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Improving Patient Outcomes With Voice/Dynamics 365

Everyone one of us has had the same experience. We go to see the doctor and we are handed a clipboard with a bunch of paper forms. They ask the same questions every time about your family's clinical history. When you go to the examination room, the nurse asks you what symptoms you have, again. Finally, the doctor asks you a third time, what symptoms you have. It's as if no one read the paper form you completed in the waiting room. And even then, the reason may not end up being recorded into their clinic system as you described, sometimes resulting in some interesting insurance challenges later down the road.

"Why did you the emergency room for insect bites," asked one insurance representative?

"Well, they weren't mosquitoes. These were bed bugs that attacked me in the hotel and since we didn't see them neither I nor the ER staff knew the cause. When my face swelled up and the rash spread, we thought it might be something more serious," I replied.

Or another time back in a hospital in Milwaukee...

"You have congestive heart failure. You will have to change your diet, take it easy and stay off the cheese," commanding the attending physician.

Only, that the stress test the following week proved that I didn't have congestive heart failure at all. In fact, it was the other patient in the room with that condition, since the attending physician had the wrong chart.

Or in Bountiful, Utah.

In 2015, the doctors and I discovered that I am deathly allergic to what we believe to be an inactive ingredient in SoluMedrol. When I made it back to Utah, I advised the hospital of my allergy and they entered into the system. Yet, during my last visit, the were training new staff and there was so much going on in the area around my bed that they never asked me what allergies I had to any medication. Luckily, the head nurse announced prior to my injection that she was about to put SoluMedrol into me. As you can imagine, I quickly yelled "Nooooooo!". A small drop still entered my body and I immediately went into convulsions.

With technology readily available off the shelf that can improve the quality of patient care quite drastically, how is it that these things keep happening?

In a May 3, 2016 article, CNN stated that 251,454 deaths were caused by medical errors annually in the United States making it the 3rd leading cause of death. That doesn't even count the number of non-deaths due to errors. The death rate due to doctor error is five(5) times the death rate from colon and rectum cancer and six(6) times the rate of breast cancer. The rate is one and a half times the rate of death for lung disease.

Using Voice Technology to Record Patient Statements

Cortana, Alexa, and whatever Google calls their voice app, have a real place in the clinical setting. Not only can patients interact with the technology to record more accurately their symptoms, allergies, etc., but there can be a record of what the patient actually said. Because of how these technologies are designed, as developers we are able to capture the content as structured content. Instead of having notes that said "insect bites", the notes may have said "possible allergic reaction to an unknown insect bite". Since Alexa and Cortana download as a mobile app, it is easy for most patients to have access to the technology.

Using back-office technology like Dynamics 365 which easily integrates with both Cortana and Alexa, we can extend the platform to make full use of the patient's statements regardless of the patient's spoken language and we can even apply AI technology to make it a smart patient quality system.

Improving the Quality of Care Means Reviewing Performance

Today, hospital quality control personnel have unreliable information because the information doesn't come directly from the patient. This increases the risk of problems in the quality of care going unnoticed. I suspect that the risk is even higher for patients who don't speak English very well and don't have access to an interpreter.

Not to worry though, the IT sector is here to help. Leveraging voice technology will greatly improve the accuracy of data used by quality control personnel as well as researchers.

Let's work together to improve clinical processes in order to decrease a patient's risk of death due to doctor error and increase the quality of patient outcomes.

Jenna M Bourgeois, is the CEO of Dynamics Intelligence which specializes in the healthcare and public sector verticals for technologies such as Cortana, Alexa, and Dynamics 365. Contact Jenna at jenna@dynamicsintelligence.us

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