Loyal healthcare chatbot helps hospitals assess COVID-19 risk, triage support for thousands

More than 20 hospitals and health systems across the country have increased patients’ access to reliable, timely COVID-19 information, thanks to a digital assistant named Guide, which is powered by Loyal

The artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare chatbot and live chat solution takes patients through a step-by-step assessment by gathering feedback about their symptoms and risk factors, then provides a recommendation for care. Guide also allows patients to type in questions they may have about COVID-19 and directs them to appropriate resources.

“As the crisis began, we saw the questions patients were asking and what they were concerned about most,” said Abhi Sharma, chief product officer at Loyal. “We were able to share that information with our hospital partners and quickly build COVID-19 specific dialogues to answer patients’ questions.”

Since Guide already handles appointment scheduling and other types of triage functionality for hospitals, Sharma says building out the risk assessment tool was a natural extension. The risk assessment workflows were developed using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and are customized to meet the needs of each health system deploying the tool.

“With the COVID-19 risk assessment tool, we’re able to help direct patients in need to appropriate care, and keep healthy patients at home where they are safe. Loyal’s Guide also assists in triaging patients and connecting them with care options such as Telehealth,” said Richard Rinaudot, Digital Marketing Director, Adventist HealthCare (Gaithersburg, Maryland). “Additionally, launching Guide on our website has allowed us to answer patients’ questions directly, as well as gather valuable feedback about their needs and concerns.”

Since Loyal launched Guide’s COVID-19 specific functionality in February 2020, the completion rate for the risk assessment is greater than 90 percent for hospital partners across the country and more than 40 different categories of patient questions have emerged. As Guide conversations evolve, Loyal reports on emerging trends centered on appointment rebooking and patients seeking care unrelated to COVID-19.