Mercy Health System Teams Up with Microsoft to Implement AI-Based Solutions
Mercy Health System, the sixth-largest Catholic healthcare provider in the United States, has announced its collaboration with tech giant Microsoft to deploy a range of artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools. The Missouri-based health system aims to leverage AI technology to transform patient experiences, alleviate the burden on medical staff, and enhance error monitoring and prevention.
Although still in the early stages, Mercy plans to launch several AI programs in the coming months. The organization foresees the potential of these tools to effectively guide patients through the healthcare system, reduce the number of basic inquiries to medical staff, and analyze medical records for diagnosis suggestions.
Joe Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation and Business Development Officer at Mercy, emphasized the importance of approaching AI implementation with caution. The health system is developing its own AI code of conduct to ensure ethical considerations and data privacy are prioritized. Kelly stated, We’re not going to rush…we do have the right safeguards in place before we just deploy technology like this into the wild.
Dr. Lee Schwamm, a professor of biomedical informatics and data sciences at Yale School of Medicine, highlighted the increasing presence of AI in various aspects of the healthcare system. While machine learning and automation are already widely used in financial transactions, conversational AI is gradually emerging in healthcare. Dr. Schwamm believes AI can aid in generating clinical notes and offering doctors potential diagnoses based on patient symptoms.
However, Dr. Schwamm cautions that human supervision and transparency are crucial when utilizing AI in healthcare. It is vital to ensure that patients are aware of when AI is being utilized to assist in their care. Maintaining human oversight and keeping patients well-informed are crucial aspects of AI integration in the healthcare industry.
One of Mercy’s initial AI programs is a chatbot designed to answer patients’ questions and provide assistance in comprehending lab results. Traditionally, patients have access to lab results through online portals before medical staff have an opportunity to discuss the findings with them. This chatbot is expected to address basic queries, helping to reduce the volume of unnecessary calls. However, patients will always have the option to reach out to medical staff for further clarification and discussion.
As Mercy Health System moves forward with its AI initiatives, they will continue to prioritize patient well-being and extensive consideration of ethical implications. With an eye towards future possibilities, the organization is actively exploring numerous potential applications of AI throughout its healthcare system.
In conclusion, Mercy Health System’s partnership with Microsoft will bring about the implementation of AI-based tools to enhance patient experiences and improve healthcare efficiency. Through careful and considered deployment, Mercy aims to leverage AI technology for the benefit of both patients and healthcare providers.