Critical Decisions: Perceptions of AI in Healthcare Management | Research Project Mentorship

Critical Decisions: Perceptions of AI in Healthcare Management is a research project in Duke Story+ summer program. ( Story+ is a 6-week paid summer research experience for Duke students—undergraduates and graduates—interested in exploring interdisciplinary humanities research topics and methodologies. ) I was the graduate mentor of this project. Because of COVID-19, this research project was done remotely.


Navigating the output of algorithms, and the contradictions they create, is an essential skill across a wide array of industries. In the healthcare industry, care managers are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence to determine patient outcomes. This project investigates the intersection of algorithmic decision-making processes and patient care outcomes in hospital settings. Care managers, nurses, social workers and pharmacists engage with this intersection to make judgments on a daily basis and determine the outcomes of patients. This is particularly true when interfacing with chronic, high risk, and in-need patients. Through a series of interviews and web-based video documentation, our group will investigate how these interactions play out in health care settings. How can care managers navigate the output of these models when they contradict on-the-ground realities? What kind of trust can be placed in these algorithms? What kind of technical understanding is necessary to navigate this space? Throughout this Story+, we tell the stories of these care managers as they navigate these processes. We interview care managers on a number of issues to understand their interactions with computational decision making processes. We will explore the social impacts of these processes and develop a narrative that weaves together the stories of care managers and the developers of the algorithms. Lastly, we will explore how these stories lend themselves to broader social narratives around workplace automation, algorithmic decision making, and ethical dilemmas at the intersection of artificial and human judgment.


Through six weeks of remote research, the team dug into the fields of AI & health care and conducted ten interviews with professionals. With the interview footage and research materials, the team accomplished a documentary film and built a web-based interactive documentary.


Project Sponsor(s):

Lawrence Greenblatt: Professor of Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine

Ricardo Henao: Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Matthew Kenney: Assistant Research Professor, Computational Media Arts and Cultures

Tara Kinard: Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Population Health Management Office

Andrew Olson: Associate Director, Policy Strategy and Solutions for Health Data Science

Ursula Rogers: Senior Informaticist, Duke Forge

Shelley Rusincovitch: Associate Director of Informatics, Duke Forge

Graduate Mentor(s):

Mingyong Cheng, MFA Candidate, Experimental and Documentary Arts


Megan Liu, Emily Mawyer, Rifah Nanjiba, Denna Huang, Danah Younis

Story+ official Link for this project:

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