While the thought of artificial intelligence (AI) making decisions regarding a patient’s care may be intimidating to some, the technology can be used in a constructive way to reduce the administrative burden many independent physicians now face. In fact, embracing AI to help patients and to reduce burnout is a growing trend in the healthcare field.
Unlike passive computer systems, AI algorithms are designed to make decisions based on real-time data. They can use digital data, remote inputs, or sensors to combine information, analyze the material, and act on their insights derived from that data. They are “designed by humans with intentionality and reach conclusions based on their instant analysis.”
For providers who depend on their electronic health records (EHRs) to manage patient data, AI can make a significant difference in the amount of time spent on the computer. The EHR developer who designs the solution with AI in mind can help reduce burnout rates for healthcare providers by reducing the clinical documentation burden.
With data fields such as allergies and problem lists that are structured for auto-population from open-ended physician notes, with data that is queried from prior clinical records, and transcribed patient encounter recordings, AI can free the provider from spending excessive time at the computer, significantly reducing that documentation burden. Examples of this ability include applications that can understand clinical language, analyze physician free-text narratives, and extract problems as structured data.
When AI is used in the continuing education process, providers can maintain their knowledge level in an ever changing and developing world of science and healthcare. The provider will no longer have to pore through pages of medical documents and can spend more time caring for their patients. The patient’s health and well-being is improved when their physician is able to update their knowledge, improving the opportunity for more accurate diagnoses and care.
The EHR developer who recognizes that AI is reinvigorating modern healthcare through solutions that are able to predict, comprehend, learn, and act will contribute significantly to the health and well-being of patients and providers alike. Medical conditions can be detected much quicker, which can lead to a faster diagnosis and a possible cure or solution. Patients will gain confidence that all of their symptoms have been taken into full consideration, as the AI takes in every symptom and reports based on the patient’s concerns.
Examples of AI being embraced to help patients and reduce burnout among providers include:
- Deep learning medical tools that streamline radiology diagnoses, including the analysis of unstructured medical data such as blood tests and patient medical history to give the provider a better insight into the patient’s real-time needs.
- AI deployed in general screenings, to detect cancer in its earliest stages and enhance the ability to develop new treatments.
- The use of AI to diagnose potentially deadly blood diseases at any early stage.
- AI-enhanced microscopes that scan for harmful bacteria such as e. coli and staphylococcus in blood samples at a faster rate than manual screening.
- AI sensors that track a patient’s movements so providers can be notified of potential falls.
Even though it may seem as though healthcare professionals could become too dependent on AI, those who use it must also educate themselves about the technology and the information and data they gain from it. As a result, medical professionals can realize better, faster, and more accurate results by using this technology. It also cuts time almost in half depending on the situation. This allows physicians to spend more time with the patients or making sure they’re not overworking themselves so that they can avoid potential burnout. Patients, in turn, get a more accurate diagnosis, a more aware doctor, and peace of mind that they are getting the best care possible.