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The Next Evolution in Patient Communication – Chatbots

Posted on November 23, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been fascinated by chatbots since they started to become popular a year or so ago. I checked out the Wikipedia page for a definition of chatbots and they offered this definition:

a chat robot is a type of conversational agent, a computer program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with one or more human users via auditory or textual methods.

When looking at that page, I was reminded that chatbots existed back in my old IRC (internet relay chat…any one else remember spending time on IRC?) days as well. The problem with chatbots in the IRC days is that they were extremely basic. I guess that’s why I didn’t naturally remember that IRC had chatbots. The chatbots and AI behind the chatbots have progressed so much that they barely resemble each other.

We’re even starting to see chatbots evolve so that they can be used in healthcare. One example of this is a company called SimplifiMed. What I liked about SimplifiMed is that they have an open platform that can be used to implement a chatbot based on any protocol a hospital, health system, payer, etc would like to deploy. They’re making chatbots accessible to anyone that wants to implement one.

While I think chatbots are really interesting and can have an impact for good on healthcare, it’s going to take some work to develop the right protocols to make them effective. A big part of that is going to know how to train the chatbot to communicate with non-adherent patients in an effective way. That’s where the secret sauce really lies. Certainly, a chatbot takes communication and automation to a new level. However, training it to work effectively is going to be where the real value will be created.

I’m excited to see the next evolution of communication and automation come to healthcare. Done correctly, chatbots can save healthcare a lot of money and remove menial tasks that don’t need to be done by a human. They can also escalate tasks to the right person where human intervention is necessary.

Gratitude for the #HITsm Community

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When I wrote about the passing of the #HITsm torch to Healthcare Scene, I was so grateful thinking of the hundreds of incredible people in the #HITsm community that have impacted my life for good. There are too many stories to share here.

With that in mind, I knew that one key to my role in taking over the #HITsm Twitter chat was going to be to involve as many members of the #HITsm community as possible. I’ve already reached out and gotten commitments from @CancerGeek, @theGr8Chalupa, @ShimCode, @SarahBennight, and @Colin_Hung to help me curate the #HITsm hosts. I realized that if I did it alone, I would get sub-optimal results. However, by involving multiple people from a wide variety of perspectives we’d get a wide-ranging, diverse set of perspectives hosting the #HITsm chat.

While this is a great first step, I was inspired by @Matt_R_Fisher and @Resultant to open it up even more. Basically, let’s make it so the #HITsm Brain Trust can crowdsource the topics and hosts as much as possible. Matt and Joe also suggested that maybe out of these submissions we could create a set of topics that serve as a framework for discussions throughout the year. We’ll see what gets submitted, but I think it’s an interesting idea to have a number of themes that we cover in #HITsm throughout the year.

With this type of openness in mind, I created this form where anyone and everyone can participate by submitting topics and hosts for the #HITsm chat. Depending on the number of submissions, we may roll this into a survey where people can vote for topics and hosts they’d like to see most. We’ll still sprinkle in unique topics that might not be as popular though. Help us out and submit any ideas you have for #HITsm hosts and topics below:

Assuming the spam bots stay away, we’ve also made the submissions public so you can review what’s already been submitted before submitting your own. If you’d prefer to send us something privately, you can always connect with us on the Healthcare Scene contact us page or on Twitter (@techguy and @healthcarescene).

On this Thanksgiving week in the US, I also just wanted to say Thank You to all of the #HITsm community. The work we’re doing is important. Let’s all help each other to take what we’re doing to the next level. Healthcare needs us.