Creating a path for sustainable AI governance

Attendees at HIMSS24 will be looking at the emergence of artificial intelligence in healthcare from every angle. Ram Rimal, manager of data science, AI and research for UNC Healthcare and Mike Plesh, executive director of information technology for UNC Health, will get down to brass tacks on how to ramp up health system AI in their session titled, “Scaling Artificial Intelligence Governance Across a Large Healthcare System.”

Foundational as it may seem, effective AI governance is getting lost behind data priorities across healthcare, according to a recent healthcare AI report from Deloitte. The research firm had asked healthcare leaders about their progress with generative AI and found that data-focused approaches could be too narrow, and may not focus enough on consumer trust and workforce needs.

For the broader adoption of AI, a strong AI governance process is needed for all AI applications, so Healthcare IT News asked Rimal and Plesh how UNC Health got started and what challenges it faced collaborating across clinical, operational and technical departments.

Q. How did UNC’s AI governance journey begin and where is it now?

A. UNC Health’s AI governance journey began in 2016 with the establishment of the Enterprise Analytics and Data Sciences team. 

Initially, we implemented an internal informal governance process through peer reviews. UNC Health has a cross-departmental oversight group consisting of 19 disciplines that guide strategic alignment, accelerate AI adoption and implement a responsible AI framework.

Q. What are some key challenges health systems face when launching an AI governance framework?

A. Key challenges faced by health systems include the evolving definition of AI, resource and training requirements for establishing AI governance as a discipline and choosing between centralized or federated governance models.

Q. How has collaboration from clinical, operational and technical teams advanced UNC’s AI governance process?

A. UNC Health values a diverse range of voices in decision-making, including in AI governance. Collaboration from clinical, operational and technical teams has aided in increasing adoption and achieving strategic alignment.

Q. What strategic tips will you share in your session at HIMSS24?

A. During our session at HIMSS24, we will share the following strategic tips:

  • Plan for broader adoption of AI.
  • Align with state and federal government agencies.
  • Provide AI education to teammates and leaders.
  • Define a support model to stay at the forefront of innovation.

The session, “Scaling Artificial Intelligence Governance Across a Large Healthcare System,” is scheduled for March 14, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in room W304A at HIMSS24 in Orlando. Learn more and register

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: afox@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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