The potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care are myriad: predicting readmissions, making treatment suggestions and monitoring patient flow. But how can your hospital best make use of the rise of AI technology, and what are the possible problems you could face as AI use becomes more widespread?
AI tech is everywhere, from your Amazon account to your car, and it’s made life easier. For healthcare organizations, AI will revolutionize how you treat patients and predict trends down the road, but the technology isn’t there yet.
While some electronic health record systems and medical devices use components of AI technology, it’s not widespread or as advanced as it could be.
However, it’s important to start preparing for AI now so your facility remains on the cutting edge and can constantly be improving patient care.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) says that sooner rather than later, AI technology will be able to:
- extract quality measures from clinical data
- make treatment suggestions
- tailor the presentation of patient data and care recommendations
- monitor changes in the community that could affect patients coming into the hospital, and
- predict readmission rates.
AI tech can also keep track of patient feedback and analyze trends humans may not pick up on, which can help your hospital address issues you overlooked.
All of these functions will allow hospitals to operate more efficiently and improve patient care, along with helping facilities prepare for unforeseen events like, as the AHA suggests, an increase in allergens that could bring in more asthma patients.
Preparing for artificial intelligence
But preparing for this new sci-fi future will take a lot of effort and might include revamping your hospital’s internal processes, along with acclimating your staff to new techniques.
The AHA recommends:
- finding and retaining staff that can support and maintain these systems
- clarifying who’d be responsible if AI devices lead to injuries or medical mishaps, and
- securing systems from attackers.
Most hospitals have policies in place to protect against cyberattacks or online threats, but the increasing use of AI brings new challenges. When machines can understand and process more data, protecting that data is more important than ever for facilities.
AI can significantly improve patient care and lower costs by helping providers predict negative events or risk factors before they happen, but they also open up questions for dealing with this brave new world – questions that may not be answered until AI’s consistently in place and more users are interacting with the technology.
Until then, it’s a good idea to start laying the framework for AI in your hospital while keeping your eyes peeled for any new developments.