Satisfying physician expectations of generative AI: 3 key points for success

June 5, 2024 / By Travis Bias, DO, MPH, FAAFP

Life is all about expectations. Setting them. Meeting them. Acknowledging them.

This has proven key in the health care technology space, which is now being upended by the entry of generative artificial intelligence (AI). Building on years of front-end speech and natural language understanding expertise, ambient clinical document solutions are emerging that leverage generative AI to turn a patient-physician conversation into a clinical progress note.

In the early days while the technology was developing, we had a human validating the clinical document drafted using generative AI before it reached the physician end-user for sign off. For transparency, and to build confidence in the technology, early physician users knew humans were in the loop. These early users who anticipated this human oversight prior to receiving the end product expected near perfect results. They thought this would ultimately feel like using a super-charged scribe service, completing all elements of a note, satisfying more tasks, with even higher accuracy than the average human scribe working without AI support. Thus, when there was an occasional minor error, the backlash was quick and the feedback blunt: “My prior scribe would have caught that!”

When technology companies began putting the pure generative AI output directly in front of users without humans in the loop, the feedback was more forgiving. The physician accepted that there would be errors because it was an automated solution and not a human. The physician’s judgment shifted based on their clear understanding of what was under the hood. Put simply, the benefits of a purely generative AI solution – faster turnaround times, greater cost effectiveness, and quicker scalability – outweighed the downsides.

However, generative AI acceptance and adoption is not yet universal. Opinions vary among clinical leaders. Some physician leaders tell us: “Even if the auto-generated note isn’t perfect, just give it to me. It still saves time!”

To learn more about generative AI’s potential and what to keep in mind for a safe transition to its use, continue reading at Becker’s Health IT.

Travis Bias, DO, MPH, FAAFP is chief medical officer of clinician solutions, Health Information Systems, Solventum.

Brian R. Spisak, PhD is an independent consultant focusing on digital transformation and workforce management in healthcare. He’s also a research associate at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University), a faculty member at the American College of Healthcare Executives and author.