By Katie Wike, contributing writer
When EHRs are stressing physicians, is electronic dictation the solution to save time and ease the pressure?
Early dictation meant recording tapes, sending them out to be transcribed, waiting for the transcriptions to be returned, and then processing them once they were back at the office. Edward Grendys, M.D. told Healthcare Informatics when he joined Florida Gynecologic Oncology nine, “My secretary would print every (transcription) and put them all on our desks, only to be sent back to the secretary for her to type out all of the envelopes for each one of the referral doctors. If a patient had four referral doctors involved in their healthcare, the secretary would make four envelopes, and mail them out. This simply was not efficient, and with doctors’ illegible handwriting, it became confusing.”
Grendys and his partner now use electronic dictation and “essentially plug the notes into their computers, which get downloaded automatically through the technology’s transcription service.” Grendys said of the process, “The majority of the transcriptions are already done by that evening or at latest, the next morning. I can review them on any computer or smartphone - there is no need to be at my desk. I now have the freedom to document, edit, and electronically sign my patient encounters using my mobile device or PC, without falling behind on my patient schedule.”
Health Management Technology writes, “The use of dictation can directly affect the bottom line through both cost-effective allotment of resources and retained physician productivity that, in turn, retain revenue capacity. Continuing to use dictation before, during and after an EHR implementation requires minimal changes in workflow, simplifies training and does not negatively impact productivity.”
Health Management Technology cites the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute as one practice that has implemented mobile technology and dictation in order to aid their physicians and save costs. “Our mobile solution allows providers to dictate on the fly, upload, review, edit, and authenticate with ease,” says Clara Joyce, practice administrator at IBJI, “It gives them the freedom to focus on their patients during exams and quickly complete the task of documentation, saving us time and money.”
Health Management Technology concludes, “When an EHR is well designed, it can improve patient safety and ease physician responsibilities. By adding dictation, patient documentation is created without unduly taxing physicians, compromising thorough documentation or incurring excessive costs. Medical facilities, physicians and patients alike can benefit.”