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AI-Powered ChatBot Aims To Coach Staff In Hertfordshire NHS Hospital Trust

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Startup Saberr’s CoachBot makes its NHS debut

An artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot is being put to work in the The Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) to provide a digital version of team-building and coaching. 

Normally the domain of a human coach, the AI chatbot dubbed CoachBot has been developed by human resources analytics startup Saberr, with the goal of helping the hospitals teams address and improve their performance. 

The bot will interact with 30 members of HPFT’s inpatient operational and clinical teams, helping them improve upon things such as goal setting, decision making and role clarification.  

Through the use of a chat-style interface, CoachBot will try to workout the dynamics of a team and figure out any issues they might have by asking members about their communication style, team dynamics and their work goals. 

From there the busy bot creates a report build on the information it has gleaned from the team and presents them this feedback on areas they could improve.

And then CoachBot creates a development plan for the team, serving up recommendations on exercises, and offering bite-sized learning options. If needed CoachBot will summon in a human coach to aid it. 

AI aid 

CoachBotThe chatbot is being trialled for 12 month at HPFT to see if it has an impact on the teams’ performance and engagement in their work. 

Jess Lievesley, director of service delivery and service user experience at HPFT, said the use of CoachBot could make the Trust more efficient without compromising on team learning and development,  

“It means we don’t have to take days out of service for long courses and if we need to move things around due to patient needs we can do so without incurring extra cost,” she said. 

However, neither HPFT or Saberr address the potential for the hospital’s staff to become annoyed at a AI telling them what to do, or the chance that the chatbot could misinterpret the participants of the trial leading to it making incorrect assesments. 

Nor did either organisation hint at the potential for CoachBot to steal work from human coaches,

But regardless, CoachBot has made into an NHS Trust as part of NHS England’s plans to invest £120 billion of its budget into the use of AI technologies. So we can expect to see more AI bots and systems crop up in NHS Trusts in the near future, after all Google’s DeepMind AI has already been working at the Royal Free NHS Trust

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