Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest NHS Trusts in England. The Trust employs over 8,000 employees and covers a 1.3 million patient population across North and East Yorkshire, North East and North Lincolnshire.
The Trust has worked with G2 Speech since 2007 and have recently been awarded Lorenzo Digital Exemplar.
We met with Jenny Barker, Project Manager for SpeechReport and Transfer of Care and Suzanne Desforges-Watts, Access and Systems Support at the Trust, charged with the implementation, roll out and successful management of the G2 project.
Giving background to the project Jenny explained: “Having first tendered for digital dictation and speech recognition technology in 2007, the Trust went through a rigorous process to appoint a solution provider.
The original reasons we looked for external support was:
• We were struggling to meet turnaround times
• There were difficulties in the recruitment of trained and experienced medical secretaries
• Expenditure and vacancy controls in place
• Delays in production of patient letters, resulting in potential risk to patient care
• Requirement for more cost effective means of producing clinical correspondence.
Prior to having a system in place, I remember there being bags of tapes waiting to be transcribed. You couldn’t tell how urgent they were, how long each recording was, the quality was not of a high standard and sometimes accidents happened where recordings were deleted. There could be a large backlog of tapes stacked up ready for a secretary. Something needed to change to help get on top of the backlog and to digitise our way of working.
We had piloted outsourcing transcription which proved the benefits of digital dictation technology, but came at a cost and required checking by secretarial staff. We needed a technology that would convert the spoken word into text 24/7 and enabled dictation and transcription to be managed across multiple sites. Something that was secure and reduced turnaround times.
Also we needed a technology that would deliver significant revenue savings. G2 Speech was chosen as the preferred supplier to help the Trust realise their goals and to transform their working methods. Together, we worked with G2 Speech and began the original implementation of MediSpeech in Cardiology in November 2007. We then rolled out the technology over an 18-month period Trust-wide. The solution was rolled out to 40+ medical and surgical specialities across the Trust.
The efficiency and cost savings were evident. There were hugely improved turnaround times through use of work types and the prioritisation mechanism in the workflow tool. The financial savings amounted to £3.5million in revenue savings over the 5 years of the project, with recurrent savings of £1million per annum. Since then, there have been significant developments in technology, changes in the National Health Service and indeed, changes to the patients the Trust are treating. In 2015, the contract with G2 Speech came to an end and it was a time for retendering. We took the opportunity to thoroughly consider our requirements and future trends emerging in the industry.”
Key focus when deciding on the new provider were as follows:
• Quality • Delivery • Value for Money • Price.
It was decided that the preferred solution would have the following features:
• A complete workflow solution from point of dictation to transcription and distribution (either print or electronic distribution), including electronic sign off capabilities.
• Integration with the Lorenzo EPR enabling the user to select the patient from an outpatient, ward or theatre list.
• Able to fully integrate with the digital dictation workflow system.
• Able to produce documents in realtime (client side) or via back-end (service side) recognition.
• Integration with the EPR to enable documents to be pre-populated with demographic and clinical information in the document template within the Lorenzo EPR, with clinicians using real-time recognition to dictate directly into the template document in the EPR system.
• High degree of accuracy of speech recognition.
• Medical dictionary capabilities, including general medical/surgical, radiology and pathology.
• General management dictionary capabilities. System Management
• Assignment of licences to individuals.
• Configuration of individual and group settings, including priorities, work types, work groups.
• Production of management and audit reports including system utilisation by individuals and groups, speech recognition rates, correction rates.
Following a rigorous tendering process the Trust took the decision to reappoint G2 Speech as their preferred supplier. They decided G2 Speech was still the best market fit for the organisation because of the technology they provide, our ability to meet the Trust’s technology requirements, our aligned future vision and consultative approach to support. The new contract involved the introduction of SpeechReport, G2 Speech’s advanced, speech technology platform. This rollout began in October 2015 with a phased approach.
Speaking of the implementation of SpeechReport, Jenny said, “Following the last implementation, the Trust had some key lessons learned from their original experience. Many staff were now well versed in the use of digital dictation and speech recognition technology. The time saving benefits of using interactive speech recognition had been realised. The Trust were clear that with this implementation the emphasis would be on increasing the use of interactive speech recognition.
We devised 12 standard template letters to cover all departments across the Trust. This standardised approach has helped to keep documentation professionalised, ensuring that qualitative time is spent on creating letters and reports and not style and formatting.
Training on the new system was very simple, as there were obvious similarities and buy in from those already aware of the many benefits. Departments were trained for around 20 minutes with the Trust’s project trainers. This allowed for ample time to explain the new features and functionalities. We have also now developed a training video for any new users of the system.
We now regularly monitor the use of the system and are able to scrutinise the data provided by the system to identify bottlenecks. G2 Analytics, the reporting tool provided by G2 Speech has been great for monitoring every day performance use.”
Speaking of G2 Analytics, Suzanne said: “Over 10 Managers and Team Leaders regularly receive reports from G2 Analytics. G2 Analytics is the reporting and analytical module provided alongside the SpeechReport platform. The system is used by the Team Leaders every day to assess things like: secretarial and author performance, department turnaround times and 7 day turnaround times, in line with Trust targets. These reports are also used for a weekly performance meeting. The platform allows the Trust to monitor documents for reporting but also audit purposes. It’s extremely useful and has become an integral part of analysing performance.”
Jenny summarised, “I would recommend anyone in a similar position to work with SpeechReport and G2 Speech. We have developed a strong working relationship that has contributed to the achievement of the Trust’s digital strategy.
My advice when looking at implementing the technology would be to go for speech recognition in all areas and departments. It’s far superior to digital dictation in many ways and can save you a lot of time. Allow plenty of time for roll out and assign ample support in clinical areas. Make sure you test things and don’t rush!”
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