University of Michigan Health–West has leveraged ambient listening technology to help primary care providers finish notes faster and enhance the exam room experience. As a result, physicians saved an average of 10 minutes every day, improving efficiency and streamlining the documentation process.

Physician efficiency and productivity

Research on physician productivity usually focuses on the amount of time spent doing various tasks on the computer. Such as a study in 2020 revealed that physicians work in the EHR Software is over 16 minutes every visit. Clinicians write notes, review patient charts, and enter orders in their electronic medical records system.

To streamline the clinical documentation process physicians can make use of robust tools like specialty-specific note templates, and speech recognition technology. Some providers are using new solutions to write notes efficiently by using their voice and the patients’.

The University of Michigan-West uses ambient listening technology

UM Health-West has leveraged ambient listening technology to write better and faster notes. This has led the doctor to focus on their patient during the encounter. The hospital has integrated Nuance DAX with Epic EHR Software to draft notes from visit audio recordings.

To see the success of the new technology it was used in pulmonology and primary care. Pulmonologists didn’t use the ambient listening technology much as they already had good workflows to support efficient note-taking. The tool was a success with primary care physicians, who see patients with various conditions.

Effectiveness of ambient notes

To measure the effectiveness of ambient listening workflows the organization looked at the metrics in Signal. The signal is an Epic EMR Software tool that helps to track, summarize, and compare efficiency. UM Health-West found the following was achieved by leveraging ambient listening technology,

  • Primary care physicians who used ambient notes were able to save 10 minutes per day on note-taking.
  • There were improvements in productivity for everyone who used DAX regularly on some visits.
  • The quickest clinicians get their notes completed in less than a minute per patient.

Patient experience with ambient listening technology

The organization now wanted to know how patients felt about ambient notes. Feedback was taken from established patients to know about ambient listening technology’s effect on patient experience. Patients revealed that with the new technology, their visit with the doctor was more engaging.

Patients also liked their words when they read the provider’s notes in the Epic MyChart patient portal platform. It is an assurance to the patient that the physician understands them well.