Innovation in action speaks louder than words

Brown University published research that uncovered an alarming trend among healthcare providers: physicians are spending less time with patients and more time on the computer. This study isn’t an outlier, unfortunately, but clearly illustrates how the people at the heart of medicine—patients and providers alike—need healthcare technology to quicken the pace of innovation.

In many ways, healthcare has failed to keep pace with innovators in other segments – but several healthcare organizations are leading the way and demonstrating real innovation in action.

For example, at Epic’s 2018 User Group Meeting (UGM), Nuance and Epic showcased a vision for how ambient clinical documentation can make conversational AI-powered virtual assistant capabilities widely available through Epic apps. Now as part of Nuance’s rapidly expanding virtual assistant portfolio, and delivering on commitments made earlier this year including the first commercial availability of voice-enabled workflows through Epic Rover, the 100+ healthcare organizations that already have access to Dragon Medical through Epic Haiku, and the thousands of physicians that use it every day to create voice-driven clinical documentation, will be the first to benefit from commercial availability of advanced virtual assistant-enabled workflows. The new capabilities will enable physicians using the most widely adopted and highest performing speech solution for Epic mobile apps to conversationally retrieve schedules, lookup patient information, laboratory results, medication lists, and visit summaries.

Nuance and Epic also are working closely with joint clients like Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) who is leveraging Nuance’s Dragon Medical virtual assistant technology integrated into Epic. These solutions make it easier for physicians at VUMC to retrieve information from the EHR more efficiently and conveniently, as well as enter data, manage tasks, use computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and communicate with other providers. Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Pediatric Endocrinology at VUMC said, “We have worked closely with Nuance and Epic and have found that using Nuance’s voice assistant with Epic not only helps us empower our physicians through voice, but enables us to leverage virtual assistants to assist with tasks while supporting HIPAA-compliance. We believe the incorporation of voice assistants in the provider workflow can enhance the delivery of care and we will continue to team with leaders in health IT to deliver on this commitment. One of our physicians described the platform like a helpful intern always ready with an answer.”

Innovating isn’t easy, nor should it be. It requires more than just a desire to grow by developing leading-edge products or features; it takes a deep understanding of the problems people face and an unwavering commitment to solving them.

And, when innovation is put into action, it can push an entire industry forward. Consider innovations such as virtual assistants that are designed to join forces between humans and AI, complementing and enhancing each other’s strengths – amplifying our own intelligence, and leaving us humans free to focus on the most important tasks that machines simply cannot do – like caring for patients.

When organizations such as Nuance, Epic, Vanderbilt and others collaborate to innovate—with very specific, problem-solving purpose—future innovations can become reality today and every day.

How is your organization putting innovation into action?