How ophthalmologists can use ChatGPT to automatically book appointments

As an ophthalmologist specialising in cataract and refractive surgery, you are at the forefront of technological advancements in eye care. Implementing cutting-edge innovations in surgical procedures and your practice management, can significantly enhance your practice’s efficiency and patient satisfaction.

One such technological breakthrough is using AI-powered chatbots, specifically those developed by OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT), for booking first appointments. In this article, we will explore the key benefits of adopting this technology and how it enables human team members to focus on building emotional connections with patients.

Case Study: Dr Russell’s practice, a leading cataract and refractive surgery practice, recently experienced the transformative power of integrating an OpenAI-powered chatbot for booking first appointments. Within the first week’s test, the chatbot interacted with nine potential patients and secured six first appointments, achieving an impressive 67% conversion rate. This success exceeded the performance of many human agents we have observed, demonstrating the effectiveness of AI-powered chatbots in the booking process.1OpenAI-powered booking bots are available with Hattie, the all-in-one marketing platform for refractive surgery practices, available from www.liveseysolar.com

Implementing an AI-powered chatbot for first appointment bookings offers numerous advantages to your practice, including:

  1. Enhanced Patient Experience: With an AI chatbot, patients can book their appointments anytime, from any device, without waiting on hold or navigating complex phone menus. The chatbot can answer frequently asked questions, guide patients through booking, and provide appointment confirmations and reminders, creating a convenient and stress-free experience.
  2. Increased Efficiency and Cost Savings: By automating the booking process, AI chatbots reduce the workload of your administrative staff. This frees up time for them to focus on more critical tasks, such as billing, insurance, and managing patient records. Additionally, by minimising human error, AI chatbots can help reduce costly scheduling conflicts and no-shows.
  3. Improved Access to Care: AI chatbots can handle multiple patient interactions simultaneously, making it easier for patients to secure appointments, especially during peak hours. This increased accessibility can lead to higher patient satisfaction and a more successful practice.

Dr. Russell’s practice also experienced a lower no-show percentage than patients using an online calendar to book appointments. We assume leads thought they were booking appointments with humans which strengthened their commitment compared with booking with an online calendar. Furthermore, the impressive conversion rate will enable the practice’s human team members to dedicate more time to building emotional connections with patients, especially those anxious about their first appointments.

While AI chatbots provide a wealth of benefits for routine bookings, it’s essential to recognise the value of human connection, particularly regarding first appointments. By utilising AI chatbots for routine bookings, human team members can focus on creating emotional connections with patients and addressing their concerns during this critical time.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

Here are some ways human team members can add value to the booking process:

  1. Active Listening and Empathy: When a patient calls with concerns or questions about their upcoming appointment, having a compassionate human team member available to listen and empathise can significantly reduce anxiety. By expressing genuine understanding and support, staff can create a sense of trust and rapport, encouraging patients to follow through with their appointments and treatments.
  2. Personalised Attention: While AI chatbots excel at providing efficient, accurate information, they may have a different level of nuance and personalisation than a human team member can offer (for now). Staff can tailor their communication style and provide individualised advice based on each patient’s unique needs and concerns, further strengthening the patient-provider relationship.
  3. Effective Communication: Human team members can use their interpersonal skills to convey complex information that patients can easily understand. This can be particularly important for first-time patients overwhelmed by medical jargon or the prospect of surgery. Staff can help patients feel more comfortable and confident in their care by explaining procedures and addressing concerns clearly and compassionately.

While the prevailing assumption is that AI language models like ChatGPT can’t match human empathy, a recent JAMA Internal Medicine paper suggests that ChatGPT outperforms physicians on high-quality, empathetic answers to patient questions.2Study Finds ChatGPT Outperforms Physicians in High-Quality, Empathetic Answers to Patient Questions

In conclusion, AI-powered chatbots developed by OpenAI offer numerous advantages for ophthalmology practices, particularly when booking first appointments. As Dr. Russell’s practice demonstrated, implementing an AI chatbot can increase efficiency, provide higher conversion rates, and enhance patient satisfaction. By automating routine tasks, AI chatbots can improve accessibility to care while allowing human team members to focus on providing emotional support and personalised attention.

Embracing AI chatbots as part of your practice management strategy allows your team to strike the perfect balance between technological innovation and human connection. By leveraging the strengths of AI and human team members, you can create a seamless appointment booking experience that meets your patient’s needs while maximising your practice’s efficiency and effectiveness.

See a transcript from a chat conversation between the bot and a lead:

As the field of ophthalmology continues to evolve, adopting AI-powered solutions like OpenAI’s chatbots is a smart investment in the future success of your practice. By staying ahead of the curve and embracing new technologies, you can ensure your clinic remains a leader in delivering high-quality, patient-centred care.

So, consider implementing an AI chatbot for first appointment bookings and witness the transformation in your practice’s efficiency, patient satisfaction, and overall success.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

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Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK