Dr. Andrew Laster, Rheumatology
A stickler for details under stress
Dr. Andrew Laster is a 66-year-old rheumatologist who often sees complex cases. It wasn’t uncommon for him to spend one or two hours per day after patient visits on lengthy dictations, which he found increasingly stressful. Furthermore, he often felt frustrated over the amount of information he needed to enter into patient electronic health records (EHR).
Lower workload and more time with patients
From 2016 until the onset of the pandemic, Dr. Laster used Google Glass in-office to communicate with his remote Augmedix assistant. The necessity to begin using protective face shields in early 2020, however, created logistical challenges with the Google Glass headpiece. Fortunately, transitioning from smartglass to smartphone was easy, and the new arrangement has worked well with telemedicine and in the office.
Regardless of device used, Dr. Laster has found the connection with his Augmedix assistant a significant boon to his efficiency. The assistant can access his EHR, pre-populate the chart for each visit, and provide specific patient information immediately upon request. He frequently asks his assistant to identify less common ICD10 codes. His patients appreciate that he spends more time speaking with them and less time entering information.
As with many clinicians, COVID-19 brought about numerous changes for Dr. Laster – particularly in the way he sees patients.
Dr. Laster rotates patient visits between seeing patients one week in-clinic, then two weeks via telemedicine from his home. The flexibility of Augmedix has allowed him to continue to use Google Glass in his clinic, then switch to using Augmedix via smartphone to communicate with his assistant, with no changes or delays in service.
Interestingly, Dr. Laster has increased his patient schedule using his blended approach. Because fewer patients see him in person, he uses one dedicated exam room instead of several, which means he spends less time moving between rooms. Thanks to his Augmedix assistant, patient records are at his fingertips.
By incorporating Augmedix into his in-office and telehealth visits, Dr. Laster now uses the time saved to lower his workload, enjoy patient visits, and spend more time with new consults.