Wednesday, April 29, 2015

3 Voice Recognition Platforms that Integrate with EHRs

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The user experience of documentation has been a problem ever since providers began using EHRs on a widespread scale.

While EHRs are effective vehicles for documentation, they are not the most efficient mediums. Physicians have never really warmed to the drop down menus and numerous points and clicks required to enter information. In a profession perpetually strapped for time, the added hours of data input are a significant burden.

Voice recognition software offers a viable alternative to the cumbersome EHR interface. Once offered as separate software, the top voice recognition apps now integrate directly with a number of EHR platforms.

Adoption of this software has been hamstrung by low accuracy rates — low in this context meaning in the 80 percent range — but improvements in the software’s transcription capabilities have boosted accuracy rates into the mid to high 90 percentages.

And the benefits looking promising. 

KLAS recently interviewed 10 hospitals about voice recognition, and nine out of 10 hospitals plan to expand their use of speech recognition. All of these hospitals already used voice recognition in some capacity, and correlated improvements in transcription time, documentation time, and completeness of patient narratives to the use of this software.

Depending on the type of voice recognition process hospitals set up, the facility can save a substantial amount on transcription fees. If the accuracy of the patient document can be maintained, these improvements in transcription and documentation time can also improve clinical documentation, which can result in a higher reimbursement rate.

Types of Voice Recognition Software

Voice recognition software comes in two broad forms: front-end and back-end.

Front-end voice recognition software relies on a physician or nurse to activate the software, select the right input fields while dictating notes, review the notes, and then sign off on the document.

KLAS’s study looked at front-end voice recognition specifically, and this type of software seems to be more popular because it significantly reduces the role of the transcriptionist and recoups those expenses for the hospital or practice.

However, a front-end process does require a physician or healthcare provider to review and sign off on the text, which can take longer.

A back-end process relies on the software to convert speech directly into text without initial oversight from the physician who dictated the notes. The text is then filtered through a template that captures the requisite clinical information. At the end of the process, a transcriptionist reviews the form, but a physician or other provider usually still signs off on the completed document.

3 Market Leaders

A provider of speech recognition in multiple industries, Nuance’s Dragon Medical speech recognition software is the clear leader in the healthcare segment of speech recognition. The capabilities of Nuance’s speech recognition software are so advanced that they even play a large role in the iPhone’s Siri application.

In terms of utility, Dragon — a particular voice recognition company acquired by Nuance — boasts 99 percent accuracy and features vocabulary for over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. This voice recognition app claims to work with nearly any Windows-based EHR system, but features notable integrations with Epic, Cerner, and GE systems.

The application’s functionality is extensive. Users can call up macros or templates for different scenarios, such as a new patient encounter or SOAP notes. Once inside the template, providers can use shortcuts for common diagnosis and ICD codes to reduce the time it takes to find and enter information.

Providers can choose from one of three product tiers: small practices, medium practices, and enterprise. Each features a specific functionality set calibrated to fit the needs of a particular type of customer.

Less well known than Nuance, Dolbey has quietly produced voice recognition software that actually surpassed their more famous rival in a recent KLAS report. Dolbey’s FusionEMR scored a 90.3 to Nuance’s Dragon Medical score of 86 and ranked highest in Sales and Contracting, Implementation and Training, Functionality and Upgrades, and Service and Support.

Dolbey’s FusionEMR features many of the same functions as Dragon Medical but operates as a one size fits all solution instead of delivering different levels of functionality to certain market segments. Like Dragon Medical, FusionEMR claims to integrate with any EMR platform by using FusionEMR as an interface between Fusion Expert (Dolbey’s front-end recognition software) and the free text forms of third party applications.

Other unique features of Dolbey’s offering include having just one user profile for both back-end and front-end applications, which can simplify the transcription process if your facility is planning on outsourcing that service.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee — the same stronghold as the now struggling M*Modal — Entrada uses smartphones as its primary dictation platform. They have native apps for both iOS and Android operating systems, though the company also offers desktop and tablet solutions.

Entrada may not be as storied as Dolbey or Nuance, but this voice recognition vendor was recognized as the fastest growing privately held company in Tennessee and named to the Inc. 500 list in 2014.
Entrada’s software allows physicians to dictate notes directly into their mobile device and tag sections of the patient narrative throughout the process. The data is then directed to Entrada’s editing center where transcribers edit the notes and redirect them into the EHR system.

Using a smartphone for dictation is convenient, and Entrada’s software gives providers the ability to capture remote images and view patient data directly in an EHR. In addition to its impressive growth, Entrada also has strategic partnerships with athenahealth, Greenway, NextGen, and Allscripts.

If KLAS’s report is any indication, voice recognition could be one of the first major medical software supplements for EHR systems. If physicians are unhappy with their workflow, voice dictation offers a powerful alternative, even if the market of vendors is still relatively small.


About the Author:  Zach Watson is the content manager at TechnologyAdvice. He covers gamification, healthcare IT, business intelligence, and other emerging technology. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Evolving Your Marketing Strategy to Engage with Physicians

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Regulatory changes and advancements in healthcare technology are motivating providers to adopt new technologies. Federal incentives and payer pressure for high-quality data are spurring healthcare practitioners to integrate e-Prescribing and Electronic Health Records into their practice. A study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that eight out of 10 office-based physicians now have some type of EHR system and 72% are now certified e-Prescribers, according to the 2013 National Progress Report from SureScripts.

