New AI tool predicts hospital discharge
It can help free up limited bed spaces and reduce ED pressures.
A new AI-based tool in South Australia can accurately predict when a general surgery patient is about to be discharged from the hospital.
Called the Adelaide Score, it was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the Health and Information Collaborative.
This tool is being eyed for a statewide trial later this year, according to a media release.
WHAT IT DOES
The tool is based on AI algorithms that were developed using records of hospital stays of almost 9,000 South Australian general surgery patients. It also referenced "tens of thousands" of ward round note timings and involved such inputs as vital signs and blood test data.
In a study, these algorithms were found to have predicted the discharge of patients within 12 and 24 hours with over 80% accuracy.
WHY IT MATTERS
Managing patient flow in and out of the hospital is one of the major challenges health providers deal with each day. In particular, preparing patients for discharge can be quite complicated.
"A lot of organisational work is put in behind the scenes by a variety of healthcare staff members so that every patient can be discharged safely. For patients usually, some coordination with family or friends is needed before they go back home," explained Dr Joshua Kovoor, researcher and Resident Medical Officer at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Using AI to predict possible discharge, he said, will allow healthcare teams and patients to begin this process earlier while also helping free up limited hospital beds and further reducing pressure on overwhelmed emergency departments. Until now, there is no such tool that can accurately predict patient discharge in real-time within the Australian health system.
THE LARGER TREND
To continue easing pressures faced by frontline health workers, SA Health recently announced the expansion of its partnership with Personify Health to implement digital pathways across South Australia's health system. This comes following a successful proof of concept trial with Central Adelaide Local Health Network, which started in 2021.
ON THE RECORD
"We hope the Adelaide Score will streamline and simplify discharge planning after surgery for everyone in the healthcare system, including doctors, nurses and most importantly the patient and their loved ones," Dr Kovoor said.
He also shared other potentials of the Adelaide Score, including:
. Implementation in any hospital around the world
. Cost savings
. Can be integrated into EMR and accessed via mobile app
. Can identify hospital bed capacity