Case study: Total Speech and HIS integration improves efficiency at Manchester trust


The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust deploys RecMic for voice-recognition capability

The trust

Serving the communities of North Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham with a population over 820,000, The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust provides a range of elective emergency and district general services from four sites; Fairfield General, North Manchester General, Royal Oldham and Rochdale Infirmary.

The monumental take-up of the new technology was a clear indicator of the relative success

A large site with an operating budget of over half-a-billion pounds and 8,000-staff, the trust invested in a large-scale redesign of clinical services in 2010, creating two major emergency-receiving hospitals; one of which being at the North Manchester site on the outskirts of the city.

North Manchester General is the trust’s main headquarters, yet also offers a full range of general and acute surgical services, including diagnostic services; incorporating the busy and regionally-renowned radiology departments which provide X-Ray and fluoroscopy services to around 400,000 GP-referred and hospital inpatients. The nature of the department’s activities relied heavily on electronic and IT supporting devices and programs to house and route patient diagnoses, histories and reports in order to create a reliable and quickly-reactive diagnosis process.

The problem

The radiology department used a traditional report generating system using microphone headsets combined with Talking Point voice recognition. Radiologists’ speech files were typed into reports using pre-installed medical dictionaries. Although the speech recognition engine was reliable, radiologist’s found the headsets physically restrictive and cumbersome to the physical nature of the diagnosis process.

Jason Howard, radiology clinical systems specialist for the North Manchester site, knew there were improved VR engines on the market formulated for healthcare sites offering the additional advantage of full integration into the department’s Healthcare Information Systems (HIS).

A neighbouring trust suggested a market-leading voice recognition programme, Dragon Medical, which Howard trialled. He then planned an implementation of the latest version of Dragon Medical into the trust’s HIS set-up with immediate effect.

This left a gap for input technology; in order to allow smooth radiology processes and meet increasing workflow requirements. Howard and his team needed a series of ergonomically-advanced and software-enabled dictation devices. The dictation recorders needed to compliment the benefits of Dragon Medical with quick reporting and easy recording for operative staff who needed patient and diagnosis routing via Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and Radiology Information Systems (RIS) technology.

The solution

Howard contacted Olympus Dictation to seek an input microphone that would integrate with both CRIS - the trust’s chosen RIS - and the newly-appointed Dragon Medical, while being easy to use and ergonomic. Olympus recommended the RecMic - an advanced line of desktop audio recording devices with direct USB and optimised microphone for healthcare professionals needing voice-recognition capability.

The results

North Manchester General Hospital reported a 99.5% uptake to voice recognition as a result of adopting a specialised input device from Olympus in combination with legacy recording equipment. The plug-and-play make-up of the device meant that Howard was able to install each device personally. Once installed departmentwide, the trust measured a quickened reporting process from initial diagnosis to completed and typed report – despite no increase of secretarial support. This created huge cost-savings as the hospital did not need to appoint additional clerical staff in order to fulfil increasing workloads.

“The monumental take-up of the new technology was a clear indicator of the relative success,” said Howard.

“Radiologists were impressed by the clarity of recording and the total coherence of their voice from the RecMic to Dragon Medical. This created increased workflow speeds and the ability for the team to fulfil trust targets. I have recommended rollout of the Olympus RecMic to both Wigan and Central Manchester sites and we certainly have plans to order further products.”