As part of the transition to electronic health records (EHR), many clinicians have experienced significant workflow interruptions that impact the number of patients for whom they are able to care.  Moreover, the increased documentation time involved with this digital shift has added hours onto their workday.  And now, the upcoming ICD-10 transition is bringing even greater documentation responsibilities.  In fact, according to a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey, nearly nine out of 10 physicians are concerned about the impact clinical documentation changes will have on patient care and their overall productivity.

With so many changes taking place in healthcare, a lot of attention has been focused on how hospitals and larger health systems can navigate these challenges and regulations.  The reality is all providers are being affected by ICD-10 – whether they work in a large academic center, a physician practice or a clinic.  So the question remains: what can we do to help them?

The effects of ICD-10 will not be the same for every physician.  Specialists have higher documentation needs and, as a result, will most likely be adversely impacted as part of the transition.  The increased specificity associated with documenting in ICD-10 threatens to add yet another layer of complexity to physicians’ already strapped day-to-day workload.  The bottom-line is that physicians need documentation solutions designed for their individual workflows – and the more physicians document (for example, oncologists document approximately three times as much as their non-specialty colleague), the more critical these time-saving solutions become.

Technology’s role amidst all these regulatory changes is to streamline processes and make requirements easier to achieve, without taking physician’s focus off the patient.  Providing physicians with the ability to choose documentation methods, whether it is using voice recognition and self-editing, leveraging voice and traditional transcription services, or even manual typing is a key element in helping physicians manage increasing workloads.

For more information on how giving physicians a choice when it comes to documentation methods can help improve patient care drive productivity, stop by and see us in booth #1715 at MGMA.


Dr. Nick van Terheyden

About Dr. Nick van Terheyden

This is a contributed post by Dr. Nick van Terheyden. As a pioneering creator in the evolution of healthcare technology, he brings a distinctive blend of medical practitioner and business strategist to the realm of health IT. To see more content like this, visit the Healthcare section of the blog.