Mobile Dictation Tools Gaining Ground in Healthcare

Robert N. Mitchell wrote an interesting article in the November 8th edition of For the Record Magazine in which he discussed the rise of mobile dictation in the healthcare industry.

With the government urging HIT adoption, there’s been a gradual change in physician documentation habits. Moreover, physicians are being asked more frequently to use electronic health records (EHR) instead of narrative dictation to dictate. However, using an EHR takes twice as long to accomplish because physicians have to “leave the exam room, find a computer, log in to it, load an application, search for the patient, find a template, fill out the template–all the while hoping that the template covers all the information that has to be documented.”

Some physicians combat the lag time by taking notes and entering all of the day’s the information into EHRs at the end of the day. However, when this is done from memory, it increases the risk of incomplete or inaccurate EHRs. Enter mobile dictation apps.

Good Shepherd Medical Center (Longview, TX) recently developed an iPhone app for its physicians to view patients’ clinical and demographic information. Using the app allows doctors to “see which patients need attention and to view lab values, medication lists and radiology reports” all from their smart phone.

3M Health Information Systems developed a mobile app that interfaces with scheduling systems and patient admissions, discharge and transfer systems. Doctors can use their app to “dictate notes, view patient lists…and access current patient information.” In addition, 3M’s app allows physicians to dictate directly into a smartphone during a patient encounter. The completed dictation is then automatically sent for speech recognition and then into the medical transcription system.

Emdat has also developed an app that allow doctors to download their patient schedule and record their dictation directly into an iPhone and/or Windows Mobile platforms. In addition, physicians can review the completed dictation and use electronic signatures from their mobile devices.

Finally, BayScribe has developed mobile dictation apps for the iPhone (both 3 and 4), iPad, Windows Mobile devices, and Blackberry, and Android is on its way.

BayScribe’s IT manager Dean Ganskop,  said: “This takes an entire narrative from a doctor and the engine parses out discrete reportable transcription [DRT] information such as allergies or diagnosis list.”

As exciting as these new mobile dictation technologies are, Claudia Tessier (RHIA, MEd, president of mHealth Initiative and former CEO of the American Association for Medical Transcription) insists that the need to review a dictated report will never go away.

Q: What do you think about mobile dictation devices?