Nationally-renowned OrthoIndy uses the Saykara mobile AI assistant...

Nationally-renowned OrthoIndy uses the Saykara mobile AI assistant to liberate doctors from EHR documentation

By Healthcare Tech Outlook | Wednesday, September 16, 2020

SEATTLE - Before adopting the Saykara mobile AI assistant, Kara, many doctors at OrthoIndy spent evenings or weekends catching up on documentation. Now, they enjoy a renewed sense of work-life balance.

“The Saykara solution has been very helpful in reducing the amount of time it takes our doctors to complete their documentation, which in turn has alleviated the stress that comes with falling behind or having scarce few hours for themselves and their families,” says Timothy Dicke, MD, president and CEO of OrthoIndy. “Technology that allows our doctors to focus their time and attention on delivering high-quality care is a direct reflection of our organizational mission and our commitment to patients.”

The voice-enabled Kara app can be used in two primary modes. In the ambient mode, Kara listens in real time to a conversation between the doctor and patient during an on-premise or telehealth encounter. In recap mode, Kara listens to a brief reflective summarization the doctor dictates following an encounter. Kara’s underlying machine learning algorithms interpret and transform salient content required for notes, orders, referrals and more, which is then automatically populated to the electronic health record (EHR) system. OrthoIndy uses the TouchWorks EHR from Allscripts.

“Most everyone has heard of artificial intelligence, or AI, but I suspect most people don’t understand what it is unless they work in the tech field,” says Mahir Patel, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIndy. “All I know is, it makes my life so much easier. Not only has it saved me two and a half hours a night, I’m no longer tied to a computer and staring at a screen. I can give my full attention to my patients, and I even have time during visits to talk with them about their vacations, grandkids or restaurants they recommend. And when all is said and done, I get a detailed, structured note with very little time and effort on my part.”

Burnout among healthcare providers is an undeniable epidemic, and the documentation burden is a leading contributor. A study published in the Annals of Medicine observed that doctors spend nearly twice as much time doing administrative tasks as they do seeing patients: 49 percent versus 27 percent.

Kosmas Kayes, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIndy, says, “The worst part of our job is trying to keep up with the documentation, it’s just unbelievably time consuming. Since I’ve been using Kara, I can go home at the end of the day and be done instead of worrying that I’m behind and having to spend hours on the weekend catching up.”

The Kara app is compatible with any iOS computing device. No special hardware or listening apparatus is required, the solution is completely portable. Most doctors at OrthoIndy use the Kara app on their iPhone. “I can use Kara anywhere, anytime, which is great,” says Renn Crichlow, MD, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at OrthoIndy. “I use it in the office, I use it in my car, I use it in the OR and I use it when I’m walking down the hallway between patients.”

He adds, “It has given me so much freedom, I feel like a weight has been lifted and I can get a lot more done.”

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