DocLinks: Augmenting Physician Workflow with Smart EMR
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DocLinks: Augmenting Physician Workflow with Smart EMR

Craig Wehrli, MD, President, CEO & Chief Architect, DocLinksCraig Wehrli, MD, President, CEO & Chief Architect, DocLinks
In the early 90s, Craig Wehrli—a physician with a computer science background—set out to design a smart EMR solution after witnessing the inefficiencies of many EMRs. At the time, EMRs had to be manually updated with patient data, which was an overwhelming task for the physicians as it took away focus from crucial patient assessments. Wehrli leveraged his medical practice experience and software background and began development of the DocLinks EMR in 1998.

Now after 24 years of incremental development, DocLinks has been refined to the extent that it exceeds the capabilities of most EMRs. This development culminated in 2022 with the latest release (DocLinks 9.50) which incorporates novel AI models that provide useful clinical insights for physicians at the time of each patient encounter.

“Designed by a physician for physicians, DocLinks is a departure from the one-size-fits-all model of traditional EMRs and functions as a smart assistant that helps physicians not just record data automatically but even make more informed, data-driven decisions during every patient interaction,” says Wehrli, president of DocLinks.

The ‘Driving Assistant’ for Physicians

“Our intelligent EMR is like a ‘driving assist’ for physicians. Like a smart digital assistant in a car that assesses the vehicle’s surroundings and provides proactive advice to drivers for a seamless driving experience, DocLinks EMR examines all the data surrounding a patient and offers insights to physicians in how to provide optimal medical care,” says Wehrli.

The DocLinks AI models were developed and trained using more than 1.5 million outpatient encounters for patients who were being seen for infectious disease problems, cardiovascular problems and diabetes management. Using this data, the models ‘learned’ the patterns of optimal medical care. The current version of DocLinks continuously feeds data into the models at the time of each patient encounter, and the models then respond with clinical recommendations based on the experience with this large training set. If the physician agrees with the DocLinks AI recommendations, then the provider can adjust medications, order lab tests or order diagnostic procedures—often with a single click.

Avoiding Errors of Omission

It is well known that ‘errors of omission’ are among the most common errors in medicine. In essence, a physician does not take an action because a problem is not recognized.

An example could be a patient that is seen at the office for a sprained ankle. The provider appropriately splints and treats the ankle, but the provider fails to see that the patient’s lab tests done two months previously showed a dangerously high blood sugar. Not seeing this critical lab data, the provider fails to make an important adjustment of diabetic medications.

DocLinks AI helps avoid these errors of omission by providing additional surveillance of the patient’s data. In the example above, DocLinks would detect the abnormal lab results and suggest an adjustment of the patient’s diabetic medications. In doing so, it would bring the patient’s diabetic problem to the attention of the provider.

DocLinks continuously improves the capabilities of its intelligent EMR by monitoring the quality of its AI algorithms. The company’s rigorous testing ensures that the EMR’s algorithms are up to date and functioning precisely at all times. In this regard, it takes patient data over a period of the previous six months, including the physician’s decisions, and compares it with the treatment suggestions made by its AI models. Owing to such measures, the treatment suggestions made by DocLinks AI are continually refined. Testing shows that the models yield between 92 percent and 98 percent accuracy, precisely matching or improving upon the treatment decisions taken by doctors.

The accuracy of DocLinks EMR’s treatment suggestions can be exemplified by a recent retrospective study which showed that the DocLinks AI treatment suggestions were concordant with a provider’s treatment plans more than 92 percent of the time. There were 2,200 encounters where the DocLinks AI treatment plan differed from what the provider actually ordered. When reviewed manually, it was found that in most of these encounters the discrepancy was due to the provider failing to take an appropriate action (error of omission), when the DocLinks AI system would usually detect the issue and make an appropriate recommendation.

  • Designed by a physician for physicians, DocLinks is a departure from the one-size-fits-all model of traditional EMRs and functions as a smart assistant that helps physicians not just record data automatically but even take more informed, data-driven decisions


Driving Healthcare toward the Future

DocLinks EMR’s ability to take into consideration all relevant information and generate precise treatment suggestions is empowering doctors to take the most effective treatment route for their patients and drive better patient outcomes. The company aims to take these factors a notch higher by expanding the EMR’s data reach in the coming months. At the same time, it will focus on drawing data from a larger pool of hospitals and patients and use it to study successful treatments across the world and make those suggestions available to every physician leveraging DocLinks.

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Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Solutions Companies  - 2022
DocLinks

Company
DocLinks

Headquarters
Olympia, WA

Management
Craig Wehrli, MD, President, CEO & Chief Architect, DocLinks

Description
DocLinks is a cloud based electronic medical record solution changing the way the healthcare industry captures, manages and centralizes patient medical records and streamlines the diagnostic and treatment processes. Through the powerful and fully integrated online modules, DocLinks™ provides the essential tools that enable healthcare professionals to fully automate their practices and to efficiently and securely connect with hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers, pharmacies, laboratories, peers, and patients