Is there a cure for distracted doctors?

There was a great op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal recently from two Boston doctors that describes the demise of the doctor-patient relationship. They point to the HITECH Act for demonstrating “meaningful use” as a pivotal point in healthcare. While meant to advance safety, efficiencies and slow skyrocketing healthcare costs, this regulation had a number of unintended consequences on the people closest to healthcare – physicians and patients. As these doctors point out, it has turned our highest paid healthcare worker, the physician, into a data entry clerk.
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Healthcare technology to help physicians who explore apps, mobile devices, agent technologies and natural language understanding technologies to try to win back time, shifting it away from data entry to communication and decision making

I hear this sentiment all the time from physicians so it’s inspiring to work with partners, programmers and research scientists to make progress. Everyone agrees that physician time is better spent in front of the patient than in front of the computer. If you missed it, read Turn Off the Computer and Listen to the Patient.

Today, technology is starting to offer benefits and physicians, who explore apps, mobile devices, agent technologies and natural language understanding technologies to try to win back time, shifting it away from data entry to communication and decision making.  Read how Edward-Elmhurst physicians save 2 hours a shift. This is just the beginning.

At one time hospitals did not have Wi-Fi, kiosks, touch screens or speech-enabled room controls for the TV or thermostat. There was no such thing as “Glass” technology and clinical decision support was in its infancy, creating alert fatigue instead of actually alerting and advising. Now 80% of physicians use mobile devices to communicate patient data, 1/3 of them dictate using clinically-focused cloud-based technology on smartphones and tablets, and others use 3-D mapping, or have conversations with virtual assistants or avatars to provide and receive immediate advice on patients. Technology may still get in the way at times, but as it becomes more pervasive and intelligent, it makes things better, faster and more responsive to physicians’ needs.

Healthcare is a business, medicine is a science, but healing is an art. Careful listening and undivided attention are important, and I’m excited about the progress we’re making in speech recognition, and deep learning to ease frustrations and personalize experiences helping technology adapt to an individual’s needs. These advances show promise in keeping the advantages of digitized medicine without making it distracting or burdensome. Technology is on a huge trajectory and it’s happening all around you. We’ve seen hockey stick-like adoption of mobile EHRs and physicians leveraging our clinical speech recognition for the first time find the technology will instantly understand them. As a result, physicians feel more confident about technology and have a better experience. That is progress.  We’re helping make better use of that precious time so it can be spent caring for patients. That’s when we will have achieved meaningful use as an industry.

Find out what new technologies cure distracted doctors.

Learn how new HIT helps clinicians document patient care more naturally and efficiently-freeing them to focus on patients, and communicate more naturally and efficiently.

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  • Robert

    Interesting article…although, relative to each provider’s experience.

  • Robert

    This all depends on the experience and motivation for each provider. I feel that listening, and not documenting, in the room is priority but can see how voice recognition can be able to record/document the provider as well as the patient/family would be incredibly beneficial.

Jonathon Dreyer

About Jonathon Dreyer

Jonathon Dreyer is the senior director of solutions marketing for Nuance’s Healthcare division where he is driving a physician-first approach to medicine by bringing cloud-based speech recognition and clinical language understanding technology to a worldwide community of healthcare IT developers and provider organizations. Prior to his current role, Jon worked as the solutions marketing manager for Diagnostic Imaging at Nuance and previously headed up marketing at Commissure Inc., a provider of clinical documentation and healthcare communication solutions. Jon graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors at Wayne State University where he earned a B.S business administration.