This episode of Tell ME Where IT Hurts features a discussion between Jay Anders, MD and Bob Taylor, DO, about electronic health records (EHRs), physician burnout, and the emerging role of AI. With over two decades of experience developing EHR solutions, Dr. Taylor has some revealing insights and opinions on the evolution –– and future –– of these systems, and where AI fits into the equation.
Regulations and documentation requirements have limited innovation in EHRs, contributing to physician burnout. But new technologies like ambient listening to generate clinical notes and generative AI to turn free text into structured data have potential to improve workflows –– and alleviate some of the associated burnout. Dr. Anders and Dr. Taylor agree that AI should augment, not replace providers. They maintain that the industry needs freedom from new regulations to refactor EHR systems and leverage innovations to improve the physician experience. The future is promising if EHR vendors can focus on user-centered design and relieve documentation burden on clinicians.
Among the topics discussed by Dr. Taylor and Dr. Anders in this episode are:
- Taylor’s “journeyman” career path, from medical school to healthcare IT
- Physician burnout is not a new issue and started even before EMRs. While EMRs have contributed somewhat, regulations and documentation requirements are a major factor.
- EHR systems have evolved a lot over the past 20 years. Early on there was a focus on user-centered design and innovation. But regulations have limited innovation and led to bloated, complex systems.
- Future EHR systems need to move to the cloud, improve usability through reinvented workflows, and leverage AI to reduce the documentation burden on clinicians.
- Generative AI like ChatGPT has potential but also risks like providing convincing but incorrect medical information. It needs guardrails and clinical oversight.
- Ambient listening tools like Nuance DAX could help generate clinical notes passively from natural provider-patient conversations. But they likely need to be combined with structured documentation.
- The goal should be to use AI to augment providers, not replace them. It can help turn free text into structured data needed for regulations and quality reporting.
- The industry needs a break from new regulations to refactor EHR systems and take advantage of innovations like generative AI to truly improve physician experience.
- “If you had a magic wand and could change anything in healthcare IT today, what would it be?”
- Bob Taylor on LinkedIn
- Altera Digital Health
- TouchWorks EHR
- Jay Anders on LinkedIn
- “Tell Me Where IT Hurts” on Healthcare NOW Radio