Leading the way: female health leaders drive adoption of AI

Female leaders applauded for AI integration agility

Women are often viewed as the healthcare decision makers of their families and impressively, now make up more than 70 percent of the healthcare workforce.1 However, despite this proliferation, women hold only a small number of leadership positions in health organizations. Currently, only 3% of healthcare CEOs in the US are women and continue to significantly lag behind their male counterparts in holding senior leadership positions such as chief medical offers and department leads.2

However, this does not mean that female decision-makers aren’t leading their organizations in impactful ways. IBM recently recognized 40 women who are driving the adoption of AI for business. Female leaders across the health industry were applauded for their ability to integrate AI into their organizations, reinforcing the potential of AI to help governments, health plans, health systems and others tackle their most pressing challenges – and spur innovation, growth, and transformation.3

From Rachel Cordrey, Pharmacy Supervisor at Peninsula Regional Medical Center

What benefits are you realizing?

Watson streamlined our workflow and allowed us to find answers to medication-related questions much faster and more easily than traditional search methods, which is critically important for patient care. This is helping our medical center to increase patient safety and make it easier for us to care for patients.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?

We should all start thinking about where AI can help improve the work you do each day. AI is not meant to replace us or our jobs. It’s a tool to help us perform our jobs better.

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From Sara Hines, Director of Provider Experience & Connectivity at Humana

How are you working with AI?

The Watson AI Virtual Agent pilot is handling live calls with 120 practices, answering questions such as, “I need to understand if a vaccine is covered” or “I’d like to check speech therapy benefits.” The goal is not just to answer their questions, but to capture the outcomes, metrics and perceptions of these interactions—and to build a smarter system.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?

The irony is that both the AI continuously learns through its experiences and so do the individuals supporting AI. I am always learning something new, even after decades of working with the technology. My advice is to always be open to learning and never stop exploring the infinite possibilities of AI.

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From Carolyn Staats, Director of Innovation, Information Systems Department, Sonoma County

What benefits are you realizing?

Watson Care Manager provides a 360-degree view of a client and it allows, for the first time, our front-line staff across the Safety Net departments to collaborate for the effective care of their clients. With Connect 360, we have mastered client records across health and social services, behavioral health, housing and justice systems providing vital and timely information in one location for case managers to access. Watson Care Manager is fabulous not only because it provides a central point for client information but also because it is agile, mobile and cloud based, enabling us to meet our clients where they are.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?

When I first started this work with AI, my frame of reference was big data analysis, machine learning, etc. I really did not think about how useful AI could be in simple, even common situations such as helping a client make it to their doctor appointment, local clinic or housing assistance.

Learn more about Watson Care Manager

  1. https://www.womeningh.org/single-post/2018/03/09/A-focus-on-women-in-the-health-workforce-on-International-Women%E2%80%99s-Day
  2. https://hbr.org/2018/10/fixing-the-gender-imbalance-in-health-care-leadership
  3. https://www.ibm.com/watson/women-leaders-in-ai/