AAFP, developer applies artificial intelligence to primary care.
Computerized artificial intelligence (AI) has reduced the time spent by primary care physicians scrolling through patient records, but helped them feel more prepared for patient visits.
The findings were part of a study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Innovation Lab. The AAFP worked with computer program developer Navina to test its Navina AI Assistant program in a 30-day trial with 10 physicians across three practices.
After at least 991 patient encounters, physicians reported a 61% decrease in visit preparation time, a 25% increase in diagnoses found, and a 37% increase in risk adjustment factor scores. Each participant said they would recommend the AI Assistant to a colleague, according to the study, “AI Assistant for Clinical Review To Reduce Burden and Improve Quality and Value-Based Care Outcomes,” announced by AAFP and Navina on 6 december.
“The dramatic impact on these family physicians suggests that an AI assistant for clinical examination may be an essential technology for optimizing the family practice experience,” the report states.
“Record review is a significant burden for today’s physicians who only use an EHR,” or electronic health record, Steven E. Waldren, MD, MS, AAFP Vice President and director of medical informatics, said in a press release. “In our lab, we have seen the promise of leveraging an AI assistant for clinical examination and we look forward to better understanding the positive impacts of these technologies on care delivery and the transition to evidence-based care. on the value.
The results will be further studied in a Phase 2 innovation lab where the AAFP and Navina will study the adoption of an AI assistant for clinical examination by 100 family physicians, according to The report.
The report noted that physician workloads take up time spent in and out of the office. Meanwhile, billions of dollars of investments in AI have produced health apps and software that increase physician workloads and burnout instead of improving patient care.
Family physicians spend more than an hour and a half a day reviewing records to support patient care. Navina’s AI assistant aims to digitize patient records and provide physicians with “an issue-driven case summary,” eliminating the need for physicians to search and click through lab work, diagnoses, references, consultation notes, discharge summaries, etc.
Participating physicians used a five-point scale to rate feelings of burnout, from 1, or no symptoms, to 5, completely exhausted and possibly in need of help. Their average rating went from 3.4 before the AI assistant to 2 after using it, which equates to feeling “I’m stressed, but I don’t feel exhausted.”
Preparation time for complex patients has been reduced from 14.1 minutes to 5.5 minutes. According to the study, doctors said they were fully prepared for 54% of visits before using the program and for 81% after using the AI assistant.
“The dramatic impact on these family physicians suggests that an AI assistant for clinical examination may be an essential technology for optimizing the family practice experience,” the report states. The AAFP and Navina noted that the study worked with electronic health record programs that allowed for interoperability.
“The family physician member set has many different EHRs that are more difficult to integrate, slowing the implementation of any third-party innovation,” the report said. “This remains a major challenge for any innovation that requires robust data exchange with the EHR. This continues to be an area of advocacy for the AAFP.
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