Barriers to Implementing an Artificial Intelligence Model for Unplanned Readmissions
Background Electronic health record (EHR) vendors now offer “off-the-shelf” artificial intelligence (AI) models to client organizations. Our health system faced difficulties in promoting end-user utilization of a new AI model for predicting readmissions embedded in the EHR.
Objectives The aim is to conduct a case study centered on identifying barriers to uptake/utilization.
Methods A qualitative study was conducted using interviews with stakeholders. The interviews were used to identify relevant stakeholders, understand current workflows, identify implementation barriers, and formulate future strategies.
Results We discovered substantial variation in existing workflows around readmissions. Some stakeholders did not perform any formal readmissions risk assessment. Others accustomed to using existing risk scores such as LACE+ had concerns about transitioning to a new model. Some stakeholders had existing workflows in place that could accommodate the new model, but they were not previously aware that the new model was in production. Concerns expressed by end-users included: whether the model's predictors were relevant to their work, need for adoption of additional workflow processes, need for training and change management, and potential for unintended consequences (e.g., increased health care resource utilization due to potentially over-referring discharged patients to home health services).
Conclusion AI models for risk stratification, even if “off-the-shelf” by design, are unlikely to be “plug-and-play” in health care settings. Seeking out key stakeholders and defining clear use cases early in the implementation process can better facilitate utilization of these models.
Keywordsreadmissions - case management - predictive models - predictive analytics - electronic health records - artificial intelligence - machine learning - health system - clinical informatics
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
The study was performed in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki and was reviewed by the UCSD Institutional Review Board, which declared the study as a quality improvement protocol and certified that the study did not qualify as human subjects research according to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, part 46 and UCSD Standard Operating Policies and Procedures.
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine (grant T15LM011271). The funding organization had no role in the design or conduct of the study.
S.L.B., J.B., and A.M.S. conceived and designed the study. S.L.B. and J.B. conducted interviews and data collection. S.L.B., J.B., and A.M.S. participated in data analysis and interpretation. S.L.B. and J.B. drafted the manuscript. All authors provided critical review of the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Received: 14 April 2020
Accepted: 30 June 2020
19 September 2020 (online)
© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York
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