How Providers Are Shaping the Future of Carbon Health's AI-Driven EHR

Kalie Dove-Maguire, M.D.
July 21, 2023
6 minutes

Sign up here for an AI charting demo and see if the Carbon EHR is right for your healthcare practice.

Reducing provider burnout with AI

On average, it takes 17 years for a new medical innovation to reach bedside clinicians. At Carbon Health, front-line deployment is measured in weeks. 

During the pandemic, the Carbon Health team delivered more than 1.5 million vaccinations, going from zero to 40,000 vaccinations a day in a matter of weeks. When Paxlovid became available, we added clinical decision support and streamlined prescribing in just days. During the mpox (monkeypox) outbreak, we disseminated clinical knowledge and added decision-support tools to facilitate recognition, testing, and treatment in under a week. Our culture of rapid iteration and deployment of meaningful technology made launching hands-free charting – our AI note tool – a seamless next step.

Powering this process is Carbon Health’s custom EHR (electronic health record) system. Bringing provider and clinical staff insight under the same roof gives us access to an unparalleled feedback loop. Our vertical integration and ongoing collaboration with our frontline providers allow our R&D team to adapt as needs change or the medical landscape shifts. This collaboration, coupled with real-time data tracking, allows us to rapidly address business and clinical trends. 

Carbon Health's AI-driven EHR is transforming healthcare, reducing provider burnout, and enhancing patient care.

A Better EHR in Support of Clinicians

Traditional EHRs have often been a source of frustration for providers, designed primarily for medical billing and coding tools, with limited regard for clinical usability.

Carbon Health’s approach was different. From the beginning, we put clinical and patient user experiences at the forefront. We recognized the need for a comprehensive EHR system that could address pain points and even accelerate innovation. 

In establishing our own EHR, we made it possible to drive immediate, real-world impact and develop a more connected experience for providers and patients at scale. The result is healthcare technology grounded in the point of view of clinicians.

Effortless Notes with Hands-Free Charting

​​To combat the burden of administrative tasks on physicians, a team of physicians, data scientists, machine learning experts, and designers at Carbon Health integrated Large Language Models (LLMs) into our platform, creating a charting assistant that virtually eliminates the need for manual note entry by physicians.

This AI tool captures doctor-patient interactions and generates SOAP notes for provider review, freeing up valuable time for physicians to focus on patient care. By minimizing time spent on documentation, hands-free charting brings providers back to the exam room's human side, resulting in more meaningful interactions, comprehensive notes, and increased efficiency.

While there are valid concerns about the risks of AI in healthcare, we tightly scoped our approach to focus on the administrative tasks that are a necessary evil of a provider’s daily workload, rather than attempting to replace a physician's medical decision-making. 

Physicians spend thousands of hours training to listen and ask targeted questions, examine patients, and then synthesize that into plans. It’s a practice as old as time. It wasn't until the advent of EHR that doctors then had a second job of using the EHR, which frequently takes away from the moments that patients and physicians have together. Hands-free charting allows us to go back to having just one job in the exam room–connecting with patients–and removes the tension between comprehensive notes and efficient notes. 

The technology encourages robust conversations between the doctor and patient, captures a more complete and rich history than most providers, and completes the note before the patient leaves the clinic. It makes follow-up easier by preserving more of the original history in the note, which reduces the mental load for providers and improves efficiency. It’s so efficient that charts using this tool take a quarter of the amount of time that a manually typed note does. Ultimately, it makes the job more enjoyable and eliminates major pain points that lead to burnout.

Impact on Provider Well-being and Work-Life Balance

The positive impact of hands-free charting is profound. The tool decreases the cognitive burden so much that providers have told us they finally have enough mental energy at the end of their day to focus on cooking dinner instead of ordering takeout; or that they have the energy to get a workout in when they otherwise would have zoned out in front of the TV. This is massive in terms of work-life balance and burnout prevention. And, happy providers mean happy patients. 

This AI tool is just that, a tool. But it is the kind of tool that, once you use it, you can't think of doing it any other way. In medicine, it is similar to using a video laryngoscope or an ultrasound for invasive procedure guidance. In life, it is similar to a backup camera. Do I need to use these tools? No. But they make my job and life much easier, and it's hard to imagine working without them.

The Power of Tech Grounded in a Provider POV 

Carbon Health's unique approach of developing technology alongside providers results in technology that supports providers where they need it most – such as taking on administrative tasks. 

It’s our own experiences as providers that helps drive innovation. One night during residency I was paired with another senior resident, Dr. Kai Romero. We’d typically divide and conquer our work and see patients independently, but instead, Kai followed me into the resus room as our first trauma rolled in. She sidled up to the computer, began charting, and ordered things while I was interviewing our unfortunate bike vs. auto patient. When I was done examining the cyclist, my note was done, my orders were in, she and I briefly conversed about the plan, and we were on to the next patient with all of our administrative tasks knocked out. That shift was one of the most enjoyable of my career.

This kind of senior-level teamwork isn't always possible. However, this is where tech can come in. The ability to parallelize work is exactly what our EHR tech embodies, especially when it's built alongside providers who understand the most important outcomes.

When doctors are supported, anything is possible. The magic in Carbon Health tech is that it empowers us to work better together – more efficient shifts, better care for patients, and happier doctors. 

What Comes Next

As we continue to incorporate provider and patient feedback into our AI-driven tools, we’re committed to elevating the standard of care for everyone. Carbon Health's focus has always been on improving the lives of patients and providers. Our AI-first EHR and charting assistant are more tools in the armamentarium for providers.

Over time, we believe we can dramatically collapse every aspect of the administrative burden in healthcare — from answering phone calls to scheduling, billing, coding, and more. We’ll do everything we can to give time back to already overtaxed healthcare workers. 

As technology advances, the impact of changes brought about by AI-driven EHRs is substantial. Increased patient comfort, improved communication, and less burnout are just some of the positive outcomes that are expected. Carbon Health remains at the forefront of this shift and is continually updating its features and technology to provide the best possible healthcare experience. 

We’ll share our progress in advancing healthcare technology and our EHR as we go.

Sign up here for an AI charting demo and see if the Carbon EHR is right for your healthcare practice.

Kalie Dove-Maguire, M.D.

Dr. Kalie Dove-Maguire is an emergency medicine-trained physician who is passionate about leveraging novel solutions to have a massive impact.