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Governance and AI: Putting Rules in Place is Critical

A survey by NORC and AHIMA released in October 2023 showed that 52 percent of survey respondents said their organization plans to increase use of artificial intelligence (AI)/ machine learning (ML) in the next 12 months. Healthcare organizations are creating and implementing good governance strategies to help them realize the benefits of AI while reducing possible risks.

On June 7, AHIMA presented the free webinar “Unlocking the Power of AI in Healthcare Governance” to address AI and governance strategies, featuring experts at healthcare organizations that are learning by doing. The expert panel featured: Adam Landman, MD, MS, MIS, MHS, chief information officer and senior vice president of digital at Massachusetts General Brigham; and Alya Sulaiman, JD, a technology lawyer and partner at McDermott, Will and Emery.

Their insights during the webinar ranged from creating inventories of deployed AI solutions to conducting risk analyses of new technologies to instituting multifunctional teams to provide oversight and reports to executive leadership.

Here are three key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  1. There should be governance in place before AI tools are used. Have a good definition of the problem you want to solve with AI and apply AI to practices that are high-impact and low-risk to get the organization familiar with what it looks like to use AI responsibly.
  2. Don’t create AI governance in a vacuum. Know the critical role of multifunctional teams in providing oversight and reporting to executive leadership. Staff members and leaders should stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about AI technologies. They also should ask what the priorities are of using these technologies and how they fit in with an organization’s strategies and goals.
  3. Definitions and guidance should be created to make sure everyone is on the same page on the scope and use of AI technologies. There are some existing state laws that apply to the use of AI, and federal policy is being used to start establishing rules and responsibilities.

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