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Gloucestershire NHS Dermatology “would be drowning” without Dragon Medical

Quite often with a speech recognition deployment, the emphasis and success criteria are centred on the Clinician side and how they will adopt and what changes are required for them when using the solution. At VoicePower we do not only look at the implementation side of Dragon Medical One from a Clinician perspective but also focus on the workflow and how this will affect the whole department including the Medical Secretaries. Here is what they had to say about Dragon…

  • This case study has been produced by a Medical Secretary within the Gloucestershire area in a Dermatology department.
  • Dermatology processes approximately 1000 letters per month.
  • Speech Recognition software is seen as a negative to secretarial staff.
  • Creates loss of job anxieties and workplace stress.
  • The strain on the secretarial team to implement changes and normal working practices.
  • Full departmental deployment of Dragon Medical One to the Dermatology Clinicians.
  • Turnaround time is now dramatically lower.
  • The backlog of letters within the department has gone.
  • Medical secretaries are always up to date.
  • Patient and GP letters are accessible on the same day as the clinic.
  • The secretarial workload is more manageable.
  • Staff absence in the department is easier to cope with.
  • More time for tasks: emails, telephone calls, patient filing/printing and sorting post/deliveries to the department.

Battling the Backlog

The initial driver for a change in solution was due to the sheer backlog of dictation being produced by the Clinicians. This meant that letters were not being distributed to GPs and patients on time and from a Medical Secretary’s point of view, the workload was becoming unmanageable, stressful, and demotivating. There wasn’t enough time to deal with email and telephone enquiries, print letters and file patient notes as well as manage the post and deliveries as well and type the day’s clinics let alone impact the backlog of dictation.

A quick replacement had to be implemented to maintain the smooth running of the department and to continuously meet specific NHS targets.

VoicePower had previously been involved in a similar pilot scheme within other departments within the Trust and was asked to provide support, training, and guidance in implementing Dragon Medical One within the Dermatology department.

Expert Advice

VoicePower worked closely with the Service lead, Clinicians, and Medical Secretaries within the department. During these consultations, they created a workflow that allowed the Clinicians to create patient and GP letters within the department EPR direct.

With their new solution, letters are created in real time.

Whilst this was a much-needed change for the department and service, the solution does bring the following anxieties to a Medical Secretary role:

  • Job loss/redundancies.
  • Change in role and duties.
  • Job satisfaction.

During the consultation stage, VoicePower included discussions with the Medical Secretaries and outlined the importance of their role with the forthcoming changes. As well as providing the Clinicians with one-to-one training sessions and quick start hand-outs, VoicePower also offered ongoing support. Meaning, that once the solution was implemented the department could still rely on VoicePower’s expert knowledge via telephone, email and remote connection.

Dragon Medical One – Enterprise-Ready Speech Recognition

Dragon Medical One is a cloud-based speech recognition solution that provides fast, accurate and secure document creation. Its lightweight deployment means that it is accessible within both main and satellite clinics for the Clinicians to report with. It can also easily be deployed onto laptops where necessary.

Dragon Medical One offers usage reports through its own analytical database. This enables administrators to review progress, efficiency gains and levels of use by the Clinicians. The analytic suite also allows the trust to see the returns that they’re receiving for their investment.

The process to create patient letters within EPR was created through VoicePower’s expertise and experience and helped to successfully implement the solution to meet the needs and requirements of the department and individuals.

What Benefits did Dragon Medical One Bring?

Once the initial consultations had taken place and Dragon Medical One solution implemented for the Clinicians, the medical secretaries reported the following:

  • Dictation backlog reduced.
  • Quicker turnaround as letters were dictated directly into the EPR.
  • When patients or GPs enquired about outcomes, the information was available for the Medical Secretaries to give straight away.
  • Tasks such as answering phone calls, responding to email enquiries, printing/filing, and sorting the post/deliveries were more manageable and could be prioritised.
  • Motivation at the end of each day/week was improved as there was time to do all tasks for that day/week and a feeling of completion rather than a never-ending panic.
  • Staff absences didn’t impact the department.

What Does the Medical Secretary Team Think?

“If we didn’t have Dragon Medical, we would be drowning so it has worked really well for us”

“It’s fantastic – we would be so far behind if we had to do all the typing”

“It’s so much quicker for us to answer a query without typing the letter first”

“We now have more time for all the other admin tasks which weren’t getting done”

“We have fewer notes in the office so fewer requests to deal with”

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