April 17, 2012
IVR is Leading the Way for Advancements in Health Records
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) developers have introduced a number of products in the last few years designed to make doctors more efficient. By giving them the tools needed to input their information more thoroughly and quickly, more time is left to devote to patient care and communication.
Now, according to this USA Today report, new advancements are emerging through the combination of this technology with electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Nuance (News - Alert), the company behind Dragon voice-recognition software, has come up with a new product line that will allow doctors to combine their IVR with their EMR.
The thought process was complicated but the ease of use was a primary focus. Simply by speaking a patient’s information into their IVR, medical facts can be validated and follow-up questions can be prompted. This also allows for greater accuracy for the doctors when it comes to keeping track of patient records.
When Apple (News - Alert) created Siri for the iPhone, it created the potential for this line of thinking in medical technology. The concepts are quite similar: by speaking into the device, necessary steps can happen quickly and more efficiently. This new development is also in line with new initiatives by the federal government to push for all hospitals to install an EMR system to maintain patient records.
The use of the IVR in conjunction with the EMR just makes sense.Before advancements in technology, doctors would speak into a machine to dictate their patient records. Once the tapes were recorded, a transcriptionist was paid to transcribe everything into patient records. With the creation of the IVR this step can be avoided. Although the initial start-up could cost more than a transcription machine, the long term outcome will be greater and more cost effective.
Taking things one step further is the possibility that the new technology could catch doctors’ mistakes in health records. For example, if a doctor was giving information to the system regarding a patient with heart failure and forgets to give vital information, the IVR could kick out a series of questions that must be answered in order to ensure the accuracy of the information.
This could prove to be a life-saving technique for some patients.As with any other technological advancement, the easier it is to use, the more likely it is to get used. Doctors have a lot on their plates now in dealing with their patients; unfortunately some do not have enough patience when it comes to medical records.
Edited by Juliana Kenny