Cleveland Clinic leans into AI to stay atop care needs

When it comes to artificial intelligence, Cleveland Clinic is focusing on how to use the technology to better evaluate its patients and to drive greater caregiver efficiencies.

"The better we can risk stratify our patients, the better we can forecast who's at higher risk of something versus not," Rohit Chandra, PhD, chief digital officer of Cleveland Clinic, told Becker's. "This has a dual benefit because it enables us to focus our energies and resources on the patients that need us the most and because of that, we can actually drive better outcomes."

For example, sepsis, which according to Dr. Chandra takes the lives of roughly 300 people in the U.S. every day, is one area where Cleveland Clinic believes AI can help. The organization recently launched a pilot across 1,000 beds designed to leverage AI to determine how the technology can help predict the onset of sepsis with the aim of providing timely interventions for patients.

"The key to saving lives with sepsis is early detection and early intervention, but there's no single black-or-white test that you can do. You have to look at a multitude of factors that can predict the onset of sepsis and potential upcoming organ failure, and hours matter," Dr. Chandra said. "With the pilot, we're trying to look at all of the different patient vital signs, physician notes and see how we can improve our ability for detection." 

Beyond patient care, Cleveland Clinic is exploring AI-powered scribes to streamline documentation. 

At the health system, physicians spend an average of 45 minutes a day on documentation, Dr. Chandra said, adding that the time commitment is as much as two and a half hours a day for some specialties. 

"Anything and everything that we can do to reduce this burden is a no-brainer," he said. "Because if you improve this, you improve patient experience, you improve the physician experience and you improve efficiency because they're getting more time back to see more patients." 

By using AI as a forecasting tool, Cleveland Clinic seeks to maximize the efficiency of its facilities and staff, ultimately enhancing access to care for more patients.

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