AI-driven surveillance means faster, more precise care for high-risk patients — 5 takeaways

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Artificial intelligence can accurately recognize and synthesize disease risk factors to improve patient stratification. Resulting alerts are more timely, precise and tailored to a hospital's workflow, which reduces costs, improves outcomes and saves lives.

During a session sponsored by Wolters Kluwer at the Becker's Clinical Leadership & Pharmacy Virtual Forum in September, four Wolters Kluwer healthcare professionals discussed AI surveillance technology and its influence on their areas of expertise:

  • Itay Klaz, MD, medical director for clinical surveillance and compliance, discussed sepsis.
  • Steve Mok, PharmD, manager of pharmacy services and fellowship director for clinical surveillance and compliance, covered antimicrobial stewardship.
  • Matt Weissenbach, DrPH, senior director of clinical affairs for clinical surveillance and compliance, talked about infection prevention and reducing healthcare-associated infections, such as C. difficile.
  • Karyn Wentz, nurse informaticist for clinical surveillance and compliance, addressed nursing staff impact.

Five takeaways were:

1. Although using data to identify and standardize care is critical to achieving better clinical outcomes, data overload is a major contributor to administrative overload for providers. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the identification, stratification and management of high-risk patients is central to improving outcomes. "Efficiently gathering and synthesizing clinical data is key to care of patients," Dr. Klaz said. "However, the need to manage data from various systems without workflow consideration can add to physician burnout and cloud clinical decision-making."

2. AI-driven surveillance delivers accurate, specific and reliable data to treat septic patients, resulting in better care and lower morbidity. Not only will an AI surveillance system identify early stages of sepsis using complex algorithms, but it can refine alert accuracy by considering existing conditions that may mimic sepsis. "The system can continuously monitor patient status and alert the clinical team when the probability of sepsis is high," Dr. Klaz explain "This high specificity is crucial for establishing credibility. When technology is accurate, specific and reliable, it becomes a trusted adviser to the clinicians. It results in earlier treatment, reducing mortality and complications."

3. A data-driven antimicrobial stewardship program can fine-tune the use of antibiotics to shorten duration, improve selection, reduce adverse effects and reach industry benchmarks. Rapid diagnostic approaches must be coupled with efficient workflows that allow clinicians to respond to real-time alerts and results. "Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that patients get the right antibiotic at the right time at the right dose for the right duration," Dr. Mok said. "This allows us to treat the patient as well as protect the community from drug resistance."

4. AI-enabled surveillance allows clinicians to focus on upstream opportunities that can improve patient care. By harnessing the massive amounts of data available in EHRs, the surveillance system can prioritize patients earlier in the care cycle, before the onset of illness. "Addressing modifiable risk factors is a key tenet of AI-enabled surveillance," Dr. Weissenbach said. "Embracing a prevention mindset allows clinicians to act hours or even days before illness occurs."

5. A clinical surveillance solution helps bring nursing teams back to the bedside. Care teams rely on technology that enables proactive patient monitoring that is configured to match clinical workflows, including within the HER. "Since alerts are also sent directly to our devices, we can intervene quickly," Ms. Wentz said. "They support timely communication with providers when there's a change in patient condition and allow the nursing team to focus on being at the bedside versus being in the chart all the time, truly supporting a strong connection with our patients."

To learn more about the event, click here.

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