Healthcare is a fraught enterprise. It’s a necessity that everybody needs at some point, yet 43% of Americans report that they are dissatisfied with the national health system in the U.S. Anybody who works in healthcare should be alarmed by this figure. Thankfully, statistics like this have prompted a new world of innovations that are poised to improve patients’ experiences in meaningful ways. What is this incredible innovation? AI in healthcare. As the human potential for technology becomes clearer, many medical processes are being outsourced to artificial intelligence and machines — but that’s not a bad thing. See how AI is changing healthcare for the better.
Virtual Nursing Applications
Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, but they’re often overworked and understaffed — problems that can lead to professional burnout. A new generation of AI-powered tools may offset some of the pressure that nurses face. These applications, called virtual nursing assistants, offer automated interactions with patients. They can complete simple nursing tasks such as checking blood pressure, monitoring conditions, and recording weight. An AI nurse offers considerable cost reduction to medical facilities, and many patients are receptive to the technology.
Taking vitals isn’t the only routine task that a machine can help nurses complete. There are many algorithmic programs that promise to streamline standard workflow tasks for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. These programs take over basic administrative tasks involving paperwork, scheduling appointments, and transcribing notes. In addition to saving time and money, these administrative assistants may also be able to improve healthcare cybersecurity. With fewer interactions logged on a patient file, their information is less susceptible to compromise.
Better Fraud Detection
Patient confidentiality isn’t the only healthcare cybersecurity concern. Fraud is also a problem that every healthcare provider must be aware of. Although it’s relatively rare, there are fraudulent health care claims submitted to insurance every year. AI is incredibly effective at flagging these claims before they can be processed and preventing fraud such as upcoding. Upcoding is the practice of billing for services that were not rendered or inflating the cost of a service by billing it as a more expensive procedure.
Preventing Prescription Errors
Unfortunately, there are thousands of prescription errors every year, and some of these errors cost the victims their lives. This is due to provider negligence, but recent research reveals that it’s an easy mistake to make. Healthcare professionals often select a medication from a drop-down menu on a computer, and if the wrong selection is made, the results can be fatal. Luckily, AI programs are cutting down on these errors and saving lives in the process. These programs work by detecting inconsistencies in prescribed medication and flagging prescriptions for further review before they are filled.