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Why telehealth and AI is a winning situation for healthcare

By Mary Gorder

AI and robotics are no longer a sci-fi fantasy. Yet, even with today’s technologies, many Americans aren’t taking advantage of the vast benefits they can offer.

Despite having access to new, sophisticated technology, healthcare facilities are limited by red tape, preventing them from effectively streamlining their operations. But with increasing pressure to reduce costs and improve services, the industry is finally poised to jump on board and reap the benefits of AI technology.
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Faced with rising costs, an aging population and physician shortage, the healthcare industry is navigating in an unsustainable system. Healthcare administrators are being urged to cut costs and increase the quality of care, but this isn’t an easy feat to accomplish. Most often, effective cost reduction comes with significant sacrifices that negatively affect the quality of patient care. Harvard Business Review found that the majority of hospital administrators typically make cuts to the most obvious expenses. “Personnel, space, equipment, and supplies are attractive targets, reducing spending on them appears to generate immediate results. But the reductions are usually made without considering the best mix of resources needed to deliver excellent patient outcomes in an efficient manner.” Emerging at the forefront in cost saving and efficient technology for medical facilities is the use of telehealth. Studies have already demonstrated potential savings of up to 19% when compared to inpatient care costs, with the benefits of virtual care proving to be even more substantial.

Physician shortage plagues the U.S.
Physician shortage is a real phenomenon, plaguing the U.S. with a slew of problems. Not only does physician shortage have a direct impact on the ability to provide patient care, but it also has a destructive effect on the physicians themselves who find themselves demoralized, stressed out, and at a higher risk of experiencing burnout. Technology promises to ease this burden with automated solutions that allow physicians to focus on the patient-doctor relationship, rather than occupy themselves with rules, regulations and paperwork. Electronic Health Records (EHR) were originally designed to help reduce this encumbrance, but in the long run, are proving to be a hindrance. However, pairing EHR with advanced analytic applications, such as the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) platform, will enable a data-driven focus that improves processes and outcomes, allowing doctors to see more patients without the bureaucracy of a compensation-focused system.
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