- Voice artificial intelligence company Suki has integrated its AI voice-powered tool, Suki Assistant, into Epic’s electronic health record software through the EHR vendor’s ambient application programming interface, the company announced Wednesday.
- Suki incorporates generative AI to “listen” to clinician-patient encounters and auto-generate clinician notes. However, clinicians maintain control by accepting, rejecting or editing the AI content, according to the company.
- Documenting a patient encounter with ambient note creation can reduce clinician burnout, with Suki reporting that its ambient note-generation is capable of reducing documentation time per note by as much as 72% in family medicine.
Despite ethical concerns, generative AI in healthcare has promised to help ease workflow burdens for clinicians, a population stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic that now faces a labor shortage.
“Suki uses generative AI and LLMs to listen to the patient-clinician conversation, parse the clinically relevant portions and summarize them as suggestions for the note,” Punit Soni, CEO of Suki, explained in an interview with Healthcare Dive.
The voice assistant’s ambient mode provides a new way to help with documentation, coding and information retrieval, according to Soni.
“Ambient mode makes use of generative AI to listen to clinician-patient interactions in real-time and auto-generate clinical notes within seconds — without requiring human intervention in the background,” Soni said.
Although AI is taking the notes, the platform is designed to keep clinicians in full control rather than eliminate them. Clinicians maintain control over editing and approving the notes, and ambient mode presents the notes as suggestions so clinicians can easily edit or sign off on final notes, the CEO said, adding that AI “doesn’t replace the clinician.”
Suki’s Assistant has been incorporated into other EHR platforms including Athenahealth, Cerner and Elation, Soni said.
Ambient AI companies have yet to share the accuracy rates of their notetakers, though they say accuracy is high enough that they’re comfortable instituting them in real-world settings. Suki has said it plans to publish studies on its documentation software’s accuracy in the next quarter or so.
Other companies, like Microsoft-owned Nuance, also use AI to provide clinical documentation within an EHR. Nuance incorporates GPT-4, the large language model technology from Open AI, in its clinical notetaking software. In addition, Microsoft and Epic expanded their partnership last month to integrate Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service into Epic’s EHR platform.
National hospital operator HCA is also piloting ambient documentation software in the emergency rooms of two hospitals through a partnership with Augmedix.