Health systems and hospitals are constantly looking for new ways to improve efficiencies and remove friction from their operations. Yet healthcare workers today are drowning in a sea of data and programs. Burnout is soaring and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the need for efficiency and capacity. Health systems looking to do more with less are tapping into technology to help their workers navigate their jobs quickly and efficiently.
Health system executives are turning to AI – including automation and the growing field of cybernetics – to improve productivity and decision-making while reducing burnout. AI is delivering targeted information to workers to enable better, faster results across hospitals and health systems at a time when time is more valuable than ever.
Cybernetics plus intelligent automation will power our human workforces
When health systems consider investing in artificial intelligence technologies, they typically look at robotic process automation (RPA) or intelligent automation solutions first. That’s because repetitive, high-volume workflows that provide high-value returns lay a solid foundation for a larger investment in your long-term AI strategy. Intelligent automation allows us to offload routine, time-intensive data entry to machines so that our human workforces can focus on higher-level initiatives that require a human touch. Automation is fundamentally changing how hospitals and health systems manage healthcare operations, freeing up our human workers to focus on what matters most – delivering quality patient experiences.
But giving more work to intelligent automation bots isn’t the only operational application of AI. After time-consuming, repetitive tasks are offloaded to automation, there’s enormous opportunity to improve the processes still requiring a human touch. That’s why health systems are augmenting the work that can’t be automated with cybernetics.
Cybernetics is a quickly developing field that will become indispensable in helping employers maximize the ROI of their human workforce while also improving employee satisfaction and work-life balance.
The benefits of cybernetics for healthcare
Cybernetics fuels human productivity by reducing errors, improving efficiency, improving decision making and therefore increasing human ROI. Here are a few examples of how a cybernetic AI solution can work:
Welcome Home Health (WHH), a company that facilitates care transitions to improve patient adherence to care management plans, has created a cybernetic process to improve decision making. The WHH cybernetic model synthesizes each patient’s clinical needs with their diagnosis, acuity, social determinant and payer information to assign them to a specific WHH program and enrollment path (e.g., should the patient go to a skilled nursing facility or home?). By providing the appropriate level of care and support, WHH can help patients recover more quickly and reduce hospital readmissions.
At the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, cybernetics is being implemented in the scheduling department to help staff members schedule patients more quickly and with fewer errors. Included is a feature that automatically pulls up a patient’s weight when scheduling an x-ray or imaging appointment. This information is necessary, but can be embarrassing to ask a patient in-person or can require opening up another program and searching. Every time that a patient is scheduled, the information critical to that specific appointment can be whispered to the scheduler and then checked for accuracy before being set.
Think about your own organization – what workflows often require real-time intelligence or outside references? What decisions could benefit from an unbiased recommendation based on data synthesization? Cybernetics is the way to get targeted, precise information into employees’ hands. Each time an employee doesn’t have to switch programs to look up information, you gain efficiencies. Each time a recommendation is provided by sophisticated analytics, you improve decision-making. Each time a typo is flagged, you reduce costly errors. Cybernetics, combined with automation, will help healthcare organizations do so much more with the resources they already have.
Artificial intelligence can change your healthcare organization today
Artificial intelligence is changing how we work today, not the distant future. But it’s not the AI depicted in science fiction where robots take over our jobs. Artificial intelligence, including intelligent automation and cybernetics, has functional, cost-effective solutions now for healthcare. By shifting humans to human work and giving them an AI-powered sidekick to help them throughout the day, hospitals and health systems can maximize the productivity, ROI and impact of the human workforce.
Our cybernetic solution is Olive Helps, an AI “sidekick” that lives on a healthcare worker’s computer. It’s a lightweight desktop application working alongside users that provides valuable information – at exactly the right time – using what we call Loops (think: apps in an app store.) By continuously learning from the cues in her environment, Olive Helps minimize the time required to complete critical tasks like patient verifications, billing and more. See how cybernetics can improve your workforce ROI today.