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Physicians at breaking point

Unsurprisingly, physicians who are constantly under peak pressure have the highest rate of burnout with an average of 45.8%. However, the source states emergency physicians claim a whopping 60% burnout rate. I also recently received an unverified Tweet about the life expectancy for physicians in this specialty, and the news just gets worse. It’s almost 20 years less than other specialties. I am unsure if it’s that much however, if you have ever ventured into an emergency department you can see for yourself why this may be true.


NCQA Digital Summit workshop - streamlining HEDIS reporting with NLP

Fractured Fairy Tale - the Price of Quality

Recently, an esteemed colleague pointed out an eye-opening research article to me when we were on the subject of Quality Measures and the expenses that occur in the digital age: "US Physician Practices Spend More Than $15.4 Billion Annually To Report Quality Measures".

This article was published in 2016, however I am willing to wager that this annual expense has not gone down in the past couple of years. This expense is accrued by not only hospital care organizations (HCOs) but by the insurance companies (payers) as well, all in the name of trying to make our population healthier.

We know that time equates to money in the workforce. How much time does this reporting take on the clinical side in addition to required duties for patient care? No wonder we are facing a clinician burnout epidemic. Medscape’s 2019 report determined that 44% of physicians described themselves as being burned out. And this report only mentioned the physicians, on nursing.org statistics nurses only reported a burnout rate of 15.6%. Which almost sounds like a relief until you learn 41% of nurses reported they felt “unengaged”. How frightening would it to be to be under the care of a nurse that was “checked-out” of his/her job? Burned-out and checked out. How do we achieve better outcomes this way? And how do we know payers are obtaining the correct information from the clinical staff?


Patient safety is an issue that healthcare organizations (HCOs) must prioritize – but how can they improve efficiency when it comes to reviewing the 80% of relevant patient information that is locked in unstructured data?

Under pressure to provide value-based care and adhere to quality measures, HCOs are increasingly turning to AI-based technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), which makes unstructured data usable – thereby improving the efficiency of quality initiatives, quality measure reporting and, most importantly, patient safety.

Addressing the healthcare safety and quality challenge with NLP

While the U.S. health system has made progress in recent years, patient safety continues to be a challenge that all HCOs must prioritize. An estimated 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections occur each year in the U.S. leading to 99,000 deaths. Moreover, adverse medication events cause more than 770,000 injuries and deaths each year at a cost as high as $5.6 billion annually, according to statistics cited by the Center for Patient Safety.

NLP workflows can help reduce the likelihood of error and improve patient safety by automating the identification and extraction of key concepts from large volumes of clinical documentation. Findings are transformed into structured data to simplify chart review and speed the identification of high-risk patients.


Spring has sprung!

Spring has always felt like a magical season to me. The dormancy of winter is set aside to allow for new growth, and the strategically placed butterfly garden outside my window is active with metamorphosis. Flowers transform overnight. As the transformation happens outside, I find many inner opportunities for growth taking place as well. I have personally experienced and observed in others that Spring brings out curiosity, the thirst of new discoveries, and the desire for inner growth.

The season of inspiration - even in healthcare

In healthcare, I attribute this to those striving for discoveries for better patient care. Luckily this “spring fever” has proven to be bountiful, and we have been able to witness this first hand. Throughout the country this Spring, Linguamatics has had the honor to host several one day seminars (and another in San Francisco yet to come!). These seminars have focused on how Artificial Intelligence, through Natural Language Processing (NLP), has inspired new discoveries covering a wide spectrum of applications in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Proving once again that the talents from both industries work together for one common goal - to improve human health.

How are healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations using NLP?

Alyssa Hahn, University of Iowa, “Performance of NLP-Based Phenome Extraction from the EMR


Making effective use of available data. And prioritizing!

Healthcare is a business. A business with a huge, important task: to provide quality care to patients, while also dealing with ever higher patient loads and facing their own increasing physician burnout rates. Clinicians are faced with both administrative and clinical priorities - some of which conflict. So how do you prioritize what should come first? Like the old adage “which came first: the chicken or the egg?”, one can’t exist without the other. The provider can’t exist if the healthcare establishment goes bankrupt - and the healthcare business is nothing if it doesn’t have providers. Data and technology are potential ways to help ease this burden on clinicians and provider teams, enabling them to understand their patients better and streamline access to payer approvals.

Five ways natural language processing can help healthcare providers

You may be aware of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its potential to augment the intelligence of the clinical workforce. Below we list just a few areas where NLP technology can help improve patient care while reducing administrative and reporting burdens: