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Posted on February 24, 2017

Instant document automation and processing results in ultimate patient care for GP Practice


To replace a cumbersome, outdated cassette-based system for reports.


Using digital dictation to create a seamless document workflow between authors and clerical staff.


“The best feature, by far, is the direct and quick automation of the doctor’s dictated report to the secretarial team. At a touch of a button, patient reports, referrals and notes are routed for processing across the building.”
Yvonne Lees, Oakview Medical Practice


Oakview Medical Practice is a GP Practice located in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The team comprises 11 doctors, four nurses, healthcare assistants and administrative staff. The Practice handles all aspects of primary care and local treatment, with a focus on patient attention and speed of service.

A document production system, used to create dictated reports for audio transcription, relied heavily on traditional analogue machines. Dictated recordings on mini-cassettes were bundled with patient records and handed over to administrative staff for typing. Although the process was well-understood, there was little flexibility to profile the recording, or to provide instructions for prioritising when it came to the transcription stage. Further inefficiencies occurred when analogue tapes occasionally broke or were mislaid. This resulted in patient data having to be recalled, or a search for the missing part of the patient referral to be carried out, resulting in delays.

Transforming the GP Practice’s document workflow from beginning to end

An office move to a new, larger building, the Vale Centre, provided an opportunity for Office Manager, Yvonne Lees, to investigate an IT overhaul. Yvonne asked digital dictation specialists, Voice Technologies, to recommend a user-friendly and seamless document workflow solution to replace the Practice’s outdated, cumbersome tape-based methods.

We carried out a thorough consultation with Oakview to determine both their organisational and technological requirements. Taking into account the significant quantity of documents produced daily, we recommended a digital dictation solution. 

As a result, doctors at the Practice moved from using mini-cassette tapes to Philips SpeechMikes. These USB-connected digital desktop recorders record and profile their patient reports using crystal-clear DSS recording formats that are optimised for busy working environments. Specifically designed for acute and primary care, these award-winning Philips devices also encompass anti-microbial coatings to ward off bacteria.

When doctors finish dictating a report, the file is sent instantly for transcription. This eliminates  the delays caused by waiting to finish appointments, and collating patient paperwork for handing over to clerical staff with a cassette. It also avoids the anonymous profiling and lack of guidance on urgency that were characteristic of the old analogue system. 

Clerical staff use Philips SpeechExec Pro, a digital dictation software application that hosts an automated workflow solution. It instantaneously routes doctor-created dictated files to the secretarial team while also highlighting urgency and patient profiles. The interface, specially formulated for dictation environments, enables real-time management of pending tasks with identifiable dictation length, priority and author, allowing sufficient time to process the document into finalised prose with specific attention to urgent tasks. Thanks to the sector-renowned DSS file format that records with optimised sound clarity and background noise reduction, there is clear audio playback to boost typing efficiency.