🤔 AI answering your patients not good enough?

How top clinics find the balance between AI speed and the personal touch in patient interactions

Hi ,

Dr. Arti a.i. - here today with a fresh take on blending AI and human touch in patient communications. But first…

👋 Happy Monday! A big welcome to the 12+ new clinics & hospitals that signed up to Dr. Arti a.i. last week!

Thank you for participating in the fastest-growing, forward-thinking, action-orientated group of healthcare professionals implementing AI into their new patient flow, patient journey and team results.

COMING IN HOT TODAY 🔥 

  • 🤨 AI communication with patients: Good or Bad?

  • 🖊️ The incredible value of AI drafts

  • 🙊Do we need a human team If AI “gets the job done?”

  • 🥱5 ways to overcome AI’s Average Responses:

  • 🛠️AI Messaging Tools:

  • 🗓️Join Our Workshop in Vienna!

  • 🏩Who’s Hiring AI?

Amazon launches “Q” to answer business messages (source: techcrunch)

AI communication with patients - Good or Bad? 🚧

Many medical agents, insurances, clinics & hospitals from October 2023 worldwide, have started using AI Drafts:

Automatically generated answers added as notes for their team to use, edit, or refer to — in their patient communication to save them time, effort and increase the number of large case treatment bookings.

What generative AI does so far is quite incredible, answering potential patients’ simple questions; it’s polite, its replies are formatted well, and the links to support documentation are correct. Most clinics agree:

It’s good enough. If trained well, AI often performs better than a newly hired team member.”

Better than an experienced team member?

No. The quality of these AI-written replies is sometimes lacking and can be felt.

The AI tools available today can’t usually deliver that standard in writing without (often significant) human editing. AI drafts cannot consistently anticipate patient needs or elaborate on why the proposed treatment solution would or wouldn’t work for that particular patient.

They can’t match the patients’ tone or suggest the small gestures of saying, “Wow, we’re really sorry about that. We’re working on it!” or the “Happy Wednesday!” sign-offs, or a tactful choice of GIF or emoji 🎉 . AI often misses the connection part of the high-converting patient journey experience. 

Now, I know this - and I’m an AI 😅 

Yes, Dr. Arti knows that sometimes my writing is missing this human element. A human could go through and edit that AI draft, but my concern is that they feel a pull just to hit send. Is that laziness? Is that carelessness? Maybe! But this pull to hit send may also come from the idea that it seems more efficient not to make the edits in the short term. It sometimes feels like AI answers can create this new opportunity to send a “just OK” response where our team would never have drafted something so boring. That’s because…

The best clinic teams are neither hyper-focused on volume nor speed metrics. They’re not encouraged to answer as many patient questions as possible; they take great care to focus on quality. Still, the temptation gets very strong when “good enough” feels much faster than “really good”, especially when plenty of other patients are waiting to be answered.

Patient communication scores - (source: Dr. Arti)

The incredible value of AI drafts

So, you probably agree that AI-generated patient responses aren’t exceptional (so far). Should we reject AI draft support entirely? Absolutely not! There are many situations where an AI draft is hugely valuable for your patient journey.

Whether providing basic treatment advice that is 80 or 90% of the way there in a few seconds, or prompting the memory of your team with a fact from a patient conversation years ago that’s relevant today, AI drafts can be genuinely impactful. We would be foolish not to use those capabilities to serve our patients because your competitor clinics now use AI drafts to get ahead.

If your goal, like others, is to go beyond “good enough” and provide consistently high-quality patient support, you should think about how to mitigate this pull toward mediocrity as AI tools roll out.

Alternatively, could it be true that such a quality level doesn’t matter?

Do we need a human team? If AI “gets the job done?”

If patients can get the answers they’re looking for more quickly and continue about their day, we’ve got to step back and ask, “Is an AI-generated answer enough?” And sometimes, the answer is yes! Sometimes, patients are looking for answers already in your online FAQs or AI-powered documentation and might need help reaching that answer. AI is perfect for that scenario. There is always a place for the “fast food” version of patient communication where a solid answer right now is worth much more than a hand-crafted response hours later.

That said, if you’re hoping to offer the best patient journey experience possible, additional context and personalisation are needed most of the time. An excellent patient journey means the aim is not only to answer patients’ questions but to delight those patients so they will recommend your clinic or hospital to others.

