Health IT, Hospitals, Patient Engagement

QliqSOFT, CPSI to offer Covid-19 vaccine chatbot to community hospitals

The COVID-19 Vaccination Assistant will provide information about the new vaccines to help allay fears among the U.S. public. It will also help people schedule their vaccinations and connect them with rideshare services to make it to their appointment.

QliqSOFT and CPSI are collaborating to release the COVID-19 Vaccination Assistant, a chatbot designed to help healthcare providers address patient concerns as the country prepares for the new coronavirus vaccine. CPSI, a healthcare solutions provider for community hospitals, will make the chatbot available to all its customers in early 2021.

The chatbot, created by healthcare communications solutions provider QliqSOFT, guides patients through a conversation that answers vaccine-related questions, helps them schedule their vaccination and access rideshare services if needed, Ben Henson, director of marketing at QliqSOFT, said in an email.

“In the case of two-dose vaccines, like the one developed by Pfizer, the chatbot will be used to send a reminder to the patient to schedule their second dose,” he said. “Once vaccinated, the chatbot can send digital proof to national databases that are currently being developed, like the Commons Project, or to store in the patient record.”

Though confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine is rising, still about 39% of Americans said they will not get the vaccine, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows. The survey, conducted at the end of November, polled 12,648 U.S. adults. About 62% of Americans said they would be uncomfortable being among the first to get the vaccine. Another 25% said they have little confidence in the vaccine research and development process, and of this group, 80% said they would not get vaccinated.

“The highest level of success of the COVID-19 vaccination program not only depends on the effectiveness of the vaccine itself, but also requires accurate and timely education, administration, and documentation,” said Dr. William J. Hayes, chief medical officer of CPSI, in a press release.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Assistant chatbot includes a frequently asked questions feature, which will provide text and video information about the vaccines that are expected to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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“This will include basic facts about the vaccines, how they are each administered, known side effects, efficacy rates and allergic reactions,” Henson said.

The chatbot is entirely customizable to the needs of each provider’s patient population, he added. For example, providers may not want to connect the chatbot to rideshare services, but instead list bus schedules or directions to vaccination sites for their patients.

“They can add their brand logo, colors, contact information — whatever they need to remain the trusted source of medical information for their patients,” Henson said.

The FDA appears to be on the verge of approving the first Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. A government advisory panel met Thursday to decide whether to approve Pfizer’s vaccine, and the FDA is expected to follow the panel’s decision, according to an Associated Press report.

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