Google is looking to tackle EHR navigations issues with the creation of its Care Studio, a clinician-facing search tool that helps organize patient’s medical records.
The tool is meant to be used alongside the EHR in order to streamline workflows. Caregivers can use the platform to look through patient records across different EHRs. The tool is also able to synch up data from various health systems and put items like blood pressure or glucose levels into the same unit of measure. The tool also puts together a patient summary of information that is extracted from the notes.
Developers have also created search capabilities based on medical terminology and clinical shorthand to make searching quicker.
“Using Google’s expertise in organizing complex information, care studio provides a unified view of patient records, making them more accessible and useful for clinicians,” Dr. Peter Clardy, senior clinical specialist at Google, said during the launch video.
The tech giant has been working with Ascension on a pilot of the program, and is now planning on broadening the scope. A group of clinicians in Nashville, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla. will have access to the early release of Care Studio.
WHY IT MATTERS
Google is pitching this tool as a way to help cut down on EHR burden and make the system more unified. A study from the Mayo Clinic found that EHR usability is linked to clinician burnout.
“Our aim is to bring Google’s experience in organizing complex information into intuitive, useful formats for the healthcare industry,” Paul Muret, vice president of product and design at Google Health, wrote in the announcement blog.
THE LARGER TREND
In 2019 news broke that Google had been working with Ascension since 2018 on a “secret” Project Nightingale involving patient data. This collaboration brought up privacy concerns among patients, clinicians and legislators.
The Wall Street Journal reported that patients and physicians did not know that at least 150 Google employees had access to data on tens of millions of patients. At the time, Ascension put out a release explaining that the work had been HIPAA-compliant.
The public had its first glimpse at Google’s work on clinical documentation tools in 2019, when the company revealed it was working on a more integrated charting system intended to make it easier for doctors to search for a variety of metrics and notes.