The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Nursing Practice and Patient Outcomes

11 Jan, 2024

In the fast-paced digital world of healthcare technology, research on artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving, as over $36.1 billion is expected to be spent by 2025. Furthermore, China has a goal and is positioned to be the global leader in AI by 2030. Additionally, the magnitude and acceleration of such AI innovations will undoubtedly impact and change the practice of nursing and patient outcomes (Robert, 2019). The future of nursing care is in limbo as we are tasked with navigating a new world of technologies, robotics, and AI data algorithms faster than ever imagined possible. 

As the CNE(Chief Nursing Executive), innovation is often associated with nursing research, engagement, adopting evidence-based practices, new ideas, or objects of adoption that benefit patient outcomes (Adams, 2018). Moreover, modern large Healthcare Organizations (HCOs) deploy thousands of human associates who in turn make tens of thousands of decisions to ensure the reliability and validity of the data are monitored for optimal patient outcomes and patient safety (White & Griffith, 2019).  To this effect, AI and big data algorithms could be very useful for supporting quality care standards, reducing adverse reactions, and improving patient safety outcomes. 

Comparatively, what could be driving AI expansion is current global marketplace pressures that continue to be extraordinarily challenging as market demands rapidly fluctuate and supply chain disruptions are the new reality for the foreseeable future. Fueling the quagmire is the war in Ukraine, global inflation, and shortages of goods and skilled labor, thus triggering increasing supply chain costs in all sectors, especially healthcare. 

To combat the supply chain challenges that lie ahead, HCOs must work to take strategic and calculated steps to ensure they have all the necessary resources to properly care for patients (Van Dyke, 2023). During the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the healthcare supply chains experienced extreme shortages in various areas, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and skilled labor, especially Registered Nurses (RNs). Although some HCO supply chain shortages have since eased, others have been exacerbated by the aftermath. 

Lastly, while contemplating the reasoning behind government and HCOs’ investments in AI, the shortages and costs of skilled labor seem to be the main driving factors. In the race to find cost savings and advanced AI, robotic engineers have successfully implemented emotionally responsive robots in the testing pilot phases. Furthermore, AI technology is advancing at lightning speed; thus, social or companion robots could soon enter healthcare delivery sites worldwide by 2030 (Robert, 2019). To this end, my hesitation and fear of fully embracing AI is somewhat questionable. Nursing is one of the few caring sciences with human emotions and feelings tied to each decision and patient interaction. Finally, many states have proposed or pending AI legislation mandates notifying consumers.  For example, SB 365 was introduced as the New York Privacy Act. The proposed law requires organizations to disclose any use of automated decision-making that could have materially detrimental effects on consumers, such as healthcare services, insurance, housing, or access to basic needs. The proposed law also has an opt-out clause for consumers to reject using AI for automated decision-making (Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, 2023).

 

References:

Adams, J. M., Mensik, J., Reid Ponte, P., & Somerville, J. (2018). Leadership in Every Healthcare Setting Lead Like a NURSE (pp 74-75). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association. 

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. (2023). State-by-State Artificial Intelligence Legislation Snapshot T. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. https://www.bclplaw.com/en-US/topics/2023-state-by-state-artificial-intelligence-legislation-snapshot 

Robert, N. (2019). How artificial intelligence is changing nursing. Nursing Management, 50(9), 30–39. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000578988.56622.21

Van Dyke, M. (2023, February). Strengthening Your Supply Chain: How to Build Resiliency and Reliability into Operations. American College of Healthcare Executives, 38(1), 9-14. 

White, K. R., & Griffith, J. R. (2019). The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization (9th ed., pp.   316-317). Washington, DC: Health Administration Press.

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