AI-Based Scheduling May Help Reduce Physician Burnout

Increase in physician engagement scores seen in the first six months after implementation of the AI-based scheduling software

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FRIDAY, Feb. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Use of artificial intelligence (AI)-based scheduling software to create more flexible work schedules may improve physician engagement and help reduce burnout, according to a study presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists ADVANCE 2022: The Anesthesiology Business Event, held from Jan. 28 to 30 in Dallas.

Dhruv Choudhry, M.D., and George M. Gilly, M.D., from Ochsner Health in New Orleans, implemented an AI-based scheduling software to reduce burnout and increase schedule control and flexibility and to improve patient safety and physician engagement scores.

The researchers found that with the AI-based scheduling software, more vacation days could be granted, the number of ungranted vacation days could be reduced, and more flexibility and predictability could be provided to physicians. In the first six months after implementation, there was a significant increase observed in physician engagement scores (from 3.3 to 4.2). After implementation, the department was ranked in the top five for lowest burnout percentage by department in a random system-wide assessment.

"While the staff-created schedule took 60 hours to 75 hours per month, the AI system generates the schedule over a 14-hour period and essentially generates an unlimited number of combinations to deliver the best schedule option for the department," Choudhry said in a statement. "Our physicians understand that a long day or week will be reciprocated in the future with a shorter day or week, which was not possible with the previous system."

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