Microsoft and Mercy Collaborate to Enhance Patient Care Using Generative AI

Microsoft is teaming up with Mercy, one of the United States’ top 20 largest health systems, in a multiyear alliance to revolutionize patient care through the application of generative AI and other digital technologies. This partnership aims to provide healthcare professionals, including physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses, with more time to focus on patients and enhance the overall patient experience. The collaboration represents the future of healthcare by integrating advanced digital technologies into care delivery.

Generative AI for Improved Patient Care

One of the primary tools in this collaboration will be the Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. Mercy intends to leverage this service to elevate patient care in several key areas:

  1. Empowering Patients: Generative AI-assisted communication will enable patients to better understand their lab results and engage in more informed discussions about their health with healthcare providers. Patients will be able to receive answers in simple, conversational language.
  2. Efficient Appointment Scheduling: Mercy will apply generative AI when handling patient calls, particularly for actions like scheduling appointments. Beyond the initial call, the AI system will provide recommendations for additional follow-up actions, reducing the need for multiple interactions and follow-up calls.
  3. Support for Healthcare Professionals: A chatbot designed for Mercy’s co-workers will assist in swiftly locating important information about Mercy’s policies, procedures, HR-related questions, benefits, or leave requirements. This tool aims to streamline access to essential information, allowing healthcare professionals to allocate more time to patient care.

Leveraging Microsoft’s Secure Cloud for Real-time Decision-Making

This collaboration builds upon previous investments Mercy and Microsoft have made together, including the use of Microsoft’s secure cloud infrastructure. This foundation enables real-time clinical decision-making, which ultimately enhances patient care. By exploring over four dozen AI use cases, Mercy and Microsoft intend to launch multiple new AI applications by mid-next year. These applications will transform both patient care and co-worker experiences.

Mercy sees the Microsoft Cloud as its preferred platform for ongoing innovation. This platform provides a trusted and comprehensive environment to enhance efficiency, connect and manage data, improve patient and co-worker experiences, reach new communities, and foster ongoing innovation. Securely centralizing data in an AI-powered intelligent data platform, Mercy can better address evolving clinician and patient expectations. For example, it can provide care teams with smart dashboards and better visibility into factors affecting patient discharge timelines, which can help reduce unnecessary hospital stays.

Additionally, Microsoft’s modern work solutions will enhance productivity and communication among Mercy co-workers, allowing them to dedicate more time to improving patient care and experience.

Transforming Healthcare Through Collaboration

This collaboration between Mercy and Microsoft signifies a new path for healthcare systems. It brings together two centuries of healthcare experience from Mercy with Microsoft’s extensive expertise in cloud and AI technologies. By securely utilizing technology in innovative ways, both organizations aim to innovate healthcare for all patients.

Recent collaborative efforts included a hackathon where Mercy’s engineering teams, senior leaders, and Microsoft counterparts co-imagined and began co-innovating generative AI use cases. Furthermore, Mercy and Microsoft are working together to showcase Mercy’s solutions at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Chicago in 2024. This showcase will spotlight transformational clinical experiences, offering a glimpse into the future of healthcare powered by Microsoft technology.

About Mercy

Mercy is one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States, known for delivering excellent patient experiences. It operates across multiple states and includes over 40 acute care, managed, and specialty hospitals, along with various outpatient facilities, physician practices, and pharmacies. With more than 4,000 physicians and advanced practitioners and over 45,000 co-workers, Mercy serves patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, as well as other regions.

About Microsoft

Microsoft is a global leader in digital transformation, with a mission to empower every person and every organization worldwide to achieve more. Its focus is on enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions to drive innovation and transformation in diverse industries, including healthcare.

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