Can AI solve healthcare administrative burdens?

Increased pressure and the burden of administrative work not only affect the stress level and burnout of clinicians, but have a knock-on effect on patient care. 

Lack of time leads to rushed patient interactions and errors in coding on the back-end caused by inaccuracies while capturing the patient story. 

When quality of patient care decreases, hospital readmissions increase, resulting in a large price tag for healthcare organisations. Germany estimates an average of €9 billion lost annually, while Switzerland averages an annual loss of €5.8 billion, due to clinician stress and exhaustion.

Technology provides an answer 

Healthcare organisations are leaning into technology-based solutions to solve these universal problems. Artificial intelligence (AI) can help combat increasing demands on clinicians by creating a seamless path from the full patient story, all the way through to accurate and complete coding. 

At a clinician’s first point-of-contact with a patient, the coding process has already begun; AI keeps the clinician hands-free and patient-focused through speech recognition and transcription. This means more time spent building human connections and less time in front of computer screens. 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, primary care physician appointments take an average of 18 minutes, of which 49% of the time is spent handling electronic health recording. 

Although clinicians usually have little trouble documenting a patient’s initial conditions, they may fail to thoroughly document secondary conditions because they are fully focused on treating the patient.

Increasing accuracy 

AI computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD) acts as a scribe and advisor, nudging clinicians with documentation suggestions to make record keeping as thorough as possible. These non-intrusive nudges decrease clinician stress and reinforce accurate billing and reimbursement. 

As AI assists with the capture-to-code process, integrated electronic health record (EHR) systems must work in tandem with cloud-based systems to pass and connect information across departments.

The removal of departmental silos not only saves time but lowers the chances of errors and duplicative work. Information sharing across departments gives transparency to the revenue cycle and provides a complete picture of both the patient story and population health. 

Accurate coding has been recognised as essential, with some countries implementing a Payment by Results (PbR) payment model, to encourage efficient patients services paired with accurate coding and billing.     

“The better the coding is, the better the outcome for the hospital, which enables the hospital to make decisions that will improve their services to patients,” explains Catalin Velescu, 3M area division director of EMEA region.
3M HIS leverages technology to optimise the workflows and assist healthcare organisations in accurate coding, documentation and billing. Solutions that use speech recognition and CAPD are already alleviating work associated with documenting patient encounters, but even greater advances will be made through the use of conversational and ambient AI. This works in the background to capture doctor-patient interactions and help clinicians complete standard tasks faster. By removing administrative burdens, the technology reduces clinician stress and improves quality of care for patients.

To find out more about 3M HIS see here.

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