A survey of extant organizational and computational setups for deploying predictive models in health systems

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Oct 12;28(11):2445-2450. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab154.


Objective: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled healthcare is now feasible for many health systems, yet little is known about effective strategies of system architecture and governance mechanisms for implementation. Our objective was to identify the different computational and organizational setups that early-adopter health systems have utilized to integrate AI/ML clinical decision support (AI-CDS) and scrutinize their trade-offs.

Materials and methods: We conducted structured interviews with health systems with AI deployment experience about their organizational and computational setups for deploying AI-CDS at point of care.

Results: We contacted 34 health systems and interviewed 20 healthcare sites (58% response rate). Twelve (60%) sites used the native electronic health record vendor configuration for model development and deployment, making it the most common shared infrastructure. Nine (45%) sites used alternative computational configurations which varied significantly. Organizational configurations for managing AI-CDS were distinguished by how they identified model needs, built and implemented models, and were separable into 3 major types: Decentralized translation (n = 10, 50%), IT Department led (n = 2, 10%), and AI in Healthcare (AIHC) Team (n = 8, 40%).

Discussion: No singular computational configuration enables all current use cases for AI-CDS. Health systems need to consider their desired applications for AI-CDS and whether investment in extending the off-the-shelf infrastructure is needed. Each organizational setup confers trade-offs for health systems planning strategies to implement AI-CDS.

Conclusion: Health systems will be able to use this framework to understand strengths and weaknesses of alternative organizational and computational setups when designing their strategy for artificial intelligence.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; clinical decision support; computational infrastructure; healthcare delivery; healthcare organizations; organizational readiness; predictive models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Facilities
  • Machine Learning