As the healthcare industry continues to evolve from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, there is an increasing focus on better quality, outcomes and experience – all with significantly lower costs. Healthcare and technology leaders are working together to achieve these goals through digital transformation. This digital transformation will blanket the HIMSS20 Global Conference next month, where IT giant IBM and its Watson Health will have a massive presence. Healthcare IT News interviewed Paul Roma, general manager of IBM Watson Health, to see what he and the company see as the key trends impacting this digital transformation will be at HIMSS20 and beyond. Data security is fundamental to digital transformation, Roma asserted.
Physician burnout is one of the most serious conditions in today's medical profession. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines the condition as "a long-term stress reaction caused by emotional exhaustion [and] depersonalization," among other factors. According to the American Medical Association, physicians suffer from considerable stress caused by facets of their job that have little to do with actually providing personalized patient care. The AMA reports that physicians spend up to six hours daily working with electronic health records (EHRs) to adhere to government and hospital documentation requirements. That's six hours not spent seeing patients, and thus not having the time to listen carefully and diagnose, empathize, hold a hand, speak with family members, or explain conditions and next steps.
As healthcare provider organizations confront the steep challenge of securely and efficiently bridging the digital gaps among various technology systems, many are looking to cloud technologies that empower interoperability, marry healthcare information systems with AI, and ensure the privacy and security of patient data. With this in mind, Healthcare IT News turned to Concord Technologies, a cloud fax and document process automation company (it will be in booth 634 at HIMSS20 in March), to look ahead at 2020 and identify three trends with AI-based cloud fax technology. The CAQH Index shows a $9.8 billion savings opportunity for the healthcare industry by reducing the administrative burden found in eligibility and benefit verification, prior authorization, claim submission, coordination of benefits or a crossover claim, claim status inquiry, claim payment, and remittance advice. CAQH is a non-profit alliance of health plans and trade associations developing and leading initiatives designed to positively impact the business of healthcare. In 2020, AI-enabled technologies will transform administrative workflows across digital channels, reducing administrator and clinician burnout and improving overall staff satisfaction, said John Harrison, senior vice president at Concord Technologies.
Today, Microsoft and Nuance Communications announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the development of Nuance's Ambient Clinical Intelligence (ACI) solution, announced at HIMSS earlier this year. Built on Microsoft Azure, the partnership will bring together the two companies' strengths in developing ambient sensing and conversational AI solutions in order to reduce the burden of clinical documentation, so doctors can focus more time on patients. Physician burnout is at epidemic levels. A recent study shows that primary care doctors now spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they're involved in direct patient care. Physicians reported one to two hours of after-hours work each night, mostly related to administrative tasks.
Healthcare is an industry that touches all of us, given the most basic of human goals: we all want to lead healthy lives. Last year we embarked on Healthcare NExT, a Microsoft initiative which aims to accelerate healthcare innovation through artificial intelligence and cloud computing. By working side-by-side with the healthcare industry's most pioneering players, we are bringing Microsoft's capabilities in groundbreaking research and product development to help healthcare providers, biotech companies and organizations around the world use artificial intelligence (AI) and the cloud to innovate.