New Year, New(ish) Editor-in-Chief, New AI Opportunities

Dec. 27, 2023

Some of you may remember that I authored the Buyline featured in August 2023 introducing myself as Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare Purchasing News. Now that we’re officially in 2024, I will be taking over the Editor column, and calling it Editor’s Notes. I plan to provide you with comments on the industry’s latest and greatest topics.

Speaking of the year 2024 and the latest and greatest, it seems that artificial intelligence (AI) is all anyone in any industry can talk about. For readers of our publication and other healthcare publications, everyone is jumping on the AI bandwagon due to its potential capabilities.

One such capability that sticks out to me is to ease staffing burdens. In almost every interview I conduct, the burnout and pressures faced by healthcare staff always come up in one way or another. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates U.S. healthcare organizations will have to fill more than 203,000 open nursing positions every year until 2031.

Researchers at Penn Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) in collaboration with the U.S. Clinician Wellbeing Study Consortium sought information in 2021 from 21,050 physicians and registered nurses practicing in 60 Magnet-recognized hospitals in 22 states on hospital clinician wellbeing. Their study was published in JAMA Health Forum.

Forty-seven percent of nurses and 32% of physicians experienced high burnout. Twenty-three percent of physicians and 40% of nurses said they would leave their jobs if possible. Less than 10% of physicians and nurses reported experiencing joy in their work. Not having enough nurses to care for patients, having little control over workloads, lack of confidence in management to resolve problems in patient care, and concerns about patient safety were all associated with higher burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intent to leave among both nurses and physicians.

An article in Sage Open Nursing, entitled, “The Impact and Issues of Artificial Intelligence in Nursing Science and Healthcare Settings,” said, “AI technologies may be able to improve the nursing care of various health conditions, provide complete information to support decision-making, manage medical records, minimize medical errors, optimize nursing care processes, make healthcare more accessible, provide better patient experience, improve nursing care outcomes, and reduce per capita healthcare costs.”

This month, we covered AI in Supply Chain. The article takes a deep dive into the opinions of industry executives.

Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow wrote, “For some (e.g., entrepreneurs, innovators and opportunists, etc.), AI represents shortcuts and workarounds to be more efficient at work and either enjoy more recreational time or focus on other expedient tasks courtesy of the additional time.

“For others (e.g., conspiracy theorists, cynics and skeptics, etc.), artificial intelligence (AI) calls to mind robots besmirching humans through deep fake audio, video and text or even replacing humans for jobs and revenue and taking over the world.”

His story is on page 26. Be sure to check it out as well as our November 2023 Virtual Forum on AI that I moderated, here:  

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