Ep. 42 2023 What’s Coming with eCW: Exciting Takeaways from the Summit 

by | Jun 9, 2023

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Once again, we put the spotlight on eClinicalWorks. The eCW Summit, recently held in Boston, was attended by two of our eCW experts, Lori Green and Sarah Saj, both managers at Medical Advantage.  

In this episode, hosted by Rebekah Duke, we briefly take you – the eCW user – through the most significant updates to V12 coming later this year. Artificial intelligence was the focal point of the event, and we are excited to share these new upcoming features.  

Listen in to learn how these AI enhancements will benefit workflows and the patient experience – playlists, instant fax processing, communications, customizations, and so much more!  

But to take advantage of all these new tools when they come out, you must have Version 12 up and running. To learn more about V12, check out our 2022 eCW conference recap or download our V12 guide.   

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Full Episode Transcript

Medical Advantage Podcast: Welcome to the Medical Advantage Podcast, where you can hear healthcare professionals, expert consultants, and industry thought leaders discuss the exciting new ideas and technologies that are changing the business of healthcare. Tune in to each episode as we hear from some of the most innovative minds in medicine about the future of healthcare and how your organization can stay profitable, efficient, and on top of industry best practices. 

Rebekah Duke: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Medical Advantage Podcast. I’m Rebekah Duke, your host for this episode. Recently, this podcast has put the spotlight on EHR brands, like our recent coverage of the Athena One platform. And last October we caught up with our attendees for the eCW National Conference

And rather than wait till this October to hear more about developments with eCW, we have two brilliant Medical Advantage consultants who attended the eCW Enterprise Summit recently held in Boston. AI powered automation was in the spotlight once again for eCW, and our attendees got a sneak peek at some of the new features in the works. Here to share the big takeaways from the summit are Lori Green and Sarah Saj. Welcome to the podcast Lori and Sarah.  

Lori Mohr: Thank you for having us today. We’re really excited to talk about some of the cutting edge enhancements that eCW is developing.  

Rebekah Duke: Thank you both for taking the time to share all these exciting enhancements on the way. Would either one of you be willing to start us off with an introduction, you know, what is the eCW Summit generally about?  

Lori Mohr: Absolutely. The general focus of the summit was to showcase what eCW is working on in preparation for the general version that follows the October National Conference at the summit, we saw that many of those enhancements are centered around ChatGPT and AI models. 

Rebekah Duke: Right, Lori. ChatGPT and AI have been in the spotlight for much of 2023. Even us at Medical Advantage have been discussing how it will impact what we do. What would you say was the overall mood of the attendees, Sarah?  

Sarah Saj: I would say in one word, excited. So many attendees, us included, are excited to see eCW continuing to build on the success of version 12, which was released to general users after the 2022 national conference. 

Rebekah Duke: Excitement is certainly a good sign. Sarah, very nice to hear. So from what you mentioned, AI will touch many areas of eCW’s version 12. Lori, can you share how this works?  

Lori Mohr: Sure, that’s a great question. So the technology will be embedded within eCW using Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. It will be HIPAA and BAA compliant. We’re also gonna see verification checkpoints built in to help ensure we’re leveraging AI responsibly.  

Rebekah Duke: Perfect, Lori, that will be reassuring to many who have heard rumors and concerns about security with AI. So working in the healthcare consulting space for over 20 years. Medical Advantage is very much aware of the diversity that is present in patient populations, so it’s very promising to know that version 12 for eCW will include patient communication enhancements that are designed to accommodate those with hearing impairments or those who speak languages other than English. Sarah, could you share more about this? 

Sarah Saj: Absolutely. So in telehealth we’re gonna be seeing closed captioning and translation in the patient’s preferred language. We’ll also see translation into the patient’s preferred language in other areas as well. An example are visit summaries and telephone encounters. Patient satisfaction surveys are also gonna be available in multiple languages as well.  

Rebekah Duke: Awesome, Sarah, that will certainly promote a more inclusive patient experience. 

Sarah. So I heard something about a playlist, that sounds musical. Is a jukebox coming to version 12? 

Sarah Saj: Well, it’s better than a jukebox, so it’s called the playlist and it represents robotic process automation or RPA. So this feature will help streamline multi-screen navigation, reducing clicks.  

So there are many applications for this, but think about the process of printing or publishing a visit summary. We go through multiple windows to get to the end result. So that’s one application for this playlist.  

I can essentially train the playlist on what actions I want to be included and assign a smart key to the playlist item. So once that’s done, the item’s ready to be used. So anytime I wanna print or publish a visit summary, I can use my smart key and eCW will do the work for me, so it’ll go through my clicks for me. I don’t have to navigate through multiple windows and close in and out.  

Rebekah Duke: Wow. That all sounds very helpful for clinicians, Sarah. Very nice. So far, we’ve talked a little bit about features that patients will be able to see. Lori, can you give us some details on the new patient engagement enhancements such as the chatbot? 

Lori Mohr: Sure. So we’re gonna see many enhancements coming to eCW’s patient engagement platform, but I’ll talk about a few of my favorites first. Our message chain. So this will improve the current electronic messaging capability by allowing for back and forth communication that’s gonna all be stored together in the message chain. 

