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How digital voice assistants can make a difference for your practice.
Physician burnout is at epic levels, and one of the biggest contributors is the burden ofcompleting EHR documentation, which physicians work on during clinic, after hours, and in their homes.
Now, an American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) study reveals the impact a voice-enabled AI assistant can make in reducing time spent on documentation and charting, empowering physicians to find greater joy in their work.
During a recently completed AAFP innovation lab, family physicians and other primary care clinicians who used a voice-enabled AI assistant experienced a 72% reduction in median documentation time per note. For physicians, this calculates to an average of 3.3 hours per week saved in documentation time. It also improved satisfaction with their workload and in their practice.
Giving Physicians Greater Control Over Their Time
Today, 55% of physicians and clinicians say they feel burned out when going to work. Further, studies indicate that clerical burdens—including clinical documentation—are a major contributor to burnout.
For primary care physicians, a new class of solutions—AI assistants—holds strong potential to increase capacity and capability while reducing physicians’ administrative and cognitive burden. The challenge: determining which solutions most effectively address primary care physicians’ pain points while strengthening patient engagement and care.
In 2019, the AAFP embarked on a journey to evaluate AI assistants to assess their value in meeting the unique needs of primary care physicians.
The family medicine experience is based on a deeply personal physician-patient interaction that requires support from technology. Yet many technologies used in practice today have eroded the physician and patient experience rather than enhancing it. There is also a need for electronic tools that work for physicians rather than against them, even in an increasingly digital world.
The AAFP created an innovation lab to identify innovative tools that decrease the administrative burdens that stifle joy in work for primary care physicians. The lab offers AAFP members and their practices opportunities to assess existing and emerging innovations and share feedback and recommendations for implementation in family medicine practices.
To date, two AI assistant solutions are in different stages of testing with AAFP members, with one AI assistant class already designated as an “essential innovation” by the AAFP:
Meanwhile, the AAFP is evaluating additional AI assistants in the market.
Making the Right Investments
How can physician practices most effectively harness voice-enabled AI assistants to slash documentation time for physicians and decrease the administrative burdens that contribute to burnout? The AAFP’s experience points to three lessons learned.
By assessing whether AI assistants are not just effective, but also adoptable, organizations can more effectively leverage these tools to enhance both the physician and patient experience.