Often, the thought of artificial intelligence performing a health care function can be quite daunting. It might sound equally daunting to leave your patient’s medical information exposed to an AI-based record system. The truth however is that patient-centric care has never been more important than it is now. With the prolonged impression of a global pandemic, having the right patient information at the click of a mouse is crucial.
EHR systems are already doing an exceptional job of gathering and organizing individual patient records from various sources. The addition of artificial intelligence to popular EHR systems makes the information integration unified for both physicians and patients.
With more accurate medical information on hand, a patient is guaranteed more effective and immediate treatment. But, just how is AI impacting our EHR software systems? More importantly, how will these influences benefit our individual care?
AI – The Revolution of EHR Systems
EHR software platforms have proved to be an integral part of modern health care. Not only is patient information more accurate, it’s also more accessible. By incorporating AI into the equation the result is a definite game-changer. To get a better overview of the effect AI is having on the healthcare system, we need to consider a few points.
How is AI Positively Disrupting the Healthcare System?
Recent years have seen a rise in the way AI is positively impacting the healthcare system. To get a clear indication of the way artificial intelligence is influencing healthcare, one needs to take a closer look at the factors that make up the healthcare system.
“Keeping Well” Applications
The largest impact of AI in healthcare comes from its ability to assist people with staying healthy. Consumer health applications are rapidly growing in an ever-changing digital world. Healthcare applications encourage increased healthy behavior among users.
A number of consumer devices such as smartphones and other conversational devices have started introducing the Amazon Echo Show. Linked to the Kareo EHR software system, healthcare communications are controlled via an AI voice interface and even touch screen. This easily facilitates remote telehealth with simple voice requests.
AI is already assisting with the early detection of critical diseases such as retinopathies and cancer. Using AI in the analysis of radiology and mammogram images can potentially speed up the diagnosis and provides 99% accuracy. Future plans for AI development will be able to make assessments without actual tissue samples.
Further uses of AI in early diagnosis have identified an estimated 50 variants of eye-related diseases. This process is performed by the AI analyzing 3D retinal scans.
Robotic Surgery with AI-assistance
While AI technology is still a long way from replacing an individual surgeon’s skill, advances can be seen in surgical performance. AI robots can currently perform the basic tasks of meticulous cutting and stitching. They can use complex algorithms to control cutting and stitching accuracy to exceptional sub-millimeter precision.
Enhanced Drug Discovery
One of the best ways for pharmaceutical companies to streamline their drug discovery and repurposing is by making use of AI. It can pinpoint previously unidentified causes of many different diseases. This in turn allows for testing at a higher accuracy level.
The use of AI will diminish the traditional trial and error approach to drug discovery. By using AI the results will be more predictive and can result in more accurate designs of medications and vaccines.
AI has probably made the most significant dent in the healthcare industry in the area of precision medicine. By definition, precision definition relies on abundant amounts of medical data collected from apps, health sensors, and advanced biotechnology to identify the medical treatment a patient needs.
Medical practitioners can now make diagnosis and treatments based on more accurate information provided over a regulated period of time. A physician can use an AI platform to monitor and extract the required information, ultimately resulting in a more accurate diagnosis. With the AI onboard, a prescribed treatment plan suited to the individual patient can be determined.
A Few Ways AI is Supplementing EHR Software
With the increased improvements AI continues to make in the healthcare field in general, it was only a matter of time until these advances found their way to supporting software programs. By automating administrative tasks, AI platforms not only limit time spent on administrative tasks but save money as well.
Popular EHR systems across the board are all making use of AI advancements to improve their platforms. These progressions benefit the patient, the physician as well as rendering the administrative function more accurate and accessible.
Improve the Use of EHR System
With the involvement of AI in EHR systems, functions such as data extraction and specialized clinical workflows are rapidly improved. Systems within the administration process are streamlined and simplified.
With access across different EHR systems, information is accessed and analyzed at a much faster rate, eliminating the traditional patient experience of having to wait for results. The mining of the “big data” enables physicians to provide more efficient treatment plans.
Streamline for Physicians
Studies have shown that on average almost 50% of clinician time is made up of general admin work. With an assimilated AI system, EHR software can capture all data related to the patient. This allows the physician to focus more time on the patient and possible treatments and less time on the administration of the process.
Voice-to-text transcriptions make the ordering of additional tests, writing chart notes, and prescribing medications a lot simpler for the physician.
Athenahealth EHR Software for instance, has recently partnered with NoteSwift to advance physicians transcribing functions. The AI, referred to as Samantha, can easily interpret the physician’s narrative whether in written or spoken form. Samantha can then detect structured data and assign the relevant ICD11, SNOMED or CPT codes and prepare the necessary orders and even create electronic prescriptions.
Not only is AI’s presence beneficial to physicians and the data capture and extraction process but it leads to advantages for patients as well. Patients have never been this much in control of their own health and well-being. The medical apps provided by Apple and Samsung allow patients to measure and regulate their own day to day health patterns. With AI integrated systems, patients can also access their own medical records and have them on hand if necessary.
How Is AI Altering EHR Software?
With medical practices and facilities making use of different EHR software systems, there is often not a unified standard for the capture, managing or transmitting of patient data. This makes it difficult to access or extract information from these opposing systems. Often, this can result in information being lost or inaccuracies being processed.
Many healthcare organizations are now using AI to alter popular EHR systems for the better. By including AI into the EHR mix, interoperability issues are easily solved. An EHR system dedicated to provide the latest interoperability is eClinicalWorks. The AI virtual assistant, known as Eva, provides the most up-to-date records available at the time and point of care.
This means, by using the AI integrated system, a physician’s office can easily extract a patient’s records from the last hospital visit at a different facility. This eliminates the physician wasting time trying to obtain required documentation to make a correct diagnosis.
Some forms of the AI integrated EHR software can also ensure the correct medical documents are completed before surgery. Should these documents be incomplete or missing, the AI notifies nurses or admin staff, eliminating much of the run around.
In what Capacity Are Vendors Already Using EHR?
While AI’s full potential in EHR software is still in its infancy, there are several ways in which it’s already proving to be a game-changer.
A few of these AI applications being used in EHR systems include the following:
- Data extraction: With AI it’s easier to extract a patient’s data from multiple sources such as provider notes, clinical data, prescribed medications, and previous tests and x-rays. This provides the new or current provider with a more accurate analysis of a patient’s required treatment.
- Predictive analysis: By making use of AI’s predictive models, physicians can be alerted to potentially fatal diseases. AI also has the capability to interpret algorithms that can be integrated into EHR software. This in turn provides more accurate treatment strategies. The EPIC EHR system is currently using AI to predict patient risk levels, sepsis as well as hospital acquired illnesses.
- Clinical administration: EMR systems make use of integrated AI tools to collaborate and capture data related to a particular patient.
- Decision support: While most treatments are generic for each condition, AI allows for a more individual approach. AI integrated systems allow for personalized care based on real time-data and individual patient results.
A Final Thought
The integration of AI into EHR software is elevating the healthcare industry to new heights.
Accessing all relevant, up to date medical information enables physicians to provide a higher level of care to patients. It also allows for more individualized treatment.
AI assistance in surgery and drug discovery streamlines the medical process. This allows for a better medical experience for the patient. With a streamlined system, more patients can be assisted, thereby easing the congestion in some medical facilities.
An added advantage of AI in EHR software is the ability to extract a plethora of knowledge from technology-driven algorithms. The faster and more accurate assessment and detection of certain diseases can make the ultimate difference in life-saving procedures. We might regard AI as being futuristic, but it should be embraced now. The reality is, artificial intelligence will only improve healthcare as we know it!