FHN Drives Transcription Costs Down with M*Modal

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Freeport Health Network, a regional healthcare system serving five counties in northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin, operates the FHN Memorial Hospital, located in Freeport, Ill., and more than 30 ambulatory sites that together offer services across roughly 40 specialties. Each day, about 1,500 people visit FHN facilities, amounting to almost 550,000 patient visits per year.

With that much traffic, maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of each patient encounter is bound to be a challenge, but FHN is having a much easier time of it thanks to M*Modal. FHN has been using M*Modal’s Fluency Direct advanced real-time speech recognition solution for documenting patient encounters since 2013.

A big part of the reason FHN adopted the M*Modal solution at the time was that it integrated easily with the Meditech electronic health record (EHR) system the agency had been using for more than 25 years. Late last year, when FHN decided to upgrade to Meditech’s Web EHR, M*Modal supported the migration without charging additional fees for the necessary reconfiguration.

“M*Modal has been an outstanding partner with noteworthy technological agility and client responsiveness,” says Michael Williams, chief information officer at FHN. “The M*Modal cloud-based platform continuously learns providers’ dictation patterns and utilizes a single speech profile so that providers can dictate from any location.”

With this implementation, FHN’s roughly 100 physicians can document accurately and completely in the upgraded EHR to meet the overarching goal of delivering higher-quality care more cost-effectively. 

“We have seen a more than 90 percent reduction in traditional transcription volume and cost by using M*Modal Fluency Direct in our Meditech environment. The collaboration between M*Modal and Meditech is also important to us in providing immediate value as well as meeting evolving needs,” Williams reports.

With M*Modal, FHN has significantly improved the speed, ease, and quality of clinical documentation and improved physician satisfaction and efficiency.

Employee satisfaction is a priority at FHN, which has helped it attract and retain a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 14,000 employees across all of its facilities. As a testament, in a national survey on work-life initiatives by Mercer and Bright Horizons, FHN ranked in the top 5 percent of the more than 400 companies involved. Additionally, Working Woman magazine named FHN one of the best places in the nation for mothers to work, and the AARP has included FHN on its “25 Best Employers for Workers Over 50” list.

With the integration between M*Modal Fluency Direct and Meditech Web EHR, physicians did not have to retrain the M*Modal system; their previously established cloud-based speech profiles were immediately available in the Web EHR. All customizations used in the legacy system, such as speech commands, templates, and macros, were also automatically carried over to the Web EHR. A unique speech-driven workflow enables physicians to dictate in real time into the patient record, edit the dictation using speech commands, and navigate fields using speech. M*Modal also provides advanced Speech Understanding technology and data analytics that enable doctors to include the context of their patient narratives into the EHR in a single step.

“We are pleased that our market-leading speech solution, powered by artificial intelligence and deep learning technology, supports Meditech and enables a seamless transition to the Web EHR platform,” said Michael Finke, president of M*Modal, in a statement. “With our robust EHR integrations, we are committed to optimizing the documentation experience of physicians and will continue to innovate to deliver value to joint clients by creating time to care and increasing return on investment.”

App at a Glance


a 90 percent reduction in transcription volume;

a 90 percent reduction in transcription costs;

improved speed, ease, and quality of clinical documentation; and

improved physician satisfaction and efficiency.

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