Meditech leader: AI should automate tasks and augment clinical decision making

Meditech leader: AI should automate tasks and augment clinical decision making

Helen Waters, chief operating officer at the EHR giant, describes the company's artificial intelligence strategy and shows how provider organizations can benefit today from NLP, LLMs, generative AI and more.

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Meditech, a leading electronic health records developer, has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance healthcare. They partnered with Google in 2021 to incorporate advanced natural language processing and large language models into their Expanse EHR system. This integration enables clinicians to interact with patient records more naturally, using medical language and abbreviations they are comfortable with. It also allows for the extraction of information from unstructured data, reducing the cognitive burden on clinicians.

Meditech and Google are also working on generative AI to automatically generate clinical documentation, such as hospital course narratives. This AI-driven tool helps alleviate clinician burnout by simplifying the time-consuming task of documenting a patient's stay and discharge process.

Furthermore, Meditech utilizes conversational AI in its virtual assistant, developed in partnership with Nuance. This allows clinicians to use voice commands to search patient charts and place orders, saving time and improving the physician-patient interaction.

Meditech's approach to AI integration is focused on enhancing daily workflows, improving patient care outcomes, and addressing challenges such as physician burnout and workforce shortages. They carefully evaluate different AI capabilities to determine their impact on the end-user experience and care quality.

Incorporating AI into healthcare workflows requires a cautious approach. Healthcare provider organizations should evaluate use cases, prioritize areas where AI can have the most significant impact, establish strong governance teams, and work with their existing vendors to understand the technology's evolving nature. While AI can reduce administrative burdens and improve efficiency, it should be seen as a complement to human decision-making rather than a replacement.

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