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Leveraging AI to Drive Patient Engagement

Leveraging AI to Drive Patient Engagement


Gary M. Tomcik, MHA

Senior Director – Healthcare Experience

Leading the patient experience improvement effort in today’s healthcare climate is challenging. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 global pandemic has significantly impacted the entire healthcare industry. Historic financial losses aligned to declining volumes with patients being soured about their recent healthcare experience. Additionally, effective July 1, 2020 all organizations are again being held accountable for their publicly reported quality and patient experience results.

So where do we go from here? Should we rely on traditional industry best practice strategies (4P’s, AIDET, bedside shift report, purposeful rounding, etc.) to drive our patient experience improvement strategy? It is too early to determine the best practices that will be the most effective in today’s environment, however, building trusting relationships with our patients through purposeful rounding is the one practice that will continue to be a difference maker.

Many organizations have already implemented purposeful rounding as a foundational element within their patient experience strategy. Instead of manually tracking and trending these conversations, many organizations are using patient rounding platforms to augment these efforts. This enables electronic capturing and trending of discussions, service recovery opportunities and strengths. This is a good starting point; however, the focus remains on data capture. Advances in data availability and Augmented Intelligence (AI) have allowed us to push the process further predicting the needs of our patient populations and aligning staff to meet them proactively.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, AI is defined as “the study of how machines that have some of the qualities of the human mind, such as the ability to understand language and recognize pictures, can help humans to solve problems, deal with information, etc.” For applications in healthcare, AI expands human cognitive abilities, such as perception, problem solving, and decision making. It will tell users what to do and when to do it.

Having used a rounding platform with AI tools integration, the benefits go beyond knowing what patients to visit and the items to discuss. Leading a patient care environment is quite challenging. You have many competing priorities and continuously struggle with time management. Rather than trying to complete the task of rounding on every patient, when using AI, you can optimize your time with having purposeful conversations on those patients that are most likely to report a negative experience. You can then reinvest the time gained to round on your employees and their work environment. With the service challenges resonating from today’s COVID-19 environment, I challenge you to identify any activity beyond purposeful rounding that will have a more positive impact on keeping your patients, providers, and employees safe.

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