Hospitals, Health IT

Ochsner Health System uses AI to detect early warning signs in patients

In an effort to reduce adverse events, the New Orleans, Louisiana-based system has adopted an artificial intelligence platform powered by cloud and AI technologies from Microsoft and Epic.

In an effort to catch early warning signs in patients, Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana, has adopted an artificial intelligence platform powered by cloud and AI technologies from Microsoft and Epic.

More specifically, the tech relies on Epic’s machine learning platform and Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service.

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Through the implementation, Ochsner’s rapid response team can proactively assist patients and detect and reduce adverse events.

Ochsner Health System initially piloted the AI for three months. During that time, it decreased adverse events outside the ICU by 44 percent, according to a news release.

“By utilizing Epic’s machine learning platform and Microsoft Azure, we can detect health patterns, learn from these insights and develop a more aggressive treatment plan as a preventive measure,” Laura Wilt, Ochsner’s system vice president and CIO, said in a statement. “It is about delivering a higher quality of care to change and save more lives.”

Richard Milani, Ochsner’s chief clinical transformation officer, told CNBC the ultimate goal is to deploy the tool in all of the health system’s 30 hospitals.

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Overall, adverse events end up costing a boatload of money. A recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan found such occurrences cost the U.S. and European healthcare systems $317.93 billion in 2016. By 2022, Frost & Sullivan estimates that amount will rise to $383.7 billion. Additionally, the 30 events analyzed in the study impact approximately 91.8 million patient admissions in America and Western Europe.

Looking ahead, the Louisiana health system hopes to apply the Epic and Azure-powered technology to other areas of healthcare as well, such as hospital-acquired infections and pressure ulcers.

Earlier this year, Ochsner announced another IT-related effort, but in a different realm. The health system tapped Appriss Health to enable integration of Louisiana’s prescription drug monitoring program information into its Epic EHR. The effort is made possible through Appriss’ PMP Gateway solution.

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