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Adopting artificial intelligence in patient care

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Marquette University are working to tackle important questions regarding healthcare amid artificial intelligence innovation.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Amrita George, assistant professor of management in the College of Business Administration, as well as Dr. Shion Guha, assistant professor of computer science, and Dr. Lillian Campbell, assistant professor of English, both in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, are dedicated to analyzing and improving how Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee uses the Rothman Index.

The Rothman Index, a data-driven system used in the intensive care unit to predict deteriorating health and prevent patient deaths, has led to a reconfiguration of Froedtert’s Intensive Care Unit, and the creation of a new job category. For all its predictive capabilities, though, the index still requires human oversight and intervention. So, the hospital formed a virtual ICU (VICU) staffed by nurses who provide continuous remote clinical monitoring and act as mediators between the index and the ICU nurses and doctors.

The research team is utilizing their collective expertise in healthcare technology implementation, healthcare communication and algorithmic decision-making and human-machine interactions to determine if the index will displace or enhance existing jobs.

Because the VICU nurse role is so new, Marquette’s study is essentially the first of its kind.

The use of predictive technologies is crucial in the shift from a fee-for-service payment paradigm to value-based care, which incentivizes quality health care at low costs.

Through this engaged research, both Marquette and Froedtert benefit. The researchers will work in tandem with hospital staff and administrators to develop better methods of assessing and delivering Rothman information to improve patient care, coinciding with cura personalis — the Jesuit value of caring for the whole person.