In the context of what is happening in UK healthcare at the moment, why is this enhanced range of solutions important?
We acquired Winscribe because we want to help address the challenges facing all health systems and clinicians. The cost of healthcare is rising, most countries have ageing populations and there is also a shortage of healthcare professionals. The extent of the challenge is explained in the Five-Year Action Plan for Health Employment and Inclusive Economic Growth from the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In the UK, there are additional factors to consider. There is a push from the Secretary of State for Health to adopt new technology and software solutions. However, constrained budgets are making front-line innovation difficult. Political uncertainty following Brexit negotiations is also having an impact on the healthcare workforce.
Nevertheless, perhaps one of the most significant challenges is the move to a paperless NHS. It means there is increasing pressure on NHS trusts as they bring in Electronic Patient Records (EPR). This inevitably has an impact on clinical staff as EPRs slow them down. They spend up to half their time on non-clinical administrative tasks and job satisfaction drops. As a result, digitisation has the potential to lead to a decrease in productivity.
Nuance wants to provide solutions which will help clinicians with their administrative work. This is why we have been pushing ahead to create an expanded end-to-end portfolio which now includes Winscribe and medical transcription services. Our long-term offer is investment in research and development and a commitment to healthcare.
What benefits does this expanded portfolio bring to Nuance healthcare customers?
We now offer a complete ‘one-stop-shop’ for overcoming the challenges of clinical documentation. We’ll take healthcare organisations on a journey from paper to paperless. Whatever stage of digital maturity or investment in EPRs a healthcare organisation is at, we can provide choice, flexibility and a smooth evolution to efficient working and happy clinicians.
Our Dragon Medical portfolio ranges from digital dictation to workflow management to transcription and back end and front end speech recognition. We offer solutions that are on-premise or delivered via the secure cloud and we also offer outsourced services to quickly help our customers get on top of backlogs and shortages of resources.
Our flagship solution, Dragon Medical One, will play an increasingly important role as healthcare organisations invest in cloud solutions to overcome shortages in resources and technical skills. We’ll free up health organisations to focus on care whilst we take care of the process of delivering high quality clinical documentation.
AI seems to be a watchword in healthcare at the moment – what contribution is Nuance making here?
Nuance has been in the AI business for 20 years and our Dragon Medical speech recognition utilises AI. Computers are increasingly doing tasks that human do. Speech recognition is part of this, which is why we are also investing in using it to help automate SNOMED coding. We are also exploring ways in which virtual digital assistants can make clinicians’ lives easier.