MEDITECH and Google on AI Collaboration for Meaningful Change in Healthcare

MEDITECH Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Helen Waters and Global Director of Healthcare Strategy and Solutions for Google Cloud, Aashima Gupta, discuss joint AI projects and the role of collaboration in achieving healthcare transformation.

Helen and Aashima Gupta Beckers Ad Article

Why has AI been so transformational in healthcare, and what did Google see as the biggest opportunity in working with an EHR vendor like MEDITECH?

Aashima: Even for a system as dynamic as medicine and care delivery, the past few years have been unusually tumultuous. Generative AI has enabled breakthrough solutions to relieve some of the recent industry pressures in ways that were not possible before. For example, gen AI can enable easier document creation by digesting reports and long files for faster consumption. It can also ease burden on caregivers by assisting with clinical documentation. Make no mistake, humans are more central to the process than ever, but with gen AI, they have a powerful new tool to do more satisfying work with less tedium.

This is where EHR companies are critical. MEDITECH is really leading the way to democratize gen AI by bringing it into its systems to help solve for these pain points. With its transformation, healthcare organizations don’t need to have their own data science teams to take advantage of these advancements. MEDITECH is a leader in this space, starting with making it easier to search and summarize electronic health records and by auto-generating an initial draft of the hospital course narrative at discharge. A clinician is in the loop throughout this process to review and edit any auto-generated content before it is utilized in clinical work.

What makes the MEDITECH and Google collaboration transformational for care delivery?

Helen: With Google, we are taking on real-world challenges and developing technology that is making an actual difference, not just a futuristic headline. Clinicians have been clamoring for EHR documentation burden relief and together we have taken on this pressing industry issue to develop technology that has provided immediate value.

Doctors make split-second decisions based on the information that they can easily access, find, and trust. We are making this easier with MEDITECH Expanse search and summarization capabilities. The Google search technology is accessible within Expanse and leverages NLP to extract salient information from data sources including scanned and unstructured documents as well as handwritten notes. Information is then synthesized and organized in a way for clinicians to easily act upon.

It is inspiring to see that within days of Mile Bluff Medical Center implementing the new technology, there was an explosion of use cases across all of its care settings and departments. We had a vision for the impact that making this technology available within the EHR would have, and the reality is even better.

What is the biggest opportunity for AI to positively impact healthcare in 2024?

Aashima: Google Cloud is committed to accelerating the use of generative AI within healthcare. Our work on integrating AI directly into EHR workflows is incredibly promising.

The power of AI in healthcare is fundamentally tied to the quality, accessibility, and standardization of data. Google Cloud's Healthcare Data Engine is critical in addressing these needs. By combining AI innovation, API advancements, LLM technology, and the data foundation of HDE, Google is laying the groundwork for healthcare transformation in 2024 and well into the future.

In partnership with EHRs, we are able to scale healthcare data and workflow transformations by integrating AI directly into EHRs and offer real-time support to clinicians. This includes decision support tools, automated risk assessments, and AI-powered summaries for better patient understanding.

Helen: We have seen that once the technology is available to clinicians, there will be an explosion of use cases as they find creative ways to implement it. As an EHR developer, we must continue to be well positioned to respond to this growth.

Documentation time is a known clinician burden. By automating documentation, AI can save clinicians time and reduce burnout. We have incorporated AI into Expanse in several ways from conversational AI to navigate records and place orders to ambient listening. Today, MEDITECH and Google are working with Fraser Health to use generative AI to automate clinical documentation and produce an initial draft of the hospital course narrative at time of discharge, saving clinicians significant time.

While all of these AI efforts are exciting, we believe the biggest impact for transformation is the intersection of the technologies, blending and building off of each other to create an intelligent platform. When deployed intelligently, AI has the potential to remove the artificial boundaries separating clinicians from their patients and return their focus to providing human-centered care.

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