Problem and Impact: High Physician burnout rate is an important current problem in Health Care sector. Increasing over years, this has led to decrease in quality of patient care, increase in medical errors, poor patient outcomes, high health care costs, malpractice risk, and ultimately resulting in toll on physicians’ mental, physical, social health and family life.

Causes of Physician Burn out: Important causes of burnout are increase in work overload due to EHR related clerical burden, multiple administrative/bureaucratic requirements, increased productivity expectations, malpractice threat, and requirements for maintenance of various certifications and licensures.

Proposed Solution: One important solution to address the physician burnout and promote wellness is to leverage the power of intelligent digital assistant. I want to develop an Augmented Intelligence solution in form of multi-functional Cognitive Personal Digital Assistant (CPDA) for physicians. This will leverage various Artificial Intelligence techniques such as Natural language processing, pattern and emotion recognition, logical reasoning, and learning such as Deep, Reinforcement learning.
CPDA can be accessed conveniently on multiple devices (desktops/various mobile devices), whenever needed at point of care, capable of continuously learning and developing incremental intelligence with ongoing use. For maintaining security and confidentiality it will have a secure access using biometric authentication. It will have multilingual communication capability, multi-level functionality which can be customized to different medical specialties, and personalized to its user.

This Cognitive Personal Digital Assistant (CPDA) will help the physicians with following five core functions:
1. Optimizing workflow and decreasing clerical work: EHR is a major cause of physician burnout. The CPDA will provide documentation support by acting as an intelligent digital scribe during various points of care for patients such as office, Hospital inpatient units, ER, and during office/administrative meetings. It will have seamless functional integration with EHR. Its Multilingual translation capabilities can also be used for patients who need language interpretation services.
2. Patient communication organizer: It will sort, prioritize and organize all incoming communications/tasks such as emails, patient portal messages, telephonic messages, prescription refills, and lab results and facilitate their timely resolution by physician. This will prevent unnecessary interruptions with regular workflow of physician, who can then focus attention on patient care.
3. Knowledge management: For challenging/complicated patients it can help clinical decision making by tapping into vast online medical literature, data bases, clinical practice guidelines and registries.
4. Administrative work: It will keep track of and organize daily schedule, medical licenses, hospital privileges, maintenance of certification, and CME requirements.
5. Community building and wellness: It will facilitate community building by connecting physicians with each other, their professional networks and local community. It will act as a personal wellness coach and provide meditation/relaxation tools for stress relief.

In summary the CPDA will decrease the daily workload and long work hours, optimize time management, increase personal productivity, promote wellness and restore the work life balance for physicians. By doing so it will help them rejuvenate and de-stress from rigors of medical profession and also help in promoting wellness and to tackle the important problem of physician burnout.



Author: Jai Nahar

Status: Project Concept