Epic and Microsoft have joined forces to integrate generative artificial intelligence (AI) into electronic health records (EHRs) with the aim of boosting accuracy and efficiency. By combining Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s EHR platform, the partnership seeks to improve EHR usability and free up clinicians to focus on patient care. Health systems such as UC San Diego Health, UW Health, and Stanford Health Care are already utilizing the integrated systems.

The collaboration aims to harness generative AI technology to enhance EHRs by automatically filling in missing information, suggesting diagnoses, and even predicting future health outcomes based on historical data. This type of AI employs machine learning to generate new that can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos based on an ever-growing foundation of information. An integration into EHRs could lead to more complete, accurate, and user-friendly processes and systems, allowing healthcare providers to focus on patient care.

Key Points:

  • The partnership will incorporate Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s EHR platform, extending natural language queries and interactive data analysis to Epic’s SlicerDicer self-service reporting
  • Generative AI can fill in missing information, suggest diagnoses, and predict future health outcomes based on historical data, enhancing EHR accuracy and usability
  • UC San Diego Health, UW Health, and Stanford Health Care are among the health systems already deploying the integrated systems to improve EHR efficiency

By outsourcing time-consuming tasks, clinicians can dedicate more time to patients, and EHRs can become a valuable source of insights that could help improve care quality and reduce costs.

The partnership between Epic and Microsoft expands upon their existing relationship, which includes Epic environments being deployed on the Azure cloud platform. Both companies have extensive experience in the healthcare sector, with Microsoft developing solutions for over a decade and Epic being a leading EHR provider for more than 40 years. By joining forces, they aim to accelerate generative AI adoption in healthcare and enhance patient outcomes.

Health systems like UC San Diego Health, UW Health, and Stanford Health Care have already started to deploy the integrated systems (as featured at HIMSS23), leveraging Epic’s new capabilities to automatically draft message responses.

“A good use of technology simplifies things related to workforce and workflow,” UW Health’s chief information officer Chero Goswami, said in a statement. “Integrating generative AI into some of our daily workflows will increase productivity for many of our providers, allowing them to focus on the clinical duties that truly require their attention.”

While the potential benefits of generative AI in healthcare are significant, there are also potential risks, such as bias if algorithms are trained on incomplete or biased datasets. To address these concerns, Epic and Microsoft are dedicated to developing transparent and ethical AI solutions that undergo rigorous testing and validation.

Generative AI has been a key topic at this year’s HIMSS23 conference. The exploration of OpenAI’s GPT-4 by Epic aims to “increase the power and accessibility of self-service reporting through SlicerDicer, making it easier for healthcare organizations to identify operational improvements, including ways to reduce costs and to find answers to questions locally and in a broader context,” said Seth Hain, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Epic.

The integration of generative AI into EHRs highlights the increasing importance of advanced technologies in the healthcare industry. For staffing and recruiting firms, this trend emphasizes the need to source candidates with expertise in AI, EHRs, and data analysis. In the Healthcare IT sector, the demand for AI solutions, particularly in EHRs, underscores the need for innovative tools and services that cater to the evolving needs of healthcare providers.

For staffing and recruiting firms specializing in healthcare IT, this trend presents an opportunity to connect skilled professionals with organizations seeking to adopt and implement AI technologies in their operations. By understanding the specific needs of the healthcare industry, creative firms can help match a necessity of new talent with emerging skills and expertise to the right projects, solutions and organizations.

By staying informed and adapting to these changes, companies in these industries can position themselves for success in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Source: Healthcare IT News – Epic, Microsoft partner to use generative AI for better EHRs