AI's next healthcare target: enterprise resource planning

More than 80 percent of those surveyed for a new report said they think ERP software processes are most likely to be totally replaced by AI or machine learning.
By Diana Manos
09:53 AM

Now that electronic health records have, for the most part, been universally adopted in the U.S., enterprise resource planning is the next top to-do for many hospitals, and artficial intelligence is likely to be a big part of it, a new survey shows.

The report on AI and machine learning, from Evans Data Corporation, found that more than 58 percent of the developers actively working with AI are working to add its capabilities to their ERP software – or have already done so.

The vast majority (80 percent) of those surveyed also said they believe that ERP software processes – management software commonly used in large enterprises to integrate applications – are most likely to be totally replaced by AI or machine learning.

This survey confirms what others have been saying and should be a heads up for vendors. Forty-four percent of the developers surveyed are already adding AI to workflow automation, the survey found, adding that the top barrier to adopting AI or machine learning is the transition from legacy systems.

In addition, 69 percent of the AI developers predicted human resources will be replaced by AI, and 67 percent said workflow automation will soon be adding AI.

HIMSS Analytics reported last month that hospitals should be starting to focus on operations and ERP more than they have in the past. In more recent years, they have been focused on implementing EHRs and patient billing software, neglecting ERP.

More than 60 percent of hospitals have yet to embrace ERP, but they're going to need it for value-based care, we reported.

Nearly 200 hospitals of varying sizes today are "contracting, installing or planning a purchase," according to HIMSS Analytics. With 46 others reporting a "high-likelihood" of moving to an ERP package in the near future.

"Healthcare organizations have been slower to adopt solutions that address operational efficiencies, such as workforce management and supply chain management solutions," HIMSS Analytics also said.

"One of the interesting things about the advent of AI throughout our society is the fact that the software developers themselves look to be one of the primary groups whose professions will be disrupted," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, in a statement. "When we look at the types of projects that AI developers are working on it's clear that in time the need for human programmers may be reduced through ever more sophisticated tools, or in some cases supplanted by AI altogether."

Diana Manos is a Washington, D.C.-area freelance writer specializing in healthcare, wellness and technology. 

Twitter: @Diana_Manos
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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication. 

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