Nurses worry about lack of AI rules at hospitals

Some nurses are concerned that the dearth of artificial intelligence rules at hospitals could put them at risk if something goes wrong with the technology, Stateline reported.

AI has become a growing part of nurses' jobs as the technology assists with documentation, virtual nursing and other telehealth platforms. But federal, state and local governments have largely left the digital tool unregulated, leaving it up to hospitals and health systems to come up with their own guidelines, according to the March 5 story.

"In the long run, whatever artificial intelligence we use, it's still the human — the person — that has to take that data, and the interpretation of that data in some respects, and apply it to the real person that's in the bed, the nursing home or the home of that person," Judy Schmidt, MSN, RN, CEO of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, told the news outlet.

With the lack of federal regulation, only one state has enacted healthcare AI legislation, according to a Stateline survey: Georgia, allowing AI devices for eye exams. In an Illinois bill, nurses would be able to overrule AI if they found it to be in the patient's best interest.

Either way, nurses should be a part of developing AI rules, experts and industry associations say. "The value nurses bring to the table in any healthcare discussion is helping policymakers and decision-makers see things from the patient’s point of view and the patient's perspective," Richard Ridge, PhD, RN, an assistant professor of nursing at Charlottesville-based University of Virginia and workforce issues panelist for the Virginia Nurses Association, told the news organization.

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