From the library of What’s next: archives from From the editor

5 reasons why artificial intelligence in healthcare makes a difference

Nuance’s latest version of Dragon Medical Practice Edition boasts a host of artificial intelligence features but what does this really mean for GPs and practice teams dealing with challenges of the here and now; increasing workload and a demand for improved healthcare outcomes. Here we decode the AI jargon and explain 5 reasons why the AI in our new version of this ever-popular clinical speech recognition software really matters.


1. AI in speech recognition.

    AI is a very broadly used term and there are very many definitions but, simply put, it is the use of computing power to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. Dragon Medical Practice Edition is clever, powerful software that adapts to you and your environment. Using your voice as an interface with the device (computer, tablet, smartphone etc), the AI in the Dragon Medical Practice Edition uses acoustic (sound) and language learning programs (algorithms) to interpret your voice and by doing so it replaces traditional methods of typing, pointing and clicking with keyboard and mouse. You are able to do a previously time-consuming part of your job – capturing and updating the patient story within clinical documentation – much more naturally, quickly and accurately.

    2. Deep Learning.

      Traditional AI algorithms analyse data linearly. Deep learning algorithms process data in a non-linear way and mimic the way in which our human brain learns and recognises patterns. The software can then make predictions based on this. The application of this sort of tech has been enabled by more data and more powerful hardware. Our speech recognition engine recognises and learns your voice patterns, dialects and accents to significantly improve precision during the dictation even in environments with more ambient background noise e.g. in open office or on-the-go. This means the speech recognition is fast and accurate wherever you are dictating. Get more done in less time and with greater accuracy, wherever you are


      3. Neural Network.

        Is an interconnected group of nodes, akin to the vast network of neurons in the human brain and it enables the the software to check the context of the dictation on a much larger scale resulting in great speech recognition accuracy. Using the software is ‘feels’ fluid, adapting to your style. There are very few interruptions to the flow of your dictation

        4. Next Generation.

          Our speech recognition is very powerful, fast and very accurate in fact it is the most advanced in the healthcare market and our ongoing commitment to R&D ensures that the investment you make in Dragon Medical Practice Edition today will last a very long time into the future.

          5. Nuance are pioneers in research and development of speech recognition technologies.

            Nuance’s focus and investment in speech recognition R&D ensures our healthcare products incorporate the latest, most powerful and proven technology. We keep abreast of developments in healthcare, adapting our software to meet its changing needs and making sure we stay ahead of competitors. Dragon Medical Practice Edition is designed with general practice needs in mind. It is easy to learn, easy to use, very fast and its accurate and reliable making you more productive more quickly.

            Get ahead. Get AI.

            Bring artificial intelligence into the GP surgery to boost productivity and patient care. Request a demo.

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            7 cybercrime questions for business leaders to ask

            Business leaders must recognize that cybercrime is now a day-to-day business reality and priority. No one is immune: It’s not a question of “if” your organization will be affected; it’s a question of “when.”

            Business leaders must recognize that cybercrime is now a day-to-day business reality and priority. No one is immune: It’s not a question of “if” your organization will be affected; it’s a question of “when.”

            That’s a sobering thought, but also one that should inspire business leaders to change and move their organizations forward. A malware incident like the NotPetya attack of June 27 required a cascade of quick reactions to contain the incident, protect our clients and safely restore services as quickly as possible.

            It also represented an opportunity for us to reflect on how we act and think as an organization.

            First, it’s critical for everyone to recognize how truly malicious malware can be. Viruses and worms that once explored a limited network or stole a limited amount of data have evolved into the current crop of infiltrators capable of business disruption and destruction.

            In this day and age, it is the difference between a burglar who comes into your house just to prove he can or a thief who steals a few valuables, and a new type of criminal who comes onto your property solely to wreak havoc and destroy everything possible.

            These criminal viruses and worms are evolving each day and we must all work together to prevent their intended business disruption and destruction.

            At Nuance, we have taken the time to go the extra mile, including implementing comprehensive network hardening and micro-segmentation. We also have enhanced security practices and protocols, for example, adding additional access controls.

            While enhancing our systems and making them more resilient, we also are learning a lot about how individuals and teams perform during the pressure of an event like the malware incident.

