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Harbingers of Healthcare Information Technology

Journal of Informatics Nursing interviews Paul Coyne, DNP, MBA, MS, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, assistant vice president, chief nursing informatics officer at HSS, about artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

Coyne explained AI in healthcare has great potential. For instance, the rules for medication interactions which was part of the impetus for the electronic health record (EHR) took the industry by storm. Machine learning automates some of the manual labor of having to individually program and maintain types of rules for critical alert systems. People are not always aware of the effort entailed in programming and maintenance, nor the level of risk if something isn’t programmed correctly. Not requiring humans to manually create the rules to prompt clinicians is where the focus should be today, cited Coyne. 

Another AI use case is analyzing the behavior of patients. In a long-term care setting, this approach monitors patient activity and observes and alerts for changes in routine. If for example, a resident typically uses the restroom for five minutes at a time, three times a night, the platform learns their routine. If one night the patient gets up once and is in the bathroom for 20 minutes, staff will be notified. Using these Al nudges a patient's care team and will receive early notification of a change in the patient’s condition.

Forward looking, Coyne predicted in 10-20 years there will be fundamental changes to how we view and interact with the EHR. More companies will emerge with products that integrate with and augment the EHR.

This feature appeared in print Volume 5, Number 3.