Healthcare providers are already grappling with capacity constraints, reducing the time they can dedicate to their patients. When clinicians are also burdened with nonessential tasks that offer no real benefit to patient care, it further undermines the overall efficiency of the healthcare system and, more importantly, the time and quality of care patients receive.
That’s the perspective shared by Kalle Conneryd-Lundgren, COO at healthtech firm Kry, in a recent interview with PYMNTS. He said a significant portion of the tasks being performed by clinicians are a “complete waste” of their time and add little to no value to patient care.
“About 70% of all the tasks they do could be done by someone other than a highly trained clinician,” Conneryd-Lundgren said, pointing to nonessential administrative tasks such as looking up addresses for referrals, scheduling appointments or looking up clinical guidelines.
That’s where the value of artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play, he pointed out, as it eliminates the time lost to non-value-added, non-medical tasks that restrict patient interactions with clinicians. He said Kry, one of Europe’s largest digital healthcare providers, has fully integrated AI into its services and so far the outcomes for its 3,000-plus clinicians and specialists have been significant.
For instance, he pointed to a 20% increase in clinician efficiency across its markets — Sweden, Norway, the U.K. and France — which could free up the equivalent of 10,000 additional patent appointments a month. This, he said, has translated into higher retention rates and clinicians having a greater sense of work-life balance.
Patients, too, experience greater satisfaction, Conneryd-Lundgren added, because clinicians have more time and availability to engage with them, understand their specific needs and offer more personalized care than they previously could.
“Freeing up capacity for patients leads to high-quality care, happier patients and happier clinicians. And that’s exactly what we are seeing as a result of utilizing new technologies in our systems,” he remarked.
PYMNTS Intelligence data shows that healthcare is one of the areas where consumers, particularly baby boomers and seniors, are most hesitant about AI involvement. This hesitancy is likely due to concerns surrounding privacy, trust, and the confidentiality of their health records, the study found.
Conneryd-Lundgren acknowledged these concerns when presented with the results and stressed that the potential of AI is in freeing up clinician time, rather than fully assuming the clinician’s responsibilities.
“We don’t believe that AI will replace any clinician [but rather] eliminate unnecessary tasks that clinicians do so that they can spend more time with patients,” he explained. He added that the end goal is to see the time spent with patients increase while the total meeting time decreases.
And to maintain the trust of their patients, he said that Kry will continue to limit AI use to non-medical administrative functions, particularly given the competence of their clinicians: “We don’t use [AI] for medical decision-making. Clinicians are perfectly capable of doing that without AI.”