            We believe every organization should consider how to identify leaders who can inspire their teams, remain optimistic and help others handle the personal pressures of working through serious operational challenges. After all, cybercrime is not only a direct challenge to technology resilience—but also to business resilience.

            To better prepare for the sophisticated cybercrimes of the future, business leaders need to ask the right questions now. Below are seven important security questions every leader should consider:

            Cybercrime is part of the new reality for every company, organization, and person. What can you be doing now to prepare for this scenario?
            Do those policies actually translate into deployed security capabilities?
            Have you developed a crisis and disaster plan and communicated it broadly throughout your organization?
            How would you communicate to your staff, your board, your customers and your patients?
            What are your primary vulnerabilities? What measures are you taking to ensure patient data is protected?
            Do you understand and align with your vendors’ security policies, and do you have the appropriate validation and/or risk assessment programs in place?
            Have you identified a team of outside experts to help in case of an incident, including cyber security firms?
            We are learning and sharing everything we can from our cybercrime experience. This experience has made us and those that partner with us stronger.

            Allied Health Professionals lead system improvements in the NHS

            With 170,000 Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in the UK delivering over 4 Million client/ patient interactions per week, AHPs are very well placed to positively influence public health in the UK across NHS, Social Care, Education, Private and Voluntary Sectors, working across the life-course in a wide range of specialties, using evidence based behaviour approach, deploying interventions which develop ongoing relationships and rapport with patients.
            Physical therapist stretching mans leg

            DynamicHealth, provided by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, is actively involved in an initiative called This is a sustainability and transformation programme covering hospital services, community healthcare, mental health, social care and GP services (primary care). The aim is to work together and take joint responsibility for improving the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough population’s health and wellbeing, outcomes and experiences of care.

            Community Services getting fit for the future

              To accommodate the growth in demand for services, and reduce the dependence upon back-office support, Sarah Saul, Service Manager, DynamicHealth chose investments in technology and partnerships with technology providers that would maximise front-line services and reduce/release administration backlogs and workload.

              “Physiotherapy and other Allied Health Professional services are undergoing exciting changes leading to whole system improvements in the NHS. Dragon Medical integrated into our clinical documentation delivers efficiencies that support that change and our growth”, confirms Sarah Saul, Service Manager, DynamicHealth.

              Speech recognition takes the strain

                Sarah chose Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition front-end speech recognition integrated into the clinical documentation workflow. During or between patient appointments the Therapists use Dragon Medical Practice Edition to directly update the EPR using voice macros to speed navigation between fields and populate regularly used blocks of standard text. For clinic letters, a voice command is used to call up the template for the clinic letter with pre-created ‘Clinical Impression’ and ‘Management Plan’ fields followed by an area for free text. Using Dragon Medical Practice Edition, letter creation, proof reading and finalising takes five to ten minutes for a new patient and less time for a follow up appointment. Swiftly, following the clinic, letter processing is then completed by the administrator and sent out to the GP and patient.

                Service improvement

                  The goal for the length of time on the MSK pathway is eighteen weeks and the whole team has experienced improvements to this timescale as a result of reduced report and letter backlogs, faster referrals to secondary care and time freed up to chase diagnostic reports and patient and other patient facing activities. Dragon Medical has improved the quality of notes within the team easily dealing with accents and mumbling. Accurate spelling, fewer abbreviations and more complete notes have improved communication with patients, within the team and with other specialties. Letter turnaround has been reduced from weeks to days.

                  Let us help you accelerate your transformation!

                  But where to start? Read how our customers used speech recognition to make a change and contact us to speak to an expert!

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                  5 tips for rolling out successful healthcare speech recognition projects

                  “Speech recognition should be considered a project in and of its own right not just about adding a usability feature. It’s a disruptive technology which must be deployed as a full-blown project,” insists Olivier Boussekey, IT manager at Saint-Joseph Hospital, Paris who rolled-out a successful paperless healthcare project. Based on the feedback from this and other customer and partner projects we have identified five tips you should follow to achieve your own successful speech recognition deployment.
                  hands and fingers


                  1. Map out and engage ALL your stakeholders including your medical secretaries and back-office support team

                    Speech recognition rollouts are usually part of a broader healthcare efficiency strategy which will involve new service models and ways of working. Historic workflows involving clinicians, medical secretaries and other back-office resources should all be considered and reviewed when planning the new workflows.  The early engagement of all your support and back-office resources are essential. Why? Because the devil is often in the detail. Medical secretary and other administration resources will have detailed knowledge of processes, links to interfacing organisations, current snags and great ideas about how to overcome them. Also, they are often the personal interface with the patient.  Their positive involvement can be the difference between project success and failure.

