At HIMSS24, Meditech and the ‘thirst for AI’ – Healthcare IT News

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Meditech is one of the largest EHR and health IT players at HIMSS24 this week. This year, not surprisingly, its bbiggest focus is on artificial intelligence – the hottest topic in healthcare information technology.

The company is announcing its early adopters for ambient listening integration into its Expanse EHR; new functionality around its conversational AI functionality; and successful use cases from its early adopter of Expanse search and summarization with Google Health.

We talked with Helen Waters, executive vice president and COO at Meditech (HIMSS24 Booths 2480, 3760-71, 3760-92), to get the lowdown on its HIMSS24 news.

Q. One thing you’ve been discussing at the show is your early adopters of ambient listening integration into your Expanse EHR. Please talk about these early adopters and the work they’re doing with this form of artificial intelligence.

A. According to a recent Physician Sentiment Survey conducted by The Harris Poll, 93% of physicians feel burned out regularly, with some reporting working more than 15 hours a week outside their normal hours and 83% indicating that AI could be part of the solution.

We believe conversational and ambient AI can have a significant impact on reducing clinician documentation time and enable providers to devote more of their focus to their patients. Meditech has taken a vendor-agnostic approach to ambient listening and is currently working with several ambient listening vendors to integrate their solutions into our Expanse EHR.

Suki is the first ambient vendor to join our Meditech Alliance partnership program and is being used at two of our early adopter sites: Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, Indiana, and St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam, New York.

Meditech’s integrated solution will be going live at both sites within the next couple of months. Through their testing, both customers see great potential in the solution enhancing providers’ work-life balance and improving both patient and provider satisfaction through more meaningful face-to-face encounters. We will be demonstrating our integration with Suki each day of HIMSS24 at our Interoperability Showcase kiosk No. 71.

We are also working closely on Expanse integrations with Augmedix, as well as the Nuance DAX Copilot solution. Through Meditech’s API integration, healthcare organizations can launch directly into the ambient listening solution from within the Expanse EHR. The ambient listening vendor will record the conversation and automatically generate the appropriate clinical visit note for the clinician to review.

We strongly believe there should be a human element to all AI, so providers will have the opportunity to review, edit and approve the note within the ambient listening solution before carrying it over to the EHR. They can also make changes to the note using voice, typing or macros. Once complete, the entire note can be consumed into Meditech’s EHR and discrete elements – for example, HPI, assessment, physical exam – can be inserted into the appropriate documentation fields.

We see great promise in the use of ambient listening across care settings, including future incorporation into our home care and nursing solutions. As ambient listening is further adopted across more care settings, we see even greater promise in reducing the documentation burden for more care providers.

Q. You’ve also been discussing new functionality around your conversational AI functionality – Virtual Assistant. What is this new functionality and how is it designed to help caregivers?

A. In collaboration with Nuance, Meditech has extended our Virtual Assistant solution to enable providers to use conversational AI to both navigate the chart as well as place orders.

Building upon our larger AI vision, Virtual Assistant can also leverage ambient listening documentation workflows to afford physicians the ability to continue the voice experience by searching for relevant medications and labs while placing orders. This creates a complete voice-enabled workflow that reduces friction and burden.

Q. A highlight for you at the show is successful use cases from your early adopter for Expanse search and summarization with Google Health. Please elaborate on this early adopter’s success.

A. When we first began implementing Expanse search and summarization, powered by Google Health, our goal was to make it easier for providers to quickly find the information they were looking for, whether it was housed in our Expanse EHR, in scanned documents, unstructured data, or from Meditech legacy data. This was our first foray into the art of what would be possible with large language models and advanced natural language processing.

This goal was quickly realized at Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston, Wisconsin. I have to give kudos to Randy Brandt, the project lead at Mile Bluff, for really embracing his role as an early adopter and championing the solution. Under his guidance, the project quickly took off.

We had multiple waves of provider go-lives at Mile Bluff, and the number of pilot users continued to grow, now surpassing 150 users. Providers were intuitively using the section breakdown within hours of going live to review their provider notes. CMO Dr. Angela Gatzke-Plamann saw the 15 minutes she spent per patient cleaning up problem lists decline dramatically.

Another ED physician noted spending hours a day requesting and sifting through several hundred pages of a patient’s records, and now he is able to do so in minutes. In particular, the solution has been exceptional at interpreting handwritten notes and turning them into searchable discrete data.

Additional time savings Mile Bluff realized included time spent reconciling problem lists, locating DNR orders, and streamlining infection control chart reviews. The solution is now used across 19 departments – clinical and non-clinical settings – including obstetrics, infusion and cancer care, infection control, revenue cycle, and diabetes education. Unique use cases are also surfacing that previously were not in the initial scope.

