Pearl is a new digital assistant product designed by providers for providers

Colleen Finnegan, M.D.
Providence Bridge Team

Pearl has been thoroughly vetted and used by more than 200 primary care, express care and urgent care clinicians across Providence for the past five months. During the pilot phase that concluded October 2022, pilot participants were asked to validate the clinical knowledge base and report how Pearl helped the clinicians with care transitions to specialty care. Based on feedback, clinicians reported that Pearl helped with clinical decision making as a direct consequence of working with Pearl in the following ways:

  • More than 7,000 topic searches
  • 19% of time, providers did not need to refer the patient to specialty care, as Pearl gave them the information they needed to manage the patient
  • 20% of time, providers changed referral specialty or level of urgency
  • 72% of time, providers reported that Pearl improved management and work-up of patient before referring to specialist

In September 2022, the Pearl Product Strategy and Advisory team, consisting of 19 practicing physician and provider leaders and operational directors, voted unanimously to roll out access to the entire organization.

Pearl overview

Pearl is an AI-enabled digital assistant and content management system that provides clinical guidance to clinicians at the point of care. Within the Pearl digital assistant, there is a library of more than 440 referral guides and algorithms designed to support best practices in care transitions between primary care and specialty care.

The content has been created and governed by Providence clinicians for Providence clinicians. The product has been built and developed with physicians and providers at the center of all design, development, feedback and product revisions.

What Pearl works to address

Pearl’s mission is to support clinicians with the most important clinical information they need in the moment, when they are caring for patients and to continuously improve and prioritize the content based on their needs via a direct feedback loop.

Clinical knowledge does not reside in the EHR, and existing solutions are not designed for modern health care workflows. In today’s clinical world, medical knowledge doubles every 90 days. Providers have less than a minute to look up something while in the middle of their busy day seeing patients. The initial content library in Pearl focuses on knowledge sharing across the clinician community with respect to streamlined care transitions between primary care and specialty care.

Hundreds of clinicians across more than 40 specialties have contributed to the creation, revision and peer review of the Pearl library. Content has been collected from across Providence to benefit from the clinical expertise and resources within our clinician community.

The Pearl core editorial team consists of primary care and front-line clinicians who help build a clinical library for care transitions. Specialist content contributors then can better understand and serve the needs of front-line clinicians.

Next steps

Pearl will be available to Providence physicians and providers in early 2023. An icon in Epic will allow clinicians to launch Pearl from the EMR. Change management and engagement efforts will be implemented region by region, beginning with Providence Medical Group in Oregon.

For more information

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