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Speech Recognition Helps EHRs Tell the Full Story

PinnacleHealth Medical Group was ready to leave “the paper chase.” The medical group, home to 100 providers and 23 clinical locations, recognized it was time for an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to help improve patient care. Thanks to the power of speech, PinnacleHealth Medical Group caregivers can make even better use of the new EHR.

A point-and-click environment gives some information, but it doesn’t tell the full story, according to Joseph Cincotta, MD and Medical Director for PinnacleHealth Medical Group.  Physicians needed a better way to record their thoughts about what’s happening with the patient now, and plans for the future.

The medical group also wanted to make it as easy as possible for physicians to adopt the new EHR. “We had an immediate need to facilitate EHR adoption with several of our older and less computer savvy physicians,” said Dr. Cincotta. “When they’re in the exam room, they want to focus on the patient, not the technology.”

Speech recognition technology can help make it easy to tell the full story. “Physicians are natural storytellers,” said Stanley Crane, Allscripts Chief Innovation Officer, in a recent blog post. “Sometimes it’s easier to update a patient’s documentation by simply speaking to describe what’s happened. Speech recognition technology can capture spoken words and turn them into accurate text that can be easily reviewed and approved.”

From pilot project to real value

PinnacleHealth Medical Group started a pilot project, using Allscripts Enterprise EHRTM in combination with M*Modal Fluency Direct. It selected eight providers with a range of experience with speech technology. Some physicians were selected due to their accents or other unusual speech patterns. After one-on-one training and adjustments to the tool, the EHR was ready for broader implementation.

Doctors are now using the power of voice to document patient history, treatment plans and patient-related discussions. “The overall reaction has been very positive,” shared Dr. Cincotta. “Two of our physicians that we had concerns about told us that without speech, they never would have succeeded in making the transition.”

Dr. Cincotta added that physicians aren’t just using speech for the Note. They’re using it for a wide range of functions within the EHR, such as tasking and results verification. They’re better able to engage patients and expand care relationships. “Through the concept of the Connected Community, we are now connecting all locations of service to reach our goal of better and safer patient care.”

Read more about the world-class outcomes PinnacleHealth Medical Group achieved, including more than $400,000 in projected stimulus payments, in this case study.

Are you using speech recognition with your EHR? What has your experience been?

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