BY KIM BELLARD
For better and for worse, our healthcare system is built around physicians. For the most part, they’re the ones we rely on for diagnoses, for prescribing medications, and for delivering care. And, often, simply for being a comfort.
Unfortunately, in 2023, they’re still “only” human, and they’re not perfect. Despite best intentions, they sometimes miss things, make mistakes, or order ineffective or outdated care. The order of magnitude for these mistakes is not clear; one recent study estimated 800,000 Americans suffering permanent disability or death annually. Whatever the real number, we’d all agree it is too high.
Many, myself included, have high hopes that appropriate use of artificial intelligence (AI) might be able to help with this problem. Two new studies offer some considerations for what it might take.
The first study, from a team of researchers led by Damon Centola, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, looked at the impact of “structured information–sharing networks among clinicians.” In other words, getting feedback from colleagues (which, of course, was once the premise behind group practices).
Long story short, they work, reducing diagnostic errors and improving treatment recommendations.Continue reading…