Emory boosted Epic data and AI adoption 400% in 6 months

When Joe Depa joined Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare in September 2023 as the inaugural chief data and artificial intelligence officer, he saw an immediate opportunity for two quick wins.

1) Driving adoption of existing data and technology initiatives by meeting end users where they were.

2) Improving patient care and research with AI.

His team began hosting data blitzes so they could meet their end users, providers, researchers, faculty and staff, to better understand the opportunities for applying data and making more informed decisions.

"I am impressed with the rapid increase in Epic data and AI adoption of more than 400% in just six months as our early adopters now have become data champions," said Mr. Depa. "This has resulted in improved workflow, reduced administrative time and a better patient experience."

Mr. Depa's team also created a large language model to support its cancer registry and achieved 97% accuracy. The model reduced administrative burden from 20-plus minutes to less than two minutes for registry patients.

"This will ultimately help improve our clinical trial matching and patient outcomes as the data becomes more accurate and timely," said Mr. Depa. "I am proud of our laser-like focus on enabling responsible and trustworthy AI in all we do."

Last year, Emory launched the Emory Empathetic AI for Health Institute to identify and develop ways big data can transform healthcare systems for preventing, diagnosing, treating and curing disease. The institute is focused on innovation and scaling accessible, cost-effective and equitable AI tools.

Emory's AI team is continuing to explore ways technology can positively affect healthcare decision-making, and Mr. Depa is bullish on the future.

"As we look forward, I’m most excited by the amazing team we have in place and our emphasis on developing a modern data foundation that will ultimately enable Emory’s physicians, researchers, clinical care teams and staff to improve lives and provide hope for our communities," he said.

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