The NHS Five Year Forward View (5yfv) has given the health service a framework for improving and modernising itself. To quote from the report itself, it has, “set out a clear direction for the NHS – showing why change is needed and what it will look like.” ‘Harnessing technology and innovation’ meanwhile is one of the important ‘next steps’ currently being discussed for realising the 5yfv.
One of the cornerstones of the NHS Forward View is that the organisation will, “exploit the information revolution,” including implementing, “fully interoperable electronic health records so that patients’ records are largely paperless [and so that] patients will have full access to these records.” The 5yfv also calls for a, “1.5% net efficiency increase each year,” in line with reduced budget increases. This, and a drive to “make patients records available to the right clinicians wherever they are”, calls for innovative IT solutions across all NHS workplaces, and this is where Nuance’s Dragon Medical can help.
Driving efficiency in patient documentation
Dragon Medical provides NHS practices and trusts with the ability to turn healthcare professionals’ verbal notes and clinical narratives into detailed textual health records which can be accessed as needed, either locally or via the cloud. Using sophisticated speech-to-text technology, the software recognises an extensive range of clinical vocabulary and is able to adapt to the individual clinician’s voice, style of speaking and even accent. This has several positive impacts on patient documentation:
- Less time taken on EPR – While some doctors and others dictate notes verbally at present, often this is done via a simple voice recorder, and the notes are then typed up by a secretary. By being able to speak directly into the EPR system, at rates of up to 160 words per minute with 99% accuracy, less time is spent on the notes and personnel are freed up to engage with patients more.
- More in-depth notes and letters – Clinical notes can flow much more freely when they are spoken with the confidence that they will be automatically transcribed. This can mean enhanced communications between different clinicians and specialists, and thus better care for the patient.
Digitising the NHS
A paperless NHS is at the heart of not just the Five Year Forward View but the organisation’s view of itself beyond that scope. Dragon Medical is the ideal tool for this challenge because it provides a direct interface between the clinician’s observations and the electronic health record. It’s even been found that doctors can dictate three times faster than they can type, so voice recognition solutions are a logical choice going forwards.
Reducing administration costs
Whether it’s the hours spent by medical staff themselves on typing up patient notes or the hours that their secretaries spend typing up their dictated recordings, accurate and detailed patient records usually carry a substantial price tag over time. By reducing the amount of time spent on those notes, Dragon Medical can help the NHS to reduce these overheads significantly.
If you’re looking to improve your clinical documentation, take a closer look at Dragon Medical.