AI and analytics
AI and analytics have great potential across the health care enterprise, including in areas such as revenue cycle management, administrative work, capacity planning, productivity, and the clinical setting. Health system leaders should prioritize AI and analytics functions in their systems to support their staff, reduce costs, and improve patient planning and outcomes. Two reasons why health systems should invest in this area now are:
- 1. AI can benefit—not replace—clinicians in multiple areas of work.
Clinicians may be concerned about AI replacing human input, but the reality is that the combined work of human and AI can produce better results than either working alone. The concept of the “magic threshold” (described by Will Showalter, Wake Forest Baptist Health) refers to the point up to where AI can perform tasks on behalf of the clinician, reducing their workload and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. However, above the threshold, tasks are too complex for AI working alone, and human input is necessary. The magic threshold idea can illustrate how clinicians and AI can coordinate to produce better accuracy and improved patient outcomes.
- 2. Most health systems will continue to invest in analytics work for the future.
The majority of health system leaders interviewed either currently have analytics work in their systems or plan to in the future. The most relevant applications for AI include the clinical setting (particularly in imaging) and process automation functions. Many health systems are actively investing resources in AI functions in both areas. For example, one health system is planning on using AI-enabled clinician productivity tools and digital assistants. They are looking into workflow tools that automate the care process and tools that track patient information and deliver it directly to the physician for seamless information sharing.