Global digital exemplar trust leverages speech recognition to reduce paperwork, eliminate backlogs, and improve clinician-patient relationships
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has deployed Dragon Medical Network Edition to relieve clinicians’ growing administrative burden and support mobile working.
The deployment – following the trust being granted Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) funding to invest in digital and technology investments – aims to improve working practices for staff and frontline care for patients.
The rollout of the technology will act as a tool to reduce clinical documentation workloads, support remote working, eliminate the backlog of reporting associated with detailed patient records, and replace legacy, analogue dictation workflows to free up healthcare employees to focus on patient care.
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is the main provider of community and mental health services across the area, employing over 3,500 staff, with around 26,000 recorded patient contacts every week.
The move to clinical speech recognition has transformed our clinical documentation strategy – freeing up clinicians and even providing secure access to patient records on the go
The community and mental health team – including pediatricians, mental health nurses and other allied health professionals (AHPs) – were the most hindered by the greatest burden of paperwork and backlog of clinical administration.
The sheer volume of clinical documentation was heavily impacting employees’ working hours and work-life balance.
Karen Edwards, an occupational therapist, explains: “The mountain of admin became oppressive to the point I just didn’t want to do the job anymore. Then we deployed Dragon Medical speech recognition and I caught up with a backlog of two years’ worth of clinical records in just three weeks.”
David Brown, IT director, added: “The Dragon Medical deployment has marked many positive improvements for our clinicians, including significantly enhancing workforce productivity and mobility.
“The move to clinical speech recognition has transformed our clinical documentation strategy – freeing up clinicians and even providing secure access to patient records on the go.
We hope other trusts can learn from this process, ensuring patients and staff alike can benefit from more timely, accurate and efficient patient records.”
The Dragon Medical deployment has marked many positive improvements for our clinicians, including significantly enhancing workforce productivity and mobility
A previous study commissioned by Nuance, analysing the impact of the deployment of speech recognition within the Emergency Department (ED) at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, found similar positive outcomes as a result of the deployment of speech recognition technology.
The study found the average time saved using speech recognition versus typing was almost three minutes per patient. Extrapolating this average time saving per annum results in the equivalent of gaining almost two full-time ED clinicians.
Nine in 10 (86%) clinicians involved in the deployment at South Tees also agreed that speech recognition enabled more-accurate and complete patient notes – with most (67%) clinicians also believing patients had no concerns with their use of the technology.
Dr Simon Wallace, chief clinical information officer at Nuance, said: “Against a multitude of challenges – from budget constraints to an aging population – the NHS’s dedicated healthcare professionals work to deliver world-class patient services.
“However, our health system still needs to improve clinical documentation processes to underpin better patient care – an example set by Worcester with this latest announcement.
@Digital clinical documentation is vitally important in tracking any patient’s journey, but more patients means more patient records. Intelligent systems that help clinicians naturally document care so they can focus on patients are essential to optimise clinical and financial outcomes and are set to make significant impact in the industry.”