How community hospitals can optimize value in telehealth visits

When the pandemic hit, telehealth was not a vital part of most physician practices.

Health systems had to make sure physicians had access to the right telehealth platforms and developed new documentation processes. A significant challenge for some physicians has been to look into a camera and connect with patients during a visit while also typing into the EHR.

During a Feb. 23rd featured session at the Becker's Community Hospital virtual forum, Robert Budman, MD, chief medical information officer at Nuance Healthcare, and Buzzy Mullahkhel, senior director of Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, discussed how Nuance's Dragon Medical One speech recognition platform makes virtual visits easier for physicians.

Dragon Medical One is a cloud-based speech recognition technology that enables clinicians to securely capture the patient story more naturally and efficiently — anywhere, anytime. Physicians can also use Nuance’s PowerMic Mobile technology to dictate, edit and navigate the EHR using a smartphone as a wireless microphone.

Intermountain first integrated Dragon Medical One in 2018 and used the platform to facilitate virtual visits over the last year.

"It allowed us to simplify our documentation process," said Mr. Mullahkhel. "At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of concern about germs and touching devices that other folks touched. We implemented PowerMic Mobile along with our Dragon Medical One integration to give our providers a chance to dictate on their mobile devices without having to touch a shared power microphone."

Nuance ramped up efforts around telehealth and voice documentation in the last year to simplify the patient-provider experience. Physicians can use voice commands during telehealth visits for EHR navigation and documentation, leaving little room for error and focusing more on the patient.

Another solution discussed during the presentation was Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). Nuance's ambient listening device can listen to multiperson conversations and capture the audio streams of the visit. The DAX platform then applies artificial intelligence to determine which portions of the discussion should be included in the patient's note and what details can be left out.

"What comes out of the Dragon Ambient eXperience is physicians can create notes much faster, and they're virtually entered into the medical record at the end of the appointment, or very close to that, and they're complete and verified," Dr. Budman said.

"The DAX presentation really, really opens our eyes to one of the most fundamental lessons we've learned throughout this entire pandemic [which] is that we have to be agile," said Mr. Mullahkhel. "Our plans of improving our virtual platforms [were] probably on a five-year timeline, and now it's on a three-month timeline or a six-month timeline. We've been incredibly grateful to be partnered with Nuance through this, and we look forward to all the technologies that are coming down the road."

Click here to view the entire presentation.

Click here to learn more about Nuance.


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