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Philips digital dictation helps pathology department meet test results targets

Philips SpeechMikes combined with SpeechExec Pro software have cut dictation times from seven days to one day at the pathology department of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

A NHS high performer

The Royal Surrey County Hospital is a leading general hospital and specialist centre for cancer services and treatment based in Guildford. The hospital employs 3,500 staff and it sees per year around 280,000 outpatients, admits 61,000 patients for treatment and attends 70,000 patients in their A&E department. The Trust is also a centre of excellence and training for minimal access surgery and a leading research and development bringing advanced treatments to local people.

 

The pathology department

This good reputation extends to the hospital’s pathology department. The laboratories handle eight million diagnostic tests each year. Many of the requests for testing come from GPs and they expect a turnaround time of 30 days in line with NHS guidelines. Due to the busy nature of the pathology department, there were concerns about meeting this 30-day target. A review of procedures highlighted that the analogue dictation system for transcribing test results was taken five to seven days to complete. In a bid to improve this turnaround time, the department contacted Philips. They wanted to discuss alternatives to their then dictation system. Philips recommended switching to digital recorders for dictation and speech recognition software for transcription.

 

Linking dictations to patient data

As the department required dictation devices suitable for use in the pathology labs and wet room, the most suitable device was Philips SpeechMike. The one-thumb recording feature makes the microphone easy to use, and the antimicrobial surface protects against germs. The device also has an integrated barcode scanner, which allows users to link patient data to dictations simply by scanning file barcodes.

 

Same day transcriptions

Under the old dictation system, analogue dictations on cassette tapes went through the internal mail system to secretaries for transcription. Turnaround was a week or even longer. To speed the process up the department implemented Philips SpeechExec software with speech recognition module, which turns voice files into text documents. A 30-day successful trial and training period with the SpeechMikes and SpeechExec software demonstrated that the audio quality of dictations was excellent and the speech recognition worked very well, with transcriptions often coming back on the same day.

 

Pathology meets its 30-day target

The new adopted system helped the department meet their 30-day target. Instead of a backlog of five to seven days, most dictations are completed on the same day, with far greater accuracy. The whole system is far easier to use and provides much more control and manageability. The clinicians’ correspondence doesn’t require secretarial support as speech recognition is used very effectively. This allows the secretarial staff more time to deal with other correspondence. Dictation is now efficient and fast, making a positive contribution to the overall running of the Hospital.

 

Come and visit Philips Dictation and stand B36 to find out more information.

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