Hoping to reduce transcription costs and improve physician satisfaction, Citizens Medical Center, a critical access hospital in Colby, Kan., recently swapped out its existing health information management software for a new suite of applications.

The package, from Nuance Communications, included cloud-based speech recognition technology with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, transcription software, dictation microphones and a medical imaging data exchange.

The hospital had been struggling with performance of legacy HIM applications, which caused poor clinical documentation turnaround time, high documentation costs, and low physician productivity and satisfaction, says Jacee Dobbs, Citizens Medical’s chief information officer.

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Physicians who were coming to the hospital to treat their hospitalized patients struggled with having to save their personal voice profiles each time they came to the facility, which generated delays and frustration. Now, a single voice profile works with new devices as well as workflows and applications in the electronic health record.

“After joining the Citizens Medical team, I took a hard look at the technology already in place and realized a change was necessary for us to succeed in providing quality healthcare more efficiently,” Dobbs recalls. “We needed flexible and affordable solutions that would grow with us as our needs changed.”

Term-based pricing negated a large upfront capital investment, and that made buying the Nuance suite possible for the small hospital.

Early physician experience has been positive—they’re reported that the software is easier to use in capturing patient information, which improved and speeded documentation.

Further, the ability to access medical images from the cloud decreases time to diagnosis and reduces the need for repeat tests and scans.

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