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Medical. With it, doctors are able to dictate directly into a MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR) system, creating clinical documentation in real time. The power of real-time document completion is the immediate access that the clinician team has to these documents, allowing them to quickly evaluate patients and create treatment plans. Because there is no reliance or support necessary from the medical-transcription


Mike Rozmus is vice president of information services and chief information offi cer at Rockingham Memorial Hospital.


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service, Dragon Medical has helped eliminate nearly 40 percent of RMH’s outsourced medical-transcription costs in the emergency department. Beyond measur- able cost savings, physicians have provided feedback that Dragon Medical is helping them create documents in a personally preferred format in which they can eas- ily document the unique patient story; for some, this allows faster review and comprehension of their own and other clinicians’ notes. Additionally, individual clinicians who use the hospital’s EHR system are fi nd- ing it faster to document directly into the EHR with Dragon Medical versus having to rely on the keyboard and mouse alone.


Eight months later, September 2009 RMH also deployed the eScription background speech-recognition platform in September 2009, replacing its current medical transcription solutions and services. The transition from a technical, and most importantly, a physician-user standpoint, was relatively seamless. Since the switch, clinicians have noted improved quality in their documentation, as well as faster turnaround times (TAT). While many reports are available in less than 20 minutes, overall, the average TAT for all volume processed through background speech recognition is typically less than one hour. As part of this work fl ow, clinicians’ dicta- tions and edited notes are also made available within the EHR system, where physicians can review and sign their notes shortly after seeing the patient. Since deployment last September, RMH’s small internal medical-transcription department has seen overall productivity gains of 91 percent. Because of such high productivity gains, the hospital has been able to turn around diagnostic imaging reports faster than outlined in original goals and absorb peak volumes without additional resources. At the onset of this project, the desired fi nal TAT was: emergency radiology report, less than one hour; inpatient radiology report, less than three hours; and outpatient radiology report, less than eight hours. Today, however, average TAT is far exceeding these


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goals: emergency radiology report, eight minutes; in- patient radiology report, 11 minutes; and outpatient radiology report, 13 minutes. Dr. Underwood offers a positive review of his expe- rience with the speech-recognition technology: “With background speech recognition, there is zero disrup- tion to physician’s work fl ow, yet we see effi ciency gains in the background speed with which patient reports become fi nal in the EHR; whereas with front- end, Dragon Medical provides the option for real-time documentation. Depending on physician work-fl ow preference, as well as on the priority of the informa- tion being documented, I believe both scenarios of speech recognition are helping our team work more effi ciently. This, in turn, allows us to create and share patient information faster than ever before.”


Currently, 100 percent of the doctors at RMH are using speech-recognition software as part of their clinical documentation work fl ow. Using the software has shown a proven return on investment and enabled RMH to reduce administrative costs of the transcription process by 40 percent – money the hospital can now re-allocate for clinical uses.


Speech recognition software making a difference Currently, 100 percent of the doctors at RMH are using speech-recognition software as part of their clinical documentation work fl ow. Using the software has shown a proven return on investment and enabled RMH to reduce administrative costs of the transcrip- tion process by 40 percent – money the hospital can now re-allocate for clinical uses. Speech-recognition technology, along with the sup- porting IT infrastructure, has fi nally reached a maturity stage that is viable for healthcare. For any healthcare organization that has not tried speech recognition, or has not tried it in recent years, now is the time. Physi- cians need a variety of documentation tools, including speech recognition, to enable them to work effi ciently and to support the creation of high-quality, electronic health records. By deploying speech recognition tools, RMH has realized improved patient documentation, which in turn facilitates improved patient care. With the use of speech-recognition technology, RMH has found that physician satisfaction has im- proved, effi ciency has increased and the hospital will save a projected $600,000 in 2010 alone.


HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY August 2010 21


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