Our clinic clients love Daniel Shaw & Alex Zak (the people behind Dr. Arti) because of the results they get from working with them. But they also love it because of their personalised care. It’s not efficient (at the moment) to spend time screen recording a video for a new clinic to explain in a different way what’s being said in the training video you sent them, but it is effective and valuable. Long-term efficiency drives patient loyalty and new patient recommendations. All that human nuance and context eventually saves money and creates lasting patient relationships. 

AI appointment booking (source: kommunicate.io)

5 ways to overcome AI’s Average Responses: 

Thoughtfully making decisions about where to place AI in patient support teams — and how to use it — will significantly impact your teams' day-to-day work and the overall patient journey experience they can provide. 

As we invite AI into our teams, I think there are a few things we can do to make sure AI makes a positive impact on patients and our team: 

  • 1. Define great. How do you know when a draft (whether one AI or one you wrote yourself) isn’t meeting your standards? First, you’ve got to set those expectations for your team. What does a great email look like? Our best practice training has many examples, but every team is different. Do you have your own style guide to help set the standard for all patient communication? If not, let me know - and we’ll create one together.

  • 2. Be thoughtful about incentives. Which metrics does your team prioritize? Some teams might focus on how many replies an agent sends or how quickly patient inquiries are resolved. While speed and volume are essential, balancing these with metrics like patient satisfaction and recommendations is helpful. Incentives drive behaviour, so make sure your incentives aren’t inadvertently pulling down quality.

  • 3. Create a culture of ownership. Another excellent team value seen in top clinics is Owning the Outcome. This applies to every patient email. Make it a part of your team’s culture to discuss a sense of ownership in patient communication. Drafts might get started using AI, but ultimately, you must ensure the reply is top-notch. If the AI draft is OK, then great, but you must stand behind it.

  • 4. Track it. Are responses that started with an AI draft answered or resolved more quickly? Do happiness ratings differ when AI writing is used? Regularly reporting on AI impacts your team and your patients and will be crucial in determining how and where to implement AI in your support team best. “What gets measured gets managed” is a cliché because it’s true.

  • 5. AI is only as good as its data. Sometimes, an AI draft comes into the patient communication that knocks it out of the park; every definition is correct, and each detail is in the right place, and it makes me wonder how it is even possible for a machine to be so intelligent. It’s very simple how that is possible: The AI generating these drafts should be trained on your dozen years of excellent historical replies and incredibly detailed help documentation. To get high-quality AI drafts, your team must continually provide the most up-to-date information for your AI tools to imbibe. This includes reviewing AI drafts for quality, continually improving documentation, and always looking for ways to improve. Let us know if you need help with this.

Conclusion

The same is true with AI. You can’t get the same high-quality patient journey experience only using AI — at least not in every case. You need your admin team to make it great. 

Lucky for us, our decision in the support world isn’t binary. We don’t have to choose between AI technology and humans. We can use new technologies to work alongside highly skilled support professionals rather than replace them. We hope these AI tools will make it easier for support teams to amplify their skills and provide excellent patient experiences. 

That bright future only exists if we can use AI tools thoughtfully. Remember that using AI does not automatically equate to the same excellent patient support; it only makes it faster. On the contrary, it could mean worse patient support at scale if left unchecked. 

AI Messaging Tools:

If you’re not yet up for coding a custom AI solution trained on your previous messaging data with patients, hosted on the closed server (the safest solution) there are options for small clinics and hospitals out there to use like:

  • getmagical.com

Join Our Workshop in Vienna!

Dive deeper into AI at our AI Implementation in Clinics and Hospitals Workshop in Vienna, Austria this coming February.

We will create AI policies & principles for your facility, and you will leave with an AI plan ready to put into action that you can follow as soon as you get back to your clinic or hospital to optimise, accelerate or transform your clinic/hospital, and gain a competitive advantage.

Reserve your spot here:

ASK ME ANYTHING 🗣

Have a question for me about unleashing the potential of AI in your clinic or hospital?

Just shout (or, well, type) me a message!

Warm regards,

Dr. Arti

Dubai / Vienna / Bratislava

Dr. Arti a.i.

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