Preventing Clinician Burnout with AI

Arnaud Rosier

By Arnaud Rosier, CEO, Implicity.

Burnout among doctors and nurses was already a major problem facing healthcare organizations, even before the COVID pandemic – maybe even more for healthcare professionals working in the extremely demanding field of cardiology.

It’s not just a matter of long hours and overwhelming patient loads (although these factors certainly don’t help). Burnout is also the result of the pressure that healthcare providers put on themselves to be perfect when the stakes are literally a matter of life or death. According to one recent survey, 43 percent of cardiologists report feeling burnt out, compared to 39 percent in academic medicine and 32 percent of nurses.

Those numbers are alarmingly high, but healthcare organizations often lack good options for addressing the problem. The COVID-19 pandemic stretched already thin healthcare staff nearly to their breaking point, and the ensuing “Great Resignation” has made it difficult for clinics and hospitals to recruit and retain new talent. Even if a healthcare organization is able to find prospects, budget limitations often prevent them from expanding their staff enough to meaningfully reduce burnout.

Technology (in particular, artificial intelligence) may become a viable solution for many healthcare organizations. Here are four ways that AI can prevent and reduce burnout for clinicians.

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Advanced Treatment-Validation Technology Set To Improve Cancer Treatment Results

James Talcott

By James Talcott, MD, SM, senior medical director, Oncology for Eviti, NantHealth

 A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that while the U.S. spends nearly two times more per capita on cancer treatments, related mortality rates were only nominally lower. The analysis was a cross-sectional review of 22 high-income countries assessing the correlation between cancer treatment expenditures and 2020-associated fatalities.

In fact, nine of those listed—countries that invested significantly less in cancer care—have lower mortality rates. This study proposes an interesting new perspective: increased spending does not guarantee better results.

So how, then, can we optimize care? As new cancer treatments are constantly emerging, it can become overwhelming for providers to sift through data and treatment options to find the most appropriate—and cost-effective—plan for patients. Oftentimes, patients see quicker and more efficacious results when directed to the right treatment plan early on. This is where early intervention and treatment-validation technology becomes a key factor in optimized cancer care.

Improved Visibility and Patient Empowerment

Treatment-validation technology connects payers and providers, offering access to an advanced research library platform supplying tools and data analytics for the delivery of high-quality care. Clinicians can view thousands of proven treatment regimens, federally registered clinical trials, expected treatment outcomes, and predicted costs, all during the process of curating the best plan for their patients.

The ultimate goal in cancer care is singling out the most efficient and direct treatment plan—bypassing lengthy (and often costly) trial and error methods. In addition, when the patient is empowered with options and stated preferences, based on provider information, they help gain an understanding of the benefits as well as potential side effects of available treatments. This builds and promotes important conversations between them and their physician about their treatment course ahead.

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How Doctors Can Support Patients Beyond Their Appointment Times

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When you see a doctor, for any reason, it can often feel like you’re in and out with little care to speak of. And seeing as modern healthcare professionals are rushed off their feet, that’s no surprise! But more and more doctors and nurses are taking a stand here; they want to be there for their patients and are finding ways to make that happen. 

Indeed, many patients need far more contact time than the initial appointment. And with the help of technology and new telemedicine methods, it’s becoming easier to extend that care time whenever it’s needed. But there’s still a long way to go! Here are some of the main ways doctors are pioneering new in-touch medical approaches. 

Advocate for Self Care Techniques

Self care is essential in minor cases, such as colds and flu, but it’s also essential for patients to have confidence in their own skills for taking care of themselves. As such, most healthcare bodies will advocate for self care techniques from home, and you’ll hear a lot more about providing your own medical aid. 

It’s why self care is very much in the modern mindset. Mental health days, for example, are only a recently accepted reason for taking time to yourself away from other responsibilities. However, they’ve long been needed and are a huge boon to society at large. 

Provide Plenty of Aftercare Options

Aftercare is an essential part of the care process, but it can often be forgotten about as well. And that’s the number one thing that doctors need to focus on in this new decade. Being able to keep up with a patient after a diagnosis and initial treatment keeps them healthier and safer, and thankfully, technology is helping us to cross that gap. 

