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AAFP Innovation Lab: Reducing Documentation Burden through the use of a Digital Assistant

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AAFP Innovation Lab: Reducing Documentation Burden through the use of a Digital Assistant Abstract Objective: The American Academy of Family Physicians has launched a series of Innovation Labs to identify and demonstrate technologies essential to optimizing the family medicine experience. The initial lab studied the use of a Digital Assistant to greatly reduce documentation burden and family physician burnout. Participants and Methods: The lab studied the impact of a Digital Assistant used for visit note completion for over 15 to 30 days by 10 family physicians. Impact was assessed through a qualitative time and motion study and qualitative provider survey and interviews. Results: The time and motion results showed a 62% decrease in documentation time per patient, 51% decrease in documentation time during clinic, and 70% decrease in after-hours charting. The physician survey showed 100% of the providers were more satisfied with how they were doing their notes which represented a 48% improvement and how much less time it was taking them to complete them which represented a 108% improvement. Providers had an 84% improvement in their satisfaction with the time needed to use their EHR for other administrative tasks. Conclusion: The 100% of physician users saw time savings and dramatic increase in their satisfaction with notes completion, time savings and EHR use for other administrative tasks. Providers described how the Digital Assistant allowed them to see their patients, get their documentation done without feeling always rushed or having to finish their notes at home after hours. Several physicians described this impact as a "breakthrough" in their practices. The dramatic impact on these family physicians suggests that Digital Assistant may be an essential technology to optimize the Family Medicine Experience. These results demand further study in a Phase 2 Innovation Lab with over 100 family physicians. Overview The American Academy of Family Physicians is dedicated to optimizing the family medicine experience for patients and their families, and family physicians and their care teams. Toward this goal, the Academy supports family physicians in achieving the Quadruple AIM; enhancing their care for individuals, improving the health of their patient population, reducing the per capita cost of their care while also finding joy in their work. The family medicine experience is based on a deep physician-patient interaction that requires support from technology. Today's EHRs have greatly eroded the experience rather than enhancing it. The vision for the family medicine experience is that family physicians must primarily care for their patients and that IT must work for clinicians not against them. The AAFP sees the innovative use of health information technology (HIT) as essential to optimizing the family medicine experience. Toward this end, our Innovation Laboratory is partnering with industry to drive innovation with the latest proven advanced technologies: cloud, AI/ML, voice and mobile technologies, to optimize the family medicine experience. Family physicians are facing existential threats. Physician burnout based on clerical burden is at epidemic levels for family physicians 2,3,4,5,6 . Clerical burden requires greater than 50% of the physician's time. At the same time, they are having to transform their practices to population based care and alternative payment models. The associated financial risk threatens to burn down their margins and thus their practices. On top of that, artificial intelligence applied without optimizing the family medicine experience as a design requirement threatens to increase physician burden and sub-optimally impact patients and the specialty.

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