eHealth Centre of Excellence

AI Scribes 


What is an AI scribe?


AI scribe Icon   AI scribes (also known as digital or ambient scribes) use speech-to-text technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform clinician-patient conversations to complete administrative notes in the EMR. They serve as a bridge to integrate more advanced tools into clinical workflows to reduce administrative tasks and free up time for clinicians to see patients, thereby improving care delivery.



What is the current state of AI scribe usage in Ontario? 


The eHealth Centre of Excellence is proud to have led a provincial evaluation study of AI scribe in 2024, in collaboration with OntarioMD (OMD) and Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV), which will assess how AI Scribe technologies can help improve practice efficiencies and lessen administrative burden in primary care. This evaluation is governed by Ontario Health and has received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health: this past April, the Ontario government gave a press conference on how they are supporting AI Scribes and other initiatives to enable clinicians to put patients before paperwork. The results of the evaluation will be released later this year, so watch this space! 


As part of the evaluation, our team also worked to understand how Robotic Process Automation might further support improved workflows by automating some of the actions documented by the AI Scribe during a patient/clinician encounter. We are continuing to explore possibilties – please reach out if you have ideas!


“Using an AI Scribe has allowed me to focus more on listening to a patient’s concerns and working collaboratively to develop a management plan. It has significantly reduced the burden of documentation so I can serve my patients better. Primary care providers need these types of supports so they can spend more time with patients.”


Why use AI Scribes?


  • Increased clinician productivity and efficiency: Reduces clinician time spent on manual charting and documentation activities.
  • Quicker note finalization: AI-powered notes are often ready within minutes post-consultation and allow primary care clinicians to easily edit and review the note.‍
  • Improved note quality: Scribes can reliably capture details from conversations and tailor the notes to the clinician’s style and specialty nuances.
  • Decreased documentation expenses: Reduces the reliance on and need for human scribes.



Further reading and resources: 




If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected].