One of the critical reasons for the severe healthcare crisis is because the shortage of primary care physicians is worsening day by day. However, as per the research by experts say that advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will expand access to high-quality health care at a relatively affordable cost. It will serve as a workable solution where the physician shortage is acute.
The primary care physicians play a vital role on the frontlines of medicine, often serving as an initial point of contact for patients. Furthermore, ensuring that they stay healthy over time with routine check-ups, health information, preventative care services, and specialist referrals.
Key challenges and patient care gaps
The patient care gaps prevailing today are complex challenges to healthcare organizations that eventually lead to high risk for the patients. With the evolution of the digital patient record, which is commonly known as the electronic health record (EHR), the care teams are still potentially missing the care gaps because of misplaced clinical data, static data, and disconnected disparate data.
The cost of patient data gaps is quite significant. Not having complete and intuitive patient information can result in a rising risk to patients and decrease the overall health outcomes. And undoubtedly, healthcare providers and patient care teams will not be willing to take it.
Unavailability of an effective primary healthcare system, impacts patients in many ways. They are:
- Patients fail to address health conditions proactively that ends up in unnecessary suffering and high medical costs.
- Patients can not access or do not trust local primary healthcare services, preferring instead to take matters into their own hands and go directly to a specialist at the town hospitals that are overcrowded.
- The patients have to wait in line for hours for a consultation, leading to dissatisfaction and alarming rates of violence against health workers.
Artificial Intelligence making quality improvements in different facets
“Primary care is where AI can make the biggest difference” – Dr. Ogan Gurel
AI makes the hero entry to combat all the challenges and close the patient care gaps with advanced solutions. Experts believe that Artificial Intelligence will eventually drive greater efficiencies and quality improvements in all facets of healthcare delivery, including primary healthcare.
- An intelligently connected healthcare enterprise with seamless interoperability and data sharing can result in better outcomes.
- The access to insightful data of the patient can be helpful in the transforming of healthcare delivery, by enhancing quality, safety, and outcomes, while increasing appropriate volume for healthcare services.
- An intelligent data enterprise is a critical mechanism through which healthcare providers can uncover and draw attention to care gaps in their patient population, better enabling the health of the population with more complete, meaningful data.
- An AI enabled end-to-end interoperable data enterprise empowers the capability to close the patient care gaps, support strong care collaboration and data sharing, and improve outcomes while reducing cost.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows data management to better identify missing data, predict patient-centric outcomes and provide opportunities for continuous improvement in the delivery of care.
- The valuable data insights collected help the care provider team to monitor, evaluate, and use to make more informed decisions regarding the care of their patients.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows comprehensive data access and provides a more holistic view of patient-specific health information. It can assist the physicians and clinicians to determine the best care way evaluating predicting outcomes based on the data that is patient-based. AI has the power of complex algorithms that helps in gaining and analyzing the data and then translate data into intelligent, simplified visualizations for the patient care team.
Closing patient care gaps with open communication
One of the key ways to eliminate the care gaps is via open communication between the stakeholders and enhancing the healthcare quality steps. The lack of interoperability in healthcare is a segment of a larger communication problem restricting the stakeholders from working together to enhance health care efficiency.
Additionally, documentation is equally critical along with communication. There are many providers who are unaware that lack the data captured and appropriately documented in patient records can undermine quality improvement efforts.
For instance, healthcare providers need assistance to perform and document certain clinical activities that must be completed within a defined measurement window like infant immunization status, mammograms, etc.
The open channels of communication between healthcare providers, patients, and the payers will allow vital information to be captured and used to achieve cost-effective outcomes such as:
- The care providers are empowered to coordinate and align care services across different care settings.
- The health care teams and the patients have adequate knowledge and resources to manage their health concerns.
- The payers can better engage the healthcare providers and patients in the prevention and wellness of health.
Electronic medical records (EMR) system allows sharing of complete information at the point of patient care. Also, the payers can educate the care providers about adopting the quality measures and the accurate data needed to meet the specific measures.
The healthcare teams and providers can easily identify and address areas for clinical documentation improvements like codes for screenings to remove inefficiencies, delays, or failures in quality reporting.
The authentic data to eliminate the care gaps and enhance care quality already has been eased with the amalgamation of AI technology. With the right strategy in place, the technical potential capabilities for making data actionable are close to healthcare and determine the future success of healthcare plans.
Despite the power of Artificial Intelligence in primary healthcare, a significant portion of AI based research and enterprise today remains focused on narrow and highly specialized tasks in radiology, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, and many more verticals. These applications may also deliver great benefits for healthcare systems everywhere. But those focused on improving primary healthcare may ultimately have the most profound impact.
More and more health care providers and companies are working on AI applications for the primary health care context and are focused on developed markets. But at the same time, there are companies that are targeting the needs of physicians in emerging health markets.
About Net Health
Net Health provides software and analytics for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health’s interoperable solutions ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care. The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners. www.nethealth.com.
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