Core Solutions Blog

Ambient Technology and AI Adoption for Behavioral Health Staff

Ambient Technology and AI Adoption for Behavioral Health Staff

From guiding clinical research to improving diagnostic accuracy, artificial intelligence (AI) is enhancing the quality and speed of service delivery across the healthcare continuum and supporting better health outcomes. 

But there’s a sometimes-overlooked way AI is making perhaps the biggest impact: boosting backend operations. With workforce shortages projected throughout healthcare, tools that can support providers and staff in their day-to-day work are increasingly critical.

AI solutions like ambient technology and chatbots are streamlining workflows, freeing up providers’ time, and optimizing care procedures — and behavioral health is a key beneficiary. As these technologies continue to evolve, they’ll no doubt offer even more operational benefits to help ensure that every person being treated for a mental health condition, substance use disorder, or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) receives the best care and support possible.

Get the eBook: Guide to Selecting Behavioral Health and IDD AI Technology

3 Behavioral Health AI Solutions for Operational Support 

Burnout continues to be a serious and prevalent problem that impacts clinicians in nearly every specialty. For behavioral health providers, the condition is particularly ubiquitous. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), burnout rates among psychiatrists have been as high as 78%.

Why is this issue so pervasive? A central reason many providers cite is unmanageable workloads amid increasing client needs. Many providers and staff are juggling scheduling, client education, and more alongside clinical care, creating unsustainable conditions.

Here are three solutions that show how AI in behavioral health can help ease these employees’ workloads and support better overall operations and outcomes.

1. Ambient Technology

At the highest level, ambient technology describes tools that are naturally embedded in our day-to-day lives but work in the background and require little direct user interaction. They’re contextually aware and use AI, connectivity, and sometimes sensors to gather data and provide valuable information to users. AI clinical documentation and dictation technologies are one example.

In behavioral health settings, ambient AI clinical dictation tools like Core Clinician Assist: Documentation are used to both record provider and client conversations and reformat those discussions into helpful, organized summaries. A mental health provider, for example, might use ambient dictation to record a therapy session with a client and then review the notes provided before reporting on progress to their team. Core’s solution takes things one step further, leveraging natural language processing (NLP) to mine for symptoms in the notes of all providers the client sees, which paints a broader picture of the client’s condition that can inform a more accurate diagnosis and the direction of their treatment plan.

Strong AI clinical dictation tools like these also allow providers to save crucial time that can be allocated to direct client care. With 92% of providers feeling current documentation processes are excessive and difficult, the ability to maximize efficiency and save time when documenting client engagements is key.

Beyond speed, these technologies also offer easy integration into existing systems and summary notes in usable formats, like the foundational SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) structure.

2. Chatbots 

Chatbots are one of the most rapidly expanding technologies in the healthcare setting. They allow for dozens of use cases, including helping providers with backend operations while providing a streamlined client experience. Providers can, for example, use a chatbot for mental health, substance use, and IDD client scheduling and communication. Clients can contact chatbots on providers’ websites to accomplish one or more of the following: 

  • Make or adjust appointments. 
  • Communicate symptoms or concerns that can be escalated to a provider. 
  • Access educational materials to better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan. 

In all these cases, the chatbot automates processes that would otherwise require manual work, freeing up provider and staff time, much like AI clinical dictation technologies, and allowing for more focus on client care. These technologies can be particularly helpful for people with IDD who struggle to communicate verbally or for clients who prefer engaging with providers across multiple channels, such as video calls, messages, and emails.

A chatbot for mental health and substance use disorders can also be critical to proactively engaging clients throughout the recovery process. After completing a treatment plan, providers can employ a chatbot to reach out to clients at custom time frames. Those individuals can then type or speak to a chatbot, which uses things like speech patterns and language choice to help identify the potential for relapse.

Core’s upcoming chatbot, currently in production, will allow providers to verbally navigate electronic health records (EHR). It will even integrate securely into the EHR to enable providers to dictate notes directly into a client’s chart.

3. AI Algorithms

AI clinical documentation and chatbots for mental health, substance use, and IDD care aren’t all that behavioral health AI has to offer. AI algorithms also provide significant benefits to both healthcare staff and clients in service of better clinical care and outcomes.

Researchers are developing AI systems, like Core Clinician Assist: Symptom Tracking, that can assess massive clinical data sets to identify difficult-to-see behavioral health symptoms and then connect those symptoms to potential associated diagnoses. For clients with substance use disorders, some AI systems can evaluate behaviors to flag risk of crisis events and monitor treatment adherence over time.

Predictive AI technologies can even evaluate whether specific treatment plans are likely to work, enabling providers to tailor care plans to specific needs and make informed adjustments. 

Boosting Backend Operations with AI in Behavioral Health

AI technologies like ambient dictation, chatbots, and others offer supplemental support that can enhance operations and give behavioral health providers the vital information needed to better personalize care to each client. These tools create opportunities for healthcare staff to streamline workflows, reduce workloads, and free up time — all significant benefits, given widespread provider shortages and burnout rates.

And these solutions are just the beginning.

As a leader in behavioral health solutions, Core is ushering in the future of AI. Our Cx360 platform offers real-time analytics, integrated telehealth solutions, and more — along with a growing number of AI tools providers can use to continuously improve the care experience for every client.

Want to see Core’s AI solutions in action? Reach out for a demo today.

Guide to Selecting Behavioral Health and IDD AI Technology

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think