Could you work with an EHR virtual assistant?

It seems like everything is conducted virtually today: dating, job seeking, shopping and even ordering dinner. And in healthcare, electronic health records have streamlined many processes making it easier for physicians to organize patient information and access health data wherever and whenever it's needed. As a result of EHRs, patient care has also improved allowing doctors to quickly access information improving efficiency when it comes to making vital decision.

However, one company wants to go a step further by introducing a virtual assistant.

Virtual assistant use on the rise
Earlier this year, Global Market Insights released a report examining the use of virtual assistants starting in 2016 and projecting their rise through 2024. The researchers determined that the market size around the world for this type of amenity would expand annually at a rate of 34.9% across the seven-year period.

More industries are adopting technology to allow workers to increase efficiency, including the entry and processing of information. And healthcare is not immune. According to the report, this field is one that is embracing voice recognition technology - something that can be accessed on a variety of handheld devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Samantha, for EHRs
One company, NoteSwift, has launched a virtual assistant named Samantha, which was designed to integrate with EHRs. The technology assists with medical transcription and can automatically add medical coding information to the appropriate places, distinguishing it from the physician's notes. Extra work is not needed to match up coding information to submit claims, thanks to the seamless processes, which may mean that medical offices receive insurance reimbursements in a more timely fashion. Additionally, users can navigate the system on one screen which can cut down on the time it takes to enter patient information. The assistant was also designed to reduce a physician's EHR workload, so he or she can spend  more time with patients.

NoteSwift, Inc., President and CEO Wayne Crandall explained that EHRs are unique, so solutions must be willing to integrate to work properly. 

"The big challenge in the market today is that each EHR has its own unique way of documenting the patient note," Crandall ​said. "Any viable solution must have the ability to be seamlessly integrated with each supported EHR in order to ensure that the structured data output is placed correctly."

EHR benefits for physicians and staff
Physicians who choose to stick with more traditional methods of EHR entry can still enjoy the benefits of centralized patient data. According to Health IT.gov, physicians can depend on EHRs to deliver patient information exactly when it is needed. Physicians can see a patient's history and make decisions using past data in addition to any new details provided at the point of care. Many practices find that this makes visitors' experience more prompt and thus more pleasant. In the future, it may be that more physicians choose to incorporate virtual assistants to cut down on EHR work, which can take up valuable time better spent treating patients.

Kevin McCarthy's picture

Kevin McCarthy

Industry News Editor

An avid traveler and news junkie, Kevin covers a range of topics from healthcare technology to policy and regulations. As a former journalism student, he enjoys finding stories relevant to small practices and is passionate about keeping them informed. Before joining NueMD, Kevin worked for Turner Broadcasting as a Programming Intern where he conducted legal research and contributed to editorial content development. He received his bachelor's degree in Communication from Kennesaw State University and currently serves as the Industry News Editor at NueMD.

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