they were doing better at the end of the program than at the beginning.
  • 50% reported an improvement in stress levels.
Curious about trying it out? Text “Try a Chat” to 720-410-6448.
  • chatbot
  • population health
  • conferences presentations speaking
  • #HCIC17

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