Austin Regional docs to use Apple Watch to record patient data

Technology from Notable Health uses AI and NLP take conversations and put info in Epic EHR.

Austin Regional Clinic in Texas, with 25 locations in 10 cities, is live with software from Notable Health to automate and digitize physician-patient interactions, improve patient engagement and reduce the time physicians’ spend entering data into the Epic electronic health record system.

Notable Health’s solution uses Apple Watch to document physician-patient discussions and employs artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing software to parse the conversation down to its relevant pieces to accurately record the conversation in patient files.

During in-office visits, doctors will use the Apple Watch to capture audio during and after the visit, and data will be automatically structured and entered into the correct EHR fields, ensuring zero workflow interruption.

“Apple watch is hardware capturing dictation,” explains Manish Naik, MD, chief medical information officer at Austin Regional Clinic. “We are always looking to deploy new technologies that will allow our physicians to optimize their clinical and administrative workflows, resulting in overall better physician wellness and patient care. Notable Health’s platform brings together AI, wearable and voice interface technologies that will allow us over time to better use our existing IT systems, reduce strain on our physicians and improve the overall patient experience.”

The beauty of Apple Watch is that it is collecting information from dictations and putting notes in the appropriate place in the EHR, Naik says. “It really saves time to not have to navigate in the electronic health record. Notable captures the dictation text and puts it through a quality control process to look for errors. We saw improvements in efficiencies within a few days.”

Naik was surprised at how quickly clinicians adopted the technology and realized benefits. Those needing the most help ended up being the ones who tended to do the best. Doctors, he adds, spend lots of time interacting with computers and at Austin Regional Clinic, and “we want them to spend more time with patients.”

Here are other health IT contract wins and go-lives.

* Mercy Hospital St. Louis has signed a contract with Mevion Medical Systems for a S250i Proton Therapy System that includes HYPERSCAN Pencil Beam scanning technology. The system will be used in the hospital’s David C. Pratt Cancer Center, which offers outpatient treatment, radiation oncology and infusion services. The Proton system will be integrated into the existing radiation oncology department. HYPERSCAN technology enables a faster and sharper delivery of therapeutic radiation to tumors.

* Lavaca Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Hallettsville, Texas, has gone live on the Cerner electronic health record as the vendor continues its aggressive marketing to the nation’s smallest hospitals. Quick benefits included the hospital moving its emergency department and clinic from a paper records system to the Cerner Millennium platform, making it easier to get a near real-time view of a patient’s health. The hospital provides care for nearly 20,000 patients annually.

* Rockford (Ill.) Radiology Associates has contracted with Zotec Partners, a vendor of outsourced radiology revenue cycle and practice management services. The practice is an independent radiology group with 12 board-certified radiologists. “As payment responsibilities continue to shift from payers to patients, we knew we needed a partner with sophisticated billing technology, patient engagement platforms and detailed reporting from a team of people that cares about our business,” says John Lind, MD, president of Rockford Radiology Associates.

* Tahoe Forest Health System in Truckee, Calif., with two critical access hospitals and six specialty clinics is replacing its Cisco network with the Aruba Mobile-First network. The health system expects to save $750,000 to $1 million over five years while improving network performance and simplifying IT management. The delivery system serves almost 150,000 patients each year. Tahoe Forest Health System was one of the first organizations to be awarded five-star ratings for patient experience by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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