'Transformative': What Bon Secours Mercy Health IT leaders expect from generative AI in next 2 years

Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health is exploring the use of generative artificial intelligence for administrative IT functions and helping providers write patient portal messages, but its data analytics chief expects the technology to be "transformative" for healthcare.

"The technology is already there — its contextualization for healthcare will probably grow very rapidly in the next six to 12 months," Deepesh Chandra, chief analytics officer of Bon Secours Mercy Health, told Becker's. "Its production rollout, its governance, its adoption might need another 12 months after that. So we are going to be on a very accelerated two-year journey. In healthcare, revolutionary technology getting adopted within two years to this level is still pretty significant."

Bon Secours Mercy Health, an $11 billion organization with 48 hospitals across five states, joins other big health systems that are either exploring generative AI such as ChatGPT or already putting it to use. One of the first major applications is drafting MyChart messages via Epic and Microsoft technology.

"Epic has never adopted a technology like this, this fast," Mr. Chandra said. "So their adoption will simply multiply our path forward going into more and more use of generative AI."

Some of Bon Secours Mercy Health's digital health portfolio companies are working to implement generative AI as well. One of those applications would provide "conversational care," helping patients find the right health information at the right time instead of turning to Dr. Google.

On the analytics side, Bon Secours Mercy Health has three use cases in the pipeline: one where generative AI explains code to data scientists and engineers, another where it translates code across programming languages, and a third where it helps write code faster.

Mr. Chandra expects the next phase to be large language models built around specific diseases, like cancer or dementia. He believes we're still a few years off from one that could be deployed across the spectrum of healthcare.

"It's definitely transformative as to what it can do," he said of generative AI. "There is a pragmatism to it as to what it can do in healthcare. We are an ecosystem that still uses a fax machine."

Productivity gains and automating workflows for providers will be the biggest benefits, he predicted.

"The responsible usage of AI will be very, very important, especially in the healthcare context," said Kapila Monga, head of data science and intelligent process automation for Bon Secours Mercy Health. "Because we have a lot at stake here."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars