Advancing Healthcare Innovation Through AI Adoption

Leading healthcare providers are implementing AI to improve the safety and quality of life for patients and staff, thereby meeting their technological innovation goals with higher satisfaction for better utilization of resources.

Technological innovation has flourished over the past two years, fueled by the urgent need for digital transformation and the shift to remote work. While healthcare has generally lagged behind other industries in technology adoption in the past, it is imperative that hospitals and health systems be at the forefront of innovation so they can act with agility to meet current challenges.

One important step these groups can take to drive modernization and improve their practice is to successfully implement, execute and operate AI platforms in their networks.

Many healthcare leaders are hesitant to adopt new technologies due to concerns about safety and accuracy. Others feel that they cannot make such an investment without a guaranteed return; However, if hospitals do not adopt advanced technology equipment, they may incur higher losses. Leading healthcare providers such as Novant Health are implementing AI to improve the safety and quality of life for patients and staff, allowing them to meet their technological innovation goals to better utilize resources with higher satisfaction.

Benefits of Bringing AI into Healthcare

reduces administrative burden

Health systems today face the daunting task of combating high levels of physician and nurse burnout. according to a medical economics In the survey, 73% of physicians reported currently feeling fatigued, and 93% reported feeling fatigued at some point during their careers. Retaining employees is notoriously difficult, and losing employees means a heavier workload for those who remain. Leaders are highly aware of adding more to a physician’s workload and are constantly looking for ways to reduce this burden.

Day-to-day, nurses and doctors have effectively become data entry clerks and logistic staff. Often, most of a nurse’s workday is spent on regulatory documentation or tracking down necessary equipment and medication. They only spend part of their shift caring for patients.

Physicians and nurses are motivated to provide meaningful care and communicate with patients. AI and automation provide a means to streamline time-consuming manual processes and data entry tasks, allowing physicians to give patients their undivided attention and provide the best possible care.

Provides high patient satisfaction

Consumers have become accustomed to the instant conveniences provided by technological advances in other industries, such as airlines, retail, and banking. Healthcare is harnessing similar transformations in patient experiences using AI-based tools.

These devices provide great logistics with better access and shorter wait times as well as a seamless personalized experience for patients. For example, an infusion center may offer a “wait-free” IV infusion experience, allowing patients to choose their appointment time from their phone. When they arrive at the center, patients walk straight to their infusion chair and skip the waiting room entirely, improving the experience and avoiding the risk of infection to vulnerable patients. This autonomy and convenience also makes patients more likely to keep their appointments, thus reducing the no-shows that complicate infusion scheduling. After implementing an AI-based capacity management solution, Novant Health saw significant improvements in the patient experience, including a 43% reduction in average patient wait time.

improves physician satisfaction

When hospitals advance their technology stacks through AI platforms and machine learning, they also improve the ability of physicians to work with them. For example, surgeons can juggle block times across multiple hospitals, and AI systems can help coordinate these schedules. Upon Novant Health’s adoption of AI tools, the organization saw a 9% increase in “splitter surgeon” volume, a clear increase in physician loyalty due to technologically advanced scheduling.

Some predictive analytics tools alert surgeons and schedulers about unused block time, prompting them to release it instead of when the operating room is empty. Surgeons can customize their own schedules and make the OR available to others who may need it for last-minute operations, benefiting all parties involved.

reduces medical errors

Time is of the essence when caring for patients. Health systems that use outdated systems run the risk of wasting time as staff are faced with large amounts of administrative work and underutilize essential resources. Additionally, the pandemic has increased employee fatigue and made strong performance difficult. Streamlining administrative tasks and optimizing patient scheduling allows employees to take scheduled breaks for much-needed rest and finish shifts on time and channel their efforts into patients. This improves the staff and patient experience and reduces the potential for medical errors, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

Best practices for implementing AI

Build consensus among leadership

There are several important steps health system executives should take as they incorporate AI into their organizations. First, he must develop a consensus among the leadership staff. Leaders should advocate for AI in their organization, showing how it can improve safety and quality of care by proactively addressing areas of concern. The CEO and Board are likely to support solutions that provide the safest and highest quality care for patients and staff alike, as well as those that reduce associated costs and generate higher revenue from increased care access provide.

It is also important to keep the CFO informed about all AI initiatives and their results, given that they will ultimately be writing the checks. Show financial leaders the return, rather than focusing purely on return on investment innovation To clearly point out that the benefits of AI include not only better metrics but also an overall engaging technological advancement for the organization.

choose the right partner

Health systems often operate with the mindset that given their limited resources, they cannot afford to invest in advanced technology. Typically, the alternative is to build a proprietary solution rather than seek an external resource. However, driving the required analytics requires deep expertise in operations, data science, building scalable software, and enabling process change on the front line. This in itself requires a significant investment and is extremely difficult for most provider organizations to assemble.

Instead, hospitals and health systems should seek capable partners who bring this expertise. The Novant Heath Institute for Innovation and Artificial Intelligence uses AI to enhance personalized patient care and is built on their collaboration with leading AI experts, helping them harness cutting-edge technology. Connect with patients, team members and the communities they serve.

apply step by step

Another key to success in AI implementation is to take a phased approach with each new AI effort. For example, rather than attempting to implement system-wide immediately – which involves multiple compounding risks and can lead to failure without comprehensive planning – leaders can start a new AI program in a small hospital or facility in parallel with the legacy system. The process can start to run. At least for 2 months.

Health systems can get feedback from hospital staff this way, identify positive points and room for improvement, and re-evaluate before implementing elsewhere. Additionally, the best way to measure success is through patient feedback, so the clinic needs to have a process in place to capture patients’ views on their experience over scheduling and time. At this stage, any problems that arise can be addressed on a manageable scale. If all goes according to plan and reforms are taken care of quickly, implementation can continue on a large scale.

Roll out an enterprise-wide AI platform

Ultimately, the goal will be to implement successful AI platforms throughout the entire health system organization to bring about multiple positive outcomes for all employees and patients. When considering new AI programs, viable platforms should have the ability to support an entire system rather than a single point solution, market, or service. After taking into account any feedback from employees and leadership priorities, leaders will be able to take the new, innovative platform across the entire organization, so all stakeholders benefit and manual, error-prone processes are put in the past. The platform will also allow health systems to evolve as AI companies add more algorithms.

Dr. Eric Escioglu is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Novant Health.

Mohan Giridhardas is the founder and CEO of LeanTaaS.

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