Tech Meets Touch for this Osteopath using AI with PatientNotes

When Dr. Skye Duncan set her sights on becoming an osteopath, she was originally driven by a desire to work as a veterinarian. However, her path shifted during conversations with friends, leading her to discover a passion for osteopathy.

"Osteopathy found me," Skye says. After finishing her uni degree, Skye moved away from her home in Melbourne to Queensland “in search of warmer weather.”

In 2004, Skye founded Noosa Osteopathy, establishing a clinic driven by her deep interest in health and chronic pain conditions. Her career journey has landed her in several diverse experiences, from lecturing in Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology to accompanying the Sunshine Beach Surf Lifesaving Club Masters team to Italy as their osteopath.

Coming almost full circle she has even treated animals, including elephants, at Australia Zoo. These varied roles have given Skye a unique perspective on osteopathy, allowing her to tailor her treatments to each patient's specific needs.

Balancing Work and Life with Technology

As a solo practitioner, Skye manages her practice while balancing family life and personal interests.

"I have specific timeframes for work and play. Self-care is crucial for me as a mum and as a person," she explains. This balance has been significantly enhanced by PatientNotes, the AI-powered app that streamlines the process of creating patient notes.

Before PatientNotes, Skye used cloud-based software to maintain a paperless clinic. However, the process was still time-consuming and stressful.

"Writing notes manually or typing them in was a split-head multitasking job. I often had to finish notes after hours, which was exhausting," Skye says.

The Game-Changer: PatientNotes

PatientNotes has absolutely transformed Skye's practice, beyond her expectations.

"PatientNotes has been a game-changer. I no longer spend hours finishing up notes. The stress of knowing that notes must be completed for medical-legal reasons is gone. It's all done for me."

“PatientNotes integrates seamlessly with my existing cloud-based system. I've always been tech-savvy, and PatientNotes fits perfectly into my workflow. It allows me to spend more time analysing my clients rather than multitasking."

One of the big advantages of PatientNotes is its ability to capture detailed and accurate information through voice prompts.

"I've set up prompts for initial consults and standard consults. The app captures everything I say during a session, which makes the process much more efficient."

Enriching Patient Care

The benefits of PatientNotes extend beyond just saving time. It allows Skye to maintain eye contact and engage more personally with her patients.

"I can focus on my clients without the distraction of typing notes. It makes the interaction more personal and effective. It's very intuitive. Once you set up your prompts, it’s just a matter of clicking a button,” Skye says.

PatientNotes also supports better communication with other healthcare professionals.

"The letter-writing feature is a game-changer. It allows me to quickly draft and send letters to GPs, saving me a lot of time."

The Power of Diverse Expertise

Skye's extensive experience in various fields has significantly influenced her approach to osteopathy. Her work with paediatric and pregnancy cases showcases the gentle and effective nature of osteopathic treatments.

"I love treating kids and families because osteopathy is gentle and not intimidating. It’s a lovely modality that provides advice and education without being too harsh," Skye says.

Her passion for dry needling, a technique she adopted about eight years ago, adds another dimension to her practice.

"Dry needling uses a needle to release trigger points in muscles, providing quick and effective relief. It's a soft tissue treatment that has a longer-term impact on the central nervous system compared to other modalities."

“I’m learning to get more verbal with PatientNotes to talk to it about how I've treated the patient. So I do a synopsis at the end of my consult. I'll wrap it up and I'll say, “Okay, Mr. Jones, today we've done some soft tissue on your back. I’ve used dry needling to the multifidi to release your lumbars. And then we've also looked at releasing your neck, um, with some craniosacral techniques.”

“And that way it's there. Once you set up what your expectations are from the prompts, it's fabulous. It's really easy to click a button and away you go.”

Skye's recent interest in CrossFit and functional fitness training has further enriched her understanding of the body's movements and demands. This knowledge enables her to assess and treat athletes more effectively, helping them achieve their fitness goals while preventing injuries.

Inspiring Other Professionals

Skye’s experience with PatientNotes has inspired her to recommend the app to her peers.

"I've told many of my practitioner friends about it—physiotherapists, psychologists, and doctors. There's some apprehension about AI, but I reassure them that it's safe and encrypted."

"PatientNotes has made my life less stressful and my practice more efficient. It's the biggest technological game-changer I've seen in my 25 years of practice."

Overcoming Challenges and Building a Practice

In the early days, monetary issues were the biggest challenge for Skye, as she was working for someone else. This pushed her to start her own practice; and then she faced another hurdle.

“It was challenging educating people about osteopathy. Twenty-five years ago, no one knew what an osteopath was. People thought I was a witch doctor rather than an allied health practitioner,” Skye says.

Despite these challenges, Skye's passion and dedication led her to success. She embraced each obstacle as an adventure rather than a setback. This mindset helped her establish a thriving practice where she could focus on what she loves—helping her patients achieve better health.

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