Notable is the first platform to combine AI and RPA to solve healthcare problems from the front desk to the back office, called intelligent automation.
For more than a decade, artificial intelligence (AI), defined as machine intelligence that mimics human cognitive function, has been promised as the solution to business problems across many industries — healthcare included. It was touted as the answer to health inequities, a way to assist physicians with difficult clinical decisions, a tool to predict readmission risks and a means for lowering the overall cost of care.
Overall, AI has brought enormous positive change to the healthcare industry — for example, it has been leveraged to assist in visual diagnosis of disease (e.g. diabetic retinopathy by Google) and to predict the risk of sepsis. However, it has not always lived up to its lofty expectations for at least two main reasons:
For example, EHR-based predictive alerts for sepsis risk and drug-drug interactions have often been cited as a cause of “alarm fatigue,” whereby frequent exposure to alarms causes physicians and care staff to become desensitized to them altogether. In other cases, AI systems that require providers to interpret complex data and recommendations (often false positives) quickly result in cognitive overload.
If AI is knowing what to do, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is having the “hands” or ability to actually do it. The two are not at odds with each other, in fact quite the opposite is true — they are most powerful when combined, as one is the intelligence (AI) and the other is the ability to act on it (RPA).
RPA is defined as the training of software bots to perform actions in a software application using the graphical user interface (GUI). In other words, the bots use a virtual keyboard and mouse to interact with the computer screen just like a human would, and as a result, they are able to automate manual, repetitive tasks with stunning accuracy and precision.
RPA is well-suited to enable EHR integration for two main reasons. First, RPA doesn’t require connecting to existing interfaces (APIs), which can be one of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of deploying health informatics software. Second, RPA isn’t limited by which interfaces already exist, allowing for a broader set of capabilities to be automated. For example, at Notable we often use RPA to write data into sticky notes within a patient’s chart to serve as a just-in-time nudge to the provider — a capability that isn’t accessible via API access in most EHRs.
It is worth noting that RPA can exist without AI, in which case the bot’s logic has to be hard-coded so it knows exactly what to do and when to do it. For example, a bot could be trained to add “Diabetes Mellitus” to the problem list if a patient’s hemoglobin a1c test is above a pre-set diagnostic threshold. Or, an AI-powered bot can learn to predict a hospitalized patient’s estimated discharge date based on data from thousands of similar patients who have been previously admitted; and use RPA to update the estimated discharge date field in the EMR daily.
At first, the bot may be occasionally incorrect in its predictions, but over time its supervised learning model will become highly accurate in discharge date estimations and improve their performance over time just like humans do. By augmenting AI with RPA, health systems can save their providers and staff valuable time.
Notable is the first platform to combine artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to solve healthcare problems across the care continuum, from the front desk to the back office. This is called intelligent automation.
Using AI, Notable’s bots can determine when and how to perform automated workflows within existing software applications including EHRs.
By combining leading-edge AI components such as computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), and ML classifiers with resilient RPA, Notable’s platform allows for rapid white-labeled automations configured for almost any business or clinical process within the health system, such as:
The graveyard of AI applications for healthcare is filled with high-potential applications that never captivated users due to ineffective integrations and frustrating user experiences.
AI holds tremendous potential for pushing healthcare forward, but it is time we recognize the importance of integration that is robust, rapid and repeatable. Intelligent automation, the combination of AI for intelligence and RPA for integration, provides tremendous promise for the next era of healthcare technology.
Click here to see how Notable can automate any administrative or clinical workflow to reduce costs and streamline operational complexities at your organization.
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