Artificial intelligence brings 14% savings on average patient treatment costs
Researchers at Aalto University project Building evidence of the value of digital healthcare solutions (DiRVa), studied whether using an AI-based patient flow management system to directing the patients to the correct point of care altered the treatment costs of patients. The study examined the Klinik Pro solution, developed by Finnish company, Klinik Healthcare Solutions, during its first five months of implementation at the Myyrmäki health centre in the city of Vantaa, Finland.
The results indicate that, during the first months of its use, the digital solution reduced the average service cost per patient by 14%. This is a significant result as there are few studies on the economic impact of using AI in regional healthcare coordination processes.
“The goal of the DiRVa project is to help companies in building scientific evidence on the value of their digital healthcare solutions. Lack of or weak evidence is one of the major barriers for health companies in their scaling-up and internationalization processes. The results from the research project have helped Klinik in expanding their business”, states Henni Tenhunen, DiRVa research project manager from Aalto University.
Chief operating officer of Klinik, Petteri Hirvonen, considers the cost reduction of 14 % a clear and significant result. It translates into a 31€ cost reduction per patient during the period of study. According to Hirvonen, one of the major reasons for the scarcity of similar published results is that there are few systems used in clinical practice on this scale. In addition, the level of digitalisation and the patient data registry-keeping practices in Finnish healthcare enable the analysis of the care pathways and their costs in a comprehensive and exceptional manner.
Theoretical savings in excess of 500,000 euros
The study took place at the Myyrmäki health centre in Vantaa, Finland, where Klinik Pro was introduced in August 2017. The data covered more than 73,000 anonymised service-use records of almost 18,000 patients over a period of five months. Approximately 4% of all the patients used Klinik Pro during the study period.
The study focused on the association between the use of the Klinik Pro system and the service costs of patients. The analysis took into account several factors influencing the costs, such as the age, gender, and other health conditions of the patients.
Had the care pathways of all patients during the study period begun with Klinik Pro, the Myyrmäki health centre could have achieved theoretical savings of more than 500,000 euros. As directing the patient to the right point of care becomes more efficient, medical staff can spend more time on actually working with patients.
“We suggest that the savings largely resulted from nurses using the digital solution to manage time-consuming care coordination tasks, which previously required setting up a face-to-face or phone meeting between a nurse and a patient. This gave the nurses more quiet time to concentrate on the customer’s situation and design their entire care pathway before communicating it to the patient. Customers no longer have to move from one point of care to another, as they are directed straight to the correct place without any intermediate steps. This significantly improves the allocation of healthcare resources”, Petteri Hirvonen says.
The study is part of the Aalto University research project Building evidence of the value of digital healthcare solutions (DiRVa), receiving funding from Business Finland and partnered by Klinik Healthcare Solutions, Duodecim, Lääketietokeskus, NewIcon, CGI, Kaiku Health and Telia. The project is conducted by Aalto University’s HEMA Institute (the Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Management and Architecture), which is a research group that concentrates on the production of health services and their development.
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Original news story at Klinik Healthcare Solutions