Don't Settle for Half Measures: AI Scribes Need a Platform to Shine

The electronic health record was supposed to usher in a new era of efficiency and improved patient care. Instead, it has become a symbol of physician burnout and frustration.

For every patient visit, physicians are having to spend more and more time in the EHR; a recent study shows a consistent year-over-year increase. EHR documentation has become so burdensome that it doesn’t fit into the physician’s daily schedule anymore, and many physicians are paying out-of-pocket for support.

Enter AI scribes, these new digital assistants offer a tantalizing glimpse into a future where doctors can focus on patients, not paperwork. Just press record, and the AI listens and summarizes.

But while AI scribes are a powerful tool, they are just one piece of the larger puzzle. To truly transform clinical documentation and improve patient care, we need to integrate these new tools into an end-to-end platform that begins to provide value before the patient arrives. Documentation can be more than a chore; it can be an asset to physicians.

Imagine a world where the entire documentation process is seamless and efficient. Before the visit, relevant information is automatically pulled from the EHR, and patients complete intelligent questionnaires that capture their concerns and symptoms. This information generates a pre-visit note, providing a valuable starting point for the physician.

Training these systems on what questions to ask each patient ahead of a visit takes considerable work and expertise, but the result is powerful when implemented. By collecting and documenting patient-reported outcomes outside of the office in relation to specific visits, we can improve physician context of why a patient is coming in, increase billing compliance, and reduce denials and refunds from audits.

Dr. Hyung Kim, Department Chair at Cedars-Sinai, has seen firsthand the benefits of using pre-visit notes generated by Health Note, a documentation automation platform. He shared, "One of the main reasons patients trust physicians is because they understand their health problems. Health Note enables physicians to know about health problems ahead of a visit, which promotes trust and can even 'impress' the patient. It also saves at least 3-4 minutes per encounter while making it an excellent experience for the patient."

During the visit, an AI scribe further serves to capture the conversation and generate a complete and accurate clinical note referencing patient information gathered during intake, including billing codes and follow-up instructions. The physician can then review and finalize the note, ensuring accuracy and adding any additional insights.

Together these solutions offer a robust solution to documentation automation, by utilizing structured patient-reported outcomes, patient-verified data, and in-room transcriptions. This is the future of clinical documentation, and it is within our reach. Simply adding AI scribes to our existing, fragmented workflows will not solve the problem. We need to invest in end-to-end platforms that integrate AI scribes with other clinical documentation automation tools.

The benefits of such an approach are manifold. Physicians and healthcare workers will be freed from the rising demands of documentation, allowing them to spend more time with patients and deliver better care. Patients will be more engaged in their own care as their voices are heard. Ultimately, the entire healthcare system will benefit from improved efficiency and reduced costs.

AI scribes are a powerful tool, but they are not a panacea. Let us not make the same mistake we made with EHRs, implementing technology in a piecemeal fashion without considering the larger ecosystem. We need to adopt comprehensive documentation platforms that leverage the power of AI scribes to transform healthcare delivery for the better.


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars