What Is AIOps, and How Is It Used in Healthcare?

Additional Benefits of AIOps: Responding and Reporting

The most immediate benefit of AIOps in healthcare is insight into how mission-critical clinical applications are doing. “It’s useful for the things you care most about being always up, available and performing in the right way,” Lin says. The same goes for the infrastructure running those apps.

From there, IT teams are empowered to take appropriate action. Good AIOps tools will analyze events and patterns, and determine if they’re related, Lin continues.

That’s a step forward from the past, when organizations often assembled IT and security leaders in a “war room,” often at odd hours, to separate the signal from the noise. “A lot of AIOps is helping you understand what’s not normal so you can do something about it,” he says. 

EXPLORE: AI can help healthcare organizations bolster patient data security.

Additionally, AIOps is well equipped to assess a situation and recommend the right level of incident response, Sai says. This applies to everything from a seemingly routine help desk ticket to the series of alerts that come to IT staff working the overnight shift.

“How many systems are impacted? What’s the nature of the vulnerability? What’s the potential blast radius? Who should be awakened at 3 a.m., and which stakeholders can be notified later?” Sai says, describing the questions AIOps might answer for IT staff. Along with decision support, this provides peace of mind for junior staffers who may be responding to a serious incident for the first time.

The AIOps tool’s ongoing log of incidents and responses helps organizations in two other important ways, Sai adds. One is by providing an audit trail that complements compliance reporting.

The other is by identifying and even predicting system vulnerabilities, such as ubiquitous medical devices running outdated operating systems. These are otherwise difficult to track manually given the sheer volume of workloads running in the typical hospital, Sai notes.

The Future of AIOps in Healthcare: Improving Business Operations

AIOps helps organizations use data to achieve desired performance outcomes for their business applications. The next step, according to Lin, is to apply AIOps beyond IT.

One example in the hospital is emergency department throughput. AIOps tools are well positioned to determine when the ED isn’t transferring or otherwise processing patients as well as it could be. Is the time of day, week or month a factor? Do certain populations of patients require additional attention?

“AIOps is about warning you when performance isn’t what you’d expect,” Lin says. “A big part of the data you gather is related to business and patient outcomes.”

UP NEXT: How do SIEM tools fit into a healthcare organization’s security strategy?

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