Vanderbilt tests virtual assistant that can voice patient EHR data to physicians


Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center is test piloting its EHR voice assistant VEVA, which can analyze and relay patient information in the EHR so clinicians don't have to look it up themselves, Nashville Public Radio reports.

VEVA will go live Aug. 23 with a select group of VUMC physicians. The digital assistant is integrated with the health system's Epic EHR.

During the go live, VEVA will provide physicians with limited information, such as a brief summary of the patient, his or her vital signs and some lab results. VEVA can also report the patient's medications and problems lists.

Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, VUMC assistant professor of biomedical informatics and pediatrics, serves as leader of the project. Dr. Kumah-Crystal's team began developing VEVA in January 2018 with the goal to increase physicians' patient interactions by reducing their EHR screen time.

"What I would love is to be hands-free, taking care of the patient, maintaining eye contact, having a conversation," Dr. Kumah-Crystal told Nashville Public Radio. "Then just shouting out to the air, 'Oh, can you refill this patient's medication?' And not have to kind of break away and just stare at the computer screen the entire time."

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