MedCity Influencers

The Promise of AI for Independent Health and Wellness Practitioners: More Time, More Money, More Freedom

The introduction of AI into solo or group practices can assist in completing administrative tasks, organizing information faster, and supporting effective, personalized care.

For healthcare professionals stretched thin by the demands of providing care, what’s the value of your shrinking personal time? What would it be worth to get back 50% of the time you spend each week on administrative tasks? What would it be worth to the profession? 

No industry has been affected by professional burnout in recent years as much as healthcare. In 2022, more than 45% of healthcare workers reported feeling burned out “often” or “very often” and the percentage of workers feeling burned out “frequently” jumped to 19%, an 8% increase from 2018. As much as any single factor, healthcare professionals cite their increasing administrative burden, including note-taking and patient management, as a cause of burnout. Patient data and practice management growth, which form the information flow that drives care decisions, have had the paradoxical effect of driving care providers out of the industry. 

The emergence of AI has generated enormous adoption in healthcare research to shorten the long road for identifying clinical breakthroughs. But AI is having an even greater immediate impact by reducing the paperwork that’s crushing practitioners. From optimizing processes and treatment plans to simplifying administrative tasks, large clinics, hospitals and healthcare systems have full teams dedicated to AI integration to improve workflow and help retain their staff. Independent health and wellness practitioners are the next category of professionals ripe for AI change allowing them to do their jobs faster and more efficiently with billing, charting, and more. The introduction of AI into solo or group practices can assist in completing administrative tasks, organizing information faster, and supporting effective, personalized care. Those efficiencies will enhance health and wellness practitioners’ ability to build and sustain their businesses. It also has the potential to help sustain an industry in which 85% of healthcare and social assistance small businesses survive their first year but by year five, only 60% of these businesses are still successful.

Administrative tasks like note-taking and post-visit follow-ups, which are necessary for providing patient care, can become an impediment to serving patients and maintaining, or growing a practice.

Practitioners implementing AI in their practice using tools that are compliant with the HIPAA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) can not only gain valuable time, but do so with the confidence that their patient’s privacy is protected. Saved time can then be used to see more clients and increase annual earning potential, or to help reclaim a real work-life balance — which is what inspired so many health and wellness practitioners to launch their own practice in the first place.

With an AI charting assistant tool, a health and wellness practitioner can create notes from client sessions and summaries while keeping client data fully secure, allowing a practitioner to capture the main points of a session and outline next steps. The integration and use of AI can lead to more accurate notes, data-supported decisions, better recommendations and more active listening. With responsible use of AI, its capacity to save time on administrative tasks, improve patient care, and grow or sustain a business, is only just beginning to be realized, expanding beyond the hospital or health clinic walls to independent practices that are vital to meeting patient demand.

Photo: metamorworks, Getty Images

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Kim Walsh is the Chief Executive Officer of Practice Better, a leading practice management platform for health and wellness practitioners. She both invests in and builds for healthcare entrepreneurs. In addition to her role at Practice Better, Kim is an early-stage investor at Harper Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm that invests in underrepresented founders driving innovation in underrepresented markets, and also serves as an advisor to Abridge.

Previously, Kim held leadership positions at Hubspot, including Vice President of GTM Partnerships, where she oversaw the growth and success of the company's partner-led ecosystem. Prior to being VP of GTM, Kim founded and led HubSpot for Startups, a global business serving startups, VCs, and accelerators worldwide.

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