Turnaround times reduced, money and time saved at Whetstone Medical Centre

Whetstone Medical Centre reduces turnaround times, saves personnel time and money by adopting speech recognition from VoicePower Ltd.

Site Profile:

  • – Six doctors
  • – Wirral CCG
  • – VoicePower client since 2013



  • – Inefficient dictation system
  • – Strain on secretarial resources
  • – Necessity to reduce turnaround times



  • – Faster referral letter generation
  • – Reduced turnaround times
  • – Secretarial time freed up to help in other areas
  • – Money saved



Like many GP practices, Whetstone Medical Practice in Birkenhead was facing increasing workloads alongside the ever present need to cut costs and improve patient care. In February 2013, the practice paid focus to its inefficient dictation system and began researching possible replacements as a way of addressing some of the issues faced.

A fellow Wirral GP and existing VoicePower Ltd client recommended VoicePower to the practice. VoicePower Ltd is a Nuance Healthcare, Olympus and Philips Partner and is a specialist in implementing speech recognition technologies within primary and secondary care.



Dr Nicolas Shah and Practice Manager Anita Jones, met with Vicky Humberstone from VoicePower Ltd to explore the alternatives further.  They explained their current working practices and what they hoped to achieve by employing something new. The doctors had expressed their wish to have a system that could be used for consultations, emails and Microsoft Word templates. VoicePower was able to demonstrate the solutions which would best suit their needs and advise on the most effective means of implementing a new system.

The Solution

Having seen the options on offer and considered the advantages to be found from each, the site opted for speech recognition.  Following the recommendations VoicePower made, this consisted of; Dragon Medical 11, Philips SpeechMike handheld devices and full training with software assurance.


Installation commenced in April 2013 and each GP received two half-day training sessions during which time they were shown how to use the solution and get the best from the new technology.  Training included a focus on template completion, email and dictation within and automation of their EMIS clinical system. VoicePower supplied a suite of bespoke Dragon voice commands which have been created to control EMIS. This is supplied as standard with VoicePower’s professional services.

Ongoing Support

Follow up calls and remote sessions were made by VoicePower to ensure a smooth transition following training and the continual support package in place enabled any queries or questions raised to be resolved and answered immediately.

VoicePower programmed buttons on the SpeechMikes for ease of use and quick access to regularly used features.  This further enhanced the speed and ease with which GPs could access and create reports.

VoicePower also equipped the practice with the Notifier utility, which provides a link between the GP (dictator) and the secretarial team, by highlighting once new dictations are produced. Work types – including Urgent, Routine, Referral and Miscellaneous – were also established to aid the prioritisation and organisation of work.

Within a very short space of time the practice found it had been able to cast aside the inefficient and dated dictation system previously in place and to equip the team with a fast and effective workflow system reaping great benefits for the GPs, administrators and patients alike.  Using Dragon, reports and notes could be dictated by the GP resulting in a finished document rather than a laborious checking and amending reporting loop. Secretaries could simply proof read and send communication, meaning turnaround times had been immediately reduced. The administration team, freed from the ties of dictation queues, were able to spend more time on other tasks and patients were able to receive paperwork more quickly.
Anita Jones explains: “We have found that since using the system it has speeded up referral letters and is also a tidier and more efficient system than our old Dictaphones. The system has enabled us to free up secretarial time to assist in other departments thus saving the practice money. Any hiccups that we experienced when initially using the system were sorted with a simple phone call or email.”

Since the original installation, the site has upgraded to Dragon Medical Practice 2 Edition to ensure it keeps abreast of the technology and all it has to offer.  Through the software assurance cover they hold they are now also entitled to Dragon Medical Practice Edition 3 which is the latest release of the software.

Client testimonial

“Just wanted to say how pleased we have been with     the voice recognition system.  The training in particular was excellent.  The Partners and staff would all happily recommend your service to any interested party.”

Anita Jones, Practice Manager


See the system in action

screen shot of video for web page

Click this link to watch Dr Nicolas Shah using the Dragon speech recognition software, EMIS Web and VoicePower’s Notifier solution.




Dragon Medical Practice Edition
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