How UCHealth aims to lower 'pajama time'

CT Lin, MD, chief medical information officer at Aurora-based University of Colorado Health, said the amount of time physicians spend after work hours answering patient messages is "not sustainable" but that the health system is not yet ready to begin charging for messages, The Sacramento Bee reported Sept. 13.

"We see physicians working two to four hours every evening on their patient emails after their shift is over, and that's not sustainable," Dr. Lin told the publication. "But we worry that patients with complex disease will stop messaging us entirely because of this copay risk."

Instead of implementing fees, UCHealth is enhancing its Epic EHR system with artificial intelligence. 

The health system is using an AI chatbot to draft email replies to patient messages that then are edited by a provider. 

Health systems such as UC San Diego Health; Madison Wis.-based UW Health; and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Health Care are also using this at their organizations. 

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