Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Community & Society
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Published on April 22, 2024
San Francisco Nurses Rally Against AI in Healthcare, Citing Patient Safety ConcernsRendering

San Francisco streets were lined with protestors Monday as nurses from Kaiser Permanente made their stance clear against the rise of artificial intelligence in health care. Their rallying cries echoed outside the hospital, responding to what they view as rushed and unregulated tech adoption in the medical field, as detailed by NBC Bay Area.

These concerns were not isolated incidents, with the California Nurses Association (CNA) spearheading the demonstration, which saw hundreds of nurses standing in solidarity, underscoring the potential hazards AI could pose to patient safety and the imperative for human-centered care, National Nurses United shared the details of their union action and viewpoints. They argue the hospital industry's pivot toward these technologies prioritizes profit over patient welfare and that no machine can replace the nuances of human touch and empathy, which holds pivotally in times of human ailment.

Meanwhile, Kaiser Permanente defended its position, proclaiming the tools bolster high-quality care, citing an advanced monitoring system on its website that's designed to preempt emergencies by meticulously analyzing patient data to alert staff of any serious patient decline. 

The struggle between embracing innovation and upholding the sanctity of human touch continues to play out on the streets of San Francisco , with the California Nurses Association staunchly defending their call for hands-on care—Cathy Kennedy, a nurse of over four decades, declared via National Nurses United, "Human expertise and clinical judgment are the only ways to ensure safe, effective, and equitable nursing care," further arguing against the use of patients as guinea pigs in an uncharted AI-driven healthcare scenario.