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This AI tool helps me end my day on time

As a practicing family physician, I spend a fair amount of time in the EHR. The latest tool in the health IT toolbox, documentation with ambient listening, has been the most exciting technology in my career. I think that ambient listening will revolutionize care efficiency, even more than the runners-up: e-prescribing and not needing to read doctor’s handwriting due to the EHR.

I recently started using NextGen®️ Ambient Assist, a new documentation solution that securely converts the spoken, natural conversation with a patient into a structured SOAP note. I use the NextGen® Mobile app on my phone and with one tap, it starts listening during the patient encounter.

Once the encounter is over, the note generates in about 30 seconds. From there, I can easily review and edit on my phone, or choose to edit later using my voice-to-text in NextGen Mobile to add any details I want to emphasize. The technology can pull any natural patient conversation into the note so intelligently that it forms the basis of my note for almost all encounters, and for some visits, it does it all.

While some EHR “accelerators” require special training, significant modification of provider workflow, or simply are not helpful, I believe that ambient listening will be widely adopted and broadly useful. I use Ambient Assist because it eases stress, saves time, leads with intelligence, puts safety first, and helps me stay patient-centric.

Eases stress

Ambient Assist is so valuable to me because I’m not worrying about what I have to capture after each visit—was that cough present for two days or two weeks? I can’t remember because I just saw four patients in a row with similar symptoms. With Ambient Assist, I don’t feel the usual stress of recording the details, since they will be in the note automatically, so I can move on to my next patient and stay on track.

Saves time

When I use Ambient Assist, I am out of the office on time. No more playing catch-up at the end of the day, fighting to remember all the details. A quick review and approval, then I’m on my way home to my family.


One of the best uses I have found for Ambient Assist is to automatically capture the Patient Plan—as long as I say it out loud. In fact, I find myself taking a moment to clearly state what I am thinking and the next steps in the care plan, because these details are accurately captured by the AI and I don’t have to document them. This summary and clarity are great for the patient and keep them in the loop for their own care.

Leads with intelligence

Ambient Assist is smart—it knows how to separate multiple clinical problems. It also has great grammar, so I don’t waste time correcting mistakes—in contrast with voice-to-text, which still has misspellings and improper word choices. Because the AI works by re-casting “concepts” of the conversation into high-quality sentences it “learned” from, I can review it quickly and it needs few corrections. I’ve also learned that you don’t need to be overly direct with Ambient Assist, you can be natural and conversational, and it understands.

Puts safety first

I know that some providers may feel hesitant about using an artificial intelligence solution. The truth is that AI is everywhere, and embracing it is the future. I feel confident about using Ambient Assist because it is fully HIPAA-compliant and secure. It never “hallucinates,” infers medical conditions, makes medical judgments, or suggests a medical plan. Neither the audio file nor the transcripts are stored or saved, and the conversation and output are not used for further “learning” or for any purpose other than creating the note in real time.

Documentation doesn’t have to be time-consuming. For any provider looking to see more patients, reduce documentation strain, and regain personal time—Ambient Assist is an invaluable assistant. It’s a truly powerful tool that you need to see to believe.

Watch a short demo

Meet NextGen Ambient Assist, your new AI ally that generates a structured SOAP note in seconds from listening to the natural patient/provider conversation.

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Headshot of Robert L. Murray, PhD, MD, FAAFP
Robert Murry, PhD, MD, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Robert (Bob) Murry joined NextGen Healthcare in July 2012 and was appointed chief medical officer in December 2021. He brings to this position more than 20 years of extensive clinical experience and background in health IT. Previously, Dr. Murry served as the company’s Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) since May 2017. During his time as CMIO, he was the "Voice-of-the-Physician" ac...