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Microsoft, Epic Expand Partnership with OpenAI EHR Integration

According to Microsoft and Epic officials, the OpenAI Epic EHR integration will help increase productivity and improve health system financial integrity.

Mcrosoft and EHR vendor Epic have announced an Azure OpenAI Service EHR integration to streamline clinical workflows.

The announcement expands the vendors’ long-standing partnership, which includes allowing organizations to run Epic environments on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The new generative AI-powered solutions within the Epic EHR are expected to help increase productivity, enhance patient care delivery, and improve health system financial integrity.

UC San Diego Health, UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, and Stanford Health Care are among the first healthcare organizations implementing tools to draft message responses automatically.

“A good use of technology simplifies things related to workforce and workflow,” Chero Goswami, chief information officer at UW Health, said in a press release. “Integrating generative AI into some of our daily workflows will increase productivity for many of our providers, allowing them to focus on the clinical duties that truly require their attention.”

Another AI tool will bring natural language queries and interactive data analysis to Epic’s self-service reporting tool, SlicerDicer, to help leaders conversationally explore data.

“Our exploration of OpenAI’s GPT-4 has shown the potential to increase the power and accessibility of self-service reporting through SlicerDicer, making it easier for healthcare organizations to identify operational improvements, including ways to reduce costs and to find answers to questions locally and in a broader context,” said Seth Hain, senior vice president of research and development at Epic.

Industry experts have highlighted the urgent need for health systems and hospitals to address pressures on costs and margins. About half of hospitals nationwide finished 2022 with negative margins as workforce shortages, increased labor expenses, and supply disruptions caused costs to outpace revenue increases.

“The urgent and critical challenges facing healthcare systems and their providers demand a comprehensive approach combining Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s industry-leading technology,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of AI platform at Microsoft.

“Our expanded partnership builds on a long history of collaboration between Microsoft, Nuance, and Epic, including our work to help healthcare organizations migrate their Epic environments to Azure,” Boyd added. “Together, we can help providers deliver significant clinical and business outcomes leveraging the power of the Microsoft Cloud and Epic.”

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