Vendor Spotlight: Industry Voice: Ambient Clinical Intelligence and Today’s Business Imperatives

By Peter Durlach

Senior healthcare leaders are mov- ing forward in many areas, broadening existing technologies, leveraging newer digital platforms and resources, and implementing a more diverse array of emerging technology–including ambi- ent clinical intelligence.

Peter Durlach, Chief Strategy Offi- cer for Nuance’s Healthcare Division, spoke with Healthcare Innovation recent- ly regarding these digital transforma- tions. We talked about what’s important to patient care organizations’ leaders as they move forward to improve patient care delivery and enhance clinicians’ lives. Below are excerpts from that inter- view.

We know that clinicians continu- ally look for technologies to help maximize their productivity, and not just because it’s good to be more productive. They’re looking for technologies that help them focus more on patient care while making them happier in general, both at work and at home. What are your perceptions of what’s driv- ing this digital transformation? Physicians and healthcare organiza- tions face significant challenges that make it more difficult to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve. Certainly, productivity is a driver; so too is job satisfaction and happiness, which I think we can directly connect safely to the original “pandemic” of burnout from growing administrative demands. Increasing

financial pres-

sures play a role as well, and all of them combined impact what’s most important: caring for people. We have reached a tipping point with the advent of new technology that can truly alleviate many of the administra- tive burdens and non-clinical challeng- es associated with practicing medicine. We’re seeing new opportunities for providers to embark on a strategy for clinical documentation, as one example,


which is grounded in intuitive technol- ogy that leads to gains in time efficien- cies, revenue recovery, and even greater care for patients.

You’re talking about ambient clinical intelligence. Primarily, yes. The Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience, or Nuance DAX, is primed to lead healthcare back to its roots, where a human conversation is once again at the center of every phy- sician-patient interaction. We’re also talking about Nuance Dragon Medical One, our cloud-based speech platform that enables clinicians to create com- plete patient notes directly in the EHR by simply using their voice.

Physicians spend about twice the amount of time documenting patient care than they do performing patient care. Of course, documentation is utterly essential, but the administra- tive burden it creates is a huge source of frustration for physicians who went to medical school to take care of people, not do paperwork. However, those who have adopted Nuance DAX can harness our ambient clinical intelligence that captures and contextualizes the patient encounter, making that information available in the EHR for the physician to review and sign. Effectively, the documentation writes itself from the conversation dur- ing the patient encounter whether dur- ing a face-to-face session or virtual care visit. In effect, Nuance DAX allows the clinician to ‘turn the chair around’ and re-focus on the patient.

Taken together, the combination of the two technologies could po- tentially save physicians several hours a day, then? Yes, because physicians are spending all day with patients and then docu- menting late into the evening, often going from 7 A.M. to 10 P.M. We see combined savings of three to four


Peter Durlach, Chief Strategy Officer Nuance Communications

hours per day when you have Nuance Dragon Medical One plus DAX. The other piece of this is that we have added virtual assistant capabilities so physicians can look up information or execute actions within the EHR, all by simply by speaking. No more clicks. Just say what you want. As a result of saving time on admin- istrative tasks, clinicians can use these time savings to get home for dinner ear- lier so they can spend more time with their family, or see more patients, or spend more time with patients - allow- ing them to create a better work life bal- ance while also improving the financial parts of their business. We already see dramatic gains in physician satisfaction with reported burnout dropping from 72% to 17%, and many of our clients are expecting physician turnover to drop as a result, which can provide millions of dollars of additional financial savings to an organization. In addition, many health system CIOs and physician lead- ers are measuring direct benefits for patients too. With Nuance DAX, we see 73% of patients report a significantly

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