Clinicians spend far too much of their time completing documentation and other administrative tasks—often in their own time—making it even harder to keep up with growing demand. In this article, digital and medical leaders from Gold Coast Health reveal the real-world impact of streamlining clinical workflows and reducing the administrative burden with Dragon Medical One.
Facing increasing demand and continuing staff shortages, health systems worldwide are looking for innovative ways to provide high-quality care without overloading clinicians. Gold Coast Health, for example, fosters strategic technology partnerships to help it meet the secondary and tertiary healthcare needs of the communities it serves in Australia’s Gold Coast region and northern New South Wales.
Gold Coast Health selected Nuance to support the Health Centre of Digital Experience (Health-CODE in its strategic plan, which aims to release clinicians to focus on delivering care by digitising and automating time-consuming manual processes. By implementing Dragon Medical One, our cloud-based clinical documentation companion, Gold Coast Health has empowered its clinicians to complete accurate, high-quality clinical notes using only their voice.
Releasing time to care
Sandip Kumar, Executive Director of Strategy, Transformation and Major Capital at Gold Coast Health, saw an opportunity to remove a significant part of the administrative burden that prevents clinicians from focusing on patient care. Sandip read in a global study on returning time to care, that nurses spent just 30% of their time with patients, and the other 70% focused on routine administrative tasks.
“What can we do to innovate in that 70%? I think it’s the greatest opportunity, because if you give every clinician back 70% of their time, that will solve the workforce shortage problem,” he says. “What the partnership with Nuance offers is a big portion of clinicians’ time. They’re spending a lot of time in systems documenting and issuing orders, and I think technologies like Dragon Medical One can relieve all of that burden. If we can give clinicians back 30 minutes or an hour a day, they can change that 30% into 50% of their time with patients.”
Clinicians at Gold Coast Health can now spend more time caring for patients, and less time on admin tasks after clinic hours. And for many of the organisation’s clinicians, Dragon Medical One has done much more than just save them time.
Reducing clinicians’ cognitive load
Dr Adam Brand, an emergency physician and Gold Coast Health’s Medical Director for Digital and Information, has seen the benefits of using Dragon Medical One in busy emergency departments and other care settings.
“Dragon Medical One just allows you to have one less thing that you have to worry about,” he says. “It reduces the cognitive burden of documenting what you’re thinking as a clinician and making that a reality in our medical record. That’s being seen by people who use it in outpatients or community settings; they’re finding that they’re finishing their clinics on time now rather than having to stay behind for a few hours to do their dictations.”
“It certainly works for my colleagues in the emergency department, where they’re finding that it’s actually possible to do contemporaneous notes now, rather than having to do them at the end of their shift,” he adds. “I think that the opportunities are endless, whether we’re talking about working with a physiotherapist or a social worker, or whether it’s surgeons in theatre doing their operation lists. I think anywhere where there’s descriptive text of what’s happened, Dragon Medical One is absolutely brilliant.”
Dr Brand also sees the additional value clinicians gain by using voice commands and Auto-Texts in Dragon Medical One to streamline documentation processes. “The ability to automate certain tasks through voice commands is where you start to find some of those basic users that just use it for voice-to-text can accelerate their workflow even further,” he explains.
Strategic innovation through a strong partnership
It was great to see Gold Coast Health recognised for its commitment to technological innovation when they won a gold Stevie® award this year for theiruse of Dragon Medical One. It’s a testament not only to Gold Coast Health’s forward-thinking strategy, but also to the strength of the partnership it has with Nuance.
“Our organisations are connected at the hip,” says Sandip. “Partnerships like this are really about bringing the best out of both companies. We know our workflows, we know our challenges; Nuance knows its technologies, and it knows the opportunities its technologies present. Innovation comes from both entities combining as one in a true partnership to solve the right problem together.”