Owners and operators of long-term care facilities (LTCs) are getting serious about finding solutions to the critical challenges they face. Among them include the high employee turnover rate, increasing regulations, shrinking budgets, and the growing aging population. These issues are compounded by the endless pressure to provide patient-centered care while meeting the demands of the Five-Star Quality Rating system.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a growing arsenal of applications that can address these issues, bringing improvements in costs, job satisfaction, quality, and access to care.
AI Thinks and Pays for Itself
AI in health represents a collection of multiple technologies that act and learn so that they can perform administrative and clinical healthcare tasks and contribute to the diagnosis. Practical applications include interventions to reduce the number of falls, telehealth to connect specialists to patients in rural areas, instant live updates to families, 24×7 health monitoring, proactive care, and freeing overburdened staff workers from mundane data-entry.
An AI-assisted remote monitoring system could reduce the number of hours a patient needs, saving tremendous costs, without sacrificing the safety and care of the patient. These are practical initiatives that will increase compliance, reduce errors and improve employee morale while addressing the key challenges facing LTCs. Primarily delivered through a combination of mobile devices, wearable sensors, big data analytics, and medical devices, AI can be used in real time, which is critical for patient intervention to reduce hospital re-admissions.
While it is not intended to be a replacement for a care provider, AI can seamlessly provide a continuous stream of patient data that allows care providers to move from reactive to proactive patient care.
Many of the non-patient care activities, including entering chart notes into a computer and ordering prescriptions and tests, can be eliminated with voice-to-text and wearable devices. By using AI to automate mundane tasks, healthcare workers are free to do less data entry and spend more time doing what they enjoy—interacting and caring for patients.
Better Data: Better Outcomes
One of the benefits many are now reaping from entering data into electronic medical records (EMRs) is the enormous quantity of medical information that is now digitized and available for use by AI. This vast amount of information is being used by AI to create intelligence that improves the overall quality of care. As interoperability becomes standard, we can expect fewer health care errors and better medical decisions and patient outcomes.
Once implemented, the creative ways that LTCs will use AI technologies will continue to grow. One solution is to use these tools to keep families informed and build trust. Digital health technology makes it much easier for information to be shared with health care providers and to keep loved ones informed and up-to-date on a patient’s condition.
With live data and intelligent insights, AI provides a welcome paradigm shift that brings the potential to move LTCs from reactive to proactive care. Smart sensors can track movement in a home and monitor vital signs. If anything, abnormal should occur, the system can then call in a nurse or family member to check on the resident’s well-being. At the same time, it offers tangible solutions that can improve employee satisfaction, and tremendously lower the overall costs of care.
People can schedule appointments with intelligent assistants or converse with chatbots online about medical problems. These computing programs will also diagnose illnesses or recommend custom treatments based on DNA analysis.