Stanford, Google team up to streamline EHR documentation

Steven Lin, MD, medical director of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Family Medicine, is working with Google Research to launch a pilot study on "digital scribes," according to a Nov. 21 Stanford Medicine blog post.

The collaborators will embark on a nine-month study, during which they will apply machine learning algorithms to detect patterns in audio recordings of patient visits. To collect audio samples, physicians at Stanford Family Medicine will record visits with patients who opt into the research project.

The goal of the study is to identify audio patterns that inform an algorithm's ability to complete progress notes. This "digital scribe" would be able to save physicians time by allowing them to concentrate on patients, while the machine learning algorithm automatically enters information into the EHR.

The researchers will use the pilot study to identify challenges and indicate whether a digital scribe is feasible to create. If successful, they will continue to develop a tool for physician use.

"This is really new and we're in the early stages of this technology," Dr. Lin noted.

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