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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.
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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.
            By
            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.
            By
            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 www.nhs.uk. 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.
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                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 www.nhs.uk 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 www.NHS.uk. 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 www.nhs.uk 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?
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                        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.
                            By
                            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!

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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’.
                                By
                                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.

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                                  Law firms move away from billable hours

                                  As more legal firms move away from billable hours towards negotiated pricing models, cost efficiency and streamlined document management processes are tantamount to critical business functions.
                                  By
                                  Law student sat at a library desk considering whether he should charge by the hour

                                   

                                  Do billable hours still exist in law?

                                    In short, yes, however, clients now, more often than not, insist on an initial quote so that the responsibility lies with the legal firm to maintain low costs.

                                    For decades, billable hours was the traditional pricing model for most law firms, but the Great Recession in the early 2000s forced many legal organisations to find an alternative pricing model in order to remain competitive and retain clients in an increasingly cost-sensitive economy.

                                    Although the term “billable hour” still exists, the underlying concept is no longer the same. Clients now demand agreements that determine the budget up front, putting responsibility squarely on the legal firm to control costs in order to maintain profits.

                                    Gone is the traditional approach that allowed firms to record time and pass the cost of billable hours on to the client. The pressure is on law firms to accurately forecast profitability and to price and negotiate with clients accordingly. This change in approach has even resulted in the emergence of a relatively new profession in the legal industry: senior pricing executives.
                                     

                                    A new paradigm

                                      Though the concept of a senior pricing executive is relatively new to legal firms, it has become an established function within many professional services institutions and business consulting firms. The responsibilities of these executives are often two-fold: serve as the engagement lead and frontline negotiator on new business, and work collaboratively with client-facing partners to understand the forces and inefficiencies that can impact profitability.

                                      Document-related activities are changing as well. For example, clients are growing increasingly resistant to invoices for printed materials, especially if these documents were merely looked at and then recycled.

                                      Yet law firms have a lot to lose if they don’t get it right. One estimate suggests firms lose up to £12 per day per lawyer in unrecovered costs such as these. For a firm with 50 staff, that’s nearly £160,000 per year. In Conscious’ top 200 UK law firms, some of which have 150-2,000 members of staff – the unbilled costs could be staggering.
                                       

                                      A better solution

                                        For organisations making the shift to negotiated pricing models, especially related to document management, Nuance legal document solutions are an optimal means to create cost efficiency and preserve profitability. Some of the cost-saving benefits Nuance solutions can deliver include:

                                        • Improved workflowsYou can optimise legal workflows simplifying complex tasks and making life easier for your mobile workforce. For example, a centralised print, capture and cost recovery system reduces IT spend while providing a single view into cost recovery opportunities.
                                        • Expense management and trackingWhether your clients are on billable hours or negotiated pricing, Nuance seamlessly and accurately tracks all client expenses, exposing your true costs. You have the detailed insight required to control expenses and optimise profits with efficiency.
                                        • System consolidation: Separate cost recovery and document workflow solutions erode productivity, erase profitability and cost more to maintain. Nuance’s single platform blends these critical functions to consolidate your systems and centralise administration.
                                        • Intuitive solutions for maximum productivity: Nuance solutions offer a consistent user interface that encourages user adoption, helps enforce the application of the firm’s policies and enhances productivity.

                                        Stradley Ronon, a leading law firm, recently reduced its annual costs with Nuance cost recovery and expense management solutions. The firm successfully consolidated too many decentralised scanning and cost recovery solutions and gained a single solution capable of providing cost recovery, scan routeing, print management more. As a result, Stradley Ronon significantly reduced annual support costs and increased recovery – all for a stronger bottom line.
                                         

                                        Gain a new advantage

                                          As more legal firms shift from billable hours to negotiated pricing models, executives charged with maintaining profitability will focus on ways to reduce expenses and integrate cost efficiency throughout the legal process including document workflow management. Nuance has the solutions to help.

                                          Nuance Legal solutions

                                          Learn more about Nuance’s legal solutions to see how you can save your annual costs

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                                          How artificial intelligence can transform NHS patient services

                                          Artificial intelligence (AI) could easily be defined as the technology industry buzzword for 2017, with almost every vendor trying to attach themselves in some way to this rapidly developing trend. Once purely the splendor of sci-fi - with films such as Terminator and I, Robot predicting the demise of the human race - AI is now actively transforming our daily lives, from helping us pay bills to supporting doctors to determine patient ailments.
                                          By
                                          scientist using interactive board

                                          Intelligent investments 

                                          Nearly half of NHS trusts (43%; obtained from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request) are investing in artificial intelligence (AI) enabling patients to ‘self-help’ when accessing services. The trusts are harnessing technology such as virtual assistants, speech recognition technology and chat bots to ease the pressure on healthcare workers across their organisations.

