A look at HCA and Google's AI partnership

In a move to enhance efficiency, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare has been conducting pilots with Google's healthcare-based AI tools. 

HCA Healthcare has been piloting Augmedix in four emergency department hospital sites over the past several months.

The Augmedix platform, powered by natural language processing and Google Cloud's MedLM on Vertex AI, transforms clinician-patient interactions into medical notes, according to a Dec. 13 news release from Google. Physicians then review and finalize these notes prior to them being transferred into HCA's EHR system. 

Michael Schlosser, MD, senior vice president of care transformation and innovation at HCA, told CNBC that the health system aims to broaden its utilization of the tool in the coming year, as this development is particularly significant for physicians, who currently devote up to four hours daily to clerical paperwork. 

"That's been a huge leap forward for us," Dr. Schlosser told CNBC. "We now think we're going to be at a point where the AI, by itself, can create 60-plus percent of the note correctly on its own before we have the human doing the review and the editing." 

According to Dr. Schlosser, by January, he anticipates that Google's technology will autonomously generate over 50% of a note without requiring assistance from providers. 

Additionally, HCA is exploring the application of Google's MedLM to create a handoff tool for nurses. This tool is designed to analyze the EHR and extract pertinent information for nurses to convey during shift changes.

The handoff process, according to Dr. Schlosser, is currently perceived as labor-intensive and poses a significant challenge for nurses. If the process could be automated, it could be highly impactful for staff. 

Dr. Schlosser said providers' initial response to MedLM has been positive.

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