Carol Jones is the practice manager at St James Medical Centre, a large practice in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, serving 14,000 patients. In 2005, the practice employed two medical secretaries but after one secretary left and the other came up to retirement, Mrs Jones looked for another solution.
“Our use of dictaphones was very antiquated, and I thought there must be something out there that was more up-to-date and easier to use,” says Mrs Jones.
She required a solution that was faster and more efficient than their existing tape-based analogue system, as well as being suitable for reception staff with minimal typing skills. It was critical that any new solution should not place additional workload on the GPs. Carol Jones contacted Voice Recognition Systems (VRS), a leading voice recognition and digital dictation provider, for help.
VRS recommended replacing their analogue system with the latest in digital dictation combined with Dragon voice recognition software. Digital dictation can dramatically improve document turnaround time, as well as provide superior sound quality. The voice recognition element would enable accurate transcription at speeds in excess of 400 words per minute.
It was agreed to supply each GP with an Olympus DS-4000 digital recorder with docking station, enabling them to send sound files quickly and easily via computer to the secretary. The secretary would be provided with the Olympus AS-4000 transcription kit together with Dragon voice recognition software.
VRS carried out supply, installation and training, and also provided ongoing support for the system. Each GP required approximately 60 minutes training on the Olympus dictation equipment, and created a Dragon voice file that was stored on the secretary’s computer. VRS created a customised medical vocabulary plus abbreviations and shortcuts for each user.
The practice has now used the system for more than two years. “In that time,” says Mrs Jones, “we’ve gone from having two fulltime secretaries to just one part-time secretary managing the entire dictation workload.” She adds: “It saves so much time as it’s so easy! VRS have been fantastic throughout the whole process – nothing is too much trouble.”
How the system works
- GPs dictate into the Olympus DS-4000 digital recorder, and download recordings as DSS files (compressed sound files) via the docking station to be received by the secretary.
- A pop-up window notifies the secretary of new dictations waiting to be transcribed.
- Using the Olympus Pro software supplied with the Olympus transcription kit, the secretary is able to identify the sender, the time the file was sent and, as files can be prioritised, which are the most urgent.
- Having recognised the sender, the secretary opens the appropriate Dragon voice file, and clicks on the Olympus DSS files ready for transcription.
- Simply by pressing the “transcribe” button, the Dragon software automatically transcribes the DSS files at speeds capable of 400-plus words per minute.
- Words are entered directly to their chosen Windows application, including EMIS.
- Once completed, the secretary is able to highlight the transcribed documents and playback the dictation, with synchronised highlighting of text and edit if required.
- Save and print as normal.
By deploying voice recognition software together with digital dictation, it is possible for medical practices to save money on manual transcription costs, reduce document turnaround time and thereby improve the quality of patient care.
NB. VRS are now supplying the new Olympus DS-5000 digital dictation/transcription system.
For further information, please contact:
VOICE RECOGNITION SYSTEMS
1 Harp Hill Mews
Cheltenham GL52 5AH
T 01242 702 804