As an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, ChatGPT has become a crucial tool for the healthcare industry. A recent study found that ChatGPT was 3.6 times more likely to provide “good” or “very good” answers than physicians when answering patient queries.

Furthermore, the AI chatbot was almost 10 times more empathetic when communicating with patients than physicians were, suggesting that ChatGPT could be an effective solution for engaging patients and symptom-checking while meeting their communication needs. This increased empathy from a robot is possible because ChatGPT has the gift of time, a luxury that most providers cannot afford due to time constraints.

With secure direct messaging being a vital feature of patient portals, ChatGPT can help streamline the process for providers by assisting in crafting some responses before provider review. This study suggests that if more patient questions are answered quickly, empathetically, and to a high standard, it could reduce unnecessary clinical visits, freeing up resources for those who need them.

Additionally, messaging is a critical resource for fostering patient equity. AI chatbots like ChatGPT could be crucial in improving patient health literacy, especially in the age of open clinical notes mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act. As medicine evolves, emerging AI systems like ChatGPT could help empower physicians to return their focus to treating human patients.

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