What’s next.

Continued progress in reinventing the relationship between people and technology.

mHealth app-of-the-month: TalkChart

TalkChart leverages CLU to mirror the communication style and preferences of clinicians to improve workflow efficiency.

1.  What does this app do?
TalkChart, by EvolveMed, is a cloud-based clinical documentation software platform that works the way clinicians think.  Clinicians are unique.  Their thought processes, practice patterns and communication styles differ regardless of the similarities in which they were trained.  TalkChart was engineered to mirror the communication and workflow preferences of its users so documenting a patient encounter is fast, easy and, most importantly, accurately reflects the appropriate level of decision making and care rendered.

For Providers, TalkChart maximizes clinical workflow efficiency:

  • Slashes clinical documentation time because the structure and flow of the software program is customized to mirror the preferred style of the user.
  • Captures only what is needed, when needed, in the manner in which a user prefers with uniquely structured workflow combined with the power and efficiency of TalkChart’s Click Talk Type™ functionality.
  • Produces professional, high-quality patient notes that are personalized to a user’s practice style.
  • Delivers immense productivity tools where they belong, in the hands of providers.

 For Administrators, TalkChart:

  • Integrates provider narrative seamlessly into their infrastructure through HL7 and CDA interfaces.
  • Increases provider productivity for higher revenue.  TalkChart allows providers to document their way and then maps the discrete information to the proper fields within the EMR.  The provider does what they do best and the technology does what it does best.  The result is increased productivity, better data, and a higher ROI.
  • Gains access to performance metrics and detailed research data like never before.


2.  What challenges or needs did you see/experience in the healthcare industry that drove you to build this application?
The transition to the electronic medical record (EMR) has resulted in a massive hit to practice productivity. Today, to make good on the promises of technology, the new system as a whole requires a significant increase in the amount and detail of information collected during a patient’s stay.  To satisfy this hunger for data, clinicians have been forced to spend far too much time in front of the computer.  This does two things, it reduces patient/provider face time, which is detrimental to patient care, and it reduces productivity, which results in lost revenue.

Our model focuses primarily on the user-experience and our method works.  We can cut provider documentation time by 50% which results in a 25 percent gain in productivity for the provider leaving more time for more patients and more revenue.


3.  What is the big “A-ha! moment” for your end users when you first demo your app for them?
The most common sentiment we hear during our demo is, “This works just the way I was trained to think,” and “it really matches my thought process.”  Because TalkChart adapts to the user, our users tend to see themselves in our product.  That makes them efficient and it makes them confident in the competent and professional image they’re projecting through their notes.


4.  What inspires you when creating an mHealth app?
What inspires us to build apps for the healthcare industry is the power and beauty of technology when it’s allowed to do what it does best.  In other words, if we teach technology to simplify our lives, then it will.  In this big shift to EMRs, the balance is currently off.  TalkChart rebalances this by applying useful technology to the user instead of force-feeding user-unfriendly technology on the user.

What inspired us to build TalkChart is the obvious and great need for focus on user experience for healthcare providers.  There are so many tools on the market that are rigidly focused on meaningful use requirements and HIM requirements.  Unfortunately, for most of them, the user experience for providers is untenable and the technology cannot be used meaningfully.


5.  How has Nuance technology changed your app?
Nuance 360 | SpeechAnywhere Services have transformed our app from a software plus a service to a real-time standalone cloud-hosted solution.  Users can take advantage of TalkChart’s powerful personalized toolset with the addition of enhanced capabilities including voice command navigation and shortcuts, voice recognition, and we’re currently exploring the use of clinical language understanding (CLU) within our application using Nuance 360 | Understanding Services to facilitate truly meaningful use right from within the TalkChart platform.


6.  What are customers saying about your app?
“I get my note done much faster so I can actually spend more time with patients, I may even see more patients. TalkChart makes my life easier. It lets me do my job and minimizes the time I spend charting. A physician can take one look at TalkChart and clearly see the advantages and how it will improve their particular workflow.

After I saw TalkChart and got to understand what the capabilities were, I was able to demonstrate how much more efficient it was compared to my previous workflow, not only in time, but also by increasing the cost effectiveness of the process. Best of all, this wasn’t a new EMR, but rather an overlay that made my existing EMR more efficient.”

– Howard R. Weeks, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry


7.  How does this particular app help remove the barrier between the patient and physician?
Part of the promise of technology in healthcare is increased transparency and communication.  High-quality documentation facilitates communication between colleagues and between providers and patients.  Unlike other systems, TalkChart adapts to the provider, so notes are reflective of the provider’s thoughts and more clearly communicate their findings and decision making.  It solves the current failure of technology that is akin to pounding a round peg into a square hole because TalkChart serves its users, not the other way around.


8.  Does your app integrate with any patient-facing apps as well?
TalkChart Preface™, our infinitely customizable patient intake and referral portal, offers patients the option to complete intake forms and upload historical records online, and it streamlines the collection of patient data from the front office (using tablets or kiosks) or right from the patient’s own home office.  A provider can build their own branded web portal to interface directly with referrers and patients and this data is automatically ported into your notes via TalkChart.  Pre-populating user-defined information into the note is very efficient, useful and cost-effective.


9.  Does it communicate with other health devices or apps?
Yes.  TalkChart is HL7 and CDA – compliant for inter-enterprise information exchange.  We also build custom integration to match your specification.  Beyond typical interfaces, TalkChart accepts and delivers structured discrete data exactly the way end-point systems understand it.  While TalkChart works terrifically as a stand-alone documentation system, its highest and best use is working in conjunction with other systems.  It is the ultimate interoperable documentation plug-in application for any infrastructure.


10.  What is your vision for how this particular app can evolve over the next 5 years?
Our greater mission is to banish the productivity hit that is clogging healthcare today.  We intend to accomplish this by creatively disrupting the current provider/computer interaction by integrating TalkChart into EMR’s and delivering to users its powerful efficiency tools including user-centric navigation and Click Talk Type™ functionality to any EMR input field.  In the short term, look out for our tablet app with enhanced dictation and voice recognition.  In 2014, enhancements will include image capture and sharing, team collaboration, and CLU to name a few.


11.  In one sentence, tell us what you think the future of mobile health will look like.
As the healthcare provider, technology will free the mind for higher level thought by acting as a conduit to the vast health knowledge-base of the world, allowing providers to focus and apply it to improved patient care.

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Jonathon Dreyer

About Jonathon Dreyer

Jonathon Dreyer is the vice president of solutions marketing for Nuance 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.