                    2. Put yourself in your clinicians’ shoes

                      The relationship between clinicians and IT departments is not always easy. Clinicians criticise IT for not understanding their daily lives and vice versa. Several practical examples have revealed the benefits of the IT team immersing themselves in the daily life of the clinicians. At Saint-Joseph Hospital in Paris, actively listening to the needs of medical practitioners was a priority for the IT team who spent time in each department, observing the uses of speech recognition in medical practice. They were able to detect problems that the project team had not previously raised: clinicians were accustomed to leaving an audio or paper note for the secretary advising them of a specific action to take. With front-end speech recognition clinicians weren’t able to do this in the same way. Instead, the IT team created a “Post-it” in the EPR that delivered the same result.
                      Get down onto the ‘shop floor’, get close to your clinicians and put yourself in their shoes. Technology should serve the clinicians – not the other way around.

                      3. Training, training, training

                        At the first level, speech recognition training is quick and easy. At St Joseph it took less than 4 weeks for 100 clinicians to be operational. However, for clinicians to maximise the full potential and power of speech recognition in their day-to-day work they must master a multitude of standard and customised features and commands. For example, for a medical note or report, rather than dictating and correcting as you go along it is preferable to dictate the entire text first and then correct any errors by voice once that segment of dictation has ended. In this way the software learns from its errors. Without correction, just like any individual, the software will repeat its error.
                        Training doesn’t have to take place in a classroom environment. If the basics are in place then innovative ways of delivering training on-the-job, as at Alderhey Children’s Hospital, can be efficient and effective.

                        4. Support, support, support

                          Deploying a dedicated support team to help clinicians in real-time is a common feature of successful projects. In all healthcare organisations that have successfully completed their projects, the IT team have set up a system to quickly respond to clinicians’ requests, identify bottlenecks and speedily resolve any user problems. At Saint-Joseph Hospital the IT Director was part of the support team and included himself on the ‘hotline’ for clinicians to report difficulties or request support. direct to his mobile phone. Finding and taking ownership of a solution always requires supervision, even when the solution is easy to use.

                          5. The end of the beginning

                            Speech recognition is not a secret sauce although the new generation of technology based on deep learning and neural networks is truly amazing in terms of its immediacy, precision and quality. Once your clinicians are using speech recognition on a daily basis and are beginning to understand and feel the benefits it is time to refine the use of automatic templates and voice commands customised to their workflows and specialties. At CHU Nantes, the project team organise regular meetings with clinicians in order to share experiences and answer outstanding questions. At St-Joseph Hospital in Paris they distribute newsletters to share tips and tricks from colleagues.

                            Each project is unique but in our experience these 5 simple tips hold true for all successful healthcare speech recognition projects.

                            Transform the way you work

                            Learn how healthcare organisations have implemented speech recognition projects that have transformed the delivery of services, the lives of clinicians and improved patient outcomes

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                            Let’s give GPs more time to care

                            The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for GPs to be given more time to care; especially for patients who are isolated and lonely. Capturing information about these patients, who often have several comorbidities, is an important part of delivering their care, particularly with multidisciplinary teams. Recording sufficient level of detail in the electronic patient record (EPR) therefore becomes a crucial link and communication tool and with GPs hard-pressed for time, speech to text is one way this detail can be captured quickly and easily.
                            Male nurse and boy using stethoscope

                            With UK general practice under significant pressure and GPs showing their frustration by threatening to leave the NHS, it feels as though we have reached a crisis point. The situation looks bad for GPs who struggle to spend what they feel is an appropriate amount of time with their patients. There is also a detrimental impact on patient care to consider, especially for those patients who are lonely and isolated.

                            Recently the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners made this a central theme at the RCGP’s annual conference in Liverpool. At the conference, Dr Stokes-Lampard said: “GPs see patients, many of whom are widowed, who have multiple health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and depression. But often their main problem isn’t medical: they’re lonely.

