physician dictation to apple watch
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3 Solutions to Help Hospitals and Doctors Decrease Physician Burnout

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January 23, 2020
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Innovative solutions to help doctors decrease burnout and increase efficiency.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A thriving private medical practice requires physicians to be at their best so that they can squeeze everything out of every single patient encounter. Over the years, the impossibility of keeping perfect records while juggling large volumes of patients has held this sector back.

Luckily for us though, there are some emerging innovations that are designed to ease the ponderous administrative burden known as electronic medical records.

Yes, there is a physician shortage. And yes, the number of patients is only growing. 

Sprouting from this growing ratio is an increase in both workload and burnout rates. Ugh –the future is quite glum if it remains on this trajectory.

I’ll add to the bleakness: the landscape of medical practice is akin to the ocean. Giant, toothy sharks (big corporations and hospitals) feast on the defenseless smaller fish (private practices). And all of this is happening at a rapidly growing rate. 

Wait. Aren’t there safeguards out there preventing monopolies? That’s an entirely different conversation so sorry, I promise to remain on track at least until this blog post is over (maybe).

Now, about these innovative solutions that are contributing to the evolution of private practice:

Several applications already on the market can play significant roles in making private practice fun and highly effective. The following are a few of them:

Virtual Medical Scribes

More “remote” than “virtual,” these scribes are actual people who assist you from their remote locations. They work in teams scribing for you within your electronic medical records system. Typically, the doctor will tote a little Jabra speaker into each room that allows the person on the other end to listen to each interaction so that they may transcribe anything noteworthy and place the right orders. 

physician using virtual medical scribe
Virtual medical scribe listening in on a patient interview.

Voila! Increased efficiency and decreased physician burnout, all at an affordable cost.

A regular in-person medical scribe would cost you roughly $40k per year. Becker’s hospital review in 2017 reports that Virtual scribes cost only about $14k per year. However, my most recent searches found that the average salary in 2019-2020 is about $15/hour. This means they cost roughly $30k per year.

With virtual medical scribes, you do not have to deal with sick days or possible turnover. Also, time = money, yes? Yep, the use of virtual scribes can also increase patient revenues by up to 40%.

Notable’s AI-Powered Smart Medical Assistant

Notable is an AI-based company whose cutting-edge application captures audio and transcribes each encounter into your patient’s chart. It also smartly adds labs, prescriptions, referrals — almost all you will need before you sign off in the EMR.

Notable utilizes a combination of deep learning and natural language processing to reduce the average time we have to spend in front of a computer screen, thus leaving us with little to no worries about clerical responsibilities. This frees us up to focus on other duties.

physician dictation to apple watch
Dictation on Notable platform technology using an Apple Watch.

Notable apps can be installed on everyday wearable technologies like the Apple Watch, identifying and recording both the doctor’s and the patient’s individual voices. It then distributes the information appropriately, forgoing the need for a pen, paper, or computer.

During or after the visit, the doctor may dictate more details to her or his watch. Notable’s natural language processing then jumps into action by pulling out key points and adding them to the EMR.

When using Notable, physicians automatically gain access to insights into every aspect of care (pre-visit, visit, and post-visit). This knowledge can be applied to improve patient education, clinical workflows, and even the wellness of the physician her or himself by warding off burnout.

Amazon Transcribe Medical

Similar to Notable’s technology, this is a machine learning service that allows for easy creation of accurate transcriptions of medical consultations between patient and physician. It combines natural language processing with automatic speech recognition techniques and is trained to interpret the terminologies and style of clinical language.

Converting dictated speech to text for use in documentation applications– it circumvents the several hours that could be spent transcribing or the need to employ a transcriptionist.

The transcribed text is sent to a natural language processing service, Amazon Comprehend Medical, which extracts relevant information like the condition, medication, dosage, strength, and frequency. Obviously, that data is crucial for summarizing notes, clinical decision support, medical coding, and revenue cycle or clinical trial management.

Conclusion and Recommendations 

These solutions are built expressly to ease private medical practice and hospital workforces. Replacing labor while reducing the average time spent on the computer, they do just that. Note that some patients may not agree to the use of these devices during their visits, which is their right. So make sure to gain permission beforehand!

These innovative solutions reduce administrative burden AND cost for physicians. Already, the mentioned AI-powered machines and portable devices provide the following benefits:

Increased automation – with more robotic processing automation or workflow automation comes more efficiency and ease of access.

Reliability and flexibility – These technologies are less susceptible to making errors than your average human being. Of course, this is after you’ve trained them through masses of data points.

Also, last I checked, applications are not inclined to show up late or stay homesick. These solutions offer year-round, at-your-fingertips assistance and bring efficiency and speed to medical practice.

Affordability – The practice of medicine is not a cheap enterprise. These programs provide services at a fraction of their previous costs. 

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4 Comments
  1. Reply

    physicianbiller

    July 24, 2020

    Thanks post this blog, really helpful. Because I deal with a web site of physician medical billing services. We handle a website concerning this aspect in which we maintain a track record of our content dating back to the previous year and make strategies to improve them. However, this article was much required for our team and it will be something that I will be interested to review.

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SOHAIL MERCHANT
Miami, FL

Medical Doctor (M.D.); Research Fellow at Lumen Foundation Artificial Intelligence Division

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