Will AI Really Help Me Better Use My EHR?

Chad Anguilm, Vice President, In-Practice Technology Services Electronic Health Records (EHR)

As a physician, you have been promised a lot from your technology vendors. But all too often, the reality is that your workflows have been disrupted, systems still aren’t connected, and you are burned out more than ever. So, can Artificial Intelligence (AI) really help you break through and use technology to improve patient care and your quality of life? We think so…

AI is leveraging data from across the world to assist physicians in decision-making and information retrieval. Also, the expansion of voice-enabled technology using AI has been shown to truly save time for physicians, compared to the voice dictation of generations past. Clinical documentation using AI is enhanced, while the time it takes a physician to document is decreased dramatically. Thus, more time can then be directed to patient care and face-to-face interaction with patients. Companies like eClinicalWorks® have heavily invested in tools like Scribe® (structured voice-to-text) and Eva® (virtual assistant) using new technology to help get the physician away from the monitor and spend more time face-to-face with patients. Physicians in small towns are starting to reap the rewards of AI that even two years ago was only available to big systems with deep pockets.

Interoperability has statistically been one of the biggest disappointments when physicians are asked about their EHR. It is very well known that the path to true interoperability has not been easy, with many technology vendors wanting to protect their data, thus not playing well with others. Because of the barriers to the exchange of patient information, physicians often find it hard to rely on their EHR for information, alerts, and so on. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, patient data is further disseminated across multiple platforms. With advancements in APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and AI technology, as well as legislation mandating connectivity, there is new hope on the horizon that data will flow and the EHR will become the source of truth.

For those that focus on improving population health and set care standards, AI is the light at the end of the tunnel. Data can provide a clear picture of a person and his or her needs. Through AI, cognitive computing is able to take information and present it in an actionable form for researchers, healthcare leaders and physicians. The more data put into the system, the more actionable information the technology can develop. We are already hearing about Google’s AI-derived image interpretation algorithms, as well as other startups identifying at-risk patients and recommending proper treatment protocols that work. The Allscripts® EHR is currently using AI to enable more personalized care through decision support.

AI will allow care standards to be more effective and communication to be faster. We are still years away from being completely connected, but AI is the freight train slicing its way through the politics and into the EHRs of our physicians. Most of the leading EHR vendors have incorporated some form of AI into their system, whether it be standalone or self-developed. Smarter, more user-friendly EHRs are coming… and patients and physicians are likely to be the beneficiaries.

Medical Advantage is a national leader in helping physicians and healthcare organizations to optimize technology such as EHRs in achieving greater efficiency, quality of care, and financial success. To learn more, contact Medical Advantage today.

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