Dragon Medical One helps enhance the quality of documentation and makes emergency departments more efficient. Just like in New Zealand, emergency departments throughout Australia struggle to cope with patient numbers amid severe staff and bed shortages. But there is a simple way to increase efficiency, improve care and increase clinicians’ job satisfaction!
We recently looked at how Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland is using Dragon Medical One, Dragon’s conversational speech-to-text tool (formerly known as Dragon Naturally Speaking) to accelerate Emergency Department documentation and improve patient flow and safety in the ED.
Faster Emergency Department documentation
Using the clinical speech recognition in Dragon Medical One, emergency specialist Dr Andrew Brier has reduced the time he spends on documentation from around 4-5 minutes per patient to 2.5 minutes per patient.
“To be honest, I didn’t think this was going to work,” he said. “I fancy myself as a reasonable typist—maybe 50 or so words a minute, taking into account corrections. And I thought, ‘How is voice-to-text going to work in a busy Emergency Department?’ But it does. After a week or two, I seemed to be much more efficient than I used to be. And in a few more weeks, I was totally addicted. I’ve gone beyond that now—I’m dependent on it.”
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More efficient workflows
Dr Brier is also using voice commands in Dragon Medical One to accelerate the ordering process. He’s created voice-activated bundles that enable him to quickly order everything needed for a chest pain pathway, a sepsis patient, and a major trauma. By saying a simple command and then checking a few optional boxes, he can have an order ready to sign off in 10-12 seconds.
“I had a group of clinicians from my department, and I said, ‘I want you to order all of these things for a test patient.’ The fastest order via their preferred method was 45 seconds,” he said. “They were going as slow as 1 minute 20 seconds to order exactly the same thing that I can do in 10-12 seconds.”
Better-quality clinical notes with Dragon Medical One
While Dragon Medical One has helped Dr Brier become more efficient, he believes it’s also enabled him to enhance the quality of his documentation.
“What’s really hard to capture as a metric is quality, and I feel my quality of documentation has improved markedly,” he said. “Particularly for circumstances where you want more than just dot points on a page and you want to be more descriptive, like referral letters, complex end-of-life discussions, child safety issues, and domestic violence issues. Getting all that down in a time-efficient manner, with improved quality, is where this really comes into its own.”
Saving time and changing lives
Using Dragon Medical One (formerly known as Dragon Naturally Speaking), Mackay Base Hospital is now saving one hour per clinician per shift. And the benefits extend beyond the ED:
Dr Brier shared the experience of a colleague who’s a mental health clinician and has to create very complex, detailed documentation (she also has dyslexia, which can make typing slow and difficult). By using her voice instead of a keyboard, she’s reduced the time it takes to create clinical notes from around three hours per patient to just 45 minutes.
Accelerating documentation time frees clinicians to see more patients and get them the life-changing and life-saving treatment they need faster. But as Dr Brier pointed out, it also has an impact on clinicians’ job satisfaction and quality of life. “If we’re happier with our work performance, we’re going to reduce burnout,” he said. “If we’re able to free up time to have lunch, to have coffee, to go home on time, it’s going to reduce burnout as well.”
Read more about how Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland is using Dragon Medical One in this article.
Better Outcomes in Emergency Departments with Dragon Medical One
In the first year since deploying Dragon Medical One, Mackay Base Hospital has seen some remarkable improvements in documentation speed and quality, and workflow efficiency.
So, with faster documentation, more efficient workflows, and AI-powered best practice advice, ED clinicians can see more patients and have confidence that those patients will continue their journey in the right direction—and achieve better outcomes.