Feb. 16, 2010, BURLINGTON, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Today, Nuance Communications, Inc., announced that its Dragon Medical speech recognition solution has been recognized by Fallon Clinic as a core component to its electronic health record (EHR) success. Fallon Clinic is an ambulatory, multi-specialty medical group with more than 20 sites across central Massachusetts. Results from a study at Fallon Clinic support the fact that Dragon Medical, when used as part of an EHR deployment, can contribute to significantly higher levels of physician satisfaction, improved availability of information, enhanced note quality and reduced costs associated with medical transcription.
In the Spring of 2008, Fallon Clinic launched a Dragon Medical speech recognition pilot program, in which they provided 10 diverse physicians - who ranged in specialty, computer and typing skills, age, gender and dictation use levels - with Dragon Medical. Physicians in the pilot program used Dragon Medical to document via dictation directly into the Epic EHR system vs. typing alone or reliance on traditional transcription support. Fallon Clinic reported that Dragon Medical generated a:
- 99 percent reduction in the average number of minutes after a patient left for the final note to be available in the EHR system. Turnaround time went from averaging at 3.8 days to 46 minutes.
- 57 percent improvement in the average physician satisfaction with generating notes in the EHR.
- 94 percent reduction in the average percentage of visits in which standard dictation/transcription support was used to generate a note.
- 26 percent quality improvement in the average peer-reviewed medical record.
- Net savings of $7,114 per year, per physician.
The Fallon Clinic's EHR project began in 2001. The project followed multiple phases to ensure there was ample time and effort allotted toward vendor selection, ensuring technical infrastructure was adequate, managing implementation and meeting adoption expectations. After going live with its EHR system in 2008, however, the Clinic had a surprising realization. Because many of its physicians were not completely happy and/or accustomed to typing within an EHR to create patient notes, 60 percent of the notes were still being dictated and typed by transcriptionists. The continued reliance on transcription meant that Fallon Clinic was still incurring expenses (up to $10,000 annually per physician) and burdened by time lags (it took as long as four days to finalize a patient's note) associated with medical transcription.
"We were pleased with our electronic medical record (EMR) implementation, except in one respect, and that was with regard to the reduction of transcription via the note generating tools in the EMR system," said Dr. Lawrence Garber, MD, medical director for informatics, at Fallon Clinic. "We had anticipated a reduction of 75 percent transcription from implementation of the EMR, but we were only able to drop our dictation by about 30-40 percent. We also realized that it would be unrealistic to expect all physicians to embrace the keyboard. There are some things the EMR is very good for, and that is reusing information that's already been put into it, leveraging data that has already been entered, looking at the family history, past medical and surgical history, etc. EMRs are very good at that. What they're not as good at is putting together a history of present illness - those kinds of things will never fit well in the template. That's why there will always be a certain amount of dictation, and that's why we now use Dragon Medical."
Following the results of the study, Fallon Clinic has since purchased more than 100 Dragon Medical licenses with the goal of using Dragon Medical, as part of its broad EHR deployment, to contribute to:
- Higher Levels of Physician Satisfaction - By extending the EHR documentation capabilities beyond typing and mouse navigation, Dragon Medical allows physicians to speak the details of their medical records, use voice command for EHR system navigation and even create spoken shortcuts to streamline the documentation process.
- Improved Availability of Patient Information - Because most physicians can speak much faster than they can type, Dragon Medical helps physicians create patients' medical records faster than typing and clicking. Furthermore, with Dragon Medical, patients' medical records and information within them is available immediately.
- Enhanced Note Quality - By not limiting a patient's medical record to a point-and-click template or dropdown menus, or tasking the physician to type large amounts of text, Dragon Medical enables physicians to easily and quickly speak their full medical decision-making thought process. This makes patients' medical records more robust, contributing to higher levels of care and improved caregiver communication.
- Reduced Cost As Compared with Transcription Supported EHR Clinical Documentation - Unless a healthcare provider organization insists its physicians only document via typing within an EHR, there will almost always be physicians who will utilize transcription support despite the added cost and time associated with it. Dragon Medical is proven to eliminate much of the cost, and reliance on, transcription.
"Unlike other real-time speech recognition offerings, Dragon Medical uniquely allows clinicians to dictate directly into their EHR system," said Peter Durlach, senior vice president of healthcare marketing and product strategy, Nuance Communications, Inc. "As Fallon Clinic reports, direct dictation into an EHR can improve EHR adoption levels and increase physician satisfaction with EHR utilization. Beyond that, real-time speech recognition drives higher quality patient reports that are available immediately without the time lag associated with manual transcription."
Even though entering additional information in the EHR by typing is possible, for most physicians it is an overly cumbersome process that significantly slows clinical documentation productivity and takes away time with the patient. Dragon Medical effectively allows physicians to dictate patient information and findings directly into EHRs to generate both the critical narrative components of the note along with required structured elements. Dragon Medical works with most windows-based EHRs such as those from Epic®, Cerner®, GE®, McKesson®, AllScripts and many more. Today, Dragon Medical is used by more than 150,000 caregivers in hospitals and physician practices across private, public and government settings. To learn more about Nuance's medical speech recognition solutions and how they contribute to improved safety, quality and efficiency of care as part of EHR meaningful use, please visit: http://www.nuance.com/healthcare/.
Dr. Lawrence Garber, MD, medical director for informatics at Fallon Clinic will be presenting results from the Dragon Medical speech recognition pilot program from HIMSS on Tuesday, March 2 from 3:30 - 4:15 pm EST. This presentation will take place at the Georgia World Conference Center; room location will be provided upon registration: www.nuancehealthcare.com/himssfallon. While at HIMSS, visit Nuance at booth #7633.
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Nuance's healthcare portfolio of proven, speech-enabled clinical documentation and communication solutions enable healthcare provider organizations to improve financial performance, enhance patient care, and increase patient safety. With more than 5,000 healthcare provider organization customers worldwide, Nuance has the experience and solutions that meet the individual needs of any size healthcare provider organization.
Nuance Communications, Inc.
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