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.
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Physical therapist stretching mans leg

DynamicHealth, provided by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, is actively involved in an initiative called fitforthefuture.org. 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.

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About Sarah Fisher

Sarah Fisher is regional marketing manager at Nuance healthcare division covering UK, Ireland and APAC. Sarah has 25 years in marketing and sales at companies including Xerox, Siemens and Cisco. A spell at Novartis leading a team to deliver ‘more-than-medicines’ solutions in UK healthcare combined her degree and a first job in Pharmacology research with a passion for the potential of healthcare IT to overcome the many challenges faced by all healthcare systems. In her spare time Sarah leaps fences and tackles tricky trails pursuing her hobbies of horse trials and mountain biking.