Date of Award

5-2-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

First Advisor

Carol Saunders

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Aaron Baird

Abstract

The U.S. Healthcare system is struggling to manage the burden of chronic disease, racial and socio-economic disparities, and the debilitating impact of the current global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). More patients need alternatives to allopathic or “Western” medicine focused on fighting disease with mechanism, pharmaceuticals, and invasive measures. They are seeking Integrative Medicine which focuses on health and healing, emphasizing the centrality of the patient-physician relationship. In addition to providing the best conventional care, IM focuses on preventive maintenance, wellness, improved behaviors, and a holistic care plan.

This qualitative research assessed whether predictive and prescriptive analytics (artificial intelligence tools that predict patient outcomes and recommend treatments, interventions, and medications) supports the decision-making processes of IM practitioners who treat patients suffering from chronic pain. PPA was used in a few U.S. hospitals but was not widely available for IM practitioners at the time of this research. Phenomenological interviews showed doctors benefit from technology that aggregates data, providing a clear patient snapshot. PPA exposed historical information that doctors often miss. However, current systems lacked the design to manage individualized, holistic care focused on the mind, body, and spirit.

Using the Future-Focused Task-Technology Fit theory, the research suggested PPA could actually do more harm than good in its current state. Future technology must be patient-focused and designed with a better understanding of the IM task and group characteristics (e.g., the unique way providers practice medicine) to reduce algorithm aversion and increase adoption. In the ideal future state, PPA will surface healthcare Big Data from multiple sources, support communication and collaboration across the patient’s support system and community of care, and track the various objective and subjective factors contributing to the path to wellness.

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