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The Future is Now: Revolutionizing Healthcare Documentation

  • Author: Tanya Jansen

  • Date:

In health care, the need for accurate and efficient documentation is paramount. Traditionally, physicians have spent significant time and effort on manual documentation, taking away time that could be spent with patients. The UCSF Faculty Practice Office, in partnership with UCSF Medical Informatics and Health IT, is pleased to announce that UCSF Health has contracted with Ambience Healthcare, an AI scribe service that listens to a clinical visit and drafts clinical documentation in real time. With Ambience, physicians will be able to capture patient encounters without the use of traditional human scribes. According to Mike Ng, CEO and Co-Founder of Ambience Healthcare, "UCSF is one of the world’s premiere healthcare institutions, and it’s important that UCSF clinicians have access to best-in-class technology. With this partnership, we’re excited to support clinicians by bringing together some of the top AI researchers in medicine. Together we will deploy AI tools that relieve clinicians of their documentation burden and enable them to fully focus on what they do best: providing world class patient care." 

Across extensive demo scenarios with UCSF Health, Ambience returned impressive draft notes quickly Physicians will still need to carefully read and edit the draft note before signing, but the automated first draft should provide physicians with significant time savings. 

This technology will be initially launched with a group of 100 physicians in ambulatory practice and in the pediatrics Emergency Departments in Oakland and Mission Bay.  According to FPO Administrative Director, Sarah Beck, who oversees the Scribe Program, “We are incredibly excited about the potential of Ambience Healthcare and wider AI utilization in the documentation space at UCSF. The landscape of scribes is changing drastically and quickly, and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this revolution. We are working closely with the AI Governance Committee, Medical Informatics team, and others at UCSF to ensure we are rolling this technology out responsibly and successfully.”

Ambience is the first “ambient scribe” technology UCSF Health is trialing; the Faculty Practice and Health IT anticipate trialing other competing vendors in this space, and ultimately, scaling this technology much more widely if its real-world performance is what we hope.   

Dr. Tom Chi, Professor and Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs in Urology and Ambulatory Executive Medical Director for Surgical Subspecialties, says “Scribes have had an incredibly positive impact on our doctors and patients at UCSF. Having a scribe allows doctors to focus their attention where it belongs during a visit – with the patient – and not have to stare at the screen and type the whole time during visits. In addition, documentation time is a big source of stress and burnout for physicians, and scribes have been an amazing resource for reducing that workload. It’s a win on so many fronts. Unfortunately, the limitations of many scribe services is that it’s hard to have enough human scribes to go around. Artificial intelligence as an enabling technology in this space is incredibly powerful. To partner with Ambience will enable us to increase the number of physicians who can get scribes and make scribes a more accessible resource. It’s great for our patients and great for our fabulous UCSF doctors.”  

AI scribing technology may prove to be a transformative solution for healthcare documentation. As this technology continues to evolve, it may have the potential to reshape the way healthcare professionals engage with patients and streamline the documentation process, ultimately improving the overall quality of care.