Infusion centers are struggling, but AI could help meet demand

Infusion centers are struggling, but AI could help meet demand

A new survey report by LeanTaaS, Inc. and the Association of Community Cancer Centers

found 50% of participating infusion centers are also challenged to access the data they need from their electronic health records. 


According to a study of 100 cancer center leader responses made mid-year, infusion centers are running out of space and facing staffing shortages. 

The State of Cancer Centers in 2022 Special Report says that more than 40% of survey respondents reported that they would need to physically expand their space with a capital investment in order to increase capacity and keep up with the current demand, while 47% are facing staffing shortages. 

“Demand for infusion services is at a record high. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly two million new cancer cases are expected in the U.S. in 2022, over a 5% increase since 2020,” the company said.

Nearly half of the respondents – 49% – also manually track their performance in spreadsheets.

“EHRs do not use probability theory or simulation algorithms to account for delays, overbooking, cancellations and add-ons,” according to the report authors.

They say it takes constraint-based optimization methods, machine learning, AI and simulation algorithms to solve the problem because dashboards and reports EHRs are designed to produce can’t fully address these variables.


Healthcare is increasingly turning to analytics and AI to help improve operations from scheduling and supply chains to clinical decision support and operating rooms.

When Saint Luke’s Health System, a healthcare provider with 16 hospitals and multiple other facilities in the Kansas City region, was positively flummoxed to do more with less, the system turned to AI to analyze its OR workflows and ensure it was prioritizing cases. 

Saint Luke’s needed to increase operating room efficiencies by improving surgical services revenues and meeting increased demand – despite staffing and resource shortages. 

Jane Peck, COO and vice president of service lines at Saint Luke’s, told Healthcare IT News last month that automation helped move the organization beyond manual tasks and processes.

“We’re now consistently achieving about 80% prime time utilization in our main ORs, which helps make our available resources more productive and also reduces how often our team has to stay late,” she said.

Her advice was that no matter how much an organization might like its electronic health record, “don’t expect your EHR to do what it wasn’t designed to do.”


“We’re at a critical inflection point – where health system operators and cancer center administrators are grappling with how to expand the physical footprint of their facilities or find ways to optimize their space and processes to meet the growing need,” said Ashley Joseph, vice president of client services, infusion centers for LeanTaas, in the statement. 

“The fastest way to unlock capacity in existing facilities is through a combination of technology and smart operational choices,” she said.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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