Can clinical speech recognition release the pressure in a busy NHS emergency department?

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has earned national recognition as a healthcare Centre of Excellence. However, like many other providers it has been grappling with the significant challenges. The pressure its doctors, nurses and the wider healthcare team is constant. Adding to the burden within the busy and demanding setting of an Emergency Department (ED) is the burgeoning volume of clinical documentation with the potential to slow the flow of patients through ED and increase pressure on clinical staff. South Tees are introducing digital technologies to help overcome these challenges.
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The vision of a paperless ED

    The importance of complete, accurate and timely documentation to support the patient care journey cannot be understated but this should never be at the expense of the conversation and relationship between the clinician and patient. The intention has always been to introduce digital technologies such as the electronic patient record (EPR) to improve and streamline delivery of care. It should empower, not overwhelm the team.

    With the implementation of the EMIS Symphony EPR the ED are creating paperless records in real-time to ensure potentially critical information is always available within the EPR for others to review and action at the point-of-care. However, clinicians who had previously hand written or used traditional dictation to create patient notes, must now type notes directly into the EPR.

     

    The right digital tools for the job

      With the team already working to maximum capacity South Tees ED sought solutions to ease and speed both structured and unstructured (narrative) data entry into the EPR, reduce the overall documentation burden and enable the clinical team to stay focused on the patient care.

      They chose Nuance Dragon Medical speech recognition software integrated into the EPR to enable ED doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to input records in real-time using simply their voice.

       

      Measuring success

        Nuance commissioned a study to analyse the impact of Nuance Dragon Medical speech recognition integrated into the EPR as well as other clinical documentation within the ED. The study provides a snapshot of the documentation challenges and the benefits of the speech recognition deployment as perceived by its clinicians.

        The study demonstrates that clinical speech recognition has transformed ED, releasing doctors and nurses from the burden of clinical documentation and enabling them to spend more time treating patients.

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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.