Sutter Health will launch an Epic EHR-integrated virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence to streamline clinical care.
Healthcare providers at Sutter Health’s Northern California campus will soon have access to an Epic EHR-integrated virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence to reduce the administrative burden of EHR use.
The not-for-profit health system recently announced it will collaborate with digital assistant solutions provider Suki to pilot the new health IT tool. Suki is a voice-enabled virtual assistant that uses voice commands from physicians in context to create clinically accurate notes within EHR systems.
“Maximizing the amount of time clinicians spend with patients while reducing the documentation burden on our clinicians is a strategic and tactical priority,” said Sutter Health Vice President of Clinical Informatics and EHR Howard Landa, MD.
“Personalized care paired with digital assistant tools will enhance care delivery and have a positive impact on health outcomes for our consumers, which is what really matters,” added Landa.
The health system will launch Suki in its primary care, dermatology, and orthopedics care settings. The AI-powered software will eventually gain the ability to distill a physicians’ conversation with patients into actionable treatment plans based on the physicians’ known preferences and clinical practice guidelines.
“We are excited to work with Sutter network doctors to help ease the burden of administrative work like medical charting and to give doctors time back in their day,” said Suki CEO and co-founder Punit Soni. “Through this collaboration, we will expand our footprint into new specialties, allowing Suki to master new skills from one of the most tech-savvy health systems in the country.”
Notes developed by Suki on provider command are tuned to the physician’s medical specialty, vocabulary, and style.
The tool will help to streamline clinical documentation within patient EHRs and reduce the amount of time providers spend on administrative tasks, allowing physicians to spend more time with their patients.
After one-year pilots across multiple specialties, Suki launched in May 2018. Physicians participating in the pilots spent 70 percent less time on medical notes after implementing the tool.
Suki is currently in use five days per week across the country by three different EHR vendors and seven different medical specialties. The health IT tool assists with more than 1,000 patient interactions each week.
Sutter Health will use Suki to capture high-quality health information during patient encounters. The health system also plans to overlay data atop recorded notes that will assist in reducing the burden of clinical documentation on clinicians and streamlining clinical decision support.
More and more health systems are turning to virtual assistants to reduce administrative burden on providers and streamline EHR use.
Health system leaders at Yale New Haven Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have taken steps to integrate virtual assistants into clinicians’ daily clinical and administrative tasks.
BIDMC CIO Manu Tandon told EHRIntelligence.com he anticipates virtual assistants will play a significant supporting role in care delivery.
“They could help with triaging; they could help with access in some cases. I certainly don’t see them replacing the core of the physician function, but they can be a supporting actor,” Tandon said.
“We want to figure out how we take the ability to listen in the room, which is what some of the tools like Nuance or Alexa can do, and turn that into some actionable items,” Tandon added. “For example, if the doctor has a patient and they want to order a lab, could that lab get ordered in the background?”
These and other healthcare industry leaders expect virtual assistants will soon become an integral component of care delivery.
Date: April 01, 2019