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The background

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) is one of the UK’s largest teaching Trusts, serving over a million people across two major hospitals.

The problem

The transcription and generation of letters was slow and inefficient. It was estimated that each secretary spent five hours a day managing the existing letter production process. The Trust needed a system that could streamline letter generation and optimise the available resources. UHCW was already efficient in capturing information from clinicians and were eager to utilise in their, highly adopted, Clinical Results Reporting System (CRRS) further.

The solution

Voice Technologies’ custom and integrated document production and digital dictation applications.

In December 2010 Voice Technologies was appointed to supply a digital dictation system, Winscribe, and document production application, WinVoicePro, subject to a successful pilot. The pilot began in May 2011 and aimed to test and prove the functionality of:

  • A Winscribe digital dictation system, including the use of –
    • Desktop PC microphones
    • Portable recorders
    • Mobile devices (BlackBerry) for community workers
  • Voice Technologies’ end to end integration with their existing CRRS
  • Online and electronic verification of letters by clinicians

We developed an end to end solution with multiple derivatives to accommodate the various disciplines. The standard process allows a clinician to begin the recording directly from the Trust’s pre-existing CRRS and clinic lists. Our integration pulls the patient’s details into the recording before sending it to the secretary for transcription of the body of the letter.

The integration means that the typed letters are send back into CRRS for electronic review and verification. Status updates are visible at all times alerting all clinicians that there are un-typed dictations for this patient, that a dictation is currently being typed and displayed here are the letters and reports for this patient. This end to end integration, where everything can be controlled and maintained through their existing CRRS, was key to the solution’s success.

The benefits The results of the pilot exceeded all expectations and user satisfaction was very high: • Cost savings to the Trust of £127,000 a year – exceeding early estimates • Improved turnaround times for letter creation – an average saving of 3.8 minutes per letter, which equated to 28,000 man hours per year • The elimination of excessive transfer periods – voice files are automatically and immediately routed to medical secretaries for transcription and the letters are sent back to clinicians for electronic review and approval • Improved accuracy of data – clinicians can make changes directly to letters without involving the typist • Instant publication of letter on CRRS – saving time for clinicians and secretaries • Improved audio recording quality – digital recordings ensure crystal clear clarity of sound

Digital recordings also remove the risk of loss or damage to analogue tapes. There were no corrupted or lost digital files during the pilot phase, compared with a high level of risk associated with analogue tapes.

Looking to the future The pilot phase was constrained to four key areas of the Trust – Haematology, Paediatric Orthopaedics, Breast Surgery and parts of the Respiratory department. Yet the savings produced were substantial and scalable to the remainder of the Trust. The financial return alone will see the Trust cost neutral within a matter of months.

The Trust is currently considering this option.

Summary The adoption of our integrated digital dictation system has resulted in significant cost savings. Productivity has dramatically improved and so have clinical communications. Ultimately, this has lead to improved patient care.

About Voice Technologies Voice Technologies is a leading document production, speech recognition and digital dictation company. Our solutions work with your existing processes, to deliver real financial benefits. We understand your industry, the way your people work and the benefits you need to achieve.