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Meet Olive, your new AI co-worker

Work often involves some repetitive, yet essential, tasks that can consume chunks of time. These tasks often divert both our attention and time away from other projects that require our specific skills. 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 ways to improve our department’s performance,” said Peggy Fay, director of Admitting and Financial Clearance, Corporate Business Services. 
Olive is designed to make health care more efficient and affordable – and even more human – by helping healthcare professionals expedite repetitive tasks while freeing them to focus on activities that capitalize on their unique skill sets, knowledge and expertise.

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

Working with Information Technology Services, Fay’s group identified Olive’s potential to assist with patient insurance authorizations for services. Staff members such as Assunta Dinallo, Access supervisor, Financial Clearance Center, noted how time-consuming and complicated authorization can be. “We often go into the insurance portal to see if there is an authorization on file, 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 eligibility, authorization and medical necessity issues. 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 portal to see if an authorization is on file and check its status. If not, she lets the team know, saving them time tracking down authorizations.

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

One of Olive’s major advantages is that she learns as she goes and 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, said Katie Arcangelo, director, ITS Operational Excellence. Olive was recently rolled out across YNHHS and to Yale Medicine. Diagnostic Imaging is using the technology for prior authorizations and Surgery is next.

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

ITS would like to see more areas embrace AI through Olive. 

“AI promises to help shape our daily tasks toward the more rewarding and essential parts of our jobs,” Fay said. “We have embarked on a very exciting journey, and Olive is here to help make that journey an easier and more fulfilling one.” 

To learn more about how Olive can help your department or unit, contact [email protected] or visit olive.ynhh.org (in network only).