                            “The guidelines say we should be talking to them about their weight, exercise, and prescribing more medication, but really what these patients need is someone to listen to them and to find purpose in life. GPs need the time to care — don’t make us spend it ticking boxes, preparing for inspections, or worrying that we haven’t followed guidelines for fear of repercussions. Trust us to be doctors so that we can treat our patients like human beings and tailor their treatment to their needs.”

                            However, giving pressured GPs the task of addressing the complex issues of loneliness and social isolation is not only a big ask, it comes at a time when workloads have also increased. Research from the Universities of Oxford and Bristol published in The Lancet found that workloads in general practice have increased by 16 per cent over the past seven years.

                            These facts were echoed by the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice that calls for a safe manageable workload and more time with patients.

                            As I have highlighted in previous blogs, the primary care team is drowning under the burden of clinical documentation. When you take into account factors such as loneliness and social isolation, there is a wealth of relevant contemporaneous detail that needs to be recorded in the EPR.

                            This cannot be easily captured in a tick box type of documentation format and the unstructured output of the consultation needs to be recorded. This is one important area where the use of speech recognition could not only make that capture easier, but also save time with its completion.

                            Not being able to capture this level of detail in the EPR can have a significant impact for people who are a greater risk of developing health illnesses because they are lonely and isolated. From a multidisciplinary team perspective, it means there will be gaps in the record and a reduced likelihood that potential problems will be picked up.

                            This is just one area where capturing detail can be improved. GPs I have spoken are using speech to text for insurance reports, DVLC requests and also to send and receive emails.

                            If you are still in any doubt about whether it works, consider the results at the Dukinfield Medical Practice. The speed with which the reports are completed has enabled the practice to treat four more patients per day – this is particularly important for the practice, which is facing the challenge of patient numbers rising by approximately 5.0 per cent a year.

                            The GPs have also reported that patient letters are now much more detailed than before, capturing a more complete view of the patient’s story which, in turn, leads to better care. The new process has also enabled the secretarial team to concentrate on other, more patient-focused, tasks.

                            There are also financial savings that can be made as Waterloo Medical Group has discovered. By using speech recognition, it has been able to ease several of the pressure points shared by many doctors, while also making cost savings of approximately £15,000 within 12 months and improving the turnaround times for clinical documentation.

                            At the RCGP’s conference Dr Stokes-Lampard called for increased funding. “We need the £2.4bn [€2.7bn; $3.2bn] a year extra for general practice—promised in NHS England’s GP Forward View—delivered in England, in full. And we need equivalent settlements for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and we need them fast,” she told the RCGP’s conference.

                            The extra funding would of course be welcome, but it has to be used effectively. The challenge for the NHS is how to ensure that can GPs benefit from technology like speech to text. NHS England has recognised the need for action to address GPs’ workload with a three-year £30m ‘Time to Care’ development programme, which will support the release of up to 10 per cent of GPs’ time. Investing in smart technology and innovative ways of working need to be factored in – and that includes painless yet simple ways to capture clinical data as part of the clinical documentation process – speech recognition has an important role to play to meet that need.

                            Free-up time to care

                            Discover how speech recognition integrated into your clinical documentation gives you back an hour or more per day freeing you to focus on your patients and put them back at the centre of your care

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                            NHS Digital: time to do its homework on clinical documentation

                            The newly-launched NHS Digital Academy has plenty of potential to transform the NHS through digital innovation. However, the training programme must acknowledge the challenge of clinical documentation and the impact it is having on frontline staff. One technology that the new cadre of Digital Academy trainees should be aware of is speech recognition software, which is already being used inside and widely outside the NHS.
                            NHS Digital must do its homework on clinical documentation

                            The NHS Digital Academy, launched in Manchester August 2017, is the fruition of another Robert Wachter recommendation. Over the next three years it will train up to 300 digital leaders starting with chief clinical information officers (CCIOs) and chief information officers (CIOs). Rachel Dunscombe, CIO at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has become its chief executive and describes it as the ‘beginning of a profession’.

                            Understandably there is a lot of excitement and attention on the Academy. Its chair Lord Ara Darzi, former health minister and head of Imperial’s Health Innovation Unit wants CCIOs and CIOs to be sitting as executive members of boards. He says this is because ‘these leaders are the only way we are going to drive digital implementation and transformation’.

