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Memorial Hospital at Gulfport

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport saves $1 Million by using Dynamic Documentation with Dragon Dictation, Physician Coaches

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport took a big bang approach to its Cerner implementation across its acute, ambulatory, and clinic settings. It took the same approach – a big bang - when its physicians began using Dynamic Documentation with Dragon Dictation. By doing so, it saved $1 million in outsourced transcription costs annually.

Memorial physicians already used Dragon Dictation in their ambulatory practices, but transcription was used in the hospital setting. It took preparation, physician coaches, and a few other factors to change that.

“We set the expectation a year in advance,” said Cheryl Cooper, Memorial Director of Health Information Management. “When we switched to Cerner, it was the opportune time to make the switch to Dynamic Documentation as well.”

The night before the June 2014 go-live, staff removed the dictation stations on the hospital’s floors. “Doing that removed any visual representation,” said Cooper. “It showed we meant it and there was no going back.”

Cooper also counted on physician coaches to ease the transition from dictation to physician documentation. “We used Cerner coaches extensively to help us choose the templates and workflow.”

At the initial go-live two week period, more than 100 coaches helped Memorial physicians with the transition. On average, there were roughly 15 coaches there for each of the several implementation phases.

“The physician coaches made an absolute difference,” Cooper stressed. “There were some practitioners who had technology challenges to overcome.”

In addition to the financial savings, the real-time posting of clinical documentation was advantageous. “I now have instantaneous notes from all of my consultants,” said Memorial CMO, Dr. David Northington. “We never had that before.”

For the previous decade, the Mississippi health system outsourced all transcription services. That resulted in a delay of a day or more to get some patient information.

“We use hospitalists and intensivists extensively in our inpatient service areas,” said HIM Director Cooper. “Those practitioners tend to be younger and more willing to adapt. Most of our specialists have outpatient clinical practices and were using Dragon Dictation already. It was a natural transition for that group of providers to continue using it when they treat patients in the acute care setting.”

Northington, a hospitalist himself, feels that Dynamic Documentation contributes to better, faster clinician coordination. “I’m able to review the clinical notes from my partners and consultants,” he said. “I can tag notes and items – like radiology results - to create a more specific and complete note.”

“No one was climbing the walls, demanding transcription again,” said Cooper. “We prepared for it, and it worked.”

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.