A Closer Look at M*Modal, Epic’s New Dictation Tool

“It’s amazing.” “Easy to use.” “So simple.”

This is what Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) providers are saying about M*Modal, the new vendor for dictation providing two software solutions: Fluency Direct and Fluency for Transcription. Fluency Direct provides a speech-to-text option, while Fluency for Transcription is a traditional transcription service. Both options are offered as part of the rollout with Epic, the new electronic medical record and business platform.

In March, Columbia care teams launched an M*Modal pilot in CROWN. More than 200 providers are using the service: 136 providers are checking out Fluency for Transcription solutions and 80 providers are trying out Fluency Direct.

Streamlining Workflows, Saving Time

Sahil Parikh, MD, director of endovascular services in the Division of Cardiology, says M*Modal’s integration with the patient record creates workflow efficiencies. He pointed out one approach that allows patients to have a greater role in their care.

“Depending on a physician’s style, you can dictate with the patient in front of you. They often correct information and gain a better understanding of their care plan,” Parikh said. “There’s more engagement and less time spent in front of the computer.”

Parikh also says one of the best improvements is that M*Modal allows doctors to use their smartphones, which eliminates the need to carry a microphone.

Alina Sokolinskaya, practice manager at the Structural Heart and Valve Center in the Division of Cardiology, said the time saving is incredible. She said her team has regained two to three hours a week, and patient encounters are closed much sooner.

“We have experienced significant workflow improvements. It’s amazing,” she said, describing Fluency. “The systems talk to one another. It’s timely and creates a more complete patient record.”

Sokolinskaya added that M*Modal also is improving the team’s work with Revenue Cycle. Before the introduction of M*Modal, her team would receive at least two emails a week from Revenue Cycle. In the six weeks since her team joined the pilot, she said, “We haven’t received a single email.”

Details About Each Service

Fluency for Transcription is a solution offered by M*Modal for traditional dictation (similar to other transcription services, such as Phoenix MedCom and World Wide Dictation). Documentation can be dictated via a mobile app or calling into the M*Modal data center. An interface has been developed between the M*Modal data center and CROWN. Once the note is returned, the provider will receive a task message to review and sign off on the document.

Fluency Direct is a solution offered by M*Modal for front-end speech recognition directly into the workstation. The software is installed on workstations and the dictation is completed via USB or mobile microphone app.

M*Modal pilot project managers recently surveyed pilot participants for feedback. The initial response shows overwhelming benefits to using the new service. If you would like to participate, please contact Corrine Depue at cd3095@cumc.columbia.edu.