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Dive Brief:

  • NextGen Healthcare launched its own artificial intelligence-backed notetaking product on Monday, making it the latest in a series of health technology companies to develop a clinical documentation tool that uses generative AI. 
  • The health IT firm and electronic health record vendor’s Ambient Assist tool listens to conversations between patients and providers and summarizes appointments and care plans. A subjective, objective, assessment and plan (SOAP) note appears within 30 seconds for provider review in the NexGen app and then can be transferred to the EHR, according to the company. 
  • Competition is heating up in the noteaking space as technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle, have recently unveiled documentation products that use generative AI to draft notes. 

Dive Insight:

NextGen, as well as other firms that offer clinical documentation products, pitch their tools as a way to cut down on providers’ administrative tasks, which have long been targeted for increasing clinician burnout

A study published in 2017 found primary care doctors spend hours each day — including time after work — on EHR tasks like documentation, order entry and billing and coding. 

The EHR vendor’s Ambient Assist product is compatible with the NextGen Enterprise EHR, according to a company spokesperson. The vendor said the tool documents patient appointments with over 90% accuracy. 

NextGen, which has over 100,000 provider clients across the U.S., is preparing for new ownership. Last month the company announced it had agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo and go private. 

The deal, which is expected to close at the end of the year, comes months after the company agreed to pay $31 million to settle allegations it had violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting versions of its product and offering illegal incentives to use its software. NextGen denied any wrongdoing. 

NextGen is far from the only offering that uses generative AI, technology that is capable of creating content like text or images, in the clinical documentation space. Last month, Oracle announced its own products, including an assistant that will be available in the next year that takes notes during visits and can propose next steps for providers. 

Amazon launched a clinical documentation service this summer, while Microsoft-owned Nuance Communications recently announced its automated documentation tool, now called the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Copilot, is generally available to healthcare and life science customers.

Some experts have raised red flags about the rapid deployment of generative AI in healthcare, arguing the industry still needs to grapple with serious questions around accuracy, accountability and health equity before the technology is widely used. 


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