For example, the HIM department is leveraging the solution to review hundreds of pages of scanned documents and discharge summaries from other sites, resulting in approximately 25-40% time savings per patient for one of their staff. Infection control is also using the solution to confirm patient conditions like sepsis, surgical site infection, or hospital-acquired infection within minutes. Staff is now more confident that they are submitting accurate quality measures.

Mile Bluff is a perfect testament to the thirst for AI and for solutions that will help to mitigate user burden. When presented with evidence of time savings and recommendations from their colleagues, staff at Mile Bluff quickly gravitated to the search and summarization solution, resulting in successful and widespread adoption across departments.

The availability of Expanse search and summarization, powered by Google Health, comes at an ideal time. In a recent Harris poll, 94% of physicians agreed that getting the right clinical data at the right time is very important. However, 63% indicated that they were so overburdened by information that it raised their stress levels.

Search and summarization is making a real impact. Imagine the time savings a physician would gain from consuming over a hundred pages of a CCD document and reviewing a summary of the most pertinent details in a matter of minutes. That is the human impact that Expanse search and summarization is delivering today.

Our successful rollout of finely tuned medical search, large language models, and natural language processing through search and summarization is only the beginning. We are now building additional generative AI offerings to auto-generate clinical documentation, focusing first on the hospital course narrative and a nurse handoff summary.

I’m very excited to be presenting alongside Mile Bluff Medical Center CEO Dara Bartels and Google Cloud Global Director of Healthcare Strategy and Solutions Aashima Gupta at HIMSS24. Randy will also be joining Meditech staff and Google physicians Dr. Morris and Dr. Clardy for demonstrations in our booth on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

Q. And finally, please talk a bit about your work with genomics, including pharmacogenomics and your new integration with GenomOncology.

A. A few years ago, Meditech introduced Expanse Genomics to the market as the first fully integrated, EHR-based solution that allows clinicians to order genetic tests from their preferred reference labs, receive and store genetic results in patients’ charts, and display results in meaningful and actionable ways.

Meditech’s Genomics solution has come a long way since its introduction, in particular in the area of pharmacogenomics. Working with First Databank (FDB), we have embedded genomic interpretation and guidance directly into Expanse workflows to help guide clinicians to the most effective treatment options for their patients based on their unique genetic profiles.

Guidance includes automatic drug-gene interaction checking and encompasses more than 27 genes and more than 400 medications before an order is placed. Content is updated in the background weekly to ensure clinicians are always using the most clinically accurate guidance and to minimize the upkeep required by the healthcare organization.

The integration of pharmacogenomics helps optimize drug efficacy, saves clinicians time researching medication options, and reduces the risk of adverse reactions or dosing errors. It also improves patient satisfaction by increasing the likelihood that patients will receive the most effective medication the first time.

We will be highlighting this integration alongside FDB at our Interoperability Showcase kiosk No. 71 on March 12 and March 13 at 11:30 a.m. We also recognized the importance of integration between genomics, oncology and pathology and have updated all three of our solutions to further strengthen this integration and ensure the most effective treatment for cancer patients.

Leveraging a wealth of discrete genetic data within the system, organizations can also use Meditech’s tools to pull actionable cohorts of patients or perform advanced analytics on their population.

Additionally, by working closely with the ONC through the Cancer Moonshot initiative, we are championing the advancement of cancer care by helping to ensure the sharing of discrete, vital patient information and cancer research between disparate healthcare systems.

Meditech recently enhanced its Genomics solution to incorporate evidence-based guidance for therapies and clinical trial matching through integration with GenomOncology. This solution leverages all of the harmonized discrete genetic data available in the EHR regardless of performing laboratory, problem information and demographics to recommend optimal therapies and clinical trials specific to the patient’s cancer directly to clinicians right within the EHR using APIs.

GenomOncology encompasses a rich set of annotations, ontologies and curated content from public, licensed and proprietary sources. Therapies and trials can be specially matched based on patient demographics, EHR problem data, and discrete genetic data to find the right therapy for patients and determine whether or not it’s sensitive, along with any NCCN guidelines.

If none of these therapies are working, clinicians can look to clinical trials, sorted both at the organization or closest to your patient.

Clinicians also have the ability to select trials, converse with a clinical trials manager, and directly link to register for those trials. Key genetic details are always up to date including interpretations from ClinVar and hot spot information. GenomOncology will join us in our Interoperability Showcase kiosk No. 71 each day at 12:30 p.m. to discuss therapies and clinical trial matching.

Jackie Rice, vice president and CIO at Frederick Health, will join us in our booth on Wednesday March 13 at 3 p.m. to discuss her experience with pharmacogenomics and GenomOncology.

Follow Bill’s HIT coverage on LinkedIn: Bill Siwicki
Email him: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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