Beth Israel Deaconess to pilot Google, Ascension's EHR search tool 

Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center joined the pilot of the Google developed EHR search tool, which aims to help clinicians better organize and scan for patient information. 

Google and St. Louis-based Ascension inked a partnership to pilot the tool, dubbed Care Studio, in 2018. The tool gives clinicians a longitudinal view of patient records so they can quickly search through the information to pull relevant data. 

Under the pilot, a group of 50 BIDMC physicians and nurses will assess the tool to ensure its quality and safety of its use in conjunction with BIDMC's data and systems. The group will examine the tool's searchable view of patients' medical records, as the health system uses a number of different systems in addition to its core EHR. 

BIDMC will begin technical work this month to prepare for rolling out the pilot. With the tool, clinicians can log in and navigate each data system individually to find the information they need by typing a word, abbreviation or phrase into the Care Studio search bar. The tool then brings up relevant information within their patient's medical record from across multiple sources, saving clinicians time by showing a unified view of patients' vitals, labs, medications and notes. 

To ensure both parties meet patient privacy regulations under HIPAA, BIDMC and Google Health entered a business associate agreement, and the health system's patient data will be stored in a protected environment, which is isolated from Google customers. 

In 2019, Google and Ascension's collaboration raised data privacy concerns among patients and clinicians, who did not know that certain Google employees had access to patient data for the project. At the time, Ascension said the project was HIPAA compliant and Google was not permitted to use data for marketing or research purposes. 


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