Emily Hamilton, M.D., PeriGen; Cary, N.C.
September 30th, 2018: In a recent USA Today letter to the editor, Dr. Emily Hamilton discusses the advantages of implementing emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to combat the maternal mortality crisis.
“As a longtime obstetrician and clinical researcher with a special interest in maternal mortality, I believe USA TODAY’s recent article on maternal deaths was spot on about simple steps that can save lives — but there’s more to the story. The reality is that recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60 percent of these tragedies are preventable, and most relate back to delayed recognition and lack of action on warning signs.
Solutions are out there, and they don’t all require political maneuvering. Hospitals should take advantage of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, that can help increasingly busy nurses cope with challenges on the labor floor. Intelligent tools can counter the temporary lapses in judgment, wishful thinking and delayed recognition of serious medical issues that are inevitable in a complex clinical environment with multiple distractions. Use them. And bodies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, need to do more to stimulate and incentivize health systems to move beyond the status quo standards of care. Medicaid pays for half of births in the U.S.; quality ratings and financial reimbursement are powerful levers in driving change. Again, use them.”