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Nuance expands AI-based platform to help surgeons with documentation

The healthcare division of Nuance Communications announced it has developed an artificial intelligence-based platform, the Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) solution, to help surgeons with documentation before and after operations.


With the help of AI-based algorithms, CAPD is designed to help streamline operative reporting and procedural note documentation in real time and is designed to ensure accurate, timely and complete documentation within a user-friendly interface, Nuance said.

The CAPD solution works across ambulatory and acute care settings and is embedded directly into the electronic health record workflow, so it enables surgeons to capture accurate, complete, “coder ready” documentation, the company contended.

Surgeons are presented with their personal operative notes without the requirement to search, and with options to document the required fields to accurately record the complexity of the patient and procedure.

Once the surgeon completes a patient’s postoperative report, Nuance electronically sends a copy of it and its suggested charge capture to the appropriate billing office.


“The AI component is critical to the efficiency and ease of use as it relates to workflow, helping to guide surgeons through the documentation process by providing the relevant, episodic, in-workflow guidance needed to capture the required level of specificity and relative completeness of the note leading to appropriate reimbursement in a complex specialty,” Nuance senior vice president and general manager of provider solutions Michael Clark told Healthcare IT News.

Clark claimed health systems currently using Nuance’s solution have seen retrospective coding queries fall by 92%. He pointed to the North Mississippi Ambulatory Surgical Center, which within a year of adopting the CAPD platform was able to reduce documentation expenses by more than $40,000 and reduce the billing cycle by an average of eight days.


The next generation of AI-based technology, Clark said, will take a multi-party colloquial conversation between the clinical team and the patient to create a narrative and structured data – eliminating the keyboard from the surgical room completely.

“We refer to this as an ambient environment because it enables the care team to focus on patient safety and care delivery, while the clinical note is drafted and coded based on advanced AI technologies, voice biometrics and infrared machine vision,” he said. “It’s documentation that writes itself.”

He noted Nuance is currently piloting its Ambient Clinical Intelligence solution at several health systems and expects to roll it out commercially in early 2020.

A July report from research firm Frost & Sullivan indicated the rise of AI and virtual reality technologies is set to drive an increase in the number of integrated operating rooms, estimating 35% to 45% of ORs across the world would become “integrated ORs” within the next four years.

These integrated ORs will utilize intelligent technologies to improve the precision and predictability of the surgical services on offer, although the report also noted cybersecurity, alongside interoperability, would remain a key challenge in terms of the successful implementation of connected OR solutions.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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