When Adventist HealthCare, a three-hospital system based in Gaithersburg, Maryland deployed a chatbot on its website in late 2018, it did so to connect with two distinct audiences. First, it asked the chatbot to give moms-to-be answers to their pregnancy and childbirth-related questions.
Next, Adventist used the chatbot to provide customer support for the August 2019 move of its 100-year-old Washington Adventist Hospital into a brand-new home, White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.
But those traditional chatbot applications soon took a back seat to the global pandemic. In January 2020, as emergency departments in Maryland began travel-screening patients for COVID-19, a multidisciplinary team at Adventist began to meet weekly to monitor the pandemic and plan community-related interventions. “With a chatbot already in place on the homepage of our website, we saw an immediate opportunity to leverage it as a knowledge base,” says Richard Rinaudot, digital marketing director for Adventist.
Rinaudot turned to his vendor, Loyal, an Atlanta-based tech firm and creator of the artificial intelligence-powered conversational chatbot called Guide. Working with Adventist and its other 21 hospital and health system clients, Loyal quickly created a solution to successfully assess and triage patients for COVID-19 risk, while also providing answers to healthcare consumers’ evolving series of pandemic-related questions.
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