Dr. Siddhartha Srivastava
Principal investigator Dr. Siddhartha Srivastava will lead the study to determine the impact of AI in reducing physician administrative burden and burn-out.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), MD Financial Management Inc. (MD) and Scotiabank have awarded $1 million to Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and it’s hospital partners, through the Health Care Unburdened Grant program, to explore the role of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in reducing administrative burden for physicians.

This study will enable a multi-disciplinary team to measure the impact of generative AI on the quality, efficiency, and work-place satisfaction of physicians in southeastern Ontario hospitals as a new digital health information system is implemented in the region. Physicians from KHSC, Brockville General Hospital, Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, Providence Care, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, and Quinte Health will be invited to participate.

“Administrative burden has been increasing over the last decade. Physicians report working more than 10 hours per week outside of the normal workday on administrative tasks, a direct contributor to burn out,” says Dr. Kathleen Ross, President, CMA. “The Health Care Unburdened Grant program is one of the ways our organizations can modernize the health system to increase time to focus on patient care and improve physician quality of life.”

Led by principal investigator Dr. Siddhartha Srivastava, the study will investigate the impact of GenAI on physician productivity, particularly measuring physician efficiency and well-being, as well as any improvements to the patient experience. As a multi-site initiative, it will capture feedback across the health-care system, ranging from rural community hospitals to large acute tertiary care hospitals, and post-acute care facilities.

“We have a physician shortage that is being felt across Canada,” says Dr. Srivastava, an Internist at KHSC and Assistant Professor at Queen’s University. “We must work smarter, not harder, to reduce the administrative burden on physicians and prevent them from leaving the profession. Artificial intelligence holds promise to tackle many of the challenges we face.”

This project will explore and assess the usability of ambient documentation with generative AI for tasks such as recording patient interactions and generating clinical notes in the hospitals’ electronic health record systems.

“Providing high-quality whole-person care is exceptionally rewarding work but comes with a mountain of burdensome paperwork. Integrating AI into our practice has the potential to help us work more efficiently – which we hope will lead to better use of our resources and reduce wait times,” says co-investigator Dr. Leah Nemiroff, Clinical Director of Seniors Rehabilitation at Providence Care Hospital and Division Chair of Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University.

The project will begin following the implementation of the new health information system across the six hospital organizations.

To learn more about the project, visit the CMA’s website: https://www.cma.ca/our-focus/administrative-burden/health-care-unburdened-grant/kingston-health-sciences-centre