Chris Holm

How AI Champions, Chairs and IT Drive AI Decisions

In the fast-paced world of healthcare artificial intelligence (AI), where advancements are constant and patient outcomes are paramount, integrating AI into your facility’s workflows can be game changing. Understanding the different roles within an organization and how they enable pre- and post-AI implementation success is crucial. Let’s explore how the involvement of a Clinical AI Champion, Department Chair/Vice Chairs and IT leadership play a unique role in selecting, implementing and driving AI initiatives.

AI Champion

At the forefront of AI integration in healthcare facilities is the Clinical AI Champion. This individual serves as the driving force behind the organization’s approach to AI as a whole. This designation isn’t limited by a job title, but rather for those who possess a deep understanding of artificial intelligence in healthcare as well as the stakeholders throughout the health system who can facilitate a successful AI decision and implementation. Whether it’s identifying low-risk, high-reward AI opportunities or spearheading investigations into gen AI, the Clinical AI Champion is key to a multidisciplinary approach to AI.

Organizationally, Clinical AI Champions can be tasked with navigating the complexities of choosing AI solutions and building the business case for AI. They ensure that the promises of AI align with organizational goals of reducing variability of care while driving improved outcomes. Beyond choosing a vendor; these AI champions help organize and oversee governance, define clinical implications and coordinate various stakeholders to ensure successful integration.

Department Chair

Department Chairs/Vice Chairs play a pivotal role in AI adoption for their respective service lines. These stakeholders are essential allies in driving AI forward as service line support is critical in business case justification and project success.

Until now, imaging departments have served as a proverbial testing ground for healthcare AI. As such, the Chair of Radiology holds a significant position when it comes to influencing how AI will be deployed within their department. The Chair’s support is crucial in setting the departmental vision for AI implementation and assuring the appropriate stakeholders are engaged in the assessment process.  In most large scale AI initiatives we see the organizational AI leader and Chair of service line aligned on the approach and what areas to focus on.  They will understand in detail the metrics that will be impacted by deploying AI and build a robust business case as well as governance to assure its continued success.

IT Leaders

Information Technology (IT) leaders are critical project stakeholders who help guide organizations through the complexity of AI decision making and deployment. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Digital Officer (CDO), for example, are focused on overseeing digital transformation efforts across the healthcare enterprise.

With most SaaS deployments, IT is the primary funding source and thus follows a standard process for determining preferred vendors. They strive to understand resource allocation necessary to implement these solutions as well as the seamlessness of the integration into their existing environments.  Similarly, they leverage data-driven insights to inform their AI goals, recognizing the intrinsic link between data and AI. IT leaders can also evaluate the financial viability of AI projects, ensuring a clear value on investment is established.  Recently, we have seen IT leaders asking for an enterprise approach to AI deployment and moving away from point solutions. IT plays a key role in articulating the costs saved by consolidation AI solutions on to an aiOS and quantifying that.

Building a robust and effective AI strategy requires collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders. AI Champions and department chairs drive service line support to align AI deployment with hospital initiatives. Meanwhile, IT leaders offer the strategic guidance, budgets and enterprise processes for determining AI solutions that can work in their environment.Together, they create a formidable team in the effort to harness AI to transform patient care. 

As health systems continue to navigate the complexities of AI integration, identifying and empowering these key players is crucial. By fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, organizations can leverage AI to improve clinical workflows and impact patient care.  

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Chris Holm