Integrating Ambient Clinical Voice Technology – The Impacts, Challenges, and Benefits

In a time where burnout is at an all-time high, any solution that can help lessen the workload burden of our clinicians is worth looking into. One such solution is ambient clinical voice. Integrating this solution into your organization can save your clinicians a lot of time through documentation automation. However, integrating a new technology will affect all areas of your organization, and with all new technologies, there are always pros and cons to be aware of before jumping.

So in order to help you get a deeper look at what integrating ambient clinical voice into your organization will look like – what it will impact, the benefits, and the challenges of doing so – we reached out to our incredible Healthcare IT Today Community for their insights on this topic. The following is what they had to share with us.

Travis Bias, DO, MPH, DTM&H, FAAFP, Chief Medical Officer, Clinician Solutions & Family Physician at 3M Health Information Systems

Ambient clinical documentation tools are being used by clinicians so they can focus on the patient in front of them, rather than on their computer screens. This technology allows for the technology to unobtrusively record the patient-physician conversation in the background and then convert that dialogue into a clinical progress note using generative AI. So, rather than focusing on the computer screen or keyboard, the physician can focus on the patient in front of them, with confidence their conversation will translate into an accurate draft clinical note for the physician to review after the visit.

This decreases the amount of time the physician spends in the electronic health record and allows them to focus on the patient and all the non-verbal subtleties that can give physicians valuable information that will ultimately help with patient care. The patient experience is being transformed by this technology, as physicians are able to focus on the conversation while feeling less tied to a computer screen.

BJ Boyle, Chief Product Officer at PointClickCare

In the evolving healthcare delivery landscape, the integration of ambient clinical voice technology is proving to be just the tip of the iceberg in providing enhanced patient-centered care. Generative AI is often integrated within ambient clinical voice technology inclusive of, speech detection, speech recognition, and speech-to-text capabilities. Embracing the power of this technology to reduce clinician toil, by way of more information about individual patients, is a win/win for both providers and patients.

This technology offers a solution to the historical and monotonous challenge of real-time documentation. With ambient clinical voice technology, clinicians have more time in their day to focus on patient care and charting efficiencies are improved. Overall, the integration of ambient clinical voice technology and AI deployed responsibly is poised to revolutionize healthcare workflows, enhancing both efficiency and accuracy in care delivery.

Anish Patankar, Senior VP, GM Healthcare Software Business at Elekta

Ambient clinical voice technology empowers physicians to document care effortlessly at the speed of voice and streamline clinical tasks within the EMR, from completing assessments to scheduling appointments, without a single mouse click. Not only is workflow efficiency significantly enhanced, but this technology also dramatically improves the patient experience because doctors now have more time to spend with their patients. Additionally, users report a significant reduction in transcription costs. We are entering a new era in healthcare efficiency and patient care.

Etienne Boshoff, Managing Director at MediConfig

Ambient clinical voice technology is being integrated into a number of healthcare settings through solutions like Dragon Ambient eXperience from Nuance. It’s designed to automatically document care, aiming to improve clinician satisfaction, patient experiences, and operational efficiencies. So far, the technology has shown potential in addressing issues such as clinician burnout – a worrying trend in healthcare right now. What I’m most excited about is the role it’ll play in EHR technology when Oracle Health rolls it out this summer. Thanks to its ability to respond to voice commands, automate note-taking, and propose context-aware next actions, such as ordering medication or scheduling labs and follow-up appointments, this could significantly increase the time available for patient care, relieving the burden of documentation and reducing burnout.

Sulabh Agarwal, Chief Technology Officer at KeyCare

Ambient clinical voice technology is changing healthcare. It promises reduced documentation time, improved care quality, reduced stress for clinicians, and improved patient interaction. However, the market’s saturation with no industry standards is complicating provider choices. Organizations should consider many factors in their decision making such as price, EMR integration, ease of workflow for clinicians, note quality, revenue cycle support, support for multiple speakers/languages, ability to use voice commands, performance, scalability, and security. Regardless of the selected tool, it only works if the data input is correct. Clinicians have to say everything out loud for it to be recorded properly and summarized.

