Carter Lee|8/8/2023|4 min read

5 Ways Clinicians can Leverage ChatGPT

Is ChatGPT the clinician’s new best friend?

Clinician using a computer equipped with AI

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its initial release in November of 2022. The AI chatbot uses natural language processing to converse in a humanlike manner, and due to its vast database and 175 billion parameters, ChatGPT can understand context, follow instructions, answer questions, provide explanations and engage in back-and-forth conversations with users. 

Professionals across almost all industries have started utilizing ChatGPT, as well as other AI chatbots, in a variety of ways from writing emails, translating text, to even peer reviewed research papers. Needless to say there are a multitude of applications for AI chatbots, including within the healthcare space, but there are also limitations to look out for. When used correctly, AI can help save clinicians time, offload administrative work and improve the patient experience.

5 medical uses of ChatGPT

ChatGPT holds promise for clinicians, offering a wide range of applications that can optimize workflows, improve patient communication and enhance the overall quality of healthcare delivery. Although clinicians can tap into ChatGPT in a variety of ways, it is important to note that providers should avoid solely relying on AI when it comes to patient care. With that said, here are five practical applications of ChatGPT for clinicians:

Virtual Health Assistants

Clinicians can use ChatGPT as virtual health assistants to handle routine patient questions, appointment scheduling, medication reminders and follow-up instructions. This frees up valuable time for healthcare providers, allowing you to service more patients.

ChatGPT can also help reduce administrative burden on clinicians. The AI chatbot is able to streamline tasks like summarizing patient records and note charting. Care providers are able to easily input their patient notes into the chatbot and it will automatically summarize any key details, including highlighting symptoms, diagnoses and treatments. It can also extract important information from patient records like lab reports or results.

Communication with patients

Effective and empathetic communication is an essential component of building patient - provider trust. ChatGPT can be a tool for improving communication with patients, particularly when it comes to communicating difficult news. Researchers from University of California, San Diego and John Hopkins found that ChatGPT can help significantly increase empathy in clinicians’ responses to patient questions. The study found that chatbot powered responses to patients’ questions were actually slightly preferred in terms of quality and empathy compared to physician responses alone. 

ChatGPT’s capabilities can also be leveraged in multilingual healthcare settings. It can aid in translating medical information between patients and clinicians, bridging language barriers and facilitating effective communication. It’s important to note that not everything is directly translatable between languages, so it is common in most translators to see atypical language occasionally.

Decision support

ChatGPT can act as a valuable clinical decision support tool, however the final say regarding any medical decision should always lay with the medical professional. The following are a few ways ChatGPT can assist with decision support: 

Access to Medical Literature: When clinicians need to make informed decisions, they can ask ChatGPT to retrieve relevant and up-to-date information on specific medical conditions, treatment options or drug interactions. This quick access to knowledge can help clinicians stay updated and make evidence-based decisions. 

Note: It’s good practice to cross reference any data or medical information with other sources.

Diagnosis Assistance: When faced with complex or rare cases, clinicians can use ChatGPT as a diagnostic aid. By inputting patient symptoms and medical history, ChatGPT can generate potential diagnoses or provide a list of differential diagnoses for consideration. This additional input can complement the clinician's expertise and broaden the scope of potential diagnoses.

Patient Risk Assessment: Clinicians can use ChatGPT to assess patient risk factors for specific diseases or conditions. By inputting relevant patient data, such as age, lifestyle habits and family history, AI can help identify potential risk factors and assist in developing personalized and preventive care plans.

Clinical Guidelines Compliance: ChatGPT can remind clinicians of relevant clinical guidelines and best practices while they are making decisions. It can assist in adhering to standardized protocols, ensuring that the treatment approach follows the latest evidence-based recommendations.

Pharmacological Information: ChatGPT can provide information about medications, dosages, drug interactions and potential side effects. Prescribers can then use this information to ensure safe and effective medication management for their patients.

Better patient education

ChatGPT can assist clinicians in providing personalized and easily understandable medical information to help educate patients. The chatbot's advanced language processing system can quickly and easily translate complex medical terms and expressions into easily digestible language. 

Patients often find medical language confusing and overwhelming, so by generating clear explanations of medical conditions, treatment plans and procedures via ChatGPT, patients are less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to be actively involved in their healthcare journey.

Increased patient support

ChatGPT can assist clinicians in providing patient support through medication management. It can send medication reminders and help patients stay on track with their prescribed treatments. This can then improve medication adherence and ultimately contribute to better health outcomes.

The limitations of ChatGPT in clinical support

It's important to note that while ChatGPT can offer valuable clinical support, it should not be used in isolation to make critical medical decisions. It is meant to complement the clinical expertise of healthcare professionals, providing them with an additional source of information and support. Clinicians should always exercise their professional judgment and verify the information provided by ChatGPT to ensure patient safety and the highest standards of care. 

Additionally, patient privacy and data security should be maintained when using AI models in healthcare settings. Patients should be clearly informed when they are interacting with an AI system rather than a human. Finally there should always be an option to transfer the conversation to a real healthcare professional when necessary.

Powering clinical support for providers and their patients

AI innovations like ChatGPT and other AI healthcare technologies continue to transform clinical settings, but still require more research and development. 

However, if you’re looking to expand more into HealthIT and the digital health space, tap into OpenLoop! We thoughtfully pair clinicians with innovative healthcare organizations to provide virtual and in-person care in all 50 states. 

Our easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant technology was designed with clinicians top-of-mind for seamless scheduling, patient visits and note charting. With 6,000+ providers already in our clinician network, you can tap into the OpenLoop advantage too with:

  • Nationwide connections

  • Licensing as a Service

  • Sync & async options

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Competitive pay

  • Dedicated provider support

Interested in expanding your reach as a provider? Apply to our clinician network!