Navigating AI’s ‘leapfrog’ over legacy systems in healthcare

Navigating AI’s ‘leapfrog’ over legacy systems in healthcare

Hosted at HLTH Europe, experts convened to envision the hospitals of the future, exploring how AI leapfrogs legacy systems and addresses clinician resistance to transform healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

Nadine Hachach-Haram, Proximie, NHS, explains how AI can improve workflows for those with a high level of experience wasting time on admin tasks: “I think AI is going to have applications across all parts of healthcare. But if the question is where do we start? We know that 30% of the workforce is retiring in the next 10 years and about 39% of that workforce’s time is spent on admin tasks. And we keep talking about the supply and demand gap, and we cannot magically and organically create all the doctors, nurses, physios and healthcare representatives to bridge that gap. So it’s not just about adding more bodies to the system, we should be thinking ‘How can we make sure the existing workforce we have is working at the top of their licence is working at the best quality work at the level of their experience and expertise in the most efficient way’.

“If you’re able to take, 30% to 20% of admin tasks off clinicians, because then every time they’re in clinic now they’re not spending those extra five to 10 minutes of the clinic writing notes. They’re using that to see the next patient. Just think about the efficiency gains you can make there and how we can maximise utilisation of our existing workforce practising physios. This is why we need to leverage technology, we can make that huge difference and deliver simple traffic.”

Hachach-Haram continued to state how updating our legacy systems could not only greatly streamline operations, but enhance the patient experience by allowing more face-to-face interaction. Instead of being tied to computers during consultations, she looks forward to engaging directly with patients and discussing diagnoses and treatment plans in a seamless, efficient manner.

Victor Saveski, Humanitas Health Group, said: “Digital AI presents a wonderful tool for the future in many scenarios, particularly over the next five to 10 years. I am very optimistic as someone deeply involved in digital engineering, about its potential. While legacy systems have posed challenges, advancements in AI technology are enabling us to leapfrog past these barriers to a series of products that are free from the mindset of 20 to 30 years ago. This transformation has the potential to revolutionise workflow organisation and reshape service delivery. Alongside technological advancements, policy changes and funding reforms are crucial to supporting and maximising these innovations.”

Andreas Cleve, Corti, expressed that when we stop talking about AI then it has become a success, much as we don’t discuss the brilliance of GPS due to its embedded part of our daily lives. Cleve said: “I’m old enough to remember the first time I went on a road trip after getting my driver’s licence, I had a big book of maps instructing to drive right or left and now we all plug in our phones and we put Spotify on the map just gets us there. We don’t discuss it because the workflow is solved.” Cleve added, “We applied that technology deliberately to solve a workflow and now we don’t need to talk about the tools we use to do it due to its success.”

Hachach-Haram suggests that simplifying AI projects is the way to ensure its future in healthcare. She said: “I think sometimes we get it wrong and we try to start with the most complex thing. Focusing on complex AI projects initially and branding them as transformative experiences for our staff can delay successes, erode trust and dampen enthusiasm among healthcare leaders. And then you don’t make the wins at the right time, pace and speed and quality degrades the trust and enthusiasm of all healthcare leaders. I would say start with the low-hanging fruit, build trust in open mechanisms, and build the right governance process around that. Let’s start with achievable goals, foster trust through transparent processes, and establish robust governance. This approach will pave the way for successful and impactful advancements in healthcare.”

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