Austin Regional Clinic doctor using an Apple Smartwatch

ARC Doctors Use Apple Watches to Improve the Patient Experience

Since the introduction of electronic health records (EHR), doctors have sought better ways to do “e-paperwork” as screens began encroaching on face-to-face interaction with patients. For some Austin Regional Clinic physicians, Apple Watches can automatically capture patient visit data to save time and improve the patient experience.

Managing data entry can take up to hours daily, leaving doctors less time to see patients. As Dr. Manish Naik, ARC chief medical information officer, told Healthcare IT News story, “Physicians are acting as the most highly trained data entry clerks in the world to complete many of their EHR workflows.”

To reduce this administrative work, ARC has been testing a new, innovative way to enter patient data into an EHR. More than 30 ARC physicians are using artificial intelligence-enhanced Apple Watches to capture patient notes after each exam and organizing the key data into the patient’s electronic file. Utilizing natural language processing, speech recognition and more, notes and orders are created that doctors review for accuracy before signing. The data then can be downloaded into appropriate locations within in each patient’s online “file” in ARC’s EHR system – greatly reducing data entry that is customary for each patient visit.

So far, so good, reports Dr. Naik.

Dr. Naik told Health IT News, “Physicians have reported that they are able to see more patients throughout the day, focus more on their patients during clinic visits, and still leave the clinic earlier to spend more time with their families.”

More ARC physicians are signing up every week to try the customized watch. They range across various specialties, including general surgery, internal medicine, ob/gyn, orthopedics, pediatrics and rheumatology, as well as family medicine.

And they have seen meaningful improvements in clinical workflows and patient engagement, saving critical documentation time (1-2 hours per day) enabling enhanced patient care and reducing the documentation burden that often leads to burnout.

Read what Dr. Naik told Healthcare IT News about progress so far and what this means for doctors and patients.

Tags: Dr. Manish Naik, Apple Watch, EHR, Healthcare IT News, E-Paperwork

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