Although medical algorithms are certainly no substitute for a trusted physician-patient relationship, they do offer impressive potential for standardizing care, reducing errors and streamlining reimbursement. For example:
- An algorithm developed by the University of Chicago Medical Center that monitors EHRs in real time detects about 88% of patients at risk of deteriorating from organ failure, cardiac arrest, sepsis and other life-threatening conditions hours in advance, improving clinical decision-making and possibly saving lives.
- A hospital using an algorithm-driven remote care management program reduced readmissions from 17% to 5%, cut home health visits by 3.6 per episode and shortened home health length of stays from 82 to 48 days.
- General Electric is developing an algorithm that reviews medical claims and flags those likely to be denied by payers.
However, many physicians remain uncomfortable with strict algorithms for several reasons. These include the fact that each patient is unique, with different lifestyles, underlying conditions and approaches to care. Algorithms can also oversimplify a condition, and less precise, older-generation versions still in use may generate false positives or other misinformation.
Find out more about how physician-facing and patient-facing algorithms can work hand in hand with clinicians to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of care.