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Using Technology To Ease ICD-10 Burden For Physicians

Physicians today are under increasing pressure to produce more accurate, complete and compliant clinical documentation while trying to maintain a focus on patient care and satisfaction. In an effort to learn more about potential solutions that can alleviate physician frustrations with the clinical documentation process, Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today shared findings from a recent study of physician attitudes toward clinical documentation technology and processes.

This study found a wide majority of practicing physicians (71%) report they would be more responsive to Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) clarifications if these were delivered in real-time within their normal documentation workflow in the electronic health record (EHR). Additionally, more than 80 percent of physicians say it is disruptive and time consuming when queries for information occur after they’ve documented in a patient chart or worse, after the patient is discharged. All believe that ICD-10 will make matters much worse.

The survey of more than 187 practicing physicians in midsize or large practices and hospitals found that a majority of U.S. physicians:
  • See technology as a growing portion of how they do their jobs, and they want to be involved in technology decisions (97%), yet most were not involved in clinical documentation technology decisions for their organization (66% or more);
  • Value information delivered at the point of care and would respond more frequently to requests for information well timed and within their natural documentation workflow (71%);
  • Perceive traditional retrospective CDI queries as very disruptive to clinical workflows and the level of disruption increases with the passing of time after they’ve documented (83%);
  • Find that any time they needed to “go back” and respond to a coding issue was disruptive and time lost (approximately 98%);
  • Would invest time, see fewer patients and earn less money for 6-9 months to be deeply involved in clinical documentation technology evaluations and implementations (88%).

“This study pinpoints physicians’ growing dissatisfaction in being saddled with processes that distract them from clinical care, while being excluded from the decision-making process of choosing things that impact them every day,” explains Janet Dillione, executive vice president and general manager, Nuance Communications. “Technology should be simple and work for physicians – not the other way around. Through a more natural approach to creating clinically-accurate information, everyone wins – the physician, the institution and most importantly, the patient.”

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