It’s no surprise that hospitalized patients are at an increased risk of falls. They’re in unfamiliar surroundings and may be taking new medications with side effects. And many experience decreased activity while recovering from various illnesses or surgeries. What may be surprising are the numbers: Each year, an estimated 700,000 to one million people fall in hospitals, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In mid-July, AHCJ hosted a webinar with Alex Mahadevan, the director of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute, on how journalists can put ChatGPT to good use. We had a great turnout, with more than 80 participants watching live. Here, I’ll cover the highlights from Alex’s presentation and from another webinar on ChatGPT hosted by the Online News Association. Links to both recordings are in the resources section below.
It’s a cliché to say that American health care is broken. Ilana Yurkiewicz, M.D., a Stanford University oncologist and internal medicine physician, says journalists should be more specific. The central problem, she argues, is that health care is fragmented.
“Fragmented” is the title of a new book in which Yurkiewicz, who’s written about medicine for such publications as Undark and Hematology News, describes barriers that prevent physicians from seeing a patient’s full medical narrative.
Health systems can’t easily share records. Electronic health records bury information. Payment systems de-prioritize follow-up. Grueling 28-hour shifts for medical residents discourage accountability. Primary care is underfunded. Sub-specialization is emphasized at the expense of holistic care.
Health care organizations have been largely embracing artificial intelligence programs and tools to help in areas like searching records and medical documentation. Although the computing technology is powerful and the systems are designed to learn as they go, recent news stories published by National Public Radio, STAT and the Wall Street Journal highlight that these systems are imperfect, and human input is still necessary and valuable.
As a disability reporter for the Washington Post, Amanda Morris has covered hearing loss, long COVID and the spread of fake sign language on TikTok, among other subjects.
One of her recent stories showed how some patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are turning to artificial intelligence to bank their natural voices for use with assistive technology as the disease progresses.