The way forward, part 4: An eye on future healthcare technologies

artificial intelligence in healthcare

This article was first published on November 1, 2019, by Health Data Management. Reposted with permission.

Throughout this series, I wrote how critical access and rural hospitals face the same day-to-day struggles that larger healthcare organizations do. The difference is that the challenges are amplified in critical access settings because of limited resources. It’s no secret that many rural hospitals operate with negative margins. It is thus essential for these organizations to maximize their limited capital and take advantage of AI-enabled technologies.

AI is expected to vastly expand clinicians’ treatment insights, and improve physician workflows from radiology and diagnostic decision support to complex acute hospital care and busy ambulatory environments.

Virtual assistants are helping to ease the burden of documentation workflows by enabling providers to use their voice to retrieve information, place orders and create follow up tasks. Rather than searching through multiple screens in the EHR, providers can say, “show me the last chest x-ray” or “read me the medication list” to quickly gain access to the necessary information.

Additionally, exciting technologies, such as ambient clinical intelligence are expected to significantly impact the physician-patient experience. Ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) helps alleviate the burnout care teams experience from the extra time spent documenting visits, navigating patient charts, and following up on documentation details. It securely listens to clinician‑patient conversations and complements the EHR by surrounding the encounter with assisted workflows, task and knowledge automation. By doing so, it promotes a better patient experience and automatically documents patient care—all without taking the physician’s attention off of the patient. Curious about how it works? See for yourself.

Imagine the impact on rural hospitals’ financial success when complete and accurate documentation tells every patient’s story fully and physician satisfaction and retention rise exponentially with vastly reduced burnout.

This blog post is the last in a four-part series. To see the first three, please click here.

Robert Budman, MD MBA
About Robert Budman, MD MBA

Dr. Robert Budman, MD, MBA, and Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP) with AHIMA, is the Chief Medical Information Officer for Nuance Healthcare. He supports the Computer Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) product line and develops training and education materials for outbound and internal use. Dr. Budman is Board Certified in Family Med & Informatics. He focuses on efficiency, safety, and quality initiatives with global experience in multi-EHR and service line care delivery. His work involves implementation, workflow adoption, and optimization. Dr. Budman earned multiple clinical awards and speaks extensively on healthcare IT.