We Can Help Health Care Save $365 Billion Dollars

The following is a guest blog post by Wayne Crandall, President & CEO of NoteSwift.

Innovations in EHR workflows hold the promise of saving thousands of physician hours of EHR administrative work, resulting in billions of dollars in health care savings.

We all know the benefits EHR systems can offer health care — less cumbersome paper, more accessibility to records, and the promise of better, more connected medicine. Unfortunately, EHR systems are still working to make these benefits a reality. A recent report published in the Harvard Business Review offers an amazing statistic about the cost EHR records are currently having on our health care system:

“The annual cost of physicians spending half of their time using EHRs (a billion dollars per day) — more than the United States spends treating any major class of diseases and about equal to what the country spends on public primary and secondary education instruction.”

Think about that! $365 billion dollars. Every year. That’s a billion dollars a day.

It’s no wonder that with all this wasted time each year, doctors are frustrated. In our free white paper on physician burnout, we document the frustration physicians feel with their EHR systems. In fact, according to a recent survey, physicians say that the two most important ways health systems can support their work are “More control of their time,” and “More administrative work support.” This response points directly to their frustration with the amount of time they have to spend on EHR entry.

In a system where we are all working to provide better value to patients, to drive down costs for everyone, and to keep physicians engaged and working directly with patients, it is unacceptable that our current EHR workflows cost the system $365 billion dollars in time — not to mention creating endless frustration for physicians. There must be a better way.

The HBR article offers a great solution framework: three paths forward to help us stop wasting physician time and drastically improve our EHR experience in the process:

  1. Reducing payer-imposed documentation requirements
  2. Improving EHR workflows at the practice level
  3. Unleashing innovation

It is this third path that offers the most promise for dramatically improving the EHR experience for physicians and staff and creating a better experience for patients. By unleashing innovation on the EHR marketplace, technology and third-party innovators can rapidly create tools and solutions that amplify the performance of EHRs, save physicians time, and create more connectivity and accuracy within the EHR records.

At my company, we’ve used revolutionary Artificial Intelligence technology to create Samantha, a virtual solution that uses the provider’s simple dictation of the patient narrative to complete an entire patient record across the entire EHR in seconds. Because of the accuracy and learning algorithms within Samantha, this AI entry is significantly faster — and more accurate — than manual entry by a physician, scribe, or nurse.

And the time a physician saves is dramatic. By saving a physician valuable minutes on each patient record, we can ultimately save them multiple hours every week and hundreds of hours each year.

The hours we’re saving physicians are what the HBR article references in that $365 billion dollars. Samantha is the solution to helping patients and practices save that money and create a better EHR workflow.

The article concludes by noting that EHR vendors are now seeing the value that solutions like Samantha can bring to their EHR. For example, athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program has created a third-party app marketplace that features the best and most promising innovations in EHR workflow to help practices get the most out of their athenahealth EHR. Samantha is proud to be featured in the athenahealth marketplace and similar marketplaces across other leading EHR systems.

We believe in the power of AI and innovation to improve EHR workflows for physicians and reclaim the wasted $365 billion in lost time. What do you think of the three paths forward proposed by the Harvard Business Review article, and where do you see exciting innovations in EHR workflow? We’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to check out all of Wayne Crandall’s articles on using AI and technology to improve EHR performance and reduce physician burnout.

About Wayne Crandall
Wayne Crandall’s career in technology spans sales, marketing, product management, strategic development and operations. Wayne was a co-founder, executive officer, and senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Nuance Communications and was responsible for growing the company to over $120M following the acquisition of Dragon and SpeechWorks.

Prior to joining the NoteSwift team, Wayne was President and CEO of CYA Technologies and then took over as President of enChoice, which specialized in ECM systems and services, when they purchased CYA.

Wayne joined NoteSwift, Inc. at its inception, working with founder Dr. Chris Russell to build the team from the ground up. Wayne has continued to guide the company’s growth and evolution, resulting in the development of the industry’s first AI-powered EHR Virtual Assistant, Samantha(TM).

NoteSwift is the leading provider of EHR Virtual Assistants and a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.