Artificial Intelligence Tools Can Help Clinicians Spend More Time with Patients

There is no argument that artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming how healthcare is delivered in our modern world. One of the many benefits of implementing AI into the care continuum is the ability to save time so that the extra minutes can go into quality time with the patient; affording a myriad of value for both the patient and provider alike. This additional time spent with the patient can help aid in a more accurate diagnosis, a better patient experience, and a stronger patient-physician relationship.

A 2020 study published by MIT Technology Review Insights states that nearly half (45%) of healthcare professionals in the U.S. and U.K. confirm that AI is improving their ability to spend more time with patients. Nearly eight in 10 of the medical professionals surveyed also report that AI deployments have created workflow improvements that support stronger collaboration among staff across numerous clinical areas– ultimately improving overall patient care and results.

Enhanced diagnosis and treatment
With automated processes and clinical AI applications, frontline decision-makers are empowered with quick and accurate decision support; offering higher confidence in the diagnosis and a lower risk of human error. As clinicians become stretched during what feels like an endless pandemic, burnout is on the rise. In fact, more than 55% of frontline healthcare workers are reporting burnout, and data suggests the burnout has manifested in poor patient satisfaction and medical errors. This jeopardizes not only the clinician's career, but more alarmingly, the patient’s access to quality care. While the pandemic has certainly exacerbated the situation, even before the crisis, medical errors have been cited as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

There are many factors that can cause delay in diagnosis and treatment, however, any areas, such as clinical workflow or administrative tasks that can be easily supplemented by AI, should not get in the way of caring for the patient as quickly as possible. Taking this a step further, today’s technology can go beyond administrative support and leverage the power of AI to radically increase access to make informed decisions around diagnosis and next steps. This allows for the potential to move the patient into the operating room or administer treatment faster than ever before– during moments when every minute matters.

Enhanced patient experience and care

AI can also support a better patient experience, through its time-saving capabilities; starting with when a patient first enters through the facility's doors. On average 16.2 million patients are admitted to the hospital after a visit to the emergency department. While staff work hard to move patients through as quickly as possible, patients typically wait between 3-4 hours to be seen, which can lead to higher health risks.

In fact, the concern around timely access to care due to disparate communication sources, limited time to evaluate and make decisions during time-sensitive and life-threatening conditions (e.g. traumatic brain injury, spine injury and chest pain in the acute care settings), is what brought MaxQ’s Accipio clinical suite to life. Now technologies like Accipio are available to aid clinicians to quickly and accurately identify and prioritize critical cases, regardless of location, day or time.

Entering the hospital can be a jarring experience for a patient and their loved ones. Operations running smoothly and swiftly behind the scenes can not only provide the patient with a better experience from a treatment lens, but also provides comfort and confidence that they are in the best hands.

Enhanced patient trust

While U.S. physicians are reported to spend between 13 and 16 minutes with a patient, there is an entire separate conversation happening behind the scenes that can directly impact the patient’s care– and faith in the facility. While electronic health records (EHR) are a largely adopted source, there are still hospitals today that are reliant on outdated communication technologies (e.g. pagers and faxes) and are not using mobile devices or communication technologies integrated with EHR. This can lead to poor communication and even more alarmingly, poor outcomes and unnecessary readmissions; diminishing the level of trust with a specific clinician or the hospital itself.

As AI reduces the routine parts of the clinician’s work and expedites the time needed amid diagnosis and treatment, clinicians can spend every precious minute available with their patients – accentuating the human touch that is invaluable for effective and sensitive patient care.

Michael Rosenberg is the co-founder and CEO of MaxQ, a company that automates clinical workflows in acute care through a comprehensive management system, enabling physicians to deliver the highest quality of care in the moments that matter most.