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.