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Jan 19th, 2023

Does AI Scribing Pose any Ethical Issues or Concerns?

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Tali AI
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This blog explores how AI scribing is being used in healthcare, as well as the advantages and concerns surrounding it.

There has been a surge in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in a variety of industries, and healthcare is one of them. One of the areas where artificial intelligence is having a significant impact is in medical documentation, specifically through the use of scribing applications powered by AI. 

As the name implies, AI scribing is the process of using artificial intelligence technology to transcribe and document patient information during medical encounters, such as during doctor-patient conversations. 

The implementation of this technology has led to improved efficiency and accuracy in medical documentation, as well as a reduction in the workload of healthcare providers as a result. It is, however, important to remember that with every new technology, there are also concerns and ethical issues that need to be weighed. 

Here, we will explore how AI scribing is being used in healthcare, as well as the advantages and concerns surrounding it.

The next part of this discussion will focus on AI scribing's benefits, such as an increased level of efficiency and productivity in the workplace, improved patient care, and enhanced cost-savings. The use of AI scribing raises ethical concerns and issues, like privacy and security, bias and discrimination, job displacement, and legal and regulatory issues. We hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of AI scribing and its impact on the healthcare industry.

AI-based scribing has several advantages

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

A number of AI scribing technology available today can transcribe medical conversations in real time. This means that healthcare providers will spend less time documenting their patients' medical records and more time focusing on caring for their patients. In addition to improving the accuracy of patient records, this technology can also improve the continuity of care by reducing errors and ensuring that records are up-to-date. Research has shown that AI when used in such scenarios as scribing, is not only more accurate but faster than a human three times over. 

Improved Patient Care

AI scribing technology helps with improved patient care by reducing the amount of time healthcare providers spend on documenting medical records and allowing them to spend more time focusing on caring for their patients. Healthcare providers can make better decisions about patient care with accurate and up-to-date patient records. 

Cost Savings

AI scribing reduces the amount of time and resources needed for manual transcription, resulting in cost savings for hospitals. Documentation can be completed with fewer staff members and in less time too. Aside from improving efficiency and accuracy in the documentation process, AI scribing can reduce error rates and save companies money and staff time by eliminating costly corrections. The use of AI scribing can help hospitals streamline their documentation process and reduce overhead costs for scribe services.

Concerns and ethical issues

Privacy and Security

A major concern regarding AI scribe is the protection of patient information. Medical information is sensitive, so it is vital that AI scribing technology is implemented in a way that ensures patient privacy and security. Data storage and transmission must be secure, and regulations like PIPA, PIPEDA, and HIPAA must be strictly followed. Aside from that, there is a risk of data breaches and hackers accessing patient information. Security measures are crucial for healthcare organizations with the intention of venturing on this path. 

At Tali, we do not save any patient health information and adhere strictly to both the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Our privacy and security page covers this in depth. 

Bias and Discrimination

Another concern with AI scribing is the potential for accent bias in the algorithms used to transcribe medical conversations. Consequently, patient records may be inaccurate and certain groups of people may be discriminated against. For example, AI systems may be less accurate in transcribing conversations involving non-native English speakers or those with non-North American accents. Misdiagnosis, mistreatment or a lack of treatment can all result from such mistakes, which can be a serious and costly problem.

Tali addresses this concern by training its algorithms on various accents. A lot of our users are from various nationalities and backgrounds, and have found our scribe software able to counter this particular problem in comparison to similar software.

Job Displacement

There are concerns about the possibility that AI scribing technology will eventually lead to the displacement of human scribes. Healthcare and many other organizations are concerned about how artificial intelligence will impact the workforce. However, AI scribes may replace some roles in healthcare, it is also likely to free existing staff from rote and mundane tasks, as well as create new jobs in areas such as data and technology management. A shortage of healthcare professionals in many areas is also creating new jobs as the healthcare industry grows.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

When implementing AI scribing technology, healthcare organizations must consider a number of legal and regulatory issues. Among these regulations are HIPAA Compliance and PIPEDA in Canada, as well as state and local laws. Additionally, there are questions about liability for errors or malfunctions with AI scribing technology, which could lead to legal disputes. In order to ensure compliance with AI scribing laws, healthcare organizations need to understand the legal and regulatory landscape.

Conclusion

This discussion of AI scribing has covered how it can enhance efficiency and productivity, improve patient care, and reduce costs. However, there are also concerns about privacy and security, bias and discrimination, job displacement, and legal and regulatory considerations.

Healthcare organizations should carefully consider the advantages and concerns of AI scribing before implementing it. Efforts should be made to guarantee patient privacy and security and make sure that the technology is not biased. Taking steps to ensure compliance with laws and regulations surrounding AI scribing is important for responsible healthcare organizations.

To learn more about how Tali works, visit our download page or contact us directly. 

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