Federal meaningful use programs continue to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by U.S. hospitals. With increasing use of EHRs, it is likely that more hospitals will transition from paper to electronic provider notes over the next several years. Electronic provider documentation (ePD) can enable hospitals to capture, analyze, and leverage patient data in ways that are not possible with traditional paper notes. At the same time, ePD can have inherent barriers to use such as suboptimal user interfaces and the need to type narrative portions of notes using a keyboard. These factors have the potential to increase the time that hospital providers spend writing notes and could potentially compromise the quality of documentation. Recognizing that some faculty at our institution currently use dictation and speech recognition tools to document, primarily in the outpatient setting, we sought to understand usage patterns and attitudes about these tools in preparation for inpatient ePD.
As part of a project at a large academic medical center to implement inpatient ePD, a survey (SurveyMonkey, Palo Alto, CA) was created to assess faculty experience with dictation or Dragon speech recognition software (Nuance Communications, Inc., Burlington, MA) for provider documentation. The survey included questions about time spent on inpatient service and types of documentation for which dictation or Dragon is currently used. The survey also asked faculty to rate the importance of either dictation or Dragon for future inpatient ePD. The Medical Affairs office distributed the survey on behalf of the Chief Medical Information Officer to all credentialed clinical faculty physicians.
A total of 293 faculty physicians completed the survey. Ninety‐four (32.6%) of respondents currently use dictation or Dragon, primarily in the outpatient setting. Overall, 128 (44.9%) respondents rated having either dictation or Dragon available to document inpatient notes as critical or important to them.
Use of dictation and Dragon appears to be common at our institution, particularly for outpatient documentation. Nearly half of all faculty respondents rated having dictation or Dragon available for inpatient documentation as either critical or important. For hospitals contemplating inpatient ePD, our survey suggests there may be a sizable population of physicians who strongly prefer dictation or speech recognition as data entry modalities. Hospitals should consider inclusion of dictation or speech recognition capabilities as part of planning for a successful transition to electronic documentation.
To cite this abstract:McCrea N, Xu K, McGreevey J. Preparing for Electronic Provider Documentation: A Survey of Physician Preferences About Dictation and Speech Recognition Capabilities at an Academic Medical Center. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2014, March 24-27, Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 152. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2014; 9 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/preparing-for-electronic-provider-documentation-a-survey-of-physician-preferences-about-dictation-and-speech-recognition-capabilities-at-an-academic-medical-center/. Accessed March 31, 2020.