Providing Faster Care in Emergency Medicine with AI

Wait times in emergency departments (EDs) have increased over 17 per cent in the past five years in Canada, contributing to delays in diagnosis and treatment administration. Innovation in health-care delivery is needed to support EDs that face the challenge of providing quality care to increasing volumes of patients with relatively limited provider resources. One common strategy for increasing patient flow, especially in adult EDs, is the use of nursing medical directives at triage. These directives enable nurses to order specific investigations such as bloodwork, urine testing and chest radiographs before the patient is seen by a physician.

A SickKids team is working to implement machine learning-based medical directives that can identify patients with common diagnoses and issue medical directives in advance of a physician assessment. The goal of the project is to streamline clinical care pathways and automate some processes so clinicians can focus on providing care to their patients.