Michael Freeman


Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations Management @ INSEAD


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INSEAD


1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore 138676
Singapore


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Can AI help improve acute care operations? Investigating the impact of virtual triage technology adoption


Status: Working Paper


Jiatao Ding, Michael Freeman, Sameer Hasija
2021

Abstract

To choose the appropriate resources for their healthcare needs (primary care (GP) or emergency department (ED)), patients seeking acute care must self-triage based on their own assessments of symptoms and severity. However, as patients typically lack sufficient medical knowledge, self-triage decisions can often be inaccurate. In response, healthcare and technology companies have been developing and deploying AI-powered virtual triage tools designed to help patients make better self-triage decisions. To date, however, the operational implications of such tools have not been assessed. This paper therefore investigates the impact of virtual triage in the acute care setting and potential regulations to maximize its efficacy. We find that, due to its decentralized nature, when virtual triage excessively recommends emergency (primary) care, it counterintuitively brings about a decrease in ED (GP) visits. Another striking finding is that in an unregulated environment, the adoption of informative virtual triage can worsen system performance, even when the virtual triage recommendation is reasonably accurate. Thus, to unlock the potential operational benefits of virtual triage, we identify two sources of inefficiency and propose associated policy actions.

Cite

APA
Ding, J., Freeman, M., & Hasija, S. (2021). Can AI help improve acute care operations? Investigating the impact of virtual triage technology adoption.

Chicago/Turabian
Ding, Jiatao, Michael Freeman, and Sameer Hasija. “Can AI Help Improve Acute Care Operations? Investigating the Impact of Virtual Triage Technology Adoption” (2021).

MLA
Ding, Jiatao, et al. Can AI Help Improve Acute Care Operations? Investigating the Impact of Virtual Triage Technology Adoption. 2021.