What AccentCare’s Clinicians Wanted From the Company’s AI Implementation

By Joyce Famakinwa

Like many others, AccentCare has embraced artificial intelligence. However, the company wasn’t satisfied with implementing generative AI and looping in its clinicians afterwards.

Instead, the company made its nurses a part of this process from the start.

“It’s our philosophy at AccentCare that we don’t make changes to clinical practice without having a conversation with the people who are delivering clinical care,” Tracy Dent, vice president of clinical operations at AccentCare, told Home Health Care News. “They’re the people who are delivering care at the bedside. We want to make sure they have a voice in decisions that are going to impact their ability to do so.”

AccentCare is one of the largest home health and hospice providers in the country. The Dallas-based company also provides personal home care, palliative care and other home-based care services.

It also has a clinical council made up of various clinicians that represent all of the company’s services lines.

“We have really a very cross-functional team of individuals, that we take things to and say, ‘Poke holes in this, tell us why it won’t work, tell us maybe how it could work better,’” Dent said.

AccentCare’s clinical council has weighed in on everything from changes in the company’s electronic medical record to changes in clinical policy.

When it comes to AI, it is especially important to have nurses weigh in, because they don’t always have a favorable view of it.

In fact, 60% of nurses don’t trust that patient safety is the most important factor when implementing AI tools, according to a survey from National Nurses United.

At AccentCare, the company’s clinicians will be using AI during the start of care process. The AI tool will take a variety of data points about a patient and condense this into a summary for the company clinicians, who will then use that to help create a plan of care for a patient.

“I’m hoping that the clinicians at the bedside have a better experience,” Dent said. “In preparing to care for the patient, instead of having to go through 400 pages of documents, they’re going to have a really nice summary there for them. They will be less likely to miss key important things that might be buried on page 200. I’m hopeful that it’s going to give them a better user experience, and, in turn, create a better patient experience.”

In terms of feedback, it was important for AccentCare’s clinicians to make sure that critical pieces of information were not being left out of the AI generated summary. Accuracy was top of mind for the clinical council.

Looking ahead, AccentCare is looking to launch a pilot program around AI-generated summaries at the end of June.

“Our focus on this one is really lifting the clinical burden,” Todd Reed, vice president of enterprise applications development at AccentCare, told HHCN. “They are spending a lot of time going through all this information after hours, because they care about their patients and their well-being, and we want to care for our clinicians.”

Reed believes that the initial prototyping has been promising.

“We’re often pleasantly surprised about how well it performs with some just very basic prompting,” he said.

What AccentCare’s Clinicians Wanted From The Company’s AI Implementation – Home Health Care News