For example, if you’re diagnosed with a form of hearing loss, hearing aids can easily be prescribed to allow you to live a comfortable life. And taking care of your hearing aid is easier than ever with upgrades in modern medicine, as well as having access to bonafide medical advice over the internet straight from your home. 

Stay in Touch with a Patient’s Emotions

Finally, most professionals now undergo training to better connect to a patient’s emotional state. Being able to see things from their point of view, as well as empathise with their fear and concerns (even when they’re slightly aggressive!) really helps to smooth an appointment through. 

Many patients just need that extra bit of support from the person they’re seeing. A quiet word that shows the professional understands where someone is coming from can provide a world of comfort to the other side of the table. Quick, easy, but important. 

Supporting patients beyond that first meeting is key in the modern world of medicine. A healthcare professional should be able to assess your needs face to face, and then keep up with you over the phone. Most of all, they should be able to make you as comfortable as possible! 

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How Hospitals Can Progress In Price Transparency Compliance

Paul Boal

By Paul Boal, vice president of innovation, Amitech Solutions.

Consumerization has finally entered the healthcare realm. Patients and insurance payers don’t just want a good care experience from hospital systems; they want clarity in the form of price transparency. And they’re not the only ones.

Both the federal government and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have set transparency expectations. Nonetheless, as The Wall Street Journal noted in December 2021, many hospitals have dragged their feet. And despite about 335 warnings from CMS, no hospitals have been fined, according to Fierce Healthcare reporting. However, it’s only a matter of time before consumer-centric healthcare and upfront hospital pricing data become the norm.

To be fair, it can be tough to get all hospital systems on the same page. Though CMS expectations ask for pricing data delivered via a comprehensive, machine-readable file, its directive has been interpreted differently by different hospital systems. There are nearly as many file formats as there are hospital systems publishing data. After all, hospital pricing can be complicated depending upon the patient’s needs, running the gamut from daily flat rates to rates based on the severity of the patient’s illnesses to bundled services that include special terms for quality of care.

Plus, the methodology for contracting and reporting will vary from one insurance payer to another. If a consultant uses bad or incomplete information to guide negotiations, the outcome can be less than accurate. For instance, our company has seen a large Arkansas provider network calculate different prices for a number of regional payers. How? It was publishing average prices, not contracted ones. This led to confusion and frustration for all stakeholders involved and required hundreds of hours of work to unwind and explain before real negotiations could take place.

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Starting A Health Tech Startup? Here Are 6 Tools To Invest In

Today, technology has become a part of day-to-day life. It has infiltrated virtually every industry, and this includes healthcare. The adoption of modern tools has considerably boosted the sector’s productivity, provided a competitive edge, and streamlined the execution of operations and patient care. Because of this, most hospitals and facilities are now seeking to have similar technologies deployed in their areas of operation. 

If you’re looking to launch a health tech startup, make sure it’s cutting edge so that the market appreciates your brand. Note that technology evolves rapidly, and your startup should be able to accommodate the most recent developments. Below are the key tools you should have in your startup.

EHRs are digital information records used by health facilities to record patient data and avoid the tedious use and management of paperwork. These records contain details like: 

A hospital can efficiently and effectively treat a patient when they have accessible and accurate data. A reliable medical device company should also be able to embed the EHR in the operating system of such gadgets to ensure seamless access and retrieval of digital patient records. 

And aside from availing data to authorized users instantly, EHRs aid in making decisions on the treatment course. Also, they help in coordinating patient treatment through simplified communication between different departments.

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AGS Health Recognized As An RCM Leader and Star Performer By Everest Group

AGS Health, the tech-enabled revenue cycle management solution provider for major healthcare organizations across the U.S., has again been named a Leader and Star Performer in Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Operations by Everest Group. The company was recognized in the top quartile for performance in market success and capability advancement as part of Everest Group’s Revenue Cycle Management Operations PEAK Matrix Assessment 2022.

The report assesses 31 RCM service providers based on market impact and the ability to deliver services successfully-as defined by subdimensions including market adoption, portfolio mix, value delivered, and strategic vision-to identify each organization’s overall market leadership position, labeled as Aspirant, Major Contender, or Leader.

AGS Health is honored to be recognized as a Leader for the second consecutive year, and a Star Performer for the third consecutive year. Star Performers are selected based on year-over-year advances in areas including growth, innovation, and technology investments.

