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Meet Olive, your new AI co-worker

Work often involves some repetitive, yet much needed, tasks that often consume chunks of time. These tasks often divert both our attention and time away from other projects that require the specific skills we possess. Imagine if we could have a personal assistant who would take care of those tasks, worked nonstop and never missed a day of work. Would you jump at the chance? 

Meet Olive, an artificial intelligence (AI) workforce solution specifically for health care.

“We found Olive while researching for possible ways to improve our department’s performance,” said Peggy Fay, director of Admitting and Financial Clearance, Corporate Business Services. “That marked our first journey into the AI world.”

Olive is designed to make health care more efficient and affordable – and even more human – by assisting healthcare professionals expedite the repetitive tasks while freeing them to focus more of their valuable time on activities that capitalize on their unique skill sets, knowledge and expertise.

“Olive is helping us narrow down the scope of what our staff is doing rote – the manual work and tasks that otherwise could be devoted to more analytical duties,” Fay said. “Today we can see what we want our work to look like in the future and use the skills of our brightest employees to the best avail.”

Working with ITS, Fay’s group identified Olive’s potential to assist with patient insurance authorizations for services. Staff members, such as Assunta Dinallo, Access supervisor in the Financial Clearance Center, noted how time-consuming and complicated the authorization process can be. “We often go into the insurance portal to see if there is an authorization on file, and then follow-up with the doctor’s offices, insurance companies and patients to verify the authorization,” Dinallo said.

Nationally, more than 40 percent of insurance denials originate from issues in eligibility, authorization and medical necessity. By securing authorizations early on, patients can receive timely, reimbursed treatments. At YNHHS, Dinallo and ITS worked with Olive so she could go into the insurance panel to see if an authorization is on file and check the portal for status. If not, she lets the team know, saving them time tracking down authorizations.

“Olive is freeing us from the convoluted, repetitive tasks and allowing our staff to focus on making the essential, in-person calls necessary to secure the authorization,” Dinallo said. 

Olive’s advantage is that she learns as she goes and then shares the knowledge with other Olives in the network. The process improvements in Financial Clearance, for example, could be applied to just about any area of the health system, according to Katie Arcangelo, director, ITS Operational Excellence. 

“We are reaching out to every department to see how Olive can help with transition of work as well as analytics, reconciling records, audits or any project that needs special attention,” she said. “Olive’s potential is virtually limitless.”

SBO started working with Olive two years ago. Recently, the AI was rolled out across YNHHS and to Yale Medicine. Arcangelo said that Diagnostic Imaging is using Olive for prior authorizations and Surgery is next.

ITS would like to see more areas embrace AI through Olive. “We are excited to share Olive with anyone. This is the beginning of AI for the health system. It promises to help shape our daily tasks toward the more rewarding and essential parts of our jobs. We have embarked on a very exciting journey, and Olive is here to help make that journey an easier and more fulfilling one,” Fay said.

To learn more about how Olive can help your department or unit, contact [email protected] or visit Olive.ynhh.org.