EHRs, Physician Burnout, and the Emerging Role of AI

By Dr. Jay Anders, Chief Medical Officer, Medicomp Systems
LinkedIn: Jay Anders, MD
X: @MedicompSys
X: @medicompdoc
Host of Tell Me Where IT Hurts – #TellMeWhereITHurts

In this episode, Bob Taylor, DO, and I talk 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.

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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. Taylor and I agree that AI should augment, not replace providers. We 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 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?”

Meet the Guest

Bob Taylor, DO, Chief Product Strategist – TouchWorks EHR, Altera Digital Health
LinkedIn: Bob Taylor, DO
X: @AlteraHealth

About the Show

Join host Dr. Jay Anders as he sits down with experts from across healthcare and technology to discuss ways to improve EHR usability for end users. Dr. Anders and his guests explore opportunities to enhance clinical systems to make them work better for clinicians, reduce burnout, maximize revenue potential, and drive better patient care outcomes.

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