                            Technology needs to support the healthcare transformation

                              Professor Keith McNeill, the can-do Aussie leaving his post of NHS CCIO, believes the Academy has the opportunity to ‘provide people on the ground with the skills to understand tech and have transformational leadership capabilities – transform from the ground root and branch’.

                              The curriculum will be an interesting starting point and there certainly is a lot of ground to cover. It could easily span health informatics, systems design, clinical decision support, data interventions for service improvement, health information technology implementation to management and leadership.

                              The clinical documentation challenge

                                Sadly, one area I fear it may not cover in detail is how we overcome the challenge of clinical documentation. In a previous blog post I have highlighted how the ease of entering quality data by whatever method will play a key role in realising the benefits of big data.

                                One often overlooked but proven tool for data entry is speech recognition software. You can find out more about the role that speech recognition is playing in reducing the burned of clinical documentation here.

                                I have made bold predictions that this simple to use universal tool will quickly surpass other forms of data entry such as typing – we have no choice because in the consumer world, the likes of Alexa are making this happen in front of our very eyes. Our healthcare professionals will be coming to work asking why this technology cannot be harnessed in their day to day working and of course they are right.

                                As we know, this is another technology that we should not adopt just for technology’s sake. It must work for the end user. It has to be accurate and address tricky medical terms taking the clicks and clunk out of the all-important electronic patient record. Finally, it needs to be linked with intelligence around decision support and remove the arduous task of coding by seamlessly doing it in the backgroun

                                There is plenty of potential for NHS Digital Academy, but if it is to fulfil the ambition then the art of digital clinical documentation has to be a key part of the agenda.

                                Why you should speech-enable your clinical documentation now?

                                Read our e-paper and find out how to make it quick and easy for clinicians to capture the patient story in your clinical IT systems. Usability is key to clinical engagement!

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                                Are you ready for your digital patients?

                                From September 2017 NHS patients in England can access their GP record online via the revamped This is just the latest in a suite of online healthcare information services rolling out this year and next that, says Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, will deliver a ‘patient powered generation’ over the next ten years.
                                Speech recognition can ensure clinical data is recorded accurately and in a timely manner


                                Patient online access

                                  Granting online access to medical records and care plans is one of the most effective ways to engage patients. The revamped now gives all of us the opportunity to:

                                  • book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse
                                  • order repeat prescriptions online
                                  • view parts of the GP record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results
                                  • view clinical correspondence such as hospital discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters and referral letters

                                  Curiosity eventually got the better of me and recently I had a second go at accessing my patient record through the newly available GP online services via My first attempt twelve months ago seemed overly lengthy and confusing and I abandoned. This time, once I’d received log in details from my GP surgery, the registration process seemed easier. Now I have an app on my phone ready to go should I ever need it.


                                  Patient empowerment

                                    Eagerly I selected ‘view your medical record’. Perhaps I should not have been disappointed by the empty content. After all, I have visited my surgery (excluding age/gender-appropriate screenings) only three times in the last twenty-five years and have difficulty remembering the name of my GP.  However, I am sure my time will come. When it does, I am already more empowered and can readily foresee the benefit of being able to check the accuracy of my own patient record, see and book/cancel an appointment, order prescriptions online and perhaps most importantly choose who else is able to view my record. Meanwhile the GP online services website includes some short videos of real patients, with complex health needs, describing how they’ve already benefited from the service.


                                    Documentation exacts a heavy toll

                                      Granting online access to medical records and care plans via and other emerging solutions must be one of the most effective ways to engage patients. However, the quality of data in many patient records and the EPR is poor and therefore may sometimes not be relied upon to give accurate clinical advice to patients without some considerable effort. This adds yet another burden of administration for already hard-pressed GPs, allied healthcare professionals and other members of practice teams who will need to pay greater attention to writing accurate, contemporaneous notes with their patients in mind. Already, the challenges relating to general practice clinical documentation—accurately recording the patient consultation, writing referral letters and reports, meeting medico-legal requirements etc. can seem overwhelming.