Second is the linked appointment feature for open access scheduling. With this feature, you’ll be able to create rules for the times which two appointments are in needed. So say every time you schedule a surgical clearance with your provider, you also need an appointment with your tech for an EKG. So as a patient, I will see the times available to schedule my surgical clearance, but in the background, open access will know to only display the times that allow for both of those appointments when that appointment is booked, both appointments are created according to that rule that we set up. 

Lastly isn’t specific but more related to a general statement on open access Healow check-in consents, chatbot, just to name a few. We’re going to see many settings and enhancement to eCW’s already robust patient engagement features. Many of these we focused on improving customization and adding flexibility. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes, Lori. Patient experience needs vary for each practice, so increase in customization is always a plus. So from what I hear, incoming fax processing just got much easier. Sarah, can you share what AI will do to streamline the receiving of incoming faxes?  

Sarah Saj: Absolutely. So this one is exciting as well. So it’s gonna be a real game changer in the fax inbox. 

So we, our staff, tends to get a lot of faxes and they can be cumbersome to work. So the technology will be able to recognize things like the patient’s name and date of birth within the document and match that fax with the actual patient in eCW. It’s also gonna try and look for identifiers to determine what type of document it is, maybe it’s a lab result or an imaging result and assist the staff member with placing that document in the appropriate area.  

Rebekah Duke: That sounds so efficient, Sarah. Very exciting. Lori, anything else we should talk about in the text or image recognizing space?  

Lori Mohr: Yes, one major one sticks out to me. We’ll see data pulled directly from a patient’s insurance card image. It will be displayed to compare to what’s currently in the patient’s record, so staff will be able to import the updated information straight into the record.  

Rebekah Duke: That sounds like quite a time saver, Lori. Thank you for sharing that. So value-based care is always on our radar here at Medical Advantage. Lori, can you give us a breakdown of risk stratification and other ways AI will assist in VBC delivery? 

Lori Mohr: Absolutely you’re right. Value-based care is always on our radar. So first I’ll talk a little bit about risk stratification. So eCW is using John Hopkins developed stratification methods to take claims data, EHR data and predictive analysis to produce resource utilized band scoring for risk stratification. 

We’ll be able to see the predictive cost, probability of hospitalization, and much more with this feature. Next AI is going to use text and image recognition to identify documents to help bridge gaps in care. We’ll see features in the progress note right side tool bin enhanced by AI with things like potential diagnoses that are listed on consult notes or HCC gaps from external or payer information. 

We’ll see advancements in Healow Insights as well with bidirectional features, supplemental data fields, pharmacy data, and more opportunities to close those care gaps.  

Rebekah Duke: So key changes across the board. Awesome, Lori. Thank you. So I remember hearing about the power of Prisma from the National Conference in 2022. Are there any AI enhancements coming there?  

Sarah Saj: Yes, there is. There are some enhancements in trending data across internal and external records. There’ll be a summary tool that summarizes the patient record into an organized bulleted format for easy review.  

Rebekah Duke: Neato. That sounds so handy, Sarah. One thing we always hope automation will help with is a reduction of clinician burnout. Sarah, do you expect the AI enhancements for V12 to help in this area?  

Sarah Saj: Yes, of course. So the cumulative effect of these different AI enhancements will kind of be like having a co-pilot by your side. So the provider and AI will work essentially as a team where the provider has more time to focus on the care of their patient, and the AI picks up some of the EHR tasks for them. 

Rebekah Duke: Yes, the EHR certainly put more tasks in the clinician’s lap, and this sounds promising for relieving some of that burden there. Very nice, Sarah. And for our last question, what should practices who use eCW do to prepare for these upcoming updates? We’ll start with Lori.  

Lori Mohr: First, if you haven’t already, let’s start planning your current version 12 upgrade

We recommend EHR teams review the release notes, consider settings and options test in a non-production environment if available, then train. Once the EHR team is prepared, we recommend end user training soon before your upgrade date. Right now V12 adoption is in full force. We’ve been helping many clients of our organizations efficiently, effectively transition to the current V12 release. 

Sarah Saj: Yeah, I agree. Lori, you know, once on the current version of V12 organizations can then get ready to see all the new enhancements we’ve talked about today at the national conference in October. They’ll be much more comfortable in version 12 and in a great position to start planning for the next. Level of V12 after the conference.  

Rebekah Duke: Well, you heard it straight from the eCW expert consultants. Folks, if you wanna take advantage of these awesome features when they released v12, adoption is key. And that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you Lori and Sarah for giving us scoop on eCW developments in the works. 

Thank you audience member for joining us today. Should you have any questions about eClinicalWorks in version 12, please email us at info@medicaladvantage.com. Catch by subscribing to our channel wherever you get your podcast and opting in for notifications.  

This podcast is produced by Medical Advantage. Medical Advantage provides consulting designed to help practices improve care quality, reduce healthcare costs, and increase revenue. Our broad portfolio of services optimizes operations for medical practices, specialists, groups, and private equity.  

Medical Advantage Podcast: Thanks for joining us this week on the Medical Advantage Podcast where we discuss the ideas and technologies changing healthcare and what they mean to your organization. For more information, visit us at medicaladvantage.com and make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast, so you never miss a show. 

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