Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: How Natural Language Processing Can Benefit the Medical Field
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help transform patient data into value at an accelerated pace. AI can do this without incurring high costs or eating up limited time and resources (Wolters Kluwer, 2020). The AI algorithms produce insights into treatments, care processes, diagnostics, and patient outcomes (Health IT Analytics, 2018).
Benefits of Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools, one branch of AI, “include applications such as speech recognition, text analysis, translation, and other goals related to language,” according to Future Healthcare Journal (2019). NLP offers the ability to extract valuable insights from semi-structured/unstructured Clinical and Emerging Data. This is done by reading and understanding the data, then translating it into understandable structured data (Wolters Kluwer, 2020). The idea behind NLP is to better connect humans with the processing power of computers; this serves to enhance care and quicken the delivery of treatments.
There are many benefits of NLP, including the automatic codification and structuring of patient data for physician use. NLP also enhances the alert accuracy for sepsis in patients and reduces the amount of false-positive reports.
The practical applications of AI extend to HCC risk adjustments. These tools, specifically HCC NLP, can correctly identify conditions and adjust the HCC risk score to accurately reflect the risk of the patient (Wolters Kluwer, 2020). This is crucial because a majority of Americans who are 65 and older have multiple chronic conditions that may go uncategorized. NLP captures those chronic conditions and updates the patient’s risk score. With a combination of NLP and experienced coders, artificial intelligence can help generate more accurate risk-adjusted payments. For more information about the HCC risk adjustment process, review our article “HCC Chronic Conditions and M.E.A.T. Criteria.”
NLP accelerates the review of medical records and minimizes the need for manual review because AI technology has access to the vast libraries of medical coding rules and classifications. In effect, this also helps reduce coding errors.
Lastly, NLP is just one example of how AI can be a beneficial support system in the medical field. Healthcare organizations that are interested in discussing HCC coding support, auditing, consulting, or other HIM services should contact our team of qualified coders and auditors.