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Reducing Administrative Burden

Key Takeaways from ViVE 2024

Last week Elation’s CEO Kyna Fong took to the stage at ViVE 2024, one of the industry’s leading events for information technology healthcare leaders, buyers, investors, and government, to contribute her insights to a panel focused on the “AI Opening Act.” She was joined by industry leaders John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer, WebMD (moderator); Peter Bonis, Wolters Klower; Susan Pasley, CareRev; and Sunil Dadlani, CIO of Atlantic Health to explore AI’s value to healthcare. (Check out her pre-conference update and the recap post sharing of her experience).

While AI has captured the imagination and attention of many healthcare leaders and innovators, this seasoned group of panelists spoke out against the lure of applying AI as a panacea for all challenges in healthcare. Instead, they encouraged attendees to think critically about healthcare challenges, how to measure the technology’s value and impact, who benefits most from these chosen applications, and what this type of approach could mean for some of healthcare’s greatest challenges, including physician burnout. 

Here are a few of those panelist insights:

  • Kyna Fong of Elation said that AI offers a significant opportunity to address the very specific, complex challenge of the tremendous administrative burden that is overwhelming in primary care. Against a backdrop of the notorious primary care shortage, Fong highlighted the opportunity to improve productivity and the ability to care for all people equitably. 

  • Susan Pasley of CareRev shared that when it comes to understanding ROI, leaders should start by asking the problem that we're trying to solve. She believes successful AI supported solutions will address a particular problem with an ROI to match. 

  • Sunil Dadlani of Atlantic Health warned audiences to be careful of the “shiny object syndrome” AI represents, and instead consider a very methodical approach to its application. Dadlani reminded audiences that a methodical approach is invaluable in looking at the organization as a whole. For instance, efforts on the operational side may impact the clinical side, which also must be weighed and in some cases, could supersede the individual benefit.

  • Fong highlighted the value of exploring ROI beyond surface metrics or value. For instance, Elation has experienced based on physician feedback that the most successful AI applications to date has been ambient scribe, or the ability to automatically draft notes on a physician's behalf. While health systems or hospitals might look at this as an opportunity to use that extra time to fit in more visits and influence revenue, it could also be an opportunity to give physicians more time to do the work they already have, with more positive engagements and the ability to go home on time, which attributes to job satisfaction and helping alleviate burnout. 

  • Peter Bonis of Walters Klower pointed out that AI is already involved in half their applications, and shared that for their organization, operational, well-defined ROI is critical as compared to more exploratory measures of the technology.

  • Fong asserted that technology leaders should design solutions that prioritize trust and transparency, especially when AI is involved. Fong highlighted that the biggest obstacle to AI adoption is designing workflows that clinicians can trust, especially considering they rely on AI-generated outputs to make critical decisions. Given AI’s potential risk in delivering patient care, Fong also highlighted the need for the entire healthcare industry to proactively participate in discussions around regulation, especially in clinical settings.

At the end of the panel, Fong reasserted that no matter how we arrive there or the specific stakeholders being supported, healthcare leaders always need to center and measure success based on the impact on the patient.

According to those on the ViVE panel, while AI holds immense promise in transforming healthcare, measuring its ROI requires a strategic and focused approach. By addressing specific challenges, involving key stakeholders, and prioritizing applications that deliver tangible benefits, healthcare organizations can maximize the ROI of AI and improve patient outcomes.

For more about primary care’s perspective on AI, check out Elation’s survey sharing clinician perspectives on AI tools