However, increased adoption of healthcare technology into physician practices does not necessarily mean these solutions are being fully embraced. Impediments to workflow caused by new technologies, as well as functionality shortfalls are causing practitioners to depend on tried-and-true traditional methods alongside these digital tools. For example, HCPs remain reliant on pen and paper even when they have access to electronic prescribing, particularly to prescribe controlled substances. In fact, less than 25% of all prescriptions dispensed in 2013 were actually issued electronically.

So how does pharma engage with prescribers as they blend traditional tools with new digital solutions? The key is to evolve marketing strategies into a multi-channel approach that allows marketers to analyze which channels are achieving engagement goals and determine a truer return on investment of marketing communications activities.

Merging Traditional Channels with Digital Solutions

Pharma companies have all the tools at their disposal to develop a comprehensive multi-channel program that integrates traditional marketing with new technology. Implementing a successful strategy involves six critical key steps.

1.)    Set Clear Goals – Knowing what you are looking to achieve makes reaching these goals more likely. Defining objectives of a campaign is the foundation for building a strong strategic plan, as well as a reference point for whether the campaign is delivering. Don’t forget to establish a baseline for measurement.

2.)    Define Your Target Audience – Leverage your physician database or work with a third-party provider to establish the best target audience. Defining targets will help you to optimize the marketing spend by narrowing in on the physicians that are most likely to contribute to your end goal.

3.)    Determine Your Channel Mix Put yourself in the position of the provider. Practitioners today are more time-pressed than ever before, and therefore, are more selective about when and where they interact with pharma. Choose an integrated mix of digital and traditional channels that best fits the needs of your target audience.  

4.)    Adapt Your Message – It’s important that your brand message remains consistent across all channels, but cater the message slightly for each individual channel in order to yield the best response from providers. If you are targeting different audiences with your campaign, it’s also critical to customize your message  for each physician group. It is worth investing the extra MLR time to customize your messaging.

5.)    Harness Data – A multi-channel campaign is only successful if you leverage the collected data to tailor the use of channels and messages in future marketing campaigns. Build profiles for each physician that identifies their responses, interaction, conversion, etc. This insight can result in increased engagement and relevancy.  

6.)    Optimize for Mobile – Your targets are viewing this content at the point of care on their smartphones or tablets.

Reaching physicians and impacting their behavior requires pharma to be in the right place, at the right time. In an environment where physicians are using a combination of digital solutions and traditional methods, the best way to engage with providers is through a multi-channel approach that leverages the unique advantages of each tactic.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Breaking through the Noise: Reaching Physicians with Precision Targeting and Customized Messaging

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Changes in the healthcare environment have made market segmentation and targeting more critical than ever before. Diminished access to physicians and shrinking sales forces are forcing pharma to explore new ways to reach prescribers in lieu of face-to-face rep meetings. In order to succeed in this non-personal business model, marketers need to consider the mounting demands on providers. A value-based reimbursement model, adoption of new technologies, and changing patient demands are putting pressure on physicians’ time.

This creates a growing urgency for pharma to deliver the right messages to the right providers at the right time. Given the challenges associated with this current marketing dynamic – to say nothing of competitive pressures – implementing best practices can help life science companies concoct a successful formula.  

Segment Your Audience
Although some channels offer the flexibility to reach a large prescriber base, targeting providers with irrelevant messages can erode their perception of your brand. Not to mention, it results in wasted marketing costs. An audience segmentation strategy should be developed that is based on a combination of demographics, psychographics, decile, prescribing patterns and patient data.
It’s imperative to work with your channel partners to hone in on the right targets. Investing the time early on to effectively segment your audiences will benefit both the provider and the patient, which will lead to positive results for the brand.

Develop Concise, Customized Messages
Each physician segment may require a different messaging strategy. Understanding each provider’s needs, interests, and motivators will allow brands to develop meaningful messages. Study after study shows that personalized content can increase audience responsiveness while reducing promotional costs, creating an optimal return on investment for your marketing dollars.

The more concise a message, the more likely it is to be consumed by a time-pressed physician. The average adult's attention span is down to just 8 seconds, so messages need to be brief, clear and compelling. This is particularly important when attempting to communicate with providers at the point of care when they are making critical clinical decisions.

Establish a Multi-channel Mix
No one channel is THE right channel. The best way to determine a physician’s preference for when he/she wants to receive marketing messages is to establish an integrated multi-channel mix. This approach will also help to increase brand recognition by reaching physicians at different touch points throughout their day.

Select a few channels where your audiences are interacting on a regular basis and are receptive to promotional messages. Integrate a combination of digital approaches and traditional print vehicles to effectively cut through the noise and reach a diverse prescriber base at a variety of touch points.

Measure Results and Refine Database
Before even launching a campaign, marketers need to identify the measurement criteria that will be used in post-program ROI and impact analysis. Properly evaluating a campaign will allow marketers to determine which strategies and channels yielded the best results. This data can be used over time to refine your marketing mix and optimize your investment. Ask channel partners to share measurement results and work with a third-party credible company that can measure audience exposure and interaction.


About the author: Robert Bedford is the Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing of MediScripts. His career spans a wide breadth of prominent positions at leading direct to pharmaceutical marketing services companies. Robert is supporting MediScripts’ growing suite of clinical management solutions designed to help marketers reach physicians at the point of care.
Connect with MediScripts on LinkedIn.