                                          These vital investments are geared up to primarily provide access to information and services all-day, every-day, but they also play a key role in reducing the numbers of patients queuing to see their GP for information they can now access through a virtual assistant.

                                          Reducing the documentation deluge 

                                          Research commissioned by Nuance in 2015 into the impact of clinical documentation in NHS acute care trusts revealed that clinicians spend over half of their work day on clinical documentation. In a more recent Nuance study of UK GP practices, over nine in 10 reported that patient documentation was a considerable burden for their practice and that in 49 per cent of the practices, over half their patient documentation is paper versus electronic format.

                                          By deploying technology – such as speech recognition and artificial intelligence – clinicians can process clinical documents quickly and accurately, reducing the need to outsource transcriptions or hire additional secretarial support. Alongside improving the speed and efficiency in terms of the process of building clinical documents, Artificial Intelligence can support the development of more accurate and intuitive clinical documentation, including patient records.

                                          With staff across the NHS already under enormous pressure to deliver first-class services, access to supporting technology to ease this pressure will be key. Yet many doctors are still forced to spend half of their time documenting patient care. While it is encouraging that some departments within trusts are using tools like speech recognition, with nearly all of them still reliant on pen and paper in some form, there is a significant opportunity to drive up this usage across the board.

                                          Our goal is to bridge the gap between patients, doctors and technology, putting patients in a position where they have access to vital information and support anywhere and at any time, and freeing doctors up to focus on the patients most in need. The combination of these two aspects working in tandem should see a far more resourceful NHS, with delays on the decline and healthier, happier and more informed patients on the rise.

                                          Read the full article here

                                          Make it easy and fast to update your electronic patient records

                                          Download our Clinical Documentation ePaper and find out why it makes sense to give clinicians a voice.

                                          Learn more

                                          AI is spawning new models of care, not just cars

                                          AI is making it possible for people to interact with smart devices and tools that anticipate needs and share knowledge in ways that save time, improve the experience or enhance decisions. We may not realize it’s all around us whether we’re searching the internet or being offered articles specific to our interests. In healthcare, AI shows great promise in helping physicians deliver better and more personalized patient care.
                                          By
                                          Young boy throwing a paper airplane

                                          Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have already seen some successes in self-driving cars, smart homes and manufacturing that we used to believe could only happen in our fantasies. These technologies are pushing the limits of innovation and raising expectations with every passing day. It’s exciting to think of the potential AI holds for empowering patients to manage their health more actively and successfully outside of a hospital, and for bringing physicians closer to their patients.

                                          According to a poll taken after HIMSS17, 34% of HIT respondents are researching AI and 20% are either actively planning or deploying these technologies right now. Working at Nuance, I see breakthroughs in this technology every day, from giant leaps in the accuracy of speech recognition and language understanding to proactive consumer engagement or conversational assistants that provide communication, critical thinking and support for physicians providing patient care, charting or placing orders. AI powered computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD) went from being relatively unknown or understood to something physicians are seeking as a tool to help give them back time in their busy days.

                                          I believe in the next two years, AI will follow the same path as the cloud in the healthcare industry. Once feared particularly by healthcare administrators, cloud technology is now widely accepted and sought after because cloud-based solutions are light and easy to deploy, and offer clear benefits to both IT staff and end users. It helps caregivers and information move with patients while adhering to tight requirements for security and privacy of personal health information (PHI) of patients. AI in medicine has its own hurdles to overcome, but nobody really believes that machines will replace physicians. A self-service model where patients are more actively involved in their own care is on the horizon, and physicians need more visibility to patients’ adherence and health to support it.

                                          AI technologies, which are helping physicians with difficult or repetitive tasks today, are poised to do much more and deliver even greater clinical decision support in the exam room and in the patient’s home where information needs to flow to close the loop of care.

                                          What does the future hold for machine learning and AI?

                                          Wondering what the impact for these technologies will be on patients and physicians?  Read more of my thoughts in CIO Review, “Machine Learning and AI: Revolutionizing the Physician/Patient Relationship.”

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