An emerging story: What data tell us about the types of questions being asked around COVID-19

Up until March, COVID-19 was a news story that did not impact us here in the United States. Then the state of Washington, which had the first case back in January 31st, broke out in the early days of March. Since then we’ve seen a wave of cases spread throughout the major cities in the US and we’re now living a reality that many of us never imagined.

At Loyal we want to share the Guide chatbot conversation data we’re seeing in real time with the general public. Information that we think can be especially helpful for health systems who might be wondering what topics they should focus on when developing content and preparing their communications. We’re excited to share this with everyone and hope that it’s valuable in making key decisions going forward.

Early questions were general or around Screening and Testing

We could see early signs of the growing coronavirus concern within our customer’s communities as “COVID” related questions started appearing in Guide conversations. But they were general questions and our team hadn’t quite established how to label our conversation data with more granularity (more to come in a separate blog post about that later). The rise in questions around screening, symptoms related questions has led to an increase in symptom-checker digital experiences.

  • 76% of the conversations centered around General Information
  • 5.3% of questions were specific to Screening or about Symptoms
  • 2.7% were around Treatment
  • 1.3% were around More Information

46 Topics now dominate the COVID landscape

By April 14th, the varying types of questions we received burst into 46 different categories! Our strong team of Analysts, led by our Director of Customer Success, Leslie Parrish, have done a fantastic job of getting specific with the data. This makes all the difference, since categorizing questions into what they’re about can help teams identify gaps in their content and alleviate concerns and worry from the general public.

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Your takeaway (for now!)

46 topics can seem daunting. Importantly, we recommend having the following information and resources available for your patients and visitors on your website.

  • Information about Screening or Testing options in your local area
  • Setup a Risk Assessment if possible
  • Q&A around appointments that are non-COVID related
  • A resource guide for your constituents to Donate
  • Boilerplate responses to informational questions like Handwashing, Facemasks and Hygiene

This is a constantly changing situation. We’re already starting to see some of our new conversations revolve around coming back into hospitals and what a “return to normal” situation looks like for prospective patients.