Some EHR systems are so clunky, it can take hours after your clinic has closed to finish all of your documentation. The good news is, no matter what EHR system you choose, there are several strategies practices can employ to reduce charting time. In fact, one orthopaedic specialty hospital has successfully restored their clinicians’ work-life balance by finding solutions that work for them.
OrthoIndy Hospital, Indiana’s first orthopaedics specialty hospital, decided to begin tackling their charting problem using Kara, a mobile artificial intelligence assistant created by Saykara. Kara is an intelligent assistant available for the iPhone that both listens and interprets conversations with patients. Reportedly, the use of an AI-powered digital assistant has played a significant role in reducing charting burden for OrthoIndy.
“This EHR-implemented tool is an improved dictation system, where it has a little more ingenuity, and a little more AI in there,” says Timothy Dicke, MD and CEO of OrthoIndy to EHR Intelligence. “The user can actually just act as if he’s dictating into an app, but it goes into the note in a correct fashion.” While Kara might not be for everyone, there are a variety of virtual assistance solutions on the market that can make both dictation and navigation within your EHR system much easier. One of the simpler options is voice recognition software. You can learn about the benefits of this technology here.
Patient Portal Usage
Furthermore, OrthoIndy decided to encourage patients to input as much of their personal data into their own records as possible prior to seeing a clinician. They took advantage of their EHR’s associated patient portal, actively encouraging patients to log in and use the function. This patient engagement campaign reduced the amount of data the clinician needed to input manually during the encounter.
“We don't utilize an EHR to its full capacity,” Dicke explained. “I don't think anybody does. It's kind of like our brains, where we use 10 percent by some measure.” It’s true that most EHR patient portals are highly underutilized by practices and patients alike. But there are concrete ways to educate your patients to use the software, bypassing the need for manual input. You can read more about encouraging your patients to use a patient portal here.
OrthoIndy is now looking at most clinicians finishing their documentation in real time, with no more after-hours charting needed. Artificial intelligence and patient portal usage has been a winning combination for them. Consider implementing your own digital assistance and learning more about your EHR’s patient portal capabilities to drastically reduce documentation burden at your practice.