With its innovative applications in the medical field, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the central topic for discussions in the healthcare industry. The majority is concerned that AI might replace the clinicians or the healthcare staff soon. Yet many others are skeptical about its role in healthcare organizations. Interestingly, as many as 94 percent of survey respondents agreed that AI is the most reliable path towards ‘equitable, accessible, and affordable healthcare’ expected to shape the future of the healthcare industry.
Healthcare organizations are increasingly deploying AI to support several administrative operations. The underlying objective remains to automate the routine and mundane manual tasks and ease the burden of the staff. Hence, practically speaking, AI will probably replace the administrative staff in the foreseeable future, if not the clinicians themselves. According to 68 percent of the respondents of a Medscape survey, AI-powered software is expected to allow the clinicians to spend more time on other essential tasks by automating the administrative tasks and reducing workload.
Which tasks can be automated using AI?
The routine, non-critical, and repetitive tasks can be easily automated using AI. These are fundamentally the administrative tasks such as patient scheduling, payment collection, patient communication, survey analysis, post-visit follow-up, etc. While these are high priority tasks, they are tedious and inefficient, and can therefore be automated. AI will streamline these administrative workflows to bring in operational efficiencies and improve the overall patient experience.
How can AI improve patient experience?
There are numerous repetitive tasks involved in patient communication that can be automated using AI. When done manually, these tasks can be very time-consuming for the staff and the patients both. For instance, an average appointment scheduling call takes about eight minutes. However, an AI-powered software can cut down this time to a few clicks. Similarly, office staff wastes an average of 74 minutes every day, tracking down information, which can again be considerably reduced using EMR software to divert the same time to see the patients. Patients are generally extremely frustrated about long wait times, poor communication, and lack of digital tools. Interestingly, many of these problems can be addressed with automating and further enhanced using AI.
So, when the administrative burden is eased off the healthcare providers, they have more time to spare towards seeing and treating patients. This, then, translates into better patient experience and ultimately leads to improved health outcomes.
How can clinicians benefit from AI-enabled administrative tasks?
Analyzing patient data is one of the most critical tasks in the healthcare setting. AI can help the clinicians derive meaningful insights from data sets to conduct better diagnosis and devise more effective treatment plans. Additionally, AI plays a vital role in improving retention. For instance, according to a recent study, AI-automated reminders sent out at the right time and, in the right way, improved the confirmation rates by 156 percent. Hence, AI can help clinicians identify and implement best practices.
Identify No-Shows and Fill Appointments
Clinicians can further use AI to identify potential no-shows and fill the appointments. Analyzing patient behavior through AI, it is practically possible to predict the possibility of no-shows so the schedule can be adjusted accordingly. Similarly, the likelihood of paying bills on time can also be determined to act smart ahead of time.
Responding to Patient Queries
Similarly, AI can be used to respond to patient queries 24/7 through a website chat of SMS. It can be leveraged to provide an interactive experience for patients to ask their relevant questions and get an automated response. Also, automatic reminders can be sent out to ensure medication adherence.
Establish Post-Appointment Cae plans
AI can establish the right cadence and content for post-care plans based on the prescribed treatment and patient behavior.
AI is expected to adapt and flex to automate administrative tasks and self-learn for repeatability at scale. Therefore, AI can significantly help humans focus on adding value to administrative workflows and improving capital efficiency. On the other hand, the patients are interested in using AI to save time and enhance the convenience of seeking care. But they will still want a human touch in their care experience. So, while the AI-driven tools can deliver meaningful insights and automate several administrative tasks, someone still needs to apply those tools through the healthcare organization.