Even though you know distracted driving isn’t safe, you’ve probably driven down the road looking for something on the seat next to you, or worse yet, looked at your phone when you should have been looking at the road.
Your health care provider is required to record the results of your visits in an electronic health record (EHR) and that has created doctors and other health care providers who sometimes seem more concerned with the computer than they are with you. Health care providers and patients are both frustrated with the situation.
Starting soon, Virginia Gay’s Vinton Family Medical Clinic will use new technology to improve accuracy and eliminate distractions. Called Augmedix, the system allows assistants in a remote location to have all the information they need to make the notes and check all the boxes required for each visit. Your health care provider is still responsible for the accuracy of the information and is required to review and approve each record before it becomes permanent, but instead of trying to capture information during your visit or from memory afterward, everything is done by a highly trained technician.
Click here to see a short video about Augmedix on the Virginia Gay Hospital website.
Patients can request that the glasses transmitting the information be turned off and the assistants be excluded from highly sensitive parts of their visit, or they can ask that the entire visit not be shared with the assistant. Nationally, only 1% of patients ask to exclude remote assistants from their entire visit.
“We considered having assistants present in the exam room but we felt most patients would find that uncomfortable,” says Virginia Gay Medical Director Dr. Brian Meeker, “and we were also concerned about the availability of people in our area with the specialized training required to be professional assistants. That’s why we chose to use Augmedix as the provider of the assistants we need. We will be able to pay more attention to patients and there’s no concern about protecting patient confidentiality.”
Doctors and other practitioners use Google Glass, a wearable video and audio device, to allow Augmedix assistants to see and hear what’s going on during the visit and to make all the notes in the computer system. The health care provider can then focus on the patient, not the computer.
“Though it’s only a trial at this point,” says Mike Riege, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator, “we wouldn’t have taken even this step if we weren’t completely confident that this will help us provide the best care with the best security.”
The assistants enter a secure room in a remote location without any personal items like cell phones or notepads that could be used to capture information. The information from Google Glass is encrypted before it is transmitted and the record of the visit is securely deleted from the Augmedix system once the record has been approved by the physician or other health care provider. All records must be reviewed and approved by your health care provider before they can be made a permanent part of your personal health information.
The Augmedix system is being used in all 50 states by clinicians seeing more than 5,000 patients each day. Even though patients can request that the remote assistant not be a part of their visit, 99% of patients choose to have their record entered by an Augmedix assistant rather than their health care provider. To download a pdf with information about Augmedix, click here.