Article Abstract

Assessing the feasibility of a chatbot after ureteroscopy

Authors: Steven B. Goldenthal, David Portney, Emma Steppe, Khurshid Ghani, Chad Ellimoottil


Background: Patients experience common symptoms and/or complications after undergoing ureteroscopy, which is a common procedure used to treat kidney stones. Current methods for patient education regarding these complications include counseling and discharge materials. This study aimed to assess chatbot usage and their ability to deliver information to patient post-ureteroscopy.
Methods: Patients who underwent ureteroscopy at the University of Michigan were given instructions to activate the chatbot. Within one to four weeks of their surgery, semi-structured interviews were conducted regarding post-surgical recovery and chatbot usage.
Results: Twenty patients were interviewed, seven of whom activated the chatbot. Frequent reasons for not activating the chatbot included misplacing instructions for chatbot use (n=6), relying on follow-up with clinic or discharge materials (n=4), inability to activate chatbot (n=2), and inability to text (n=1). Perceived benefits included alleviation of concerns surrounding common symptoms and quick access to information for non-emergent issues.
Conclusions: These results suggest that chatbots are a convenient method to address common concerns post-ureteroscopy. However, better integration in the flow of care delivery and improved usability are needed to increase patient engagement.