Speeding up documentation allows clinicians to discharge Emergency Department (ED) patients more quickly. This may only be by five to 10 minutes (often more) but applied to more than 100 patients per day, the increased efficiency is enormous.
The bulk of patient complaints are generally around long wait times in the waiting room, so increasing patient turnover times will improve patient satisfaction and reduce patient complaints.
To achieve faster documentation times, a Voice to Text Application called Dragon Medical One (DMO) was introduced as a pilot across the ED and four other clinical specialties at the Mackay Base Hospital for three months in 2021. The ED participants were four staff specialists and one nurse practitioner. Voice to text meant the use of dictation by these participants who had previously typed their notes into the Cerner electronic medical record (ieMR).
Baseline benefits were established, and the pilot results were measured against those benefits. For the Mackay ED, dictating notes meant that documentation times were reduced significantly as baseline typing speeds of 20-30 words per minutes changed to dictation speeds of 90-180 words per minute. The pilot was completed in August 2021, but the DMO licences are still being used to maintain the efficiencies they achieved.
Other use beyond Voice-to-Text, such as ordering (pathology, imaging, medications, etc) is the next application of the technology that the hospital's emergency physicians believe can improve efficiency going forwards, and they plan to trial and measure that soon.