According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans have heard at least a little about artificial intelligence. Commonly referred to as AI, it is being employed by numerous industries, from technology and retail to manufacturing, agriculture, energy, insurance and more. 

AI is increasingly being utilized in healthcare, and the same survey found that 38 percent of Americans believe it will lead to better outcomes for patients. Roughly 59 percent of healthcare executives in the United States believe that AI is effective at improving clinical outcomes, and  83 percent of healthcare organizations have implemented an AI strategy. 

In healthcare, AI is most commonly adopted by physician practices and other providers for appointment management, like scheduling, rescheduling or canceling an appointment in addition to clinical outreach. Some medical groups utilize AI to communicate education for lab prep, conduct hospital post-discharge follow-up or answer common patient questions. 

In some cases, AI is being implemented to detect diseases such as cancer. It enables the review and translation of mammograms 30 times faster with 99 percent accuracy, reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies. 

AI Fundamentals: What You Need to Know 

AI is the ability of computer systems to complete tasks of varying complexity commonly associated with intelligent beings. It makes use of computer algorithms to copy humans’ capability to learn and subsequently make predictions. 

According to numerous research studies, AI can perform as well as or better than humans at key healthcare tasks. It has enabled healthcare providers across the U.S. to streamline key administrative aspects of their business to improve patient care while lowering costs. 

AI achieves many of these advantages because of its capability to process large volumes of data to inform decisions that drive health improvements and reduce costs. “Big data” and other high-quality, diverse and large datasets, however, are also necessary to train and improve AI models. 

Applications of AI to Reduce Administrative Burden 

Medical groups and other healthcare providers continue to encounter staffing shortages while still being responsible for an increasing number of administrative responsibilities. AI reduces the burden of those tasks by eliminating manual administrative and clinical processes that are often repetitive and labor-intensive. 

Workflow Optimization and Automation 

By taking over repetitive administrative and diagnostic tasks, AI frees up providers to focus more on direct patient care. For example, conversational AI is used for appointment management through automated scheduling, cancellations and rescheduling. It’s available for patients 24/7 and allows for multilingual support. It produces reduced wait times for patients and fewer no-shows for providers, and physician practices can monitor utilization trends to schedule staff accordingly.  

Population Health Management 

There are challenges to population health management, including the time and other resources necessary to deliver a sophisticated program. Conversational AI can be tailored toward a targeted patient population or for a specific medical group to provide more personalized interactions. The combination of AI-driven voice and SMS text messaging allows healthcare providers to use a multimodal approach, and the AI agent can answer patient questions and reduce barriers to following through with recommended care. 

Medication Management

Prescription medications offer an effective method for treatment, but many patients do not take their prescriptions as directed – even those with chronic illnesses. In addition to being associated with higher rates of hospital admissions, suboptimal health outcomes and increased morbidity, medication nonadherence is estimated to be linked to 125,000 deaths annually. By using voice-enabled conversational AI to remind patients to take their medicine, alert them when a refill is needed or recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications based on their profile, medical groups can alleviate medication non-adherence and improve outcomes.  

Benefits of AI in Healthcare 

In addition to increasing efficiency and reducing costs in the delivery of healthcare, conversational AI and other types of artificial intelligence enhance the patient experience and mitigate disparities. They enable patients to procure quick and accurate information without having to wait to speak to someone in their healthcare provider’s office. And, they provide 24/7 availability, meeting patients’ preferences for convenience — the primary driver of healthcare consumerism — and multilingual capability.

See what conversational AI can do for your medical group — call 540-516-3602 to start your interactive demo using test patient Sara Morales D.O.B. 7/20/81.