Mercy turns to AI to streamline operations

Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy is collaborating with Microsoft and with a panel of 45,000 patients involved in testing to explore how AI can assist both patients and staff, Fox 25 reported Nov. 29.

"We have thousands and thousands of policies and procedures," Joseph Kelly, chief transformation and business development officer for Mercy, told the publication. "We're a heavily regulated industry and nurses are incredibly burdened right now. There's a national nursing shortage. Instead of them going into where all of our policies reside and going through 16,000 to 20,000 policies, we can put a large language model over that, that can be trained on all of those."

Mr. Kelly highlighted that nearly 40% of a physician's time is consumed by administrative tasks, such as note filing and organizing patient data. This often leads to physicians engaging in "pajama work," where they return to the hospital's digital portal in the evening to complete pending paperwork. The integration of AI aims to alleviate this burden, potentially attracting and retaining healthcare professionals.

Beyond benefiting staff, the AI also holds promise for patients, according to Mr. Kelly. AI could simplify various challenges, including appointment scheduling, lab result interpretation and bill comprehension by streamlining complex processes.

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