Pilot: Clinical Digital Assistant Reduces EHR Documentation Time and Burden for Family Physicians

What You Should Know:

– AAFP Innovation Lab pilot program with Suki, an AI-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors, significantly reduced EHR documentation time and burden for family physicians.

– The pilot studied the impact of a digital assistant
used for visit note completion for over 15 to 30 days by 10 family physicians.

– The time and motion results showed a 62% decrease in documentation time per patient, a 51% decrease in documentation time during clinic, and a 70% decrease in after-hours charting.

It’s no secret that physicians hate the
administrative burden that comes with their electronic health record
(EHRs) . The technology wasn’t originally designed with their workflow in
mind, and as a result many family physicians see it as an impediment to patient
care, putting a computer in that sacred space between them and their patient.
The documentation burden associated with EHRs is one of the top concerns of
family physicians, according to the American
Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) annual Member Satisfaction Survey.

“The family medicine experience is based on a deep patient-physician interaction that requires support from technology. Today’s EHRs have greatly eroded the experience rather than enhancing it,” said Steven Waldren, MD, MS, AAFP vice president and chief medical informatics officer. “The vision is to help family physicians care for patients while using health IT that works for them, not against them.”

In order to address the frustration of
EHR documentation burden, the AAFP established an Innovation Laboratory last
year to test emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that
can address family physicians’ top challenges. As part of the first
innovation lab pilot, AAFP selected Suki , an AI-powered ,
voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors to understand if it will greatly
reduce documentation burden and family physician burnout.

Suki uses AI, machine learning, and natural language
processing to complete administrative workflows, such as creating clinically
accurate notes and retrieving patient information from the EHR. Physicians
speak naturally, without having to memorize rote commands, and Suki accurately
understands and completes their tasks.

“Suki was chosen for the first pilot for several reasons. The company was founded with the goal of helping physicians spend more time caring for patients and less time on administrative tasks. Increasing physician job satisfaction is the ultimate goal of our Innovation Lab,” said Waldren. “The company is actively and successfully marketing to primary care and family medicine, and the solution didn’t require any new hardware for the physicians who tested it in practice.”

Pilot Protocol & Results

The lab...