Joseph Zabinski, Ph.D. VP, Head of Commercial Strategy & AI at OM1
Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Clinical Officer, Chief Psychiatrist and Managing Director of Mental Health and Neuroscience at OM1

The industry is seeing an uptick of ambient voice technologies used to help increase the efficiency, quality, and quantity of medical documentation. As the AI improves and adoption increases, these technologies will impact outcomes and result in regulatory-grade data, benefiting patients, and companies that utilize real-world evidence. However, to achieve success it’s critical the industry evolve alongside this technology to address quality and privacy concerns, which includes creating standards on how to handle both voice and video data from patients. We’ve already seen advanced clinics experimenting with these AI tools for documentation as they wrestle with patient comfort levels, informed consent issues, and race toward increased efficiency. Adoption will come when both clinicians and patients understand the value of these tools and risk-reducing measures are in place.

Jay Anders, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Medicomp Systems

Ambient clinical voice technology can effectively create massive amounts of text without provider interaction, but it doesn’t organize text into clinically relevant relationships, nor create computable output to satisfy quality measures, HCC analysis, E&M coding, etc. The provider still must read, correct, and approve any output like any other voice-to-text technology. Clinicians may spend less time creating notes, but this doesn’t eliminate the need to review output, correct errors or omissions, or remove something a patient says that is irrelevant or in a protected class (e.g., HIV status.) Finally, the text note must be incorporated into the visit workflow for such tasks as ordering labs, writing prescriptions, or coding for billing.

Saurabh Singh, Vice President at

Recent surveys report that nearly 70% of healthcare providers experience burnout, with 36% citing overwhelming workload as the primary reason. Healthcare professionals spend roughly 4.5 hours daily updating records. However, with AI-powered ambient listening technology, providers can reduce a significant portion of their paperwork: patient progress notes.

Innovative EHR-agnostic AI-powered ambient listening technology facilitates doctors-patients to engage in an immersive conversation, while AI is silently working in the background. It does more than just transcribing the appointments, it helps organize patient information for easy review and approval, offers relevant next steps, and minimizes administrative errors. Based on my conversations with some leading healthcare providers, they are excited to implement ambient listening technology at their healthcare practices, as it relieves them from intricate documentation and allows them to focus more on patient care.

Ma Hollingsworth, Co-Founder at Carta Healthcare

Ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) applied in healthcare data analysis and abstraction can assist doctors in determining treatment plans for patients, especially when documenting patient meeting details. Doctors will be able to dedicate their full attention to patients during sessions while allowing ACI to act as a note-taker on their behalf. However, ACI can easily decipher human words wrongly and end up providing an inaccurate transcript.

Doctors must go over the transcript manually to ensure that the patient’s words make logical sense and listen to the recording to catch inaccuracies before prescribing medication for treatment or recommending next steps in the care cycle. Think of ACI as an assistant or a shortcut provider, not as a replacement for human writing.

With ACI also comes the issue of confidentiality and data privacy. As some patients may not feel comfortable being recorded, providers must be transparent about the use of ACI technology prior to the consultation and have the patient either electronically or verbally agree to having their conversation on file.

In the grand scheme of things, ACI serves as a helpful tool to reduce clinicians’ administrative duties and improve their job satisfaction by helping them focus on patient care. As with all types of automated technology, clinicians need to learn to use ACI in a clinically relevant way that fosters trust among them, patients, and other stakeholders.

Dr. Michael Rivers, Sr. Medical Director of Ophthalmology at ModMed

The primary benefit of ambient clinical voice technology comes from reducing administrative burden. By sparing physicians from typing their own clinical notes, EHR-integrated AI helps physicians see more patients and mitigate some of the staffing issues that have plagued healthcare in recent years. While patients may have limited first-hand interaction with current AI tools that aim to streamline the back office, they ultimately stand to benefit from efficiencies derived from them since they can drive down appointment wait times or expedite insurance claims.

So many good insights into integrating ambient clinical voice technology! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time out of their day to leave us a quote and thank you to all of you for taking the time out of your day to read this article! We could not do this without your support. What do you think the impacts, challenges, or benefits are when integrating ambient clinical voice technology? Let us know either in the comments down below or over on social media. We’d love to hear from all of you!

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