How AI Technology Influences Better EHR Outcomes in the Healthcare Industry

  • A dramatic acceleration into the healthcare space has been seen and emerging improvements in processing power and the arena of data storage has been part of the reason for the growing interest.
  • Cloud Computing is the New Enabler for the Collaboration of EHR and AI/ML.
  • The computer culture and the physician culture must work together as a unit.

It’s only been a few years since Artificial Intelligence to promote the efficiency of Electronic Health Records was on the wish list of healthcare facilities and organizations everywhere to move on up to the to-do list, and for some the wish is now an accomplishment that sits boldly on the done list. Before AI can be used to improve EHR systems a successful integration is needed of the EHR into the healthcare setting. There are seven steps to EHR integration success. They are:

  • Detailed and thorough planning
  • Assessing
  • Designing
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Implementing
  • Providing ongoing support
Patient satisfaction, an improvement on end user satisfaction, and the capabilities to reallocate once bound resources due to greater efficiency are all metrics that should be considered as goals for a successful AI/ML initiative to improve existing EHR.

In 2016 the uptake began, and it seems to be gaining ground steadily. A dramatic acceleration into the healthcare space has been seen and emerging improvements in processing power and the arena of data storage has been part of the reason for the growing interest. Additionally, there is a industry-wide interest in utilizing digital data to support patient care that has proven to be of higher quality and more cost efficient in the facilities and clinics who have integrated AI into their EHR program. In 2018, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the advisory group JASON (an independent group of the most elite scientists) published a report stating that AI is changing the entire healthcare game.

The industry of healthcare is showing that now, more than ever, they are ready to engage in systems that integrate AI and machine learning. It has proven that digital integration is a solution to the frustration that seems to be hanging over the heads of facilities and clinics nationwide that is ushering in a new era of care that is based on value. A survey that was done by Xtelligent Healthcare Media showed that 94% of the participating healthcare organizations are already able to support the industry’s business needs such as the reduction of spending that is not necessary, the improvement of quality, and making a stellar patient experience a reality.

Cloud-based Strategies

The support from healthcare organizations surveyed that the concept that cloud-based strategies to support flexibility in AI innovation will provide the greatest potential for success across all types of the care continuum is motivating for many facilities and clinics.

The Challenges Exist, but Success is Achievable

Transforming ideas into tangible results can mean there are hurdles that will need to be jumped. Many clinicians and executives admit they have a fear of falling behind their competitors as AI and machine learning are being used at a frequent rate to support EHR. There are keys to success integration of AI. The surveyed organizations were clear as to what elements they feel would make up a successful out for an AI initiative.

A financial return on investment is inevitably important when gauging an AI initiative’s impact. Measurable improvements clinically and enhanced performance on quality measures are also elements that impact whether or an initiative is deemed successful. Patient satisfaction, an improvement on end user satisfaction, and the capabilities to reallocate once bound resources due to greater efficiency are all metrics that should be considered as goals for a successful AI/ML initiative to improve existing EHR.

Concerns about positions becoming obsolete are blown far out of proportion by much of the media. The importance of physicians and clinical/facility staff will be as important before the digital transformation as they will be during and after.

Cloud computing has become a key component when making data available to multidisciplinary teams as well as their patients and insurance companies at the time that it is needed with making no compromise to their budget, their security, or the flexibility of their system.

AI/ML can thrive in the cloud environment. Its design is meant to make seamless access to all authorized staff and outside agencies and organizations when they need it no matter where they are. The agility of the optimal cloud tool is agile so healthcare facilities can begin building the model they need without the associated cost and incredible time investment of using a solution that is on premise.

Cloud Computing is the New Enabler for the Collaboration of EHR and AI/ML

The cloud offers the reliability and scalability that is needed to support the implementation of AI projects and the tools that are needed to integrate multiple data sources for the training of ML models are there.  Synthesizing data sets from various settings or partnering organizations is imperative to creating a model that is going to be comprehensive with accuracy. AI will show the most impact when it is used in collaboration with EHR and multidisciplinary organizations because data will be shared appropriately.

Ideally, there will be a partnership between EHRs and other companies such an outside lab, or between an insurance company and the provider. Horizontal records of individuals are positive signs. This means that there is an impressive flow of correlative actions and clinical outcomes. Feeding longitudinal data to AI will empower the entire process.

Most Cloud skeptics cite security concerns as their reason, but the creation of security certificates can and will keep cloud data safer than on-site storage of the same data.

Physician Input is Essential

Whether your facility utilizes cloud-based computing or not, the implementation of AI-driven EHR absolutely must be impacted by the input of the physicians who will be working with it. The computer culture and the physician culture must work together as a unit. Concerns about positions becoming obsolete are blown far out of proportion by much of the media. The importance of physicians and clinical/facility staff will be as important before the digital transformation as they will be during and after. If anything, the knowledge clinicians hold is much of what molds the entire project.

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hwest

Heidi West is a medical writer that writes about healthcare and technology.

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