Hospitals are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to combat physician burnout. To reduce administrative redundancies and allow healthcare professionals to focus on high-complexity tasks, hospitals are now using AI-powered applications like Microsoft Nuance’s DAX app.

Physicians at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida, have been using DAX since last year. The app transcribes patient and physician comments, creating a physician summary formatted for electronic health records and freeing doctors from taking notes or finishing administrative tasks at night.

A 25% reduction in healthcare costs could result from administrative tasks like documentation, pre-authorization, and billing, as per a National Bureau of Economic Research study. Adopting AI would simplify such tasks, resulting in hospitals potentially saving up to 11% on their total costs in the next five years, physician groups saving up to 8%, and health insurers saving up to 10%.

However, the upfront investment required for incorporating AI in hospitals can be considerable, with an Advisory Board’s health-care executives survey indicating that one in four expected an increase of 25% in the cost of using AI and analytics. A hospital’s tech staffing and size can have a significant effect on its ability to incorporate new generative AI solutions. While larger health systems may be better equipped to finance such solutions and make their patients and physicians more productive, there are concerns that the use of AI may lead to the elimination of some physicians’ jobs.

Generative AI is advancing rapidly, and with it, concerns around privacy and safety grow.

On the other hand, proponents of the technology are working towards a future where it is used to provide equitable access to healthcare. Initiatives have been launched to promote responsible use of AI, including an effort by the Stanford School of Medicine, whose dean, Dr. Lloyd Minor, worries about using fast-moving technology to impact patient access to care. In July, the White House secured a commitment from seven leading US companies in AI to develop safeguards for AI. All three companies that have launched generative AI products for healthcare services, Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft, are part of this group.

The adoption of AI to reduce physician burnout and increase service readiness has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and empower patients, but careful thought must be given to the planning and implementation of such programs.