Demand for primary care is at an all-time high, putting a major strain on already limited resources—but GPs across the UK have continued to step up and deliver critical services, even during the pandemic.
Through this period of intense pressure, primary care providers have had to quickly adapt their services to meet new demands, covering everything from remote consultations to a nationwide vaccine rollout. And though the pressure has been challenging, in some cases it’s helped accelerate digital initiatives that were previously put on hold—and it’s created benefits that’ll be felt for years to come.
In our recent webinar, we brought together experts from across the primary care sector to identify some of the major changes accelerated by the pandemic and discuss how speech recognition tools like Dragon Medical One are helping create efficient, high-quality healthcare experiences. Here are some of the key highlights from the session.
Positive changes through a challenging period
Going into the pandemic, primary care providers weren’t equipped with the resources they needed to support such a huge healthcare demand. Dr Ian Wood, Clinical Director at EMIS Group—one of the UK’s leading healthcare technology companies—reminded us that in 2019, the UK’s primary health system was promised 5,000 more GPs, but instead saw numbers fall by more than 1,300. “The GP shortage happened while the workload was rising. Even now, we’re still managing the backlog from the vaccination programme and supporting other critical conditions,” said Dr Wood. “I feel like we’re in the middle of—or perhaps just beginning—a major workforce crisis.”
Although it’s clear that recruiting more clinicians is critical, technology can also play a role in helping to alleviate some of these pressures. One of the tools Dr Wood highlighted was our own Dragon Medical One speech recognition solution, which is used by GPs across the UK to speech-enable EMIS Web. “Speech recognition like Dragon can have a huge impact on a GP’s daily workflow,” said Dr Wood. “No matter what your role in primary care, your day is filled with hundreds of tasks, so any small efficiencies can add up to significant savings quickly. It can mean the difference of having a tea break or even a toilet break for some overstretched teams, and that’s no exaggeration.”
To get a complete picture of speech recognition’s impact on a GP’s workflow, we invited practising GP Dr Ahmad Moukli from Prospect House Surgery to offer his perspective.
How a practicing GP uses Dragon Medical One every day
Dr Moukli has been using Dragon Medical speech recognition solutions to deliver essential patient services since 2003. He told us: “I can’t see myself practicing without speech recognition; it’s been a revelation. I’ve always envisioned not needing a keyboard and using just my voice for all my consultations—no distractions, just myself and the patient in the room. I’m getting closer and closer to achieving that every year.”
Dr Moukli explained the value he sees in speech recognition solutions: “For me, it’s all about greater efficiency, safety, and quality. I see around 30 patients a day. Saving a few minutes during each consultation quickly adds up.”
From a safety and quality perspective, Dr Moukli described the high level of recognition accuracy he gets with Dragon Medical One and reported his notes are more complete, helping him keep an accurate record of his patients no matter how often they visit. “When you come back to a patient’s notes years after they last visited, it can be incredibly difficult if they’re hard to understand,” says Dr Moukli. “But using Dragon Medical One, my notes are accurate, clear, and complete with the right medical terminology.”
Dr Moukli recently switched from Nuance’s older on-premises solution, Dragon Medical Practice Edition, to Dragon Medical One. Deployed in the cloud, Dr Moukli can now use speech recognition wherever and whenever he needs it. “Moving Dragon to the cloud was a big move for me. I can access my voice profile with all my customisations at my main surgery, satellite surgery, and from home,” says Dr Moukli. “I’m also not limited by the power of my computer—being cloud-based software, hardware limitations no longer apply.”
See Dragon Medical One and EMIS Web in action
Dr Moukli’s experience offers just a glimpse at what’s possible when you combine EMIS software with Dragon Medical One. During the webinar, we were joined by Nuance Elite Partner Crescendo for an insightful demo, revealing exactly how Dragon Medical One works with EMIS Web—and how it can support GPs’ daily workflows.
Watch the webinar on demand to see the demo and hear the complete conversation with the experts from EMIS and Prospect House Surgery.