“As delighted as we are to receive this industry recognition, we are most proud that it represents the value we continue to deliver to our clients through ongoing investment in innovation and service,” says Patrice Wolfe, CEO of AGS Health. “It demonstrates our commitment to helping ease our customers’ administrative and financial burdens through a strategic mix of technology, analytics, and process improvement, so they can focus on their core mission of providing high-quality patient care.”

AGS Health serves as a trusted partner in A/R management, coding, and business analytics to more than 100 major healthcare providers across the U.S. The company’s 100% graduate workforce of 10,000+ results-focused revenue cycle experts processes more than $50 billion in A/R annually and codes an excess of 41 million charts.

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4 Challenges And Opportunities In Healthcare Fulfillment 

In its general sense, healthcare includes efforts made to maintain or restore a person’s well-being, usually by a trained and licensed medical professional. And because of today’s advancements in technology and research, part of the proper administration of healthcare to patients is healthcare fulfillment. 

 What Is Healthcare Fulfillment? 

Healthcare fulfillment showcases healthcare’s ability to organize pharmaceutical and other medical orders from patients and healthcare providers through item inventory and medical supplies management and shipping. 

For example, patients can order their medical supplies online instead of going to a medical branch with the help of a small warehouse or a third-party logistics (3PL) company. Software that administers patient orders can validate the data they receive by checking any recent prescription on file. They can also verify if the patient’s order is required per medical necessity. Furthermore, employees can observe the order’s status without checking a physical warehouse, saving more time.   

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How To Overcome Technology Challenges In Healthcare

The healthcare industry is said to be turning digital more quickly than ever before. It’s believed that the chain of major events in recent years has acted as a catalyst for technological transformations in the medical field. For instance, visits to healthcare facilities are transforming into virtual appointments, digital records are replacing paperwork, and others. Further, diagnoses and patient monitoring can now also be done remotely using artificial intelligence.

The mentioned developments are promising and meant to offer convenience, security, and efficiency for both patients and healthcare professionals. However, many regulations, reluctance by healthcare providers to embrace technology, and other factors have become stumbling blocks to the full realization of technological advancements in the healthcare sector.

Information technology (IT) has immensely benefitted the allied health industry, but it has also come with a myriad of challenges. Continue reading to learn more about the multiple hiccups healthcare stakeholders need to overcome.

Upgrading And Updating Data Storage System

Experts agree that the healthcare sector is one of the sectors that deal with large volumes of data daily. Besides, the data collected is supposed to be stored for many years. 

It’s said that many healthcare providers are still dragging their feet regarding updating their data storage systems. Even with the advancement of technology, a large number of them are said to rely on outdated systems up to this day.

Embracing new technology isn’t easy, but keeping outdated ones will cost you in the long run. Outmoded technology can expose you to cyber-attacks and cause data loss. Moreover, installing new software on old hardware will cause compatibility issues and crashes.  

Advanced equipment and technology, on the other hand, will provide you with advanced storage options, enable you to quickly gather and filter information, get real-time updates and reports, and avoid system overload while adhering to laws. Partnering with IT firms like a Dell authorized reseller can be the answer to your IT woes. They can put an end to your IT challenges by offering a fully integrated IT solution while supporting your digital transformation journey.

Complying With Information Regulations

Since the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the healthcare sector has become heavily regulated. The regulations don’t only affect the healthcare providers but any other party acting on their behalf as far as patient health information (PHI) is concerned.

To enable compliance in the industry, it’ll require that all healthcare organizations have an in-house compliance and security officer conversant with HIPAA laws. Alas, this is a challenge for some organizations.

If your in-house IT department isn’t highly conversant with HIPAA laws, outsource managed IT services from a tech organization that’s an accepted expert with the healthcare industry’s regulations to ensure compliance. Doing so will enable your team to concentrate on providing services to patients while leaving the tech issues for the experts to handle.

Complicated Technology

Healthcare professionals already have their plates full and getting them to sit down and learn a new application will not be easy. Getting patients on board is even more difficult. 

Even though technology improves efficiency, many medical computer software applications are believed to be difficult to use. They’ve got complicated interfaces, which become frustrating for healthcare professionals and patients. This makes healthcare professionals reluctant to adopt new ways of doing things and prefer the methods and systems currently in place more. Patients, on the other hand, avoid such systems by all means.

