Cultivating Innovative AI Solutions to Enhance Patient Care
Frontline Caregivers and Staff at Cedars-Sinai Hold ‘Idea-Thons’ to Explore, Develop and Adopt Generative AI Healthcare Tools
As the use of artificial intelligence continues to rapidly evolve, Cedars-Sinai is tapping its own experts to create and deploy AI-driven solutions to real-time healthcare challenges.
Through new “Idea-thons,” frontline clinical and administrative leaders and AI experts across the organization come together to cultivate ideas for using AI to enhance patient care, administrative systems and employee wellbeing. Participants then present their ideas to senior leaders, who vote on which projects to advance, support and, eventually, put into use across the organization.
“Idea-thons empower our frontline caregivers and staff to shape the future of healthcare, tapping into their talent, creativity, and hands-on experience to craft tailored solutions for patients and the organization,” said Craig Kwiatkowski, PharmD, senior vice president and chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai. “We are leaning in to create our own road map of imaginative projects using generative AI technologies, centered on enhancing patient care and organizational efficiency.”
The Idea-thons are driven by Cedars-Sinai’s Artificial Intelligence Council, which is charged with guiding and coordinating the organization’s AI strategy. Cedars-Sinai’s AI strategy is built on three strategic pillars: investing and planning, transitioning innovation into adoption, and supporting the ethical, responsible, and scientifically sound use of AI, including generative AI.
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can create a series of outputs—like video, audio or texts—in response to human requests. These generative AI systems are based on language models like ChatGPT that can be trained to generate content.
The first Idea-thon, in June, brought together more than a dozen physicians from various medical specialties, including cardiology, emergency medicine, surgery, OB-GYN and primary care, as well as AI experts in data science, computational biomedicine and technology.
The session produced solutions with themes centered around care coordination, triage, medication management, communications and clinical trial recruitment. Some of the projects potentially overlapped with initiatives already underway at Cedars-Sinai. Others presented fresh opportunities to develop anew.
“These novel projects can be used alongside our customized generative AI tools and technologies within our health system,” said Mike Thompson, vice president of Enterprise Data Intelligence, who works with Kwiatkowski to steer the organization’s AI strategy.
Thompson said the Idea-thons are informed by the experience and wisdom of frontline healthcare clinicians and other Cedars-Sinai staff who understand firsthand the problems encountered in the delivery of healthcare.
“Our physicians and medical teams have direct insight into the roadblocks within their daily jobs,” Thompson said. “By bringing them into the discussion on generative AI technologies, they can help identify meaningful solutions to these hurdles—which will likely improve patient care, advance the frontiers of medical research and increase organizational efficiency.”
As these ideas transition into tangible solutions, Cedars-Sinai is dedicated to conducting rigorous testing and impact assessments to ensure alignment with the organization’s mission to deliver the highest-quality care. The collaborative teams involved in the Idea-thons aim to refine and tailor AI solutions to address the unique needs of both patients and the organization, while remaining steadfast to their strategic principles.
The next Idea-thon, scheduled for October, will bring together an even broader group of healthcare professionals, including nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians. Another session will follow to include administrative and operational staff from Finance, Human Resources and other departments.
"We are truly inspired by the ingenuity of our staff and by the potential of the generative AI ideas we've heard,” Kwiatkowski said. “There are limitless opportunities for innovation within patient care, operational and administrative areas. We will continue listening to and seeking input from our frontline staff as we further explore how to best use these new tools.”
Read more from the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Artificial Intelligence Advances