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Athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, Epic to Launch Virtual Assistants


EHR-integrated virtual assistants can pull up requested patient information by voice command, similar to Amazon's Alexa. eClinicalWorks has already deployed Eva in their V11 EHR release, and Epic and athenahealth are soon to follow. Instead of clicking through multiple windows to find patient information, the virtual assistant can pull up information in one organized window. This technology has the opportunity to increase patient safety by streamlining the workflow process, but the level of success is yet to be determined because it has only been employed by a small number of users.

Amazon Alexa data was recently provided in an Arkansas murder case. How will this technology impact discovery in medical malpractice litigation? What are the legal implications of utilizing EHR voice command? Will audit trails display whether information was accessed via voice or manual interactions? How long will dialog history be retained, and will dialog history provide deeper insight into a medical malpractice case? As healthcare technology evolves, healthcare information system subject matter experts can help in the acquisition of complex discovery by providing the knowledge base and support for discovery requests.

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