Medical Transcription Software Elevates Telemedicine Practice- But At What Cost?
Previously, the relationship between patient and doctor was viewed as one between a healer and a person in need. However, over recent years, the relationship has morphed into more of an interaction between a care provider and a service user.
With much of the world relying heavily on telemedicine platforms for remote doctor visits, healthcare organizations have found themselves searching for innovative ways to insure a high-quality experience, while maintaining safety and security for patients and doctors alike. Medical transcription software has the power to elevate the current state of telemedicine and improve the doctor-patient experience. With many patients feeling isolated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, doctor-patient relationships are more important now than ever. Medical transcription software fosters a closer doctor-patient relationship, even through telemedicine.
The Doctor-Patient Relationship
Previously, the relationship between patient and doctor was viewed as one between a healer and a person in need. However, over recent years, the relationship has morphed into more of an interaction between a care provider and a service user. According to an article ‘The Evolution of the Doctor-patient Relationship,” in optimizing this patient-centered approach, “critics have proposed a more active, autonomous and thus patient-centered role for the patient who advocates greater patient control, reduced physician dominance, and more mutual participation,” (Kaba R, Sooriakumaran P.).
Research has shown that the doctor-patient relationship is integral to treatment outcomes. According to an article in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, the relationship has been shown to promote recovery, reduce relapse, and enhance treatment adherence. Now more than ever, as people feel the pangs of isolation due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, fostering genuine connection with patients is vital. Unfortunately, buffering, delays, and the lack of real face-to-face conversation all present inevitable challenges in building patient relationships and conducting effective appointments. If the interaction is marked by the clacking of a provider's vigorous note taking and chronic lack of eye contact, it's likely the patient will leave their appointment feeling unheard and uncared for.
As the current situation persists we must find ways to overcome these challenges so as to provide the best medical and inter-personal outcomes possible for our patients. As Arq Bras Cardiol wrote in Telemedicine and the Doctor/Patient Relationship “We should use the best of the two worlds: preserving humanism in medicine and using new technologies to improve medical care. This is possible; it only depends on some adjustments that are evidently possible". Medical transcription software, the process of transforming dictated medical notes into typed health records, frees physicians from obligatory note taking, giving them the ability to focus on their patients and build lasting connections.
Integration With EMRs- Where Transcription Software Falls Short
With electronic medical records, integrated messaging systems, and online booking, the medical technology landscape has taken on a whole new dimension. The purpose of these systems is to improve the efficiency and accuracy of patient record keeping and communication, while meeting compliance and billing requirements. Unfortunately, rather than simplifying, many healthcare providers feel that modern EHRs have added needless obstacles and complication to their daily practice, forcing them to spend a third of their time on administrative tasks which largely do not improve patient care. This has lead to clinicians being forced to doggedly takes notes during their time with patients only to allocate additional hours after these visits painstaking entering data into EHRs.
Using voice recognition technology, medical transcription software is able to listen to a doctor’s summary of a patient visit, transcribe the dictation, and integrate with EHRs so that the transcribed notes are automatically populated into the system. However, dictation-transcription tools fall short of solving the documentation problem. According to Dr. BV Chandramouli, a cardiologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, “I found myself spending just as much time on documentation – summarizing sessions or dictating notes.” Rather than alleviating doctors from the burden of note-taking, dictation-transcription tools create more work in its place.
Though transcription software provides significant merit, vastly improving the doctor-patient experience by eliminating the provider's need to take notes, its benefits do not extend so far as to markedly reduce clinician workloads. Luckily medical technology is an ever-evolving field. Most recently, artificial intelligence been introduced with the goal being to not only improve the doctor-patient relationship, but also to free physicians from the burden of documentation all together. While to many providers it may feel like all too often new technologies only further complicate their practice, developments like Ai Scribes represent hope that one day every doctor will be able to solely focus on what they love; helping those in need.
To learn more about Ai Scribes click here.