How Cedars-Sinai is adopting AI to fight burnout, cut costs

Executives at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai told Becker's that the health system is leaning into large language models and artificial intelligence tools as a way to fight clinician burnout.

"We've used AI for years, mainly in all the rules-based machine learning categories. The way in which we've deployed the technology has a significant impact on quality and safety and hospital operations, but they've never really solved the clinician burnout problem or challenge," said Cedars-Sinai CIO Craig Kwiatkowski. "These new generative AI tools, the large language models, really have enormous potential. I don't see any silver bullets necessarily, but it does seem that we're on the cusp of being able to build solutions that can begin to bend the burnout curve."

Recently, Cedars-Sinai partnered with digital health company K Health to launch Cedars-Sinai Connect, a virtual healthcare option intended to alleviate patient volume pressures on the health system’s physical locations. The app uses an AI-powered chat to gather relevant symptom information from patients and determine the next steps.

"We've also heard feedback from patients that the AI-enabled workflow is easy to navigate," said Mr. Kwiatkowski. "From a physician standpoint, they are appreciative of the efficiency of the solution that really leverages the AI front end to complete clinical intake and data entry assimilation, which is something that helps them focus more on patient care and less on the usual documentation burden."

On the financial side, Cedars-Sinai CFO David Wrigley expects that the AI-enabled digital health tools will pay dividends.

"The capital for it (Cedars-Sinai Connect) is far less than creating a new physical structure," Mr. Wrigley said. "You can use the tool and thus need fewer clinical resources to serve. But clearly, it alleviates the weight of people coming to urgent care or the emergency department. So, we believe that the community demand for that over the future will really help us."

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