Epic, Nuance embed AI into EHR for clinical documentation improvement

By bringing deep learning and natural language processing capabilities to the electronic health record, Nuance's computer-assisted physician documentation technology can help with quality improvement for value-based reimbursement, officials say.
By Mike Miliard
11:07 AM
Epic Nuance AI EHR

Nuance Communications and Epic are partnering to integrate the artificial intelligence capabilities of Nuance's computer-assisted physician documentation tool into the Epic NoteReader module for clinical documentation improvement.

By embedding that CAPD tool within Epic, the companies said physicians can get feedback at the point of care as provider organizations work to improve severity-adjusted quality scores and better understand reimbursement and risk adjustment factors to improve care management.

"We’ve worked with Nuance for years to embed voice innovations into clinical workflows," Epic President Carl Dvorak said in a statement. "This new AI twist provides another level of wow." 

[Also: Nuance, Epic partner to help veterans with disabilities]

By analyzing relevant patient notes using deep learning and natural language processing technologies, the Nuance CAPD tool can spotlight certain clinical indicators in an electronic medical record and alert doctors when there's data that is missing or needs clarification.

The NoteReader CDI module works leverages that AI technology more accurately show the quality of care, officials say, better reflecting patient acuity and reducing the need for retrospective coding queries.

Whether Dvorak's claim about a new "level of wow" reasonates with customers remains to be seen, of course. But Cincinnati-based TriHealth said Nuance CDI tools have helped it achieve a 14 percent improvement in case mix index and a 98 precent spike in physician repsonse rate to queries – as well as a $12.8 million increase in appropriate reimbursments during the first year, according to Sharon Krug, clinical documentation system manager at TriHealth. 

Krug added in a statement provided by Nuance that the new CAPD approach will help TriHealth "build on those successes by offering CDI intelligence at the point of care to help physicians complete their notes faster, with less disruption and greater clinical context."

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Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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John Fowler deputy information security officer Henry Ford Health System

John Fowler, deputy information security officer at Henry Ford Health System 
(Credit: Henry Ford Health System)

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