Whether or not you are aware of it, you are using artificial intelligence every single day. It is something we are utilizing constantly, and it certainly is here to stay. Artificial intelligence helps you choose the best movie on Netflix, play your desired music via Amazon’s Alexa and filters the trending content on your personalized newsfeed on Facebook. These days Al is also performing business functions in several industries such as transforming business models and strategies. It is also included in healthcare, especially a physician’s practice. Al increases operational efficiency and improves patients experience.
For non-techies, Al technologies like machine learning, neural networks and natural language processing can look scary and complex. This might be true to some extent but there are simple Al technologies as well and these are capable of making a lot of difference in small sized and medium sized practices. Mostly, the working of these technologies is dependent upon identifying and mechanizing patterns. For example, these patterns are at times present in the airwaves, like you voice and may be detected in speech recognition.
Al refers to computer algorithms which are capable of emulating a task performed by a human. There are a number of tasks that can be done this way. They can be as simple as automatically detecting cavities from X-rays that is done by a startup dentistry Al, or even vacuuming a room. One of these technologies is becoming very popular and powerful: Robotic Process Automation through bots. The full form of ‘bot’ is robot and this refers to a computer program that can engage with humans through communicating in simple English. On the other hand, the medium for communication for platforms such as Facebook Messenger or short messaging is text messages. To make the bot speak as well, you can add in speech recognizer and/or synthesizer. For example, you can find a library of applications known as skills in Alexa, where you can do anything from checking your credit card score to ordering a pizza. The function of the bot is to automate mundane and repetitive tasks, helping and freeing humans to take care of more complex responsibilities instead.
Three Uses for Bots in Medical Practices:
Appointments: Through instant messaging and/or communicating with patients in simple English the new artificial intelligence chatbots are able to automate the lifecycle of appointments. Through this service patients are able to book, confirm and reschedule their appointments to the doctors, in sync with existing HER calendars. According to the research of both DrChrono and Nimble, around 30 to 50 percent of no shows are reduced through these practices and around 25 hours of phone calls are saved. Hence, your own time is saved as well.
Accounting: Various parts of accounting life cycle can be automated through Al programs. Routing of invoices can be discovered and performed automatically. Through ‘bots’, routine queries regarding expenses and receipts can be performed. For instance, one of the greatest difficulties for the accounting office involves account reconciliation with institutions and banks. Artificial intelligence programs have been programmed to read bank statements, automate the procedure, and help find any fraud.
Health insurance: Humans are usually required to interpret the rules covering insurance contracts as these rules are very complex. ‘Smart contracts’ are an example of recent advancement. These are generic legal documents templates that execute payments without having the need to involve a middle man. Since there is no middle man, the cost is reduced and efficiency opportunities are increased. Insurance payments of health care practices are optimized and cut through the red tape through smart contracts.
Three Common Misconceptions:
In medical practices, limited economical and technical resources are two of main obstacles to implementing recent technologies. The truth is that people do not want to add more screens and applications to their daily operations. However, Al apps operate in a total different way that are simple, productive and seamless with just a small number of resources. A few of the common misconceptions regarding Al adoption are mentioned and discussed below.
High complexity: An example of this is the way you use Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. You were not required to install a different software or take any special kind of training to use them. Al apps in medical practices work in a similar way, HER’s are naturally integrated in to most of them. It is easy to find and activate them yourself. You can have a look at DrChrono, Care Cloud Marketplaces and Athenahealth for some examples.
High costs: The cloud economy and Al as service allow practices to cut out the need to opt for risky investments in hardware and software. Without making commitments and upfront investments, you are allowed to measure the economical and operational impact at your practice through free trials. If you decide to continue using them, you can pay for the use by submitting a monthly fee according to the volume of transactions (e.g. appointments, invoices). To make it simple, you will have variable cost with high returns.
AI will replace human workers: Some of the unique human characteristics that cannot be replaced are creativity, change adaption and patient empathy. Bots are likely to perform the basic tasks and functions which are repetitive and time inefficient, freeing your talent for more important and valuable tasks.
Increasing consumerization is being experienced by the health care industry by patients who are asking for lower costs, better service and around the clock accessibility. In order to meet the demands the medical practices should be open to adopting Al tools. Al can affect your training hugely and can leave you with some extra time which can allow you to focus more on patient happiness and satisfaction.