Telehealth, artificial intelligence and other technologies could help address workforce shortages in hospitals and health systems, according to a report from the American Hospital Association. Telehealth could be beneficial because of the increasing adoption of health care delivery outside the traditional setting and the shift toward team-based care, the AHA said.
Yuri A. Campbell comments on technology and the health care workforce
Yuri A. Campbell, FCHIME, FACHE, SHIMSS, Health IT Strategist, US Army
Although I believe artificial intelligence can offer some relief from the challenges associated with maintaining a well-staffed health care workforce, few systems are poised to take advantage of these advancements as they exist today. The first issue that comes to mind, as it is probably the easiest to exploit, is in using robotic process automation. However, replacing repetitive tasks with automated machine routines would first require business unit leaders and operators to clearly understand their processes they are investigating, including all the inputs, outputs and required stakeholder interactions of the enterprise processes. Based on my interactions and discussions with peers in the industry, few managers are boasting about having achieved that level of process maturity. The few who have are definitely poised to be leaders in using these technologies to improve health care.
Even after reaching the process maturity to understand which repetitive tasks we can automate, it is important to evaluate the risk of removing the human touch and feel from any process. Health care is not a black and white industry. Things that are important to one group may not hold the same weight with another one. Our backgrounds and different upbringings produce different cultural ideas of value and worth, especially regarding quality-of-life issues. Just because doing something is possible and seems right from one cultural perspective doesn't make it the best choice for all the different groups receiving care in a community.
CHIME believes a national patient identification system will protect patients from problems resulting from misidentification, according to CHIME Policy Steering Committee Vice Chair Liz Johnson. The group praised Congress for recognizing the problem as an important patient safety issue and for encouraging HHS to offer solutions, but the efforts are not sufficient, and CHIME will continue to work with legislators until it finds a safe, reliable and affordable way of connecting patients to their medical records, Johnson writes.
The Mayo Clinic has developed a model for protecting patient data that will be central to a partnership with nference to accelerate drug discovery and development using the Mayo Clinic Platform. Mayo Clinic Ventures chair Andy Danielsen says best practices for protecting patient data include stripping it of about 24 identifiers, using independent experts to certify de-identification, instituting a ban on pooling data with consumer or geolocation data, and including clauses in contracts banning attempts to identify patients.
Swedish researchers analyzed needle core biopsy slides from men with prostate cancer and found that using an artificial intelligence system can help detect and grade prostate cancer, as well as distinguish benign biopsy cores from malignant ones. The findings, published in The Lancet Oncology, also showed that the association between the AI-predicted cancer length and the one assigned by reporting pathologists was 0.96 for the independent data set and 0.87 for the external validation data set.
HHS released a draft strategic plan outlining the federal government's goals and objectives through 2025 for ensuring Americans have access to their electronic health information. The plan, developed by Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and more than two dozen other agencies, explains how the government plans to use technology to promote health and wellness, improve care delivery and patient experience, create a secure, data-driven culture to expedite research and innovation, and support development of an interoperable health IT infrastructure.
Researchers at Boston University received a $3.2 million NIH grant to expand a successful pilot program connecting people who have Parkinson's disease with physical therapists using telehealth. The physical therapist develops a personalized care plan at an in-person session for the patient to follow at home, then videos and other resources are added to the plan using an app that also enables communication and modification of the care plan based on the patient's goals and needs.
CHIME is offering an exclusive hotel block reserved for CHIME members who register for the Spring CIO Forum in Orlando, Fla., while availability lasts. The block is at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Hotel, located directly across the street from the Convention Center. Members can register and book a room.
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