The Core Problem
EHRs are an important tool in moving healthcare forward toward evidence-based, analytics-driven medicine. But when it comes to the area of clinical documentation, the jury seems to be still out on which modality really is best - meaning, most cost effective, most time-effective, and best for overall patient care. While some providers do well with EHR-driven templates, or front-end voice recognition, many others find those and other means offered via their EHR to be too time consuming, often leaving providers with an hour of extra workload in their already busy day. Physicians that bill for over $200 an hour are asked to do work normally done by a transcriptionist making $15 an hour, resulting in less than complete documentation of patient encounters.
Enter Partial Dictation
Some clinical documentation can be more easily done via templates or drop-downs, but other information – often rich in patient context that is vital to help a correct diagnosis – is completely lost or unaccounted for by EHR templating options. And for those providers whose healthcare practice styles are not compatible with the use of front-end voice recognition, there often is no option remaining to capture that context-rich patient content.
But there is another way. Partial Dictation is an approach that allows a physician to use EHR templates to document certain sections of the encounter, while allowing other sections to be dictated. These note fragments, or partial dictations, are then sent for transcription, and upon completion, interfaced right back into the patient's electronic chart.
For example, with the patient's chart open, physicians are presented with text boxes in their EHRs in which to type in details of an encounter. In Epic, the text box has a microphone icon on top of it. Physicians can choose to either type in the information themselves, or press the microphone icon to dictate it. Once dictated, the voice file along with all the associated meta data is sent to WebChartMD. From there, it is sent for transcription. Once that's done, WebChartMD automatically sends the multiple note snippets back to the patient record to assemble the full encounter.
Eat Your Cake and Have It Too
With most of the note entered via EHR templates, the amount of audio that goes to transcription is greatly reduced. This in turn reduces transcription costs. At the same time, physicians are given the option to dictate critical aspects of the encounter, which allows them to do it quickly and with greater detail. The end result is that costs are greatly lowered, the encounter is documented with great detail, and the amount of time and effort required by the physician is greatly reduced. Partial Dictation is one of those rare things in life that creates a great win-win situation for everyone.
Utilizing Partial Dictation, you can reduce transcription costs up to 80% while still allowing your providers to use dictation
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