Top 5 videos from HIMSS17
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Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

The power of the spoken word (into the EMR)

Speech recognition technology is enabling health systems to mobilize their medical records platforms
By Eric Wicklund
01:38 PM
Smartphone

How do you get physicians to adopt mobile technology? Tie it into something they already do – such as talk into their smartphones.

That's what Billy "Eddy" Stephens, FHIMSS, vice president and CIO of Mobile, Alabama-based Infirmary Health did when he introduced Nuance's speech integration technology to the health system's Epic EMR platform. While many of his doctors told him they "don't do technology,” they all were attached to their iPhones.

'That was something they were accustomed to doing," he said. "So it was easy to get them to take this one more step."

Stephens, speaking at a Tuesday morning mHealth Knowledge Center session in the Exhibit Hall of the HIMSS15 Annual Conference and Exhibition, says mobile integration of the four-hospital system's EMR is crucial to success, because doctors no longer want to be tied to workstations. They want to add to the EMR on the go, no matter where they're located. And when they're with a patient, they don't want to have to turn their back and type something into a computer.

The answer? Nuance's Speech Anywhere platform, integrated with Haiku and Canto apps, currently allows some 350 physicians in the Infirmary Health system to dictate their progress notes and one-off orders into their iPhones or tablets. The data is entered into the EMR in real time; the physician can even enter notes as he or she is facing a patient.

"The patient actually being able to hear the information going into the medical record is a new dynamic," said Jonathon Dreyer, Nuance's cloud and mobile solutions marketing director. "It's all about getting that information into the system in real time so that it's available for the next person. They can't wait for the doctor to walk down the hall, find a desktop, log in and type in their notes."

The technology, says Stephens, is as natural as talking on the telephone.

"It's everywhere now," he said. "I talk to my truck to make phone calls and send text messages. It's a simple communication tool, and it's probably one of the least intrusive technologies that we've ever implemented."

As a result, Stephens said, the health system has all but eliminated paper progress notes and one-off orders – he wonders if the next phase of the technology will allow them to process order sets in this fashion. And the EMR, he said, is a more complete and dynamic document.

"It's one of the key factors that is allowing us to be successful," Stephens said.

"It's the richness of the narrative and all the data that can be derived from that," added Dreyer.

Topics: 
Mobile