Epic aims to release a tool next fall designed to help clinicians make better decisions at the point of care by using de-identified data.
CEO Judy Faulkner shared her excitement about the tool, in development since March 2022, during the Forbes Healthcare Summit Tuesday. Best Care Choices for My Patient will use de-identified datasets based on 223 million patients to inform clinicians on potential treatments and outcomes based on similar cases.
“About 10% of the decisions doctors make comes from evidence-based medicine. The other 90% is anecdotal,” Faulkner said. “Now [with this tool] we can look and say, ‘There are 28,572 just like Dale and here’s what worked for them. Some treatments get you better results quicker, some take longer but work even better…all this information is shown to the clinician who can make the best choices for the patient.”
An Epic spokesperson said the goal is to release the tool, which will use data from Epic’s analytics platform Cosmos, to early adopters by next fall.
Faulker also spoke about Epic’s Look-Alikes, a tool that matches patients with rare symptoms or conditions to similar cases using data from Cosmos. She said Look-Alikes has been rolled out to early adopters and has seen some success.
“We found one patient with a mystery disease in Illinois and there was one match in the entire country in New Hampshire,” Faulkner said.” We got the clinicians together.”
Faulkner also discussed the company’s generative artificial intelligence developments. She said the company is using generative AI to help clinicians create a draft response when communicating asynchronously with patients. The capability, announced in March alongside big tech company Microsoft, has been rolled out to early adopters including Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based University of North Carolina Health and University of California at San Diego Health.
“So far, our clinicians and patients have found that they like the AI’s response better than the human’s response because the AI is more empathetic,” Faulkner said.
In August, Epic said it would begin implementing generative AI tools for medical coding in May and creating draft appeal letters in August. The company said physician scheduling functionality would begin rolling out in November.
Epic wasn’t the only EHR company to talk about generative AI during Tuesday's gathering. Boston-based Athenahealth said it was rolling out generative AI capabilities to its EHR, revenue cycle and patient engagement software solutions. The capabilities include auto-drafting clinician communication to patients, summarizing clinical records for clinicians and identifying missing information before a prior authorization is submitted.
“Prior authorizations are a bane in healthcare,” said Athenahealth CEO Bob Segert. “And if you don’t get a prior authorization then you don’t get paid. Using gen AI, we can identify the gaps in prior authorization, use a rules engine to fill those gaps and make sure that prior authorization gets submitted.”
Athenahealth’s generative AI capabilities will be available to select customers later this month, the company said in a news release.