Accelerating Saudi Arabia’s Healthcare Transformation with Clinical Documentation
HIMSS Europe/Nuance Communications

Berlin/Vienna, March 28, 2018. HIMSS Europe and Nuance Communications Ltd. launch today the white paper “Saudi Arabia ― How clinical documentation can help achieve Vision 2030”.

In the middle of the journey

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has ambitious plans to modernise its healthcare system, with its “Vision 2030” forming the cornerstone of its strategy. IT adoption plays a central role in driving efficiencies. The planned nationwide electronic medical record (EMR) adoption by 2020 is seen as a platform to also further the use of services that support a more productive deployment of resources, including digital clinical documentation along with speech recognition. With almost half of the surveyed hospitals in KSA voicing plans to enhance their current clinical documentation solution in the near future, this white paper explores the current status of clinical documentation as well as the awareness of cloud computing and provides guidance on how to best accomplish the implementation of electronic clinical documentation systems. The latter represents an important tool for making patient information accessible and ensuring that care providers lose substantially less time searching for medical information but spend it with patients instead.

The status of the healthcare industry

This white paper is based on intensive research that was conducted as part of the HIMSS Analytics study ‘Health Market Structure, HIS Maturity and Clinical Documentation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’. Speaking to more than 100 interviewees from hospitals in KSA, it emerged that the adoption of EMR in hospitals across Saudi Arabia is rather dichotomous with a strong bias towards hospitals in large urban communities.

As clinical documentation is taking up a fair share of Saudi physicians’ and nurses’ working time, the paper also found out that 62% of respondents document on average more than 10 pages per day and that 46% of interviewees are planning to invest into digital dictation solutions with speech recognition. This frees caregivers’ time since dictating is faster than typing or writing. Furthermore, storing clinical documents electronically also increases accessibility of data, which frees up time otherwise spend on looking for clinical documents and makes for safer patient care. Hence, these investments will contribute to a more efficient use of resources, in line with the goals laid down in the Vision 2030 roadmap.

Clinical speech recognition drives efficiencies

“The digital transformation is one of the major steps to a better and more efficient patient care. KSA has a very strong vision and has launched great initiatives to make this happen. A digital transformation is also a change management exercise, where all stakeholder need to work together. Clinical speech recognition supports healthcare professionals significantly to achieve their goals, reduce the administration burden and capture narrative patient data”, explains Milko Jovanoski, International Healthcare Marketing Manager, Nuance Communications

Frank Fritzsche, Research and Advisory Services Manager, HIMSS Europe GmbH, HIMSS Analytics, adds: “Our research into the EMR adoption across Saudi Arabia revealed that healthcare institutions see the Vision 2030 as a key driver for the healthcare sector development, especially in relation to IT implementation. Given its current EMR adoption, with advanced EMRs in major cities and handwritten records in rural clinics, the country overall has still some way to go to achieve the goals set for 2020 in this respect. There is no question about the potential of digital documentation to improve the efficiency of medical resources. And with respondents only being slightly or moderately satisfied with their current documentation solution and plans to invest into this technology, this will be an interesting space to watch.”

The White Paper can be downloaded by using the link:

About Nuance Communications
Nuance Communications is the pioneer and leader in conversational and cognitive AI innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life. The company delivers solutions that can understand, analyse and respond to human language to increase productivity and amplify human intelligence. With decades of domain and artificial intelligence expertise, Nuance works with thousands of organizations – in global industries that include healthcare, telecommunications, automotive, financial services, and retail – to create stronger relationships and better experiences for their customers and workforce. For more information, please visit

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Vanessa Richter

Nuance Communications, Inc.
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About HIMSS Europe

HIMSS Europe is a trusted coach, advisor and thought leader in health IT. HIMSS Europe is the European arm of HIMSS, the largest health IT membership organisation in the world. HIMSS is a one-stop-organisation for all health IT-related information, knowledge and advice, and offers an unrivalled perspective on what’s happening in the world of health and care IT in Europe. For more information, please visit

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