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April 16, 2019 | AI lightens the burden of paperwork on hospital administrators

docte gestio 250DocteGestio, a major private-sector health and human services company in France, and List, a CEA Tech institute and member of the Carnot Network, initiated the DIM-IA project in late 2018 with the goal of leveraging artificial intelligence to lighten doctors’ workloads.

With 7.7 million hospital admissions per year in France and an average of three medical procedures per patient, the doctors in charge of hospital medical records departments have their work cut out for them: They must reread and code each document generated by each patient consultation. And if the medical records are not coded, patients’ electronic files cannot be updated and the national health insurance program cannot reimburse the costs of their care.

Artificial intelligence to support doctors

Powerful semantic analysis algorithms leveraging natural language processing can be adapted to medical language so that all, or at least some, of this coding work can be automated. DocteGestio and List are trying to do just that. The first use case their joint project is addressing will be to automate the coding of hospital records.

The partners developed a demonstrator using the databases of hospitals managed by DocteGestio and List’s semantic analysis platform. They were able to confirm the benefits of an AI-based coding solution for medical professionals. The final prototype is now being tested by a cohort of medical records department heads at DocteGestio hospitals. The tests will be used to gather feedback and integrate any changes needed before the solution can be scaled up.

List Director Jean-Noël Patillon said, “Our partnership with DocteGestio has given us an opportunity to bring our knowledge of artificial intelligence to the healthcare sector. This kind of technology has the power to revolutionize hospitals by freeing professionals from lower-added-value tasks. Ultimately, the DIM-IA project will allow doctors to complete their administrative tasks more efficiently and substantially increase overall productivity.”

The demonstrator was presented to France’s national health insurance administration (CNAM), which has since expressed an interest in the project, in particular to support the nation’s shared health record initiative. For shared health records to work, access to the contents of patient records needs to be easier, and semantic analysis technologies could help achieve this.

More time for high-added-value activities

Beyond the first use case the partners are investigating, DIM-IA is aimed at freeing medical professionals’ time for higher-added-value activities (research, quality assurance, safety, improvements to the organization) at both hospitals and the agencies that oversee them.

And, in addition to lowering the costs associated with collecting and verifying patient information, the solution will also make the medical billing chain more robust and reliable.

DocteGestio CEO Bernard Bensaid said, “For us to be engaged in this project with a high-level scientific partner like List is major. It will position our company in the healthcare R&D space and create synergies with what is happening in AI R&D. We are already using collective intelligence. Today, we want to bring artificial intelligence to healthcare in France. I feel it has the capacity to substantially improve the data processing chain and lower government spending.”