December 17, 2019 -Seventy-nine percent of healthcare professionals indicate that artificial intelligence tools have helped mitigate clinician burnout, suggesting that the technology enables providers to deliver more engaging, patient-centered care, according to a survey conducted by MIT Technology Review and GE Healthcare.
As artificial intelligence tools have slowly made their way into the healthcare industry, many have voiced concerns that the technology will remove the human aspect of patient care, leaving individuals in the care of robots and machines.
Healthcare institutions have been anticipating the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on the performance and efficiency of their operations and their workforcesand the quality of patient care, the report stated.
Contrary to common, yet unproven, fears that machines will replace human workers, AI technologies in health care may actually be re-humanizing healthcare, just as the system itself shifts to value-based care models that may favor the outcome patients receive instead of the number of patients seen.
Through interviews with over 900 healthcare professionals, researchers found that providers are already using AI to improve data analysis, enable better treatment and diagnosis, and reduce administrative burdensall of which free up clinicians time to perform other tasks.
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Numerous technologies are in play today to allow healthcare professionals to deliver the best care, increasingly customized to patients, and at lower costs, the report said.
Our survey has found medical professionals are already using AI tools, to improve both patient care and back-end business processes, from increasing the accuracy of oncological diagnosis to increasing the efficiency of managing schedules and workflow.
The survey found that medical staff with pilot AI projects spend one-third less time writing reports, while those with extensive AI programs spend two-thirds less time writing reports. Additionally, 45 percent of participants said that AI has helped increase consultation time, as well as time to perform surgery and other procedures.
For those with the most extensive AI rollouts, 70 percent expect to spend more time performing procedures than doing administrative or other work.
AI is being used to assume many of a physicians more mundane administrative responsibilities, such as taking notes or updating electronic health records, researchers said. The more AI is deployed, the less time doctors spend at their computers.
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Respondents also indicated that AI is helping them gain an edge in the healthcare market. Eighty percent of business and administrative healthcare professionals said that AI is helping them improve revenue opportunities, while 81 percent said they think AI will make them more competitive providers.
The report also showed that AI-related projects will continue to receive an increasing portion of healthcare spending now and in the future. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they will be spending more to develop AI applications.
Respondents also indicated that AI has increased the operational efficiency of healthcare organizations. Seventy-eight percent of healthcare professionals said that their AI deployments have already created workflow improvements in areas including schedule management.
Using AI to optimize schedule management and other administrative tasks creates opportunities to leverage AI for more patient-facing applications, allowing clinicians to work with patients more closely.
AIs core value proposition is in both improving diagnosing abilities and reducing regulatory and data complexities by automating and streamlining workflow. This allows healthcare professionals to harness the wealth of insight the industry is generating, without drowning in it, the report said.
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AI has also helped healthcare professionals reduce clinical errors. Medical staff who dont use AI cited fighting clinical error as a key challenge two-thirds of the timemore than double that of medical staff who have AI deployments.
Additionally, advanced tools are helping users identify and treat clinical issues. Seventy-five percent of respondents agree that AI has enabled better predictions in the treatment of disease.
AI-enabled decision-support algorithms allow medical teams to make more accurate diagnoses, researchers noted.
This means doing something big by doing something really small: noticing minute irregularities in patient information. That could be the difference between acting on a life-threatening issueor missing it.
While AI has shown a lot of promise in the industry, the technology still comes with challenges. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that integrating AI applications into existing systems is challenging, and more than half of professionals planning to deploy AI raise concerns about medical professional adoption, support from top management, and technical support.
To overcome these challenges, researchers recommended that clinical staff collaborate to implement and deploy AI tools.
AI needs to work for healthcare professionals as part of a robust, integrated ecosystem. It needs to be more than deploying technologyin fact, the more humanized the application of AI is, the more it will be adopted and improve results and return on investment. After all, in healthcare, the priority is the patient, researchers concluded.
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