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Working in healthcare is not for the faint of heart. It can be a chaotic place, and too often the systems are years behind. Healthcare organizations are carefully balancing how to enable a more personalized patient experience, improve outcomes across the care continuum, and reduce costs. Improving the work-life health of providers is also increasingly important especially as hospitals struggle with staff shortages and increased administrative tasks, which can lead to dissatisfaction and burnout. As populations age and health needs become more complex, providers are facing a global shortage of workers at the worst possible time. By 2030, the World Health Organization reports that healthcare providers will suffer from a projected shortage of 14 million workers worldwide. Clinician burnout can have serious, wide-ranging consequences. Finding new ways to invest in and support clinical well-being leads to improved patient-clinician relationships, empowered care teams and an engaged and high-functioning workforce.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine determined that for every hour a doctor is treating patients, they are spending two hours on paperwork, effectively tethered to the keyboard. Most of this time is spent on clinical documentation and information retrieval from the EHR. One way to support clinicians is through the use of technologies like conversational artificial intelligence (AI) that uses intelligence to convert speech not just into text, but into text with meaning. It understands the patient’s intent in context, responds with relevant and helpful information, and extracts key structured data that can drive clinician actions and analytics. This ambient intelligence works invisibly in the background to support clinicians by automating routine administrative tasks and make their workflows more efficient, letting clinicians focus on what they do best: taking care of the patient.

Today, we’ve announced a new strategic partnership between Microsoft and Nuance Communications Inc. We’ll work to accelerate and deliver a new level of ambient clinical intelligence to exam rooms, allowing ambient sensing and conversational AI to take care of some of the more burdensome administrative tasks and to provide clinical documentation that writes itself.