Restoring the Human Connection in Health Care
Physicians spend more than a third of their day on the computer, inputting or retrieving patient data from electronic health records (EHRs), according to a recent survey. Physicians also report that typing at a computer during an exam can interfere with important interactions with patients.
At Dignity Health, we believe everyone who walks through our doors should be treated as a person, not just a patient. We exist to improve the health and well being of the people we serve, and a big part of how we do that is by strengthening the human connection between our doctors, nurses, and patients. It has become increasingly important to us that we lessen the time a physician spends in front of the computer in order to maximize time with patients.
We partnered with Google Glass and Augmedix to find an alternative way to access and input important information in the patient record in real-time without requiring our physicians to be tethered to the computer.
A pilot of Google Glass + Augmedix has been in place at our Ventura Medical Clinic since January
2014. The pilot involves three family practice physicians who have taken part in over 2,700 patient visits. Since beginning to use the technology, our physicians have reported a decrease in total daily time spent entering data into EHRs from 33 percent to 9 percent and increased direct patient care from 35 percent to 70 percent. The early results are extremely positive and we are working to expand the usage at other clinics.
“This technology allows me to maintain eye contact with my patients and have continuous conversations without having to enter information into a computer,” said Dr. Davin Lundquist, family medicine practitioner and Dignity Health’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer. “The ability to listen, communicate, and care is just as critical as the diagnosis, and this technology allows me to spend more focused and quality time with my patients.”
How it Works
Before an exam, a physician will put on the Google Glass device, launch the Augmedix software, and then enter the exam room to speak with a patient. The physician and patient have a natural conversation, including addressing the issue(s) that brought the patient in to see the doctor. The audio and visual information is securely streamed via the Glass device through the Augmedix solution, where a combination of technology and human resources ensure that accurate information is entered into the patient’s electronic medical record in real time.
In addition, physicians have the ability to access patient data and search for information by making simple verbal requests similar to OnStar or Siri. The doctor can, for example, query the last three blood pressures tests and have the results delivered to his or her Google Glass device.
The physician is still required to access the record to ensure accuracy, as well as to enter orders for tests or prescription medications.