Working with software developers during the development and research stage can help them know the sentiments of stakeholders and users. They’ll, in turn, develop applications that are easy to use when performing familiar workflows, especially now that virtual consultations and remote medical access are becoming the norm. 

An easy-to-use cloud-based technological system will enable better patient engagement. They’ll have a better user experience feeding in their details, making consultations and appointments, renewing their prescriptions, and performing other tasks.

Challenge In Interoperability

Securely and effectively sharing patients’ records digitally is one of the main challenges that the healthcare system is currently facing. 

Patients’ medical information is distributed across multiple locations in different systems where the individual has received healthcare services and medical care. This makes it impossible to gather a patient’s medical history to give quality treatment because one healthcare provider can’t access a patient’s medical information from another system.  

Moreover;

Learning to use technological tools integrated into your system will work for your benefit, making work easier and your team more efficient. Uniform but strict security and privacy policies across states should be implemented to make sharing of information accessible. The same should be revised frequently in line with emerging technologies. 

Conclusion

Despite the present industry hurdles, technology is and continues to shape the healthcare sector. It’d therefore be prudent to evaluate the multiple challenges present and their impact and deal with them according to priority while seeking possible solutions. 

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The Risks and Benefits Involved In Medical Tech Advancements

Technological advances in healthcare are saving countless patients and continuously improving the quality of life. Advances in medical tech have had a massive impact on virtually all the practices and processes in healthcare. Even though technology offers remarkable benefits to both patients and practitioners, it also comes with its share of risks. In this post, you will learn the benefits and risks associated with advances in medical technology.

Benefits of Advances in Medical Tech

As with other aspects, technological advances in medicine are rapidly changing things that were done manually in the healthcare industry. As such, developments in medical tech have been a game-changer in the industry. Here are some of the benefits of technological advances in the healthcare industry.

1.    Digitization of Health Records

Although paper-based data collection is still in use to some extent, the industry is switching to electronic storage which simplifies the creation of medical history records. The old, paper-based system required medical practitioners to create and complete files for patients often resulting in a long wait time to collect and update data. Apart from the actual digitization of basic patient information, technicians and nurses can input patient data like test results, weight and vital signs into the digital system.

Thus, technology is making it easy to update patient data as time progresses. As well, technology is positively influencing the healthcare administrative side since it provides a way to schedule appointments, update patient records with diagnostic codes and submit medical claims. Medical tech is making it easier to evaluate patients and offer effective treatments.

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It’s Time To Step Up EHR Security To Prevent Data Breaches and Ransomware

Brian Bobo

By Brian Bobo, chief digital officer, Greenway Health.

Healthcare ransomware attacks have become more common in recent years, and in many cases, caused considerable damage. At least 148 U.S. healthcare organizations fell victim to a ransomware attack in 2021, the most attacked industry, according to a March 2022 HIPAA Journal report.

With increasing threats from overseas, growing cybercriminal organizations, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise a sharp rise in breaches and healthcare ransomware attacks has occurred across the healthcare ecosystem.

As the situation grows more volatile, it’s vital to understand why threats like breaches and healthcare ransomware attacks exist and ways ambulatory practices can work to reduce cybersecurity risks.

The Most Valuable Record

It’s not just because the patient health information (PHI) the record contains that makes it valuable to cybercriminals, but the other information that accompanies PHI, such as addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, and even more obscure data such as insurance policy numbers, all of which someone can use to impersonate patients and commit identity theft.

With this stolen information, a cybercriminal can more easily steal someone’s identity because they now know important information no one else does. It’s what makes health records so valuable — not always the record itself, but what can be done with the information.

The average healthcare industry breach is so expensive because of the costs of remediation, recovery legal actions, and regulatory fines. In 2021, the average cost of a healthcare breach was $9.23 million, up 29.5% from $7.13 million the previous year, according to IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021.

Taking it a step further, by failing to keep patient records private, an ambulatory practice could face substantial penalties under HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules, cause potential harm to its reputation, and patient safety can be severely impacted. A hacker’s access to private patient data not only opens the door to steal information but they can possibly even alter the data — severely impacting patient health and outcomes.

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