Using Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Clinical Development

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This Post Is the Second of Three That Excerpts Our Article, “Personalized Development Plans Are Essential for Healthcare Clinicians - A Q&A with Trisha Coady, Senior Vice President And General Manager Of Clinical Solutions, HealthStream.”

What are the core components of HealthStream’s clinical development system?

It includes 16,000 valid knowledge questions, covering over 160 professions, specialties, and/or settings in the clinical realm. The learner will be assigned or will enroll in a smaller, randomized set of questions; based on knowledge gaps presented in the results, they can select from curated content recommendations. As well, we’ll be offering an option for their leaders to assign learning activities from those recommended. The end result is a personalized development plan where the individual can self-develop or the leader can review and assign follow up. How does this system connect to continuing education? More than 1,800 learning activities with multi-disciplinary CEs are included in our system. Clinicians and leaders are always pressed for time, so when we have the opportunity to achieve multiple goals at once, we take it. Not only will the clinician grow their competence, they’ll also earn required CEs for re-licensure. This can also be powerful for healthcare organizations as an engagement and retention tool, given its Netflix-like model of unlimited access. The end result is a personalized development plan where the individual can self-develop or the leader can review and assign follow up.

Where does artificial intelligence (AI) enter into the clinical development picture?

In healthcare, we know that knowledge acquisition is not enough to move the dial on outcomes. In reality, when faced with an emergent problem on a clinical unit, there are no multiple choice answers offered. We’re really excited to be launching the first-ever, AI-based critical thinking assessment for nursing. The assessment begins with a two-minute video where the nurse will observe signs and symptoms of a patient or resident, as well as clinical data related to the problem. The nurse will then interact within a chat interface, powered by artificial intelligence, to identify the problem, indicate what led them to identifying the problem, the immediate actions and rationale, as well as level of urgency.

How does the AI part of the system work?

The AI-powered critical thinking assessment uses IBM Watson Assistant (formerly Conversation Services) to provide Natural Language Processing (NLP). The data returned back from IBM Watson is then evaluated using our proprietary grading algorithm to generate the final report. As an example, after the individual views the two-minute video, they will be asked to identify the problem. The nurse might type “blood transfusion reaction” in the chat box. The system would then ask, “What clinical data led you to this conclusion?” After answering with “mild fever and chills,” it would go on to ask, “What actions would you take?” In general, as a result of any problem, and in response to a question, the respondent must chat and the system continues through the rationale and degree of urgency. The goal is to better understand whether the clinician is able to critically synthesize information and make safe and effective decisions at the point of care.

Other installments in this series address continuing education, knowledge assessment, workforce taxonomy, and automation.

Download the full article here.