                                      Proven technology to help make the leap to online

                                        GPs are rising to the challenge and continue to raise their game and by leading investments in technology to help keep them ahead of the workload. Speech recognition integrated into clinical documentation is a mature, proven technology. It supports the quick, easy capture of not just the structured data but also the more detailed and descriptive elements of the patient consultation (narrative) to provide context and rationale within the patient record. Speech recognition technology leads to better outcomes and a more consistent experience for patients. It also eases the administrative burden of clinical documentation, freeing the practice team to devote time and energy to matters more essential to the practice and the well-being of all its patients however those same patients choose to access services – on or offline.

                                        Download a recently released primary care e-paper

                                        Find out how a speech-enabled clinical documentation supports patient access to GP online services


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                                        Is your data in?

                                        Healthcare data analytics is a hot topic and an essential new way to turn existing information into usable data supporting clinicians in their daily decision making and treatment plans, use resources meaningfully, reduce costs, avoid errors, and on and on it goes. And whilst everybody is really into getting “the” data out of the system, shouldn’t we be worried of “if and how” the data gets into the system in the first place?

                                        Working at Nuance for many years, whilst maintaining my contact to medicine, as a practicing doctor in Belgium, I believe to understand both sides of the coin: IT providers thinking ahead, trying to modernize healthcare systems all over the globe, whilst as a doctor, you sometimes struggle with something as simple as a lack of tools to write down, aka document, your observations, findings and conclusions.

                                        Is your EPR ready to receive your data input?

                                          If you are in the lucky position to be working at a practice or hospital that already counts on a certain degree of digitisation with clinical IT systems in place, you are probably familiar with the pain of switching from hand written or tape-based note taking – essentially someone else is doing the clinical documentation fit to template, form and standards for you – to a digital form presented to you on a screen. Al of sudden you need to start fiddling around with the keyboard, turning your attention from the patient or medical case to trying to be a data clerk. But does it need to be this way? Why can we talk to our mobile phones, send text messages based on voice input, but in our daily professional environment doctors, nurses and clinicians are burdened with data input issues? And just like text editors highlight spelling- or grammar mistakes, why can’t clinical software systems spot medical inconsistencies?  Doctors create a medical note in a once-and-done way. It better be done correctly. Smart clinical systems should be able to prompt the physician with additional questions to create an as complete as possible note.

                                          Dream with me

                                            Our community, healthcare providers world-wide, and healthcare IT companies too, know that there is a reasonable amount of work still undone to let professionals easily input into their electronic records. The path to analyzing this data is even more difficult.

                                            If there would be an option to share and compare the treatment outcomes for similar diagnosis within a region, would that benefit significantly the understanding of therapeutic options? What if we would be able to share the chemotherapy outcomes for lung cancer for all patients in Brussels? Or all combined for Belgium? Or Europe?

                                            This ‘big data’ would be able to offer to medical professionals and researches an enormous amount of information. We would learn much faster about side effects, medication interaction, most effective treatments…. Well, guess what? This data is available! In each of the record of individual physicians. It is just not shared and linked. Interoperability of data might be the largest breakthrough in medical science for the next decade!

                                            We make it easy and fast to update your electronic patient records

                                            Find out how health data management is more efficient with speech recognition technology

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                                            Pathology finds its voice

                                            A recent meeting of Pathologists held at the Royal Chemistry Society, London and hosted by Nuance & Talking Point highlighted how pathologists are rising to the challenges of a worldwide shortage of pathologists and growing demand for their services with investments in new technology.
                                            Male doctor pointing at different medical features


                                            The challenge for today´s pathologists

                                              ‘We’re working in an era where, worldwide, there is a shortage of qualified pathologists and in the UK we are also facing austerity’ challenged Dr Fred Mayall, Consultant Histopathologist at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust when speaking to a group of NHS pathologists who had come together at the invitation of Nuance partner Talking Point to share their experience of digitizing their departments. His colleague Dr Pedro Oliveira Consultant Histopathologist at The Christe NHS Foundation Trust also struck a warning note describing the increasing demand and workload for pathologists as a result of having to process more specimens, more samples, more tests

                                              Dr Mayall and Dr Oliveira went on to describe how they are developing and using technology solutions, including speech recognition embedded into pathology workflow to improve the quality of reporting, increase throughput and regain work-life balance.

