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Microsoft and Epic to bring OpenAI service to EHRs

Epic and Microsoft have announced a collaboration this week to integrate and develop generative AI capabilities into the Epic electronic health record.

The organisations announced the news at HIMSS in Chicago, noting their plans to combine the Azure OpenAI Service with the Epic EHR.

One of the first solutions being developed aims to deploy enhancements to automatically draft message responses, with involvement from organisations UC San Diego Health, UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, and Stanford Health Care.

The collaboration shares that another development will bring natural language queries and interactive data analysis to SlicerDicer, Epic’s self-service reporting tool, aiming to support clinical leaders explore data in a “conversational and intuitive way”.

However, the statement notes that the use of Azure and Azure OpenAI Service is intended for general-purpose use, and is not intended as a medical device, for the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or as a substitute for professional clinical advice, opinion, or judgment.

Chero Goswami, chief information officer at UW Health, commented on their aims: “A good use of technology simplifies things related to workforce and workflow. 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.”

Seth Hain, senior vice president of research and development at Epic, added: “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 organisations to identify operational improvements, including ways to reduce costs and to find answers to questions locally and in a broader context.”

HTN last reported on Epic earlier this year, when the supplier shared plans to launch a website where health tech suppliers can self-report interoperability.

In recent news on Microsoft technology, we hosted a webinar with Barnsley Hospital NHS who shared a project leveraging the Microsoft national tenant for virtual consultations.