Beyond the benefits discussed – such as a farther reach into the community, savings over building costly HL7 interfaces, retained and expanded referral business and attestation to Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) – it’s important to take a look and the next step and,
in greater detail, understand the nuts and bolts of establishing and leveraging a comprehensive AI strategy.
To do that, we must answer two questions:
Who are the key influencers and what are the expected results that should be shared with each of them to drive an AI strategy forward?
- Chief Information Officers. CIOs are taking on greater roles in the strategy of all healthcare organizations, particularly where technology is involved. With an advanced interoperability strategy, healthcare organizations can demonstrate how to deliver reports with links to images directly into a provider’s electronic health record (EHR) without forcing providers to stop what they are doing and seek out a portal. This can ultimately streamline workflow and help healthcare organizations retain and grow business.
- Referring Physicians. Getting buy-in from referring physicians is best accomplished by demonstrating how AI solutions can generate tremendous return on investment. Building enough HL7 interfaces to reach all the providers in Chicago alone, for example, would require 1 million interfaces. At $20,000 to $50,000 for each bi-directional interface, this becomes an insurmountable expense fast. With an AI strategy, healthcare organizations can deliver this same level of extension into a given community for pennies per transaction.
- Radiology departments. These providers are at the frontline to receive the benefits of AI initiatives. For radiologists, leveraging AI through web-based radiology information systems (RIS) and real-time picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) enables them to connect with a near-limitless number of referring physicians without relying on costly HL7 interfaces. AI strategies also pose numerous benefits for compliance with such regulatory measures as MU2 and ICD-10, as well as for clinical and operational workflow efficiencies and patient expectations with respect to ease of health information and image sharing.
All in, 30 days should suffice to assess options and build a comprehensive AI plan. In today’s world, that is a very quick turnaround to drive insurmountable value. Just in terms of cost, organizations can expect to pay, per transaction, just less than a dollar per value-added image-enabled report. Paying per transaction lessens the impact where budgets are tight; operationalizing the cost eases the burden, and paying as you go reduces any long-term commitment.
What other influencers do you think could benefit from an advanced interoperability strategy?