The latest innovation by Banner Health aims to help answer an oft-asked question from patients who visit the emergency room: How long is this going to take?

Banner’s conversational chatbot was launched to improve the patient experience in Banner Health emergency rooms. Patients interact with the bot on their mobile phones to get information and answers related to their visit, in real time.

When asked a question, the bot pulls data from the health system’s medical record to get answers. The chatbot service is offered to patients when they register at the emergency room.

Patients who opt-in receive a text message on their cell phone to begin interacting with the chatbot.

Banner Payson Medical Center will begin offering patients the chatbot service Aug. 21. Banner Gateway Medical Center in Arizona launched the program in May. After the first month, patients had an average of 9.4 conversations with the bot during their stay. The most frequently asked questions are when lab or medical imaging results will be available.

“This is an example of Banner Health investing in our patients to make their experience better all around,” said Lance Porter, chief executive officer for Banner Payson Medical Center. “We are excited to bring this technology to Payson and look forward to making health care easier for our community.”

The chatbot program is one of several recent projects in development with Banner.

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