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Can AI Document a Patient Encounter?

AI Document a Patient Encounter

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its mark in the healthcare industry. Tools like ChatGPT have potential in the world of patient education, and it’s even been shown to have better bedside manner than actual doctors. AI scribes can also help with dictating patient information, providing benefits in the arena of efficient data collection and recording.

But many people have questions about using AI to document patient encounters. Can AI document a patient encounter effectively? Will patients be comfortable with AI being a part of their experience? If you’re curious about AI as a patient encounter documentation tool, here’s what you need to know.

 

Can AI Document a Patient Encounter?

The Effectiveness of AI in Documenting Patient Encounters

Most healthcare providers would agree that documenting patient encounters is critical for many reasons. Along with recording information gathered during appointments, documenting patient encounters is crucial for providing high-quality patient care.

AI can make the documentation process far simpler. Healthcare providers can focus their attention directly on the patient, while the AI tools capture the conversations with a surprising degree of accuracy. Functionally, AI could potentially eliminate the need to record what was discussed at a later time, as well as ensure that medical professionals aren’t overly focused on notetaking or forget to capture an essential detail due to them concentrating on the conversation.

Ultimately, AI would shine when it comes to recording discussions. However, it falls short in other areas. In many cases, healthcare providers need training to ensure they’re using the tool effectively. For example, they need to learn to verbalize what they’re seeing and doing during exams. Otherwise, the AI won’t have those details.

Additionally, AI isn’t able to capture specific information, such as a patient’s verbal tone or body language. This creates a potential gap, and it’s one medical professionals would need to fill in to ensure the encounter is documented to the fullest. Still, it would make the process more efficient, even if providers need to spend a few moments adding extra details.

 

Patient Sentiment About the Use of AI During Appointments

While AI could make documenting patient encounters more convenient for medical professionals, how the tools are received by patients could vary. Additionally, the way healthcare providers need to act in order to ensure critical information is captured could be less than ideal in some situations.

Some patients may be suspicious of a technology recording them during an appointment, particularly if their health concerns are of a highly sensitive nature. Others may worry that recordings of their voices are being stored and that the voice-based information could make them identifiable to others. As a result, some may be resistant to the idea of AI being present during their appointments.

How healthcare providers need to act when AI is documenting an encounter could also be problematic. As mentioned above, medical professionals need to articulate the entire exam, including what they’re doing and anything they notice during the process. In some cases, this could require them to state a point out loud that could cause a patient undue alarm. For example, if a healthcare provider notices a lump when palpating, they’d have to mention its presence to ensure it’s recorded by the AI. That makes presenting potentially worrisome details in a compassionate manner more difficult, or could require repeated breaks during the exam to put a patient’s mind at ease if the identified issue isn’t inherently cause for alarm.

Ultimately, AI could be an unwelcome addition in the eyes of some patients. Further, it could make specific situations more challenging to navigate, both for the provider and for the patient.

 

Improving Patient Encounters with Language Services

AI could be a valuable tool for documenting patient encounters, but it may not meet every need. Even if an AI has translation capabilities, accuracy is always a potential issue. As a result, relying on AI to communicate with patients who primarily speak other languages isn’t ideal, as mistranslations or misinterpretations could cause harm.

Fortunately, partnering with a language services provider is a reliable solution. It ensures that details are correctly translated or interpreted, eliminating issues caused by inaccurate AI-generated translation or interpretation.

Acutrans provides professional certified document translations in 24 hours. Our team offers general translation services, as well as targeted programs designed explicitly for the medical industry. Acutrans also has over-the-phone, video remote, and on-site interpretation services covering more than 200 languages. Our interpretation team also offers an industry-specific option created specifically for the healthcare sector. Contact us for a free quote today.