AI in the ER: Ross Mitchell and research collaborators receive $1M in funding to transform patient care

Project team (From top L to bottom R:) Jake Hayward, Henri Li, Jeffrey Franc, Jaspreet Khangura, Ross Mitchell, Michael Weldon

The AI scribe tool alleviates the administrative load on healthcare providers and aims to increase efficiency and patient care quality in emergency departments

Amii Fellow and Canada CIFAR AI Chair Ross Mitchell and his project collaborators have been awarded $1M as part of The Health Care Unburdened Grant Program, presented by the Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank. The funding will scale their AI-powered scribe tool, "Jenkins”, for deployment in emergency rooms, reducing the administrative burden on healthcare providers.

“Imagine a world where emergency departments operate more efficiently,” said Ross Mitchell. “Thanks to this grant, our team is on the brink of transforming patient care with Jenkins, a revolutionary AI-scribe tool that listens to conversations between physicians and patients, and then seamlessly generates medical notes.”

Empowering Physicians & Enhancing Patient Care

Physicians spend an estimated 18.5 million hours per year on administrative tasks. As emergency departments across Canada see surging patient volumes and struggle with staffing shortages, a focus on reducing this administrative burden is imperative – especially as increasing documentation and limited time to interact with patients contributes to physician burnout, attrition, disrupted work-life balance, and a perceived loss of professional autonomy.

Powered by advanced deep learning algorithms, Jenkins aims to empower physicians in their daily work by creating tailored notes to meet the unique needs of each physician, thereby alleviating the administrative load on healthcare providers and increasing time for direct patient care.

"Our prototype has already shown extraordinary results: more patients seen per shift, significantly reduced documentation time, and enhanced interactions between patients and physicians."

Ross Mitchell, Amii Fellow, Canada CIFAR AI Chair

Building on promising pilot tests deployed at regional emergency departments, Jenkins led to enhanced job satisfaction and efficiency among early adopters. With the $1M grant, the research team will refine the system through rigorous implementation and evaluation, and deploy Jenkins in three emergency departments.

“Our prototype has already shown extraordinary results: more patients seen per shift, significantly reduced documentation time, and enhanced interactions between patients and physicians.” shared Mitchell. “Now, we’re excited to develop a refined version packed with new features, built with leading-edge web technologies for unparalleled security and scalability.”

Cross-Collaborative Research Excellence

Project collaborators include medical and machine learning specialists, largely based out of the University of Alberta, as well as Alberta Health Services.

The research team includes:

  • Jake Hayward, MD MPH, Emergency Dept. physician - project lead*
  • Ross Mitchell, PhD MSC
  • Henry Li, MD, Emergency Dept. resident physician
  • Jeffrey Franc, MD MSc, Emergency Dept. physician
  • Jaspreet Khangura, MD MSc, Emergency Dept. physician
  • Michael Weldon, MD MSc, Emergency Dept. physician and engineer

Amii in the News

Global News invited Mitchell to talk more about his research and how large language models can reduce the administrative workload of Alberta physicians. Watch it here:

Discover how Amii researchers are advancing fundamental & applied AI research; visit our Research page.

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