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Wellspring Medical Practice Save Time Thanks to Their New Workflow

Wellspring Medical Practice decided that its process for creating general practice records could be improved by offering its doctors the ability to dictate them using speech recognition technology, rather than type them.

  • Five doctors, and 5,500 patients.
  • 60 patient letters produced per month.
  • TPP SystmOne clinical system.
  • The Doctors aren’t proficient at typing.
  • Reports are slow and inaccurate.
  • Strain on the secretarial team to correct content.
  • A completely new workflow was implemented in the form of Dragon Medical.
  • Accurate, easy and quick capture of patient and clinical documents.
  • Patient letters are more detailed and comprehensive.
  • Secretaries have saved half a day.


Founded almost 60 years ago, Killingworth-based Wellspring Medical Practice attends to the medical needs of almost five and half thousand patients.

An experienced team comprising doctors, nurses, practice and healthcare professionals, work together to provide a range of services as wide and diverse as general health checks, baby clinics, travel immunisations and health advice, diabetic clinics, psychology, counselling and chronic disease management.



Accuracy Is Vital

It is widely acknowledged that accurate patient records are central to patients receiving precise, timely and appropriate medical treatment. Therefore capturing data accurately is essential.

With this in mind, Wellspring Medical Practice decided that its process for creating general practice records could be improved by offering its doctors the ability to dictate them using speech recognition technology, rather than type them — a process that resulted in records of varying quality, because the doctors were not professional typists.

Their lack of typing proficiency caused delays in the creation of both referral letters and general practice records while typing them up was a time-consuming task for the secretary.






Expert Advice


A meeting with Nuance Communications Healthcare Connections partner, VoicePower Ltd, introduced the surgery to Dragon Medical interfaced with TPP’s SystmOne clinical software, which allows patient information to be shared electronically.

Dragon Medical is Nuance’s front-end, real-time, desktop, speech recognition software. Developed to enable doctors to conveniently and efficiently generate clinical documentation and navigate clinical systems, Dragon Medical maximises healthcare professionals’ productivity and performance, enabling them to do more with less, improve information accuracy and raise the quality of service and care delivered to patients.

With Dragon Medical, clinical letters can be dictated directly, up to three times faster than typing, helping to meet targets to get discharge letters to patients within 24 hours.

With accurate reporting central to delivering optimised patient care, Dragon Medical’s accuracy rates of up to 99% ensure clear, accurate and timely clinical letters.

To ensure consistent accuracy, Dragon Medical has been optimised for non-native speakers too, while new medical vocabularies cover almost 80 specialities and sub-specialities.





New Workflow – Dragon Medical

Already open to the concept and benefits of speech recognition, Wellspring Medical Practice heard VoicePower explain how Dragon Medical could not only help increase the accuracy of the general practice records but also increase the detail included, to provide a more comprehensive practice record.

This contributes to optimising the quality of healthcare for patients. VoicePower also explained that Dragon Medical could be personalised to the needs of each user, showing that the technology fits around them, rather than the other way around.

This flexibility encourages acceptance, accelerates deployment and doesn’t impact the doctor’s workflow, or working practices. Convinced that VoicePower presented a compelling case for Dragon Medical, a successful pilot trial was conducted before Wellspring Medical Practice decided it would deploy the software.

VoicePower then further assisted with individual training, personalising Dragon Medical to each user’s requirements with specific macros to speed up tasks, such as adding standardised or generic text to a document.

Time saved, accuracy up, errors down.

The benefits of using Dragon Medical were apparent early on, according to Liz Brittlebank, Practice Manager at Wellspring Medical Practice.

“Not all of the doctors are good typists. Dragon Medical presents them with an alternative way to create general practice records without typing.” – Liz Brittlebank

Additionally, Dragon Medical enables the GPs to create the patient record at a time convenient for them and, because the quality and accuracy are far better using Dragon Medical, the secretaries spend less time editing.

Once they have received the referral letter, their time is now mainly spent formatting the document rather than editing it. The impact on their productivity has been considerable with Liz stating they saved ‘approximately half a day’ since deploying Dragon Medical, with letters being turned around in between one and two days.

There is a further benefit that contributes to better patient outcomes, as Liz explains.

“Dragon Medical’s accuracy makes the continuity of care a lot easier to achieve. It helps create letters that are coherent and can be read at a glance. Both medically and legally, I feel much more comfortable with the quality and accuracy of letters produced using Dragon Medical.” – Liz Brittlebank

The overall satisfaction with Dragon Medical has been bolstered further, as Liz states.

“Dragon Medical is much more flexible than we initially realised. The doctors are impressed that it can be used to create and send emails and conduct research online in addition to creating text. Additionally, it has integrated really well into our medical record workflow process.”

Wellspring Medical Practice has been so impressed with their new workflow that not only have they recommended it to other surgeries, but they have invited other medical professionals over to see it in action.

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