Nuance's Dragon Medical Practice Edition for small practices allows physicians to dictate patient narratives directly into EHRs.
Nuance Communications has unveiled Dragon Medical Practice Edition, a new edition to
its speech-recognition software portfolio to allow small practices of 24 or
fewer doctors to benefit from the ability to dictate patient conditions into
electronic health records.
For Practice Medical Edition, Nuance
built the templates and macros to support the workflow of a small practice
rather than a hospital, Carina Edwards, Nuance's vice president of health care
solutions marketing, told eWEEK.
To accommodate small practices facing
financial, legal and technological barriers to EHR adoption, Nuance designed
the product to be cost-effective and to help organizations satisfy meaningful-use mandates on EHRs, according to
Launched on Aug. 17, the application
allows individual doctors to manage the software themselves, while the
enterprise version, Dragon Medical Network Edition, runs on Citrix servers and
allows IT teams to centrally manage networking settings and user profiles
Licensed on a per-user basis, Practice
Medical Edition costs $1,600 per clinician, while Dragon Medical Network
Edition costs around $2,200 per clinician and is geared toward practices of 25
or more doctors.
More than 200,000 physicians use Dragon
Medical products to document patient conditions within EHRs, according to Keith
Belton, senior director of product marketing at Nuance Healthcare.
In addition to entering information
into EHRs, doctors can import spoken data from a CLU (clinical language
understanding) engine into a revenue cycle management database, analytics
engines and decision-support tools, Edwards said.
Dragon Medical works on top of EHR
applications, such as those from eClinicalWorks and NextGen. "Dragon is a toolbar that lays on
top of that application and is context-aware of the menus in that
application," Edwards explained.
Medical Practice Edition features
additional support for multicore hardware, leading to better recognition,
faster dictation and quicker turnaround time on documents, Nuance reports.
After some initial 3-minute training
sessions to acclimate the software to a doctor's voice, the program can achieve
up to 99 percent accuracy, according to Nuance. Dragon Medical Practice Edition
brings a 15 percent increase in accuracy over previous versions, the company
In addition, the software can detect
poor audio input, such as an out-of-range microphone, and notify the user to
correct the problem.
"Dragon Medical is a proven
EHR-support solution that helps clinicians to fully and efficiently capture
patient data as part of the medical record," Evan Grossman, vice president
of product strategy at Athenahealth, said in a statement. Using
Nuance's speech recognition software along with Athenahealth's cloud-based EHR
service, AthenaClinicals, allows physicians to create high-quality, real-time
patient documentation, he added.
Dr. James Nairus, an orthopedic surgeon
with Longwood Orthopaedic Associates in Chestnut Hill, Mass., explained how he
has difficulty deciphering other doctors' notes in EHRs, but the
speech-recognition capabilities of Dragon Medical help alleviate this problem.
With Dragon, you can actually dictate a
personalized narrative to each section of an EHR, particularly "History of
Present Illness" and "Treatment Plan," Nairus said in a Nuance
Although EHRs create more work for
doctors rather than providing notes to a transcriptionist, using speech
recognition software can "limit the pain," Nairus added.
By eliminating the role of the
transcriptionist, practices save on transcription costs, Edwards noted. In
addition, entering patients' narratives by voice could lead doctors to increase
adoption of EHR apps, Edwards said.
on Aug. 10 Nuance announced a 10-year agreement with UPMC, a health system
associated with the University of Pittsburgh, to develop new tools physicians
can use to dictate patient data and convert it into a discrete, structured
format in EHRs. Nuance is also working to integrate CLU capabilities with IBM's Watson supercomputer.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.