As England transitions to integrated care systems for every region, healthcare leaders are looking for ways to streamline collaboration across the care continuum. For this move to work, care providers will need a simpler, more standardised way to produce and share patient documentation. Ahead of the HSJ Digital Transformation Summit, Nuance Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr Simon Wallace reflects on how Dragon Medical One brings medical speech recognition to EPR systems, allowing clinicians to dictate their notes directly into the patient record.
At the end of February, I’ll be joining a panel at the HSJ Digital Transformation Summit, where leaders from all across the healthcare sector come together to discuss the technologies that are helping them tackle some of the industry’s major challenges.
Thinking ahead to the discussion, I’ve been considering how the recent move to integrated care systems in England is paving the way for healthcare providers to collaborate across the care continuum, and the barriers that remain. With all 42 of England’s regions ready to function as integrated care systems, we’re now waiting on the government to make decisions about the legislative changes needed to make the move a success.
A truly integrated care environment is a tricky proposition for decision-makers and clinicians, who are often hampered by staff shortages, budget constraints, and outdated systems—not to mention the additional pressure of operating during a pandemic.
Dragon Medical One supports integrated care
For years, we’ve been working on ways to make collaboration between healthcare providers easier, especially when it comes to creating and sharing documentation.
For integrated care systems to work, teams will need to be able to share accurate, detailed records not just between departments but between, for example, GPs and social workers, or hospitals and elderly care homes. This will work best if there’s a standardised, digital approach to producing documentation—removing the inefficiencies of paper-based processes.
Dragon Medical One, our purpose-built speech recognition solution for clinicians, is designed to do just that, removing the need for transcriptionists or admin support, and helping clinicians turn documentation around faster. And to support integrated care delivery, it’s compatible with most major electronic patient records (EPRs). So, instead of dictating notes for a transcriptionist, or manually typing up notes after every consultation, Dragon Medical One allows clinicians to dictate directly into the EPR by simply using their voice.
On my HSJ Digital Transformation Summit panel, I’ll be joined by Dr Ahmad Moukli and Dr Paul Altmann, two Dragon Medical One users who have taken advantage of its EPR integrations. Ahead of our discussion, here’s a recap on their journeys so far.
A dramatic drop in turnaround times
Dr Ahmad Moukli is no stranger to medical speech recognition. The GP and Clinical Lead from The Practice Prospect House in Buckinghamshire has been using our Dragon solutions for almost 20 years—and the results have been transformative. “I can’t see myself practicing without speech recognition; it’s been a revelation,” Dr Moukli said during a recent webinar.
Dr Moukli now uses Dragon Medical One to handle the documentation requirements for as many as 30 different patient consultations a day, by dictating accurate, detailed notes into EMIS Web. And with his speech recognition solution now in the cloud, Dr Moukli can use Dragon at Prospect House, the satellite surgery, and even his home—so productivity follows him wherever he works. “Saving a few minutes during each consultation quickly adds up,” said Dr Moukli.
To hear more of Dr Moukli’s story in his own words, you can watch the webinar, “Speech Enabling EMIS Web” on demand. As well as discussing Prospect House’s experience with Dragon Medical One, I got the opportunity to talk to EMIS Clinical Director Dr Ian Wood about how introducing speech recognition to EPR workflows helps clinicians maximise productivity.
48 days saved through speech recognition
Simplifying the process of working in an EPR was also a key concern for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where more than 13,000 staff members use the Cerner Millennium EPR to create and manage detailed, reliable digital patient records. Inefficient, disconnected transcription workflows were preventing the trust from realising the true productivity boost the EPR offered—until the team discovered Dragon Medical One.
I spoke to Dr Paul Altmann, Consultant Nephrologist and Chief Clinical Information Officer, early last year about the challenges his Foundation Trust was facing. Due to admin staff shortages, much of the trust’s documentation was handled by an off-site transcription service which, crucially, wasn’t integrated with Oxford University Hospitals’ EPR. That disconnect meant document turnaround times were slow, which not only prevented patients and colleagues from receiving follow-up and referral letters quickly, but also meant the trust was struggling to meet NHS targets.
“We had problems meeting the care commissioning group’s 10-day target for outpatient letters reaching GPs,” explained Dr Altmann. “And that target has now reduced further, to just seven days. Before we adopted Dragon Medical One, it took us an average of 12 days to deliver a follow-up letter.”
Oxford University Hospitals trialled Dragon Medical One for three months in its renal outpatient department, which enabled the team to go completely paper-free, reducing costs and dramatically cutting its turnaround times. GPs now receive standardised, detailed follow-up letters from the renal department in just two to three days—and the trust is now replicating this transformation across other outpatient teams.
Join us at the HSJ Digital Transformation Summit
You can hear more from Dr Altmann and Dr Moukli during our panel discussion, “Freeing-up time for care by reducing the burden of clinical administration” at the HSJ Digital Transformation Summit in Birmingham on Thursday 24th February.
I’ll be joining them on the panel to chat about how we can work together to clear the documentation backlog within resource and capacity constraints, using tech like Dragon Medical One to unlock efficiency and give clinicians more time to focus on care. (You can read more about our agenda in the HSJ Summit programme.) It’s the ideal opportunity to check in with them both and see how their documentation processes have continued improving and what new lessons they must share since we last spoke. For example, Dr Altmann’s plan is to eliminate all off-site transcription requirements — so it will be very interesting to hear how the team is progressing to achieve that goal.
We’re excited to join our colleagues from other health tech companies, universities, and trusts at the summit. It’s sure to be an insight-packed couple of days and a great opportunity to chat face to face with others in our industry after such a long period of virtual events—I hope you can join us.