Three ways cloud dictation benefits healthcare professionals
Cloud technology adoption in healthcare is growing at a rate of more than 20 percent a year and is expected to reach nearly $9.5 billion in spending by 2020. Most of these implementations, however, consist of organizations storing data and hosting mission-critical applications, such as electronic health record (EHR) systems and data analytics engines, to enable more cost-effective and efficient operations.
While cloud technology can certainly deliver these benefits, an often-overlooked utilization of the cloud managing the clinical dictation and transcription workflow. Certified EHRs are in 96 percent of hospitals , but many physicians still prefer to dictate their notes, assessments, plans and other information simply because it is still faster than typing and clicking all the data into the EHR.
Dictation supported with cloud technology helps physicians work even more productively, which is one of the three chief benefits we will explore in this article. Another advantage of cloud dictation technology is that it can help improve cash flow and enable flexible, secure mobile documentation workflows from anywhere.
1. Increased productivity. Despite the industry shift to value-based payment models, physicians still face tremendous productivity requirements due to the sheer demand for healthcare services. Fortunately with cloud technology, providers are able to access dictations and patient reports virtually whenever and wherever they need it – no software required. It can, however, easily integrate with dictation software on a physician’s laptop or a dictation recorder app on their smartphone, so this can help increase productivity by allowing them to speak their documentation instead of type, which is on average seven times slower. For organizations that have not considered offering this option to their providers should know a 2015 American Medical Association survey shows nearly one-third of physicians said they found it difficult or very difficult to document a progress note in their EHR, up from about one-quarter in 2014. By delegating time-consuming data entry and EHR navigation to a medical assistant, physicians are enabled to see more patients and concentrate on complex patient care duties.
2. Improved cash flow and reimbursement
When physician productivity increases, cash flow can also accelerate. Physicians who complete their progress notes faster through dictation allows organizations to bill more promptly for that care. Since dictation is much easier and more natural than typing, physicians can also capture additional relevant clinical detail more rapidly, which helps billing staff ensure claims are complete and reimbursement is maximized.
To further improve cash flow, cloud dictation technology with speech recognition can eliminate the need to transcribe recordings. For example, from a smartphone using a secure dictation app integrated with a cloud dictation platform, the physician can create a note and the speech recognition will automatically transcribe it to a document. The medical transcriptionist or medical assistant needs only to review the text when speech recognition is used and add it to the record instead of typing from scratch. Crucial clinical data can be accessible to care teams faster because the record is updated when an assistant receives the transcription, rather than waiting until physicians have access to their EHR.
3. Flexible, mobile workflows
Speech recognition and dedicated dictation apps for smartphones also offer physicians the mobility needed to work productively. As healthcare organizations continue to grow through mergers and acquisitions, physicians need to be mobile to see patients in their practice, as well as perform procedures or follow up with patients in various affiliated hospitals in the expanding enterprise.
Secure, encrypted cloud technology not only offers physicians mobility, but also flexibility. For instance, with cloud dictation, some physicians can use the smartphone app, a WiFi-enabled digital handheld recorder, or dictate directly into their laptop with a dictation microphone. Any these mobile documentation processes allows them to complete more charting anywhere they choose, such as at a hospital after a procedure, in a car returning to the practice, or at home.
This level of flexibility can also increase patient engagement. When physicians have the capability to dictate their precise treatment plan, patients return home with useful, personalized recommendations from their provider instead of generic text automatically generated by an EHR.
Rediscovering proven documentation methods
The expansion of cloud technology is prompting healthcare organizations to reconsider how they capture and manage their clinical data. This exploration should include how cloud technology can impact all phases of clinical workflows, especially the documentation process.
Offering physicians cloud dictation technology can help capture additional clinical data more rapidly to ensure accurate and comprehensive documentation that can not only drive greater productivity and accelerate cash flow, but most importantly, ensure high quality patient care.