Posted on May 29, 2017

Speech recognition system enhances efficiency of Pathology department at NHS Lanarkshire

Challenge

To save time and increase productivity by reducing the number of steps required to create reports. 

Solution

Specialist speech recognition software, combined with digital dictation, accelerates the document creation process.

Results

“Combining speech recognition with our reporting process means that, instead of the old four-step process, reports are now dictated and finished in a single session.”
Dr Roderick Campbell, Consultant Pathologist, NHS Lanarkshire

Background

NHS Lanarkshire employs 14 Consultant Pathologists across three hospitals and handles approximately 1,869 tissue blocks each week. Of these, 661 reports are requested. The Pathologists have a pool of secretaries who normally type reports for the consultants

into the text fields of their laboratory system, TrakCare. Sending files for transcription added more time to the report production process and resulted in inevitable delays in patient treatment.

The department needed to reduce the number of steps involved in creating reports, and to decrease the secretarial typing burden. It was also critical that the solution was user-friendly, offered a seamless interface with existing systems and was reliable.

Typing time reduced to nil 

The Pathology department already used a digital dictating system installed by Voice Technologies. Our experts explained clearly how speech recognition could enhance this system and guided the client through each stage of the implementation process. The new system enables consultants to dictate reports directly into the compatible component of TrakCare. The report is authorised by the consultant immediately, removing the need to send it to clerical staff for typing. The result is a simpler, more efficient procedure that produces reports faster than before. 

The implementation of speech recognition at NHS Lanarkshire’s has been a success from day one. It has fulfilled the client’s objectives by relieving the pressure on secretarial resources as well as on the digital dictation system itself.

The most important outcome is that patient care has improved. By enabling reports to be turned around faster, patients can start treatment earlier. In addition, secretarial resources are now used to provide wider, more valuable support to consultants.

There are spin-off benefits too – the Pathology department’s digital dictation and transcription system is now frequently used to provide even faster support to clinicians for gross specimen, post mortem and departmental administration.