                                              5 things busy pathologists love about speech recognition

                                                Dr Mayall and Dr Oliveira describe how the use of speech recognition embedded in their digital pathology workflow changes their working lives for the better

                                                 1. Speed – ‘Speech Recognition is so good it is faster even than canned reports’ declared Dr Mayall. ‘I dictate whilst I am viewing a specimen.  I’ve found that for me this is faster even than calling up a standard template’

                                                2. Adaptability – ‘You don’t need to say stuff very clearly.’ Once you’ve set up your individual voice profile the speech recognition software will learn the way you speak and adapt to your accent and dictation style’

                                                3. Accuracy – ‘The speech recognition software just doesn’t make mistakes. Once you’ve said a regular phrase a couple of times the software will never get it wrong’ A dictionary of medical words, terms and body system normals from over 60 specialties ensures complex medical terms are always accurately and completely captured.

                                                4. Simplicity – ‘A single voice command cuts out the need to use the keyboard and the multiple clicks and keystrokes required to move between screens and between the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and my pathology system’ – Standard and customised voice commands are built into speech recognition

                                                5. Quality – ‘The combined effect of faster, easier capture of the notes combined with greater accuracy enables me to focus on reporting the sample or specimen rather than the admin’

                                                Streamline the data entry process

                                                No need to wait for your dictations to be transcribed, or type and click yourself. Discover how speech recognition productivity tools from Nuance including templates, macros and medical commands to shorten report turnaround time, enrich your patient record and can work for you!

                                                Learn more

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                                                Make it digital and smart: what NHS nurses need from healthcare IT

                                                A roundtable discussion on 20th June, 2017 at the King's Fund in London sponsored by Nuance and supported by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) discussed ‘Nursing Documentation - the challenges, opportunities and the role of technology’.
                                                Female nurse taking an old woman's blood pressure

                                                Anne Cooper, Director of Clinical Safety and Chief Nurse at NHS Digital chaired the roundtable discussion which was attended by 15 senior nurses from acute, primary, community and mental health who shared their experiences, frustrations and their future ‘fantasies’ nursing clinical documentation.

                                                The discussion began with recent headline statistics about the burden of nursing documentation gathered from a WeNurses Tweet chat in December 2016:

                                                • 73% of nurses said they go home late because of clinical documentation
                                                • 15% of nurses said they rushed clinical documentation
                                                • 36% of nurses said clinical documentation took 40-60% of their time

                                                Reference to other research sponsored by Nuance highlighted that nurses spend nearly 11 hours per week adding to clinical documentation.

                                                Eight key themes identified in the nursing patient record keeping

                                                  1. Nursing documentation is complex, laborious to complete, not always shared amongst the right teams, sometimes ignored and does not always contribute to improved clinical outcomes and patient safety

                                                  2. Nursing documentation needs to be high quality, timely and standardised with inbuilt levels of security, governance and control as appropriate for each patient scenario

                                                  3. On the journey to a paperless NHS, attempts to digitise the clinical documentation process has led to a ‘digital mountain of documentation’

                                                  4. One nurse characterised the challenge of balancing patient care versus the burden of documentation that sometimes it feels that everyone is “so busy writing about doing it, but NOT doing it”.

                                                  5. Anne Cooper suggested, “we need time to think”. Instead of re-engineering current paper workflow, “nurses need to reimagine the process of clinical documentation” and that if smart 21st-century documentation is going to work, then the output needs to be a natural byproduct of the nursing process.

                                                  6. Everyone was invited to share their ‘fantasy’ of the future for clinical documentation out of which arose discussion of technologies that could be deployed to help ranging from Apps that automatically capture therapeutic observations and feed into the patient record, to the use of biometrics for identification and authentication of individuals, the power of ‘the cloud’ for capture, access to and sharing of data, the use of speech recognition as a natural user interface and prospect of digital assistants removing the grind of administration.

                                                  7. It was suggested that ‘smart creative technologists ’from leading digital technology companies from, industry and for the consumer space could shadow the nursing fraternity and help them ‘re-imagine’ but that technology must support the nurse, not the other way around.

                                                  8. Finally, all agreed there was a real opportunity to involve the patient in being involved in patient record keeping and sharing; particularly those with long-term conditions.

                                                  Read the full report here!

                                                  With a forward from the Royal College of Nursing, this e-paper captures how nurses can re-design and re-imagine the documentation process to capture and communicate the full patient story.

                                                  Learn more

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