Leveraging Technology: Increasing the Quality of Care

February 14, 2020


Technology continues to help healthcare professionals make significant strides, but is it all for the better? An article titled “Why Doctors Hate Their Computers” published by the New Yorker describes the high percentage of dissatisfied physicians and the burn out rates related to their use of EHRs. Many healthcare providers finish their documentation after hours due to extensive work schedules. This overload of attention required by the EHR has negatively impacted many physician’s work/life balance.

A scribe could help eliminate several negative factors affecting a physician’s workload. A key advantage to utilizing a scribe is decreasing the overall time the physician spends collecting information and documentation. However, there are well-known downsides to using a human scribe. With the advances technology continues to make, a future scribe could be an Artificial Intelligence (AI) component of the EHR.

The system will integrate with motion detection to identify a physician is checking a heartbeat and provide an overall physical assessment.  While documenting the exam, the physician can tell the EHR system to re-order meds and/or create a referral consult to a specialist. The system will then verify back to the provider the medicine to reorder and which doctor they would prefer to refer the patient to.

The future EHR will automatically collect information and document the EHR based on actions and verbal communication.  The physician will then review and correct each documentation. By leveraging AI, the system will be able to identify each correction and remember the documentation for future documentation.

As Telehealth increases in use, physicians’ and patients’ satisfaction will also improve. The future Telehealth systems will be able to easily transition the patient between providers, ensuring provider is utilizing the highest-level practice within their licensure.  The future Telehealth system will create the documentation and billing claims based on the verbal communication between the provider and patient allowing the provider to again review the automated documentation.  

Until the future is here, there are still several factors we can implement now to improve physician satisfaction as well as increase the quality of care. The overall effort to address satisfaction while leveraging the system requires revisiting workflows, rethinking how we use technology, and how we support the system.  Addressing and streamlining documentation and creating better policies around messages to providers so they can be effective at the documentation and are not overwhelmed are also ways to improve satisfaction.

When Implementing technology to increase physician & patient satisfaction, the system should be dedicated to:

  • Evaluating add on apps geared to improve satisfaction
  • Providing voice recognitions and templates for specific specialties
  • Offering personal physician labs and continuing education

Current EHR’s are able to measure how effective specific physicians are at using the system.  Leveraging these reports and physician support team can continually look to utilize new features and functions. This will also provide support for physicians to become more efficient at documenting.  

Excite Health Partners has the experience and expertise to help increase physician satisfaction. Through these strategies and approaches, we will work with your team to improve physician work/life balance while still providing quality care to the patients.

Todd Klein, CIO, VP of EHR Services & Digital Solutions