Examining How AI Is Transforming Healthcare System Efficiency

Examining How AI Is Transforming Healthcare System Efficiency

For patients, healthcare could involve scheduling appointments with a primary care physician, planning regular hospital visits to address conditions, or informal check-ins to track progress. Artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit patients in all of these areas, including improving our healthcare system efficiency. 

But healthcare professionals can also benefit from AI. AI algorithms can analyze patient data, medical literature, and research papers, providing valuable insights and assisting in informed decision-making. AI supports physicians in diagnosing diseases, suggesting treatment options, and predicting patient outcomes. This article will discuss the benefits and risks associated with implementing AI in healthcare, examining the impact of AI on healthcare system efficiency.

How AI Is Transforming Healthcare System Efficiency

Using AI in healthcare can help medical professionals get better results and more accurately diagnose common illnesses. Some examples of AI’s use include the following:

  • Diagnosis (strokes, kidney disease, heart disease, etc.)
  • Population-based treatment recommendations
  • Patient engagement and adherence
  • Administrative activities

AI is transforming the healthcare system, attracting interest from tech leaders like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. For example, Google’s DeepMind uses raw pixel data as input and can include deep neural networks, such as implants in the body and reinforcement learning to make predictions and learn from experience. At the same time, Apple and Amazon may revolutionize medical records and telemedicine. AI’s increasing role in the healthcare system heralds a data-driven future.

But as AI increasingly influences our lives, careful navigation is necessary. Balancing its beneficial impacts while mitigating risks to well-being is vital. Before implementing such technologies, doctors and caregivers should thoroughly evaluate their effectiveness while designing patient care plans.

What Are the Primary Benefits of Using AI to Increase Our Healthcare System Efficiency?

AI technologies can potentially transform and benefit healthcare providers and many aspects of patient care. Below are some of the benefits:

  • AI will increasingly support population-oriented symptom checking and triage in the future. Providers can leverage AI technology to distinguish patients with urgent medical needs from those that a primary care physician can effectively manage.

  • AI will have favorable outcomes for addressing chronic illness, nursing shortages, and hospital readmissions, such as pneumonia or heart failure. It will enhance the efficiency of hospitals with transcribing and data extraction for research, capturing revenue for the healthcare industry and resulting in cost and time savings while significantly improving patient outcomes.

  • AI can reduce emergency department use. Non-emergency care in the ED is costly, so identifying intervention points like an elderly person who falls a lot is valuable. AI can detect if this person may need physical therapy at home to build strength. It can recommend a physical therapy regimen and set up appointments for the patient. AI assessing this need before the fall and admission to the ER is crucial to the patient’s overall health and cost savings.

  • Health technology reduces hospital admissions and costs. By addressing patients’ social determinants of health, hospitals can proactively manage patients before hospitalization. Technology connects patients with local organizations for food, housing, substance abuse, and mental health support, reducing their reliance on hospitals and EDs with things like telehealth.

  • Natural language processing and conversational AI solutions help researchers study diseases from multiple angles by integrating and sharing genomic, clinical, and imaging data, leading to novel hypotheses and breakthrough advancements.

  • To improve healthcare system efficiency and reduce costs, providers must optimize the length of stay in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). AI will enable collaboration with the SNF to ensure timely discharge. By optimizing the post-acute length of stay, hospitals can facilitate safe and successful transitions of patients back to the community.

What Risks Should Be Considered When Using AI in the Healthcare System?

 As AI’s role in healthcare grows, we must consider its risks. While AI enhances the healthcare system, algorithms for caution and active risk monitoring are vital to prevent jeopardizing patient safety.

  • One of the more obvious risks for AI in healthcare is that it can make mistakes that lead to potential patient harm. For instance, wrong medication recommendations, an overlooked tumor on a scan, or an incorrect procedure protocol can cause immediate harm.

  • Securing patient data is vital to avoiding privacy breaches. AI’s large-scale data collection can threaten individuals’ privacy rights, and its predictive capacities might unintentionally expose sensitive patient data. Examining the impact of AI on healthcare system efficiency has raised some ethical concerns.

  • Finally, the use of AI in the healthcare system raises various ethical concerns. It’s essential to develop strategies that respect patient rights. The involvement of intelligent machines in these decisions raises questions about accountability, transparency, consent, and privacy. There may also be instances where patients receive medical news from AI systems that they prefer hearing from a compassionate human clinician. 

AI helps handle numerous cases, but sole reliance on it for symptom analysis could lead to misdiagnosis, ineffective treatments, and overlooked screenings, underscoring the need for a balance with human expertise. Moreover, patients often prefer empathetic clinicians over AI predictions for receiving medical information, highlighting the necessity to balance AI use with clinicians’ human expertise in decisions to safeguard patient well-being.

Innovation technologies in healthcare system

What Are the Steps Required to Implement AI-based Solutions Into the Healthcare System?

Today, when people think they have a symptom, they search the internet for answers. A 2017 study cites that two-thirds of people use search engines for medical inquiries before making a medical appointment. So, what should be the steps to implementing AI solutions for patients and healthcare providers alike?

  1. Improve patient organization and streamline patient care: AI can make directing patients to the right healthcare providers quicker and more accurate. This technology can also help prioritize patients based on their need for care. These improvements can help doctors and patients by reducing waiting times and promptly ensuring that patients get the care they need. 
  2. Expand telemedicine capabilities: AI can enhance the quality of remote care through personalization, improved response times, individualized advice, and supporting medical professionals with patient-related content and research.
  3. Grow the scalability of personalized medicine: AI can quickly analyze and synthesize personalized datasets, allowing for the development of treatment plans tailored to individual patient’s needs based on their genetic information and medical history.
  4. Enable preventative care: AI’s data analysis and predictive analytics capabilities can lead to quicker responses to significant health concerns and a transition from reactive to preventive care.
  5. Remove language barriers: AI can support cross-border healthcare and address communication barriers, enhancing the quality and speed of care patients receive irrespective of their location or language​.

AI advancements are not just about abstract, impersonal technology. AI also needs to be accurate.
All of the learning the AI does should be backed by evidence or studies rather than personal opinions. The medical recommendations and information it learns as healthcare professionals interact with it will help patients make well-informed decisions. 

AI can deliver accurate, up-to-date, and well-researched content in line with healthcare standards while upholding reliable information. This revolutionary tool enhances health care for a healthier future.


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About the Author

Melissa Thomas
Melissa Thomas

Melissa Thomas is a veteran and accomplished ER nurse and Trauma Program Manager with over 22 years of experience. She is a certified emergency nurse and is certified in emergency pediatrics and trauma nursing care. She is passionate about delivering excellent patient care and education. Her diverse nursing experience, strong leadership skills, and dedication to continuous improvement help her write current, updated health-related topics.

She is a freelance writer specializing in health and wellness. She is adept at crafting and curating content for various healthcare companies. In addition, she authors continuing education modules for other healthcare businesses and professionals.

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