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Can Digital Dictation Improve Physicians' Productivity?

Written by Sabrina Rodak | February 03, 2012 | Print  |
Transforming medical dictation from a manual to digital process can generate several benefits for hospitals and physicians, including greater efficiency, productivity and mobility. The following responses address how hospitals and physicians can leverage digital dictation to achieve these benefits. Q: How can digital dictation improve physicians' efficiency and productivity?

Ryan Gaudet, president of VTEX Voice Solutions.
Digital dictation can help improve physicians' productivity by allowing the dictations to be ready for transcription as soon as they are completed as well as allowing them to prioritize documents when necessary. Digital dictation can also provide the physicians the freedom to dictate pretty much anywhere either through the use of standard telephone dictations or by using dictation apps on smartphones such as the iPhone and Android devices.

Steve Kilpatrick, President of Kilpatrick Equipment Company.
By reducing the amount of time necessary to create physician notes and updates in the patient/hospital records, EMR or otherwise. This could be via delegation to a medical transcriptionist working anywhere (a benefit to digital), or by direct audio input toward speech recognition, where digital devices, portable or workstation-fixed, achieve superior recognition rates as compared to telephone input.

Q: What steps should hospitals take to implement digital dictation?

RG: Make sure that they select a vendor that has a proven record of successful implementations and has demonstrated that they provide outstanding post-sale support. Also, it really helps when you select a vendor with much experience in similar implementation as they can often provide insight and recommendations as to various workflow setups and rollout suggestions.

SK: Initial implementation is typically by clusters or groups. Pre-implementation studies should consider where and how they dictate now, possible improvements to this process (such as mobility) and any voids or areas of concern within the current process.

Q: What are the challenges of digital dictation and how can hospitals overcome them?

RG:
The biggest challenge is the common theme of change. It's not often that a site is in such disarray that the entire site is excited about change, and especially when dealing with larger sites, this can pose a problem. The way to overcome this is to ensure that all end users have the opportunity to view the new product, try it out, ask questions and voice their concerns. We've found this makes for a much wider acceptance from the start.

SK: Any change in physician routines will incur a challenge, as will the possibility of managing dictation workflow across disparate systems within a facility. The pre-deployment process should include physician concerns and needs as much as possible. Also, education around the derived benefits to all, such as accuracy, improved turnaround time and less keyboard time for physicians will help ensure a smooth transition.

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