Diana Nole | October 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly disrupted health care and reinforced the need to improve physician and patient experiences, care quality and financial outcomes. But it also showed health care CEOs, CIOs and CMIOs how technology that augments and amplifies human capabilities can deliver transformative results when it prioritizes people over administrative processes through AI-powered and other advanced solutions.
The dramatic growth of telehealth is a high-profile example of taking a people-first approach. It illustrates how information exchange can be improved, as well as the speed at which solutions that support how physicians deliver care and how patients prefer to engage with health care services can be adopted. It has provided powerful validation of how technology can help us achieve better health outcomes and increased system efficiencies. It also sets the stage for an even bigger transformation using AI- and cloud-enabled ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technology.
ACI solutions combine advanced deep learning, speech recognition, natural language understanding and diarization technologies to understand the specific content and context of physician-patient encounters in real-time, then generate structured, high-quality clinical notes for review and inclusion in the EHR.
ACI solutions can eliminate the distractions and extra process imposed by a computer keyboard or scribing services and allow the physician to stay focused on the patient during exam room or telehealth encounters. In other words, ACI solutions enable true patient-centered care while reducing physicians’ administrative workloads.
ACI solutions also directly address critical strategic and operational concerns including physician burnout, clinical documentation improvement, value-based reimbursements and improving care quality and health care access. They also dovetail with existing health system efforts to modernize IT infrastructure while satisfying patient expectations for personalized digital engagement in every health care setting. All of those factors are driving the deployment of ACI solutions at major U.S. health systems and regional medical practices, where CEOs, CIOs and CMIOs are seeing ACI solutions quickly become physicians’ preferred way to interact with the EHR.
Physicians using ACI solutions report being able to spend more and better-quality time with patients, and less time on administrative tasks while improving documentation quality. Patients report feeling that they have their doctors’ undivided attention without a keyboard and computer present. Administrators say that the physician and patient satisfaction increases after deploying ACI solutions. That gives health systems a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining top clinical talent, as well as patients with rising expectations of personalized, consumer-facing care.
The adoption of ACI technology is a well-planned journey with progressive deployment of increasingly advanced capabilities aligned with practical use cases and integrated with existing IT infrastructures, clinical workflows and diverse health care environments. ACI solutions:
ACI solutions are cloud-based, providing security and reliability as well as the ability to easily deploy customized or enhanced workflow automation, virtual assistant, CDI and other capabilities over time. For example, the cloud makes it possible to integrate real-time clinical intelligence and diagnostic guidance at the point of care, tailored for radiology, surgical, emergency medicine, pediatrics and other specialties.
Health systems executives who’ve deployed ACI solutions began the journey to alleviate burnout, and improve physician and patient experiences, clinical documentation, and care and financial outcomes. For example:
Physicians using ACI solutions also relate other intangible benefits. They describe how it restores the deeply personal human elements of health care – the understanding eye contact and empathy that helps anxious patients, the relief in a parent’s face and the calm in their child’s eyes when both feel seen, understood and cared for in sometimes frightening circumstances. That is what ACI technology enables, truly patient-centered care.
To hear more about this important topic, register for “The Journey to Ambient Clinical Intelligence: A webcast with Nuance EVP Diana Nole” on October 29.