ChatRx: Responsible use of AI for clinical pharmacists

The emergence of natural language processing (NLP) technology has created exciting new opportunities for healthcare professionals to improve patient care. A popular innovation is ChatGPT, which uses deep learning techniques to generate NLP human-like responses in performing a wide range of language-related tasks, including language translation, text completion, and replying to the questions.

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While the potential benefits of ChatGPT are clear, it is essential to consider the potential impact and concerns of its use in direct patient care. Pharmacists, in particular, need to be cautious and deliberate in using ChatGPT to ensure its benefits are fully realized while minimizing risks and misinformation.

One of the major benefits of AI-driven NLP in patient care is its ability to improve communication between healthcare professionals and patients. While pharmacists should create content and verify the accuracy of information provided to patients, NLP technology can be used to optimize health literacy and validity of this vital information through tone modification and audience analysis. NLP technology can also be used to edit content for patient reader literacy, which is a significant barrier to the accessibility of healthcare content.

AI-driven NLP can change the tone in written communication. Health literacy and engagement are increased by using positive language, focusing on benefits, avoiding negative language, considering the reader’s perspective, and using humor (where appropriate).

An example:

  • “Please edit the health document to increase health literacy for XXXX patients by adjusting the tone to be informative, educational, empathetic, and clear, using concise language, avoiding medical terms or acronyms that are not commonly understood, and limiting the language at a 5th grade reading level. Aim to make the language accessible and easily understood by the target audience, taking into account the purpose of the document. The desired outcome is to reduce confusion, improve understanding, and increase patient engagement .”

AI can be used to evaluate how well-developed materials will relate to their target audience by analyzing frequently asked questions (FAQs) submitted online and relevant demographic information. NLP techniques can identify common themes and concerns among your target audience and help refine the language and tone used in materials to address relevant concerns.

Additionally, AI-driven NLP can analyze data to identify specific cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic factors that may impact how target audiences receive educational materials. This approach can ensure that materials are not only accessible but also culturally appropriate and relevant to the target audience.

Valuable insights into how well-developed materials could then be learned, leading to targeted reviews and improvements to increase engagement and understanding among your intended audience. This can easily be discovered by harnessing artificial intelligence and the power of NLP.

Despite these benefits, there are concerns about the use of AI-guided NLP in patient care. A major concern is the potential for this technology to create a barrier between patients and healthcare professionals.

Patients may feel they are receiving a higher or more timely level of care or attention when interacting with readily available technology instead of a live healthcare provider. Additionally, there is a future risk that AI could interpret patient questions or concerns inaccurately, leading to miscommunication and medical errors.

Another concern surrounding the use of AI-guided NLP in patient care is the potential for privacy violations. These systems have the potential to store sensitive patient information, such as medical history or prescription details, which could be vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. Additionally, there is a risk of hacking, which would leak sensitive patient information to unauthorized or nefarious parties.

Pharmacists need to be aware of these concerns when using AI-driven NLP, such as ChatGPT, in patient care. To mitigate these concerns, pharmacists can take several steps to ensure that AI-driven NLP is used safely and effectively.

For example, pharmacists can ensure that ChatGPT is only used for low-risk activities that focus on formatting rather than content. A pharmacist must continually filter the information provided before educating a patient.

Technology has continuously transformed the healthcare industry through electronic health records (EHR), virtual consultations, automated appointment scheduling, wearable technology, and data-driven clinical decision-making. Like technologies, AI-driven NLP can empower patients and healthcare teams when used appropriately. Pharmacists should educate patients about the limitations and caution in misinterpreting information generated by any of these technologies, especially NLP.

In conclusion, AI-driven NLP has the potential to revolutionize patient care by improving communication and supporting clinical decision-making. However, pharmacists need to be aware of the potential impact and concern surrounding its use in providing patient care and making decisions. By taking a cautious and deliberate approach to using AI-guided NLP, pharmacists can ensure that its benefits are fully realized while minimizing the risks.

About the Authors

Taylor MacKinnon PharmD, MS, director of pharmacy, clinical and operational services, Michigan medicine.

Kristen Schaeffler PharmD, MHA, director of pharmacy, sterile and operating room services, Michigan Medicine.

#ChatRx #Responsible #clinical #pharmacists

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