Posted on January 10, 2019
Clinical correspondence workflow at George Eliot Hospital transformed by WinVoicePro
To replace an outdated manual document creation process and facilitate verification by clinicians.
A combination of digital dictation with WinVoicePro creates a more efficient document workflow.
- Clear dictation reduces the risk of error and results in higher levels of productivity
- Electronic verification by clinicians and electronic distribution to GPs avoids printing thousands of letters each year
Faster response to patients and GPs results in fewer queries.
“Staff have welcomed the WinVoicePro-based system because it’s easy to use, reliable and, most importantly, allows them to issue letters faster.”
Stuart Sidebottom, Project Manager, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust provides a range of hospital and community based services to more than 300,000 people across North Warwickshire, South West Leicestershire and North Coventry.
The hospital opened in 1948. Today, it employs around 2,000 staff who provide a range of elective, non-elective, surgical, medical, women’s, children’s, diagnostic and therapeutic services, as well as a full range of sexual health services.
Before 2017, the Trust was experiencing the disadvantages synonymous with an analogue dictation process. This involved multiple manual steps which had the potential to cause delays in sending tapes to secretaries and ran the risk of tapes going astray. Poor sound quality required some dictations to be repeated which caused further delay. The inherently time-consuming nature of the process ultimately led to backlogs and the risk of missing deadlines.
The Trust invited suppliers to propose a solution to the issues it was experiencing. Voice Technologies was selected on the basis of our:
- Successful deployments at neighbouring sites – University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
- Fast and efficient implementation of digital devices with minimal interruption to operations
- Interface to upload documents to Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) and results viewing system.
Service improvements and cost reductions
Voice Technologies addressed the need to digitise the document creation process by creating a combined system of digital dictation and WinVoicePro.
WinVoicePro is an electronic document workflow application that works seamlessly with the Trust’s existing systems. Developed by Voice Technologies in collaboration with the NHS, UK-wide it has resulted in savings to date of over £13m.
The system, launched in March 2017, sees dictations being processed via Winscribe (industry standard software) and WinVoicePro. Both are geared to the client’s needs by making dictations faster and more accurate. This software is combined with hardware that delivers the highest quality audio in any recording situation: Philips SpeechMike Premium handheld digital dictation devices with antimicrobial housing and buttons, and Digital Pocket Memo 8000 portable recorders.
The workflow we have developed in collaboration with George Eliot Hospital is designed to be as simple as possible for users. Voice Technologies receives an HL7 feed from the PAS for patient data (address, DOB, GP and appointment details). Once a letter is created within WinVoicePro, we send an HL7 Message containing a PDF version of the letter to the GP via EDT and a copy is also sent to the results viewing system.
How is the system performing?
Eighteen months after deployment, the system is used by over 500 clinical and secretarial staff. It is installed locally on shared PCs and enables clinicians to verify remotely using VPN when necessary, further speeding up the process. With the development of a web-based interface, clinicians can also verify Trust letters at other secure sites via the N3 network.
Secretaries can now see their current workload clearly on-screen, with the ability to view how many dictations and letters are queued. Managers can allocate work to specific individuals and can also see the time spent on each dictation. When printing is essential, multiple documents can be printed simultaneously which saves secretarial time.
The Trust has reported that the system has:
- generated 220,000 documents
- issued 156,000 EDT copies direct to GPs
- reduced postage costs by 50%
- saved 15,000 hours.
(Mar 2017 – Nov 2018 inc.)
“I am very pleased with the delivery of this project and the Trust is already reaping rewards from using the system.”