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Exploring the future of AI, addressing clinician burnout and health care policy | #CHC19 day three

Published on 10/9/2019

The final day of CHC19 gave attendees a chance to continue to network and learn. Valuable sessions on timely industry themes and the opportunity to experience the now and next of Cerner solutions and services on the Solutions Gallery floor inspired participants to go home with a fresh perspective on transforming health care together.

Industry thought leaders share their vision for how AI and machine learning will transform health care

The challenges and opportunities of integrating AI and machine learning into health care delivery were at the center of this power session moderated by Dr. Tanuj Gupta, senior director and physician executive, Cerner Intelligence. Dr. Gupta shared an overview of the current state of AI and machine learning and highlighted Cerner’s current initiatives in the space, such as Chart Assist and Virtual Scribe, which are all aimed at reducing cognitive burden for clinicians.

“I am excited that Cerner’s collaboration with AWS is positioning us to scale AI and machine learning for health care,” Dr. Gupta said.

The conversation continued with a panel discussion featuring Dr. James Hellewell, medical director at Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Matthew Hoffman, vice chairman at Christiana Care, Dr. Robert Bart, CMIO at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Dr. William Feaster CHIO at CHOC Children’s. The group explored many topics including provider resistance to technology, potential for gender and racial bias and what organizations should be doing to prepare for what’s next.

“The question is, how do you change clinician, patient and nursing behaviors to make this technology work?” said Dr. Hoffman. “There’s a huge cultural issue that we have to overcome because we don’t speak the same language across health care. We need to make sure that clinicians see AI and machine learning as helpful tools and not just another distraction.”

Dr. Bart also addressed the hurdles of getting clinicians to buy into the potential of AI and machine learning. “We have issues with credibility and trust. It’s difficult to convince providers that AI, machine learning and augmented intelligence will aid them in improving care when they’re dealing with burnout that they might associate with the use of technology. We’ve been focused on applying this technology to clinical aspects, but I think that we can get the health care ecosystem more comfortable if we start with arenas such as operations, staffing and charge capture before moving into the diagnostic and therapeutic spaces.”

Dr. Feaster touched on how the changing health care landscape will impact industry expectations for clinicians. “The clinician of the future will be required to have data science as part of their scientific training,” he said. “They’ll need to understand what data science and machine learning is about.”

Dr. Hellewell said prevention and wellness is where AI and machine learning can make the greatest impact now. He also shared his vision for how the technology will improve physician satisfaction.

“I am looking forward to the day when the EHR is virtually invisible,” he said. “I hope to be able to put patient data into machine learning and AI algorithms that can identify the best next step for patient care that is tailored to their needs. This will free up clinicians to do what they really want to do, which is focusing on the patient.”

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology gives update on the future of health IT policy, interoperability

Eva Karp, Cerner senior vice president and chief clinical and patient safety officer, moderated a discussion with Dr. Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, on nationwide efforts to advance interoperability. Much of the conversation centered around how the 21st Century Cures Act will support patient access to their health information, accelerate information sharing across the health system and reduce health IT burdens on clinicians.

“In this smartphone and app economy, consumers easily use apps like Uber or Lyft,” Dr. Rucker said. “These apps use APIs. Health care should be able to use APIs in a similar way. This is what the 21st Century Cures Act is trying to solve for.”

The topic of cybersecurity was also covered with Eva asking Dr. Rucker his thoughts on the issue and how we can best protect data.

“Cybersecurity is kind of like bacteria," he said. "Mammals have been in a battle with bacteria as far back as we can imagine. It causes viruses that attack us. As long as we have software, we will deal with this issue. People are imperfect, and they created software, so it's imperfect, too. The reality is that APIs are very secure. Security issues often have little to do with APIs, and are often caused by server patching or other localized issues.”

The discussion also touched on data, alert fatigue and patient identification and matching. Dr. Rucker also identified the “broken payment system” as a major problem in health care. Yet, despite the many challenges facing health care, Dr. Rucker left the audience with an uplifting message.

“This is a very exciting time for health care,” he said. “From health care products becoming much richer and interactive with the environment to beginning to utilize and act on population health, which Cerner helped pioneer, I am simply pumped to see what can happen next.”

To learn more about what’s happening at Cerner Health Conference this week, be sure to follow #CHC19 across social media and check back each day for a wrap up of the hottest topics being discussed.