Without a doubt, identifying patients with higher vulnerability to COVID-19 is vital to minimizing the mortality rate of the virus. Better classification of patients based on their vulnerability goes a long way in providing patient-centered outreach and care. This was the problem the Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) attempted to solve using artificial intelligence.
Due to the staffing challenges of the organization, it became important to identify patients with a higher need for attention. Patients who had emergency needs have higher priority than patients who could wait a bit longer. A major challenge with using the existing scoring method in assessing patient risk is that it depends mainly on a combination of comorbidities. Also, assigning staff to patients seemed like a workable strategy. But it did not support the patient-centric outreach approach to care.
Using Artificial Intelligence in COVID-19 Vulnerability Assessment
To address the problem, RCCA then turned to HealthEC, a health IT vendor that specializes in artificial intelligence. HealthEC was able to find workable algorithms that re-classified the patients at RCCA. HealthEC collected data from clinical records, lab, claims, and HIE data sources for the process. This gave HealthEC a holistic view of the patients. At the end of the process, the new classification gave each patient a risk score that made it easy to identify high-risk patients relative to others.
With this new classification using AI, the RCCA team became more efficient despite existing challenges. The team was able to identify patients that needed more attention. At the end of the entire process, RCCA was able to not only identify high-risk patients for COVID-19, but the algorithm also helped improve the quality of care provided.
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