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Barriers and Opportunities Regarding Implementation of a Machine Learning-Based Acute Heart Failure Risk Stratification Tool in the Emergency Department

Hospital admissions for patients with acute heart failure (AHF) remain high. There is an opportunity to improve alignment between patient risk and admission decision. We recently developed a machine learning (ML)-based model that stratifies emergency department (ED) patients with AHF based on predicted risk of a 30-day severe adverse event. Prior to deploying the algorithm and paired clinical decision support, we sought to understand barriers and opportunities regarding successful implementation. We conducted semi-structured interviews with eight front-line ED providers and surveyed 67 ED providers. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis, and we had a 65% response rate to the survey. Providers wanted decision support to be streamlined into workflows with minimal disruptions. Most providers wanted assistance primarily with ED disposition decisions, and secondarily with medical management and post-discharge follow-up care. Receiving feedback on patient outcomes after risk tool use was seen as an opportunity to increase acceptance, and few providers (<10%) had significant hesitations with using an ML-based tool after education on its use. Engagement with key front-line users on optimal design of the algorithm and decision support may contribute to broader uptake, acceptance, and adoption of recommendations for clinical decisions.

Authors: Sax, Dana R; Sturmer, Lillian R; Mark, Dustin G; Rana, Jamal S; Reed, Mary E

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Oct 11;12(10). Epub 2022-10-11.

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