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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Benefit Surgery Centers

Doctor looking at a tablet having a discussion with a patient

Technology has transformed the work of health professionals for years. Now surgery centers are taking technology to a new level of innovation by using artificial intelligence (AI) for important functions, from back office to patient services.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, 15% of current work hours in healthcare are expected to be automated through the use of AI. The report also identifies six key areas of impact where AI can improve efficiency and quality of care: chronic pain management, self-care/prevention/wellness, triage and diagnosis, diagnostics, care delivery and clinical decision support. Additionally, Frost & Sullivan predicts that the AI market for surgery will reach $225.4 million by 2024, an increase of more than 300% from $69.1 million in 2019.

Do you think AI is too costly or complicated for your surgery center? You’ll find there are many solutions that could work well for you. Here are five ways you can begin incorporating AI into your surgery center right away.

1. Chatbots

Many patients and their family members have common questions before (or after) a surgery, such as what time to arrive and when to stop eating before their procedure. A chatbot embedded on your surgery center’s website can help provide answers to frequently asked questions. Using AI and Natural Language Processing, the chatbot interprets what the user is asking, accesses the information and provides the correct answers. Chatbots can also use AI to determine when the concern requires human intervention and transfer the user to a member of your staff.

2. Covid-19 monitoring

Patients arriving for surgery need to be screened according to your clinic’s Covid-19 protocols, which adds an extra step for your busy staff. By using an app, either standalone or on your website, you can automate a Covid-19 screening, including asking risk assessment questions, uploading vaccination cards or recording proof of a Covid-negative test. Your clinic can also easily add or change the screening questions as recommendations change. While patients’ entries in the app may need to be reviewed by a staff member as an added precaution, the app will lighten the workload and save time.

3. Scheduling

While surgeries may need to be scheduled by a specific staff member, you have many other types of appointments as well, such as pre-op and follow-up visits. Each time your staff answers the phone, it can mean longer lines and phone wait times, which can frustrate already anxious patients. Using an AI-based scheduling tool, the patient provides information about their appointment needs, and then the app offers potential available times. The app can schedule the patient, update the office’s master schedule and send the patient a confirmation via text or email.

4. Revenue management>

With costs an ever-present concern in healthcare, many surgery centers are turning to AI to determine appropriate pricing models as well as to manage their accounts receivable and payables. Because AI can predict what is most likely to happen, it can provide revenue-forecasting models that help you make the right decisions for your clinic based on upcoming appointments and outstanding insurance claims. You can also use AI to collect data from other surgery centers and insurance companies to ensure you have the most effective pricing structure in place.

5. Claims

Managing insurance claims can be both time consuming and leave room for human error, meaning less revenue for your surgery center and extra stress for your patients. Because these types of tasks are repetitive and thus prone to mistakes when performed manually, many surgery centers are using AI to automate the entire claims management cycle. The AI engine confirms the patient’s insurance and coverage, and then begins performing the specific steps needed, based on the policy—filing forms, sending emails, requesting authorizations, etc. With real-time dashboards, both patients and surgery center staff can see the status of their claim at any time.

Your fiber internet is the perfect health partner for AI

Your success with AI depends on having reliable connectivity to power your AI engine and tools. With fiber optic service, if you can get it, you can ensure that you’re providing your patients with the high-quality service and care they deserve. Because fiber internet enables symmetrical uploads and downloads, employees and patients experience that same fast speed regardless of other network demands. When you subscribe to 2 GB service, you can feel more confident that many of your new AI implementations can be used at the same time and that your internet connection will perform well.

By starting with a single AI tool or project, your surgery center can begin to benefit from and develop expertise in this new technology.

All information and content in this post are for general informational purposes only. Readers should not decide to act or not act based on the content and information in this post. The content and information in this post is provided “as is”; no representations are made that the content and information are error-free.

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