UNC Health Becomes an Early Adopter of Generative AI Program by Epic

UNC Health has established itself as a national leader in artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, becoming one of the first US healthcare systems to adopt generative AI tools through a partnership with Epic. In April, Epic and Microsoft announced a collaboration to develop large-scale language models and incorporate them into Epic’s software. Brent Lamm, senior vice president and chief information officer at UNC Health, said the health system seeks to use AI judiciously and safely to improve healthcare professionals’ experience and focus while caring for patients.

The first phase of the rollout will involve five to ten UNC Health doctors, who will be among other early adopters, including UC San Diego Health, University of Wisconsin Health Care, and Stanford Health Care. As with mobile phones’ response suggestions, generative AI will initially be applied to administrative-type patient messages. The program saves time by generating responses to the most common and lengthy messages, but does not replace clinical expertise. Clinicians must still review and potentially edit responses before sending them.

Lamm emphasized UNC Health’s excitement to explore AI’s possibilities and develop use cases while carefully monitoring and incorporating new technology. “We talk a lot about leading the way. This is it,” he said.

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