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UNC Health to Implement Generative AI Tools Through Epic EHR Integration

The Epic EHR integration will use generative AI to auto-draft replies to some of the most common and time-consuming patient portal messages.

UNC Health has announced that it will participate as an early adopter of generative AI tools through an Epic EHR integration.

In April, Epic and Microsoft announced a partnership to develop and integrate large language models into the Epic EHR. The new generative AI-powered solutions are expected to help increase productivity, enhance patient care delivery, and improve health system financial integrity.

“We are incredibly excited that UNC Health’s work to build strong foundational IT systems and our existing use of AI tools has established us as a national leader helping drive the future of AI in healthcare,” Brent Lamm, UNC Health’s senior VP, said in a press release.

“For us, the goal is to find ways we can thoughtfully and safely use AI to improve our teammates’ experience and help them focus on patients,” added Lamm, who also serves as UNC Health’s chief information officer.

The rollout will begin with 5 to 10 physicians at UNC Health. Other early adopters include UC San Diego Health, the University of Wisconsin Health, and Stanford Health Care.

The program will use generative AI to auto-draft responses to some of the most common and time-consuming patient messages. 

The integrated AI tools can auto-draft a reply to a patient’s patient portal message. Then, the clinician can accept the suggestion, edit the draft, or write their own message.

“We often talk about leading the way,” said Lamm. “This is it. We want to be careful with this new technology while still ensuring that we fully explore these opportunities. I’m excited for the organization to be an initial participant in these phased rollouts and for the ideas and use cases that our team of early adopting physicians will develop.”

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