Home-Based Health EHR Users Adopting Speech-to-Text Technology

Jan. 15, 2021
Clinicians at Sangre de Cristo Community Care in Colorado use MatrixCare EHR with embedded voice-to-text technology from a company called nVoq

Clinicians at Sangre de Cristo Community Care in Colorado are finding charting easier and faster since adopting a new speech-to-text feature in their electronic health record.

Pueblo-based Sangre de Cristo offers hospice, palliative and home health care to patients in a large geographic area extending to the New Mexico border. Since 2013, it has been using an EHR from a company called MatrixCare, which claims to be the first post-acute provider to fully embed speech-to-text technology into its software.

Janell Solomon, director of compliance for Sangre de Cristo Community Care, said that traditionally MatrixCare offers its nurses, therapy staff, nurse practitioners and physicians a system to cover a patient’s physical systems, psycho-social impacts and the interventions and goals to achieve their outcomes. The EHR uses click boxes and accompanying notes sections.

“The click boxes are easy, but the meat of the clinician charting is those detailed notes,” Solomon said. “We supply them with keyboards and iPads, and they sit in a patient’s home at the end of the bed with the iPad on their lap typing these narrative notes or in their driveway after the visit,” she explained. “But now with the speech-to-text feature, they simply tap on the microphone in any section of their charting for the details section, and they can speak their full communication note. We have found they paint the picture so much better when they are able to say it than when typing,” she added.

The embedded voice-to-text technology from a company called nVoq is built specifically for mobile caregivers in the home health and hospice industry and is trained with relevant vocabulary and drug dictionaries for a seamless experience, even in instances of complex conditions or care, MatrixCare said. Its analysis of several large hospice organizations using nVoq’s voice-to-text technology, prognostic statement documentation compliance increased by over 50 percent. That analysis also revealed an increase in the length of patient notes by 45 percent, even as the time needed to document those notes decreased by 50 percent, the company said.

Solomon said the new feature helps clinicians complete their charting right away when the details of the visit are fresh in their minds.  “We are seeing the benefit of that. At the end of the day, they are truly done with their charting. They have served all the patients and documented everything they needed to and now they can put their work away. That helps them find that work/life balance that is important for the healthcare provider to jump into their schedule the next day.”

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