Goodbye, Dr. Data Entry
Giving physicians more time with patients - and less time with computer screens
By Jim Boswell, President & CEO, OnPoint Healthcare Partners
I have worked with a lot of physicians throughout my career in healthcare. None of them went to medical school to learn data entry.
I’ve also worked with a lot of health system administrators. None of them hired physicians to do data entry.
Yet data entry consumes nearly 50% of physician work hours in most U.S. health systems. In fact, according to a 2020 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors spend more than 16 minutes per patient visit on electronic health records (EHRs). And when the office closes for the day, many physicians spend more time (often two or three hours each night) finishing their documentation at home.
Let’s say a physician works roughly 12 hours per day and sees an average of 22 patients per day. That means patient interaction and medical decision-making consumes six hours of the day. The other six hours are dedicated to data entry and other EHR work.
That’s one highly-paid typist! But the real cost is even greater.
The Price We’re All Paying
Physicians are trained (and paid) to take care of patients. But the current approach to clinical documentation pulls their attention away from patients and toward a screen.
Today’s documentation approach also limits patient access to care by eating away at the time physicians have available to see patients. And it creates high levels of physician fatigue and burnout.
Previous Solutions: Close, But No Cigar
Hiring a medical scribe to physically be in the room with the doctor sounds like an easy fix. But these employees tend to come and go frequently – leaving the physician and practice with the ongoing task of finding and training new scribes. Human scribes also have sick days and other time off, all of which require the physician to adapt or revert to data entry rather than patient care.
There are several virtual scribe solutions on the market. However, they range from little use of current technology to over-relying on technology as the full solution.
Without use of current technology, it can be difficult to scale and maintain quality. Conversely, depending too much on technology can result in falling short of capturing the full clinical context of the visit.
There are some solutions that rely solely on artificial intelligence (AI) to listen to the physician/patient conversation and input the conversation into the EHR. Often, though, AI can miss (or misinterpret) critical details. Or they can’t adapt to individual physicians’ preferences regarding relevant clinical data as opposed to social interaction. The result is physicians spending more time at their computer editing notes for clarity.
Introducing- A Virtual Clinical Assistant
After long careers in healthcare, our team dealt with these challenges firsthand. And we knew there had to be a better way. That’s why we created.
isn’t simply a virtual scribe. It’s a virtual clinical assistant that pairs experienced clinical specialists with AI. It supports the physician and the health system throughout the patient journey.
Here’s how it works in a typical patient encounter:
- listens silently as the provider meets with the patient—eliminating the need for distracting, time-consuming data entry during the visit. creates the chart note and updates relevant data in the EHR.
- Clinical comments and observations are converted from voice to text through AI. The note is then automatically pushed into the provider’s preferred template, a problem list is created and tasks/orders are documented for the patient’s treatment.
- Our highly skilled, clinically trained specialists review all data (same day) to ensure accuracy.
- The patient’s note is automatically coded for improved accuracy and compliance.
- All the provider needs to do is quickly review the chart note.
More Efficiency And Greater Access To Care
With, the process of reviewing a day’s worth of charts – which used to take hours – can now be done in minutes. This frees the physician’s mind so they can focus solely on the patient during the visit. And it gives them back their personal after-hours time to focus on their family, friends, and well-being.
Without the burden of hours of data entry every day,helps physicians provide great care to more patients. That takes them back to the reason they got into medicine in the first place – and takes them out of the data entry business.