CHAPEL HILL – UNC Health continues to embrace the transformational potential of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, using Azure OpenAI Service to create a generative AI internal chatbot.
The first AI-powered app is a conversational bot hosted in a secure, governed internal environment. The bot will respond to questions specific to UNC Health and provide real-time recommendations or directions to help save time and provide more efficient, patient-focused care in administrative use cases.
There are many potential applications for such cutting-edge technology. UNC Health’s first priority is to streamline the administrative day-to-day work for its care team members. Instead of spending time searching through training libraries, which include hundreds of ‘how-to’ documents, UNC Health teammates will be able to ask questions to leverage the chatbot to quickly access reference materials and documents.
“This is just one example of an innovative way to use this technology so that teammates can spend more time with patients and less time in front of a computer,” said Dr. David McSwain, UNC Health’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer and a pediatric critical care physician at UNC Children’s Hospital.
This new tool is the latest example of UNC Health helping to lead the way nationally in using generative AI applications to improve the care team experience. UNC Health is among a select group of health systems nationwide participating as early adopters of Generative AI through a program with Epic that utilizes Microsoft’s tools powered by Azure.
UNC Health will begin the rollout of its internal chatbot tool in June with a small group of clinicians and administrators and is finalizing plans to offer the software more broadly to teammates later this year.
“We want to lead the nation in safely applying this technology to benefit our teams and our patients,” said Rachini Ahmadi-Moosavi, UNC Health’s Chief Analytics Officer. “By partnering with Microsoft to develop the required expertise and processes for UNC Health, we can reduce friction in certain areas of work for our teammates while ensuring all the information remains protected. This tool is just the first step towards leveraging the emerging AI technology to transform healthcare operations.”
The team anticipates identifying multiple other use cases during the testing and pilot program, and especially after broader release to teammates.
“Our patients and care teams remain at the center of what we call Carolina Care,” said Brent Lamm, UNC Health’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “But by using this technology carefully and safely, we believe we can help improve the way healthcare is provided throughout North Carolina and across the country.”
David Rhew, M.D., Global Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Worldwide Healthcare at Microsoft added, “Through the responsible integration of Azure OpenAI Service and other advanced technologies, our collaboration with UNC Health seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians and others whom UNC Health serves.”
(C) UNC Health
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