2021: The Year Artificial Intelligence and the Electronic Health Record Finally Help Clinicians Save Time

Apr 16, 2021 | Blogs

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been hailed as a boon to efficiency for note taking, documentation, and electronic health record (EHR) administration — though few clinicians would agree reality has measured up to the rosy predictions.

Instead, unfortunately, both technologies have revealed their shortcomings and inefficiencies, particularly in voice recognition, vocabulary, and time savings.

As a clinician, I have first-hand knowledge of these technologies. And as the Chief Medical Officer at Augmedix, I am witness to how Augmedix is rapidly developing and delivering innovative services that are unlocking the potential in these technologies.

AI + Human Pairing, The Best of All Worlds
The Augmedix proprietary Notebuilder automation technology, an AI-enabled platform, leverages a significantly different approach: rather than trying to replace humans, our goal is to assist them.

Amplified AI is a practical approach that can provide a cost-effective, accurate documentation service for clinicians, unlike narrow AI-driven technology that can be limited in its capabilities, making it a less than ideal solution in a medical context.

Amplified AI is created by pairing technology with virtual scribes who are highly vetted and trained to leverage the Augmedix proprietary technology for note creation.

What Amplified AI Technology Looks Like
A clinic visit is live streamed to an Augmedix scribe through smartphones or Google Glass incorporating automation technology, including speech-to-text software and natural-language-processing modules.

The remote scribes are then able to generate accurate and structured EHR notes as the clinician-patient conversation occurs in real time. Clinicians don’t need to alter their workflow by dictating word-for-word or speaking “wake words” because the scribes are capturing the visit through natural conversation, and creating a summary of the clinically relevant content.

With meticulous training in 35 specialties and additional sub-specialties, the scribes rapidly become a valuable addition to each patient’s care team. A rural hospital system, Kittitas Valley Healthcare in the heart of Washington state, was able to go live and get into a comfortable routine with Augmedix virtual scribes in just a few weeks, compared to 6 to 8 months with its live scribe experience.

One Clinician’s Experience
Dr. Seneca Dewar is a primary care physician who was overwhelmed with mandated EHR documentation and spent most of his weekends on data entry. He was typically spending over 20 hours per week completing his patient notes and was increasingly burdened by the documentation.

Since Dr. Dewar started working with Augmedix, he finishes his patient notes every day and dedicates an additional four hours to his clinic time each week. He no longer works after hours and is able to spend his reclaimed time with his family.

Work life balance is the key to ensuring patient satisfaction.

Optimism in 2021
In spite of the challenges in 2020, I see good things this year, including patients and clinicians continuing to embrace the convenience and safety of telemedicine. Clinicians will instinctively incorporate remote assistants into their daily routine, and leading-edge companies such as Augmedix will continue to develop innovative solutions to empower clinicians to practice medicine better.

Davin R Lundquist, MD Family Medicine, is affiliated with Dignity Health, California. He serves as Augmedix Chief Medical Officer.