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Medical Transcription/Voice Recognition Transcription makeover

Virginia’s Rockingham Memorial Hospital improves its clinical documentation process by implementing advanced speech-recognition technologies.

By Mike Rozmus

Changes put in place to improve clinical documentation

As part of a two-phased project in 2009, Harrison-

burg, Virginia-based Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH) set out to improve its clini- cal documentation process, imple- menting advanced speech-recog- nition technolo- gies. Even though speech-recogni- tion technology was not new to RMH, the hospital sought to find a new solution that would improve medical-transcrip- tion (MT) and clinical-documen- tation processes. The primary im- provement objec- tives were to in- crease the quality and accuracy of transcribed docu- ments, reduce the turnaround time for clinical notes to be created and fi nalized in the EMR and reduce the overall costs as- sociated with transcription. To execute plans, staff members knew they had to move away from their mix of legacy transcription solutions, which included both in-house dictation and transcription technology, as well as outsourced services from a major transcription company, which provided the majority of transcription services. After reviewing options, staff decided to move toward the background and real-time (front-end) speech-recognition solutions from Nuance, which included eScription and Dragon Medical.

20 August 2010

To kick off the project, in January of 2009, RMH piloted a program whereby three doctors were pro- vided with Dragon Medical for use over an eight-week test trial in the emergency department. Not only did

Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH), located in Harrisonburg, Va., is a 238-bed independent community hospital providing leading healthcare services since 1912. Serving a seven-county area with a population of about 200,000, RMH runs the fi fth-busiest emergency department in the state, admitting more than 15,500 inpatients and delivering close to 1,750 babies each year.

RMH receive positive feedback from its physicians, the facility was able to cover the entire cost of the Dragon software through the savings in outsourced transcription realized as part of the two-month pilot. According to Robert Underwood, M.D., emergency department physician and chief medical information offi cer at RMH, the productivity gains were substan- tial. “It was instantly recognizable that even if we had some physicians use it, it would more than pay for itself,” he says. Today at RMH, nearly 40 percent of the emer- gency department clinicians are now using Dragon


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