Meditech, Google partner to bring generative AI to EHRs

Google is collaborating with Meditech to bring generative artificial intelligence to EHRs, including at Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare.

Google and Meditech started their partnership a year and a half ago, focusing on cloud-based medical records and EHR search functions, but with the rapid development of large language models the two organizations are pivoting to AI.

"We're all entering a new era of great potential in terms of technology and innovation, adding efficiencies and bringing new ways of looking at automation and transformation," said Helen Waters, executive vice president and COO of Meditech, at a recent press briefing. "It's finally at a moment in time for this industry, where we've spent years and years digitizing everything and trying to do something meaningful with it."

The EHR vendor is exploring generative AI's use in automating summaries for patient discharges and nursing shift changes, consolidating patient medical records, and incorporating Google's Med-PaLM 2 healthcare AI chatbot so providers can ask questions about specific patients.

"Generative AI offers the opportunity to automate the generation of a hospital course narrative to begin the building of the discharge summary for the physician and, ultimately, for the efficient ability to send the patient home with the right information," Ms. Waters said.

The potential benefits include time savings, enhanced note quality, more concise narratives, reduction in errors or accidental omissions, and more timely discharge document transfers, she said.

Google is broadening its push into healthcare, with other generative AI collaborations including HCA, Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health, and Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

HCA, for instance, is using the technology to document emergency room visits at four hospitals and speed up nurse handoffs at UCF Lake Nona Hospital in Orlando, Fla., which is currently implementing Meditech's Expanse EHR.

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