Modern pathology goes hands free

Pathology in the UK is rapidly adopting technologies to improve productivity and quality. A recent report from the Royal Society of Pathologists advocates digital services. During a recent meeting of UK pathologists to discuss advances in digital pathology held at the Royal Chemistry Society, London and hosted by Nuance Dragon Medical partner GHG Talking Point its MD, Malcolm Grant shares his extensive experience of the practical considerations required to successfully implement another proven productivity tool - speech recognition - into pathology workflows.
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Pathology departments are always busy and often noisy environments. Having successfully deployed speech recognition into pathology workflows at many hospitals here are my practical tips for implementing speech recognition so that pathologists can maximise their time for clinical analysis and interpretation and minimise repetitive, time consuming administration.

1. Accuracy – Many question the accuracy of speech recognition but there is no question that today’s clinical speech recognition is super accurate out-of-the-box even in noisy cut-up room environments.

2. Ergonomics – Select the right headsets, pedals, barcode readers, positioning of keyboards and invest in good PCs with a minimum of 32-bit processor and 4GB RAM

3. Simplicity – If you’re introducing new technology to your department then work on the principal of LEAN workflows and get the technology to support the way you work– not the other way around.

4. Speed – It won’t be the speech recognition software that is your rate limiter.  Multiple pop-ups, keystrokes, clicks and passwords, saving to queues and authorisations, will wear you out and slow you down.  Use integrated speech-driven work-flows to take the strain. Just a few simple voice commands can speed you through hands-free reporting and take out the grind and irritation of repetitive, mindless tasks.

5. Invest in the right training and support from your Nuance partner to get expert help on tips and tricks, benefit from their experience across many pathology departments and get up to speed quickly.

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