MaineHealth gives docs voice with EHR rollout
In the midst of rolling out a new electronic health record system across eight hospitals, MaineHealth will also deploy speech recognition technology to make it easier and quicker to fill in the patient chart.
[See also: Maine docs move to one record]
MaineHealth includes Maine Medical Center in Portland, seven other hospitals across the state, as well as physician practices.
Maine Health will deploy Nuance Communications’ Dragon Medical 360 | Network Edition across health system. It already uses Dragon Medical 360 | eScription, Nuance’s hosted transcription service. eScription is what Maine Health CIO Barry Blumenfeld, MD describes as a backend system. The physicians dictate as they would in traditional transcription. The words run through an engine and are converted to text that is then reviewed by a transcriptionist.
The network edition of Dragon will populate the chart as the physician talks into a microphone.
“This technology would recognize their speech and would fill it in as they are speaking – in near real-time,” said Blumenfeld.
As part of its “One Patient, One Record” initiative, MaineHealth is in the process of deploying its Epic’s EHR across its eight hospitals, with Maine Medical Center slated to go live Dec. 1. The health system will go enterprise-wide with both the new Epic EHR and the speech recognition technology, Blumenfeld said.
[See also: Maine docs move to one record.]
“At this very moment, we’re doing our testing and our user acceptance testing,” he said. “We have people that are about to begin their training, and we’re finalizing our go-live plan. We will have all eight hospitals up on Epic by Dec. 6, 2013.”
That means going live with Dragon, too. Blumenfeld sees it as an integral piece of improving accuracy and efficiency within the electronic health record – and also a way to lower the costs of clinical documentation and related traditional medical transcription.
But, while Maine Health purchased an enterprise-wide license, he said, it will not be forcing doctors to use it.
“We’re not getting rid of transcription altogether,” Blumenfeld said. “There are certain specialties and there are certain areas where we may not be able to eliminate it today or, in some cases, ever. There are areas that just are resistant to that sort of change. On the other hand, there are areas that are very open to it.