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Substantial savings and letters available same day at Manchester Fertility Clinic

Site Profile:
•   Four doctors
•   One site
•   MediTex clinical system

Challenge
•   To reduce the 2 week turnaround of patient letters
•   To reduce dependency on offsite transcription service
•   To optimise the security of confidential patient records

Results
•  Substantial savings made by not having to outsource transcriptions
• Instant update and access to patient notes and records
•  Clinic letters ready for patient as they leave the clinic
•  Increased throughput of work

 

Background
For 30 years, Manchester Fertility Clinic has offered a wide range of fertility treatments and services. It has a long-standing heritage in treating infertility and its continuous programme of investment ensures that patients benefit from the very latest proven treatment breakthroughs that science can offer to help them have a baby.

Today, speech recognition is playing a role in reducing dictation letter turnaround times, while saving the clinic money by not having to rely on a transcription service, which also reduces the risk of confidential patient letters going astray.

Time to turbo-charge turnaround times
Prior to deploying Dragon Medical, doctors at the clinic used to record their summaries and notes on digital voice recorders. The files would then be sent offsite to a transcription company to be turned into electronic letters that would be returned to and checked by the clinic. On average, the clinic was producing from eight letters per day, and the turnaround time using this process took up to two weeks following a patient consultation.

Alice Frost, Patient Advisor, expands on why the clinic chose to reassess its transcription model: “The problems with sending out the transcriptions centred on the time and cost involved. The service was expensive to use and quite a drawn out process that continued after the letters were returned. We then had to add the patients’ names to their letters, add their unique patient reference numbers then format them before sending them out.”

In addition to the time lost, there was a further concern for the team, too. “Although the letters were anonymised, we weren’t happy with the security aspect and the risks associated with sending patient letters off-site,” she added.

Dragon Medical – clinical documentation precision and productivity for healthcare professionals
To address these issues, the clinic decided to assess Dragon Medical, which has been helping medical professionals to achieve their patient care and productivity goals for many years. Offering a dedicated medical vocabulary, accuracy rates of up to 99% and capable of transcribing at up to 160 words per minute, Dragon Medical dramatically reduces the time clinicians spend documenting care – an hour or more per day, according to a number of studies.

Expert Consultation
The decision to deploy Dragon Medical as an alternative to its current process for creating medical documents was made by the clinic’s directors, following a presentation by Nuance’s Elite Healthcare partner, VoicePower Ltd. The clinic’s directors saw the value the latest in speech recognition technology could add to patient care at the clinic, how it had the potential to resolve the turnaround time issues while saving money on external transcriptions. Critically, they identified how it could address the issue of confidential patient information being sent to third parties.

VoicePower helped the doctors to get up to speed with Dragon Medical quickly, as Alice explains. “The doctors received two or three hour long training sessions. The onsite training was excellent and it was supported by phone and email backup, which has also been superb. VoicePower jumps on problems immediately and their support is first class.
Without their experience of Dragon Medical and knowledge of medical environments, the deployment would have been less efficient. They are really understanding and familiar with the needs of clinicians.”

The Importance of Workflow
VoicePower also created workflow automation commands. For example, using verbal commands, the clinic’s Dragon Medical users can launch embedded letter templates from within MediTex, its fertility database system. VoicePower also created commands whereby the existence of new letters is alerted to the secretaries.

High performance – quick to deploy, quick returns
A one-month trial was all that was needed for the clinic to benefit from using Dragon, as Alice explained:

“Dragon Medical’s accuracy, especially with respect to medical terms, stood out early on. We have an Indian and a Hungarian doctor on the team and it copes with their accents well. The technology has really progressed and I think speech recognition is the way forward for creating medical documentation.”

Dragon Medical has also delivered against the clinic’s requirement to reduce turnaround times, “The doctors get through their work much quicker now. We believe that reducing turnaround times is one measure that contributes to improved patient care and Dragon Medical helps us achieve that,” she added.

This is particularly true in more sensitive scenarios, where this increased performance can prove invaluable. “In a case where a patient has miscarried, after a consultation we’re now able to give them a detailed, personalised letter before they leave the clinic that advises them on the next care and support stages that are unique to them,” Alice stated.

Alice gave another example of how this immediacy benefits the clinic.
“Now that dictated letters go straight into MediTex for formatting, at that stage, even if the letters aren’t in the right format, consultants can immediately see what’s in the patient’s notes, even if it’s just to get the ‘gist’ about their status and treatment. This gives the doctors easy access to any updated information about a patient.”

Stating that she would “definitely recommend” Dragon Medical from VoicePower Ltd, it’s fair to say that its benefits – from the boost in productivity, completeness and accuracy of medical records, cost savings and security – can be appreciated not just by specialists like Manchester Fertility Clinic, but by Primary Care providers all the way through to NHS departments and Trusts across the country.

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Dragon Medical Practice Edition
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