Overwhelming IT Success at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust as Digital Dictation Improves Patient Care and Cuts Unnecessary Costs

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The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has today announced that the implementation of the BigHand digital dictation workflow system within the Histopathology department has had a significant impact on patient care. The Trust has replaced analogue tape dictation equipment for the 22 consultants, 14 trainee medical staff and 12 secretaries within the department, spanning 2 hospital sites. The implementation of BigHand digital dictation has been cited as an overwhelming success, and has challenged the perception of speech technology within the Trust.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has today announced that the implementation of the BigHand digital dictation workflow system within the Histopathology department has had a significant impact on patient care. The Trust has replaced analogue tape dictation equipment for the 22 consultants, 14 trainee medical staff and 12 secretaries within the department, spanning 2 hospital sites. The implementation of BigHand digital dictation has been cited as an overwhelming success, and has challenged the perception of speech technology within the Trust.

Dr Tony Sims, Histopathology Laboratory Manager, championed the switch from tape dictation equipment to a digital dictation workflow system. Dr Sims was concerned that the continued use of tape equipment would negatively impact the turnaround time of Histology reports and that the high attrition rate of tapes would have a significant long term cost implication. On a monthly basis, the Histopathology department alone would purchase in the region of 30-40 new tapes.

Dr Sims states that on average, pathologists were recording up to 5 reports per tape, with tapes transferred via internal delivery to secretaries for transcription. The time taken from completion of a tape to simply arriving with a secretary could take an hour and a half, consequently the first dictation recorded would not usually be transcribed until the following day. This clunky process caused significant delays and backlogs in the report authorisation process.

The use of BigHand digital dictation enables pathologists to 'dictate and go', recording dictations and instantly submitting to secretaries for transcription, totally removing the inherent delays created by tape dictation methods. Pathologists are able to submit dictations to the secretarial team across the 2 sites, and as a result dictations are transcribed within minutes of being received, and reports submitted for approval the same day.

Dr Tony Sims comments:

''Following preliminary research, we began our investigation into digital dictation systems with a formal tender process. It was through this process that the BigHand product and service delivery stood above the rest. Speech recognition was very much in our minds at this time as such was included within the requirements for a combined system. Certainly within the healthcare profession, speech recognition is perceived as an efficient way of generating text, however digital dictation has been proven to achieve efficiencies well beyond those possible with speech recognition. Not a single pathologist has volunteered to use our speech recognition software, they all favour BigHand. The BigHand system is so easy to use that some had started using the system before training had been completed.

Barcode readers within the dictation hardware enable our pathologists to scan specimen numbers before they begin dictating; the scanned number then pre-populates the title of the dictation. Once the dictation has been transcribed and report authorised, the details are then digitally placed within patient notes. BigHand is a straightforward yet highly efficient system, and has been an overwhelming success for the team. Our next stage is to extend BigHand into the mortuary where lengthy autopsy reports are dictated, and the plan is to utilise existing histopathology secretaries for transcription.''

BigHand digital dictation has been proven to increase efficiency, expedite the report generation process and play an integral role in Trust wide strategies to reduce expenditure.

About BigHand
A Microsoft Gold Partner & BlackBerry ISV Partner based out of Chicago, London, Sydney and Toronto. BigHand is the leading digital dictation vendor in the global professional services sector, maintaining the five largest sites at international law firms and with more legal installations in total than all other suppliers combined. BigHand3 was awarded "Best of Breed System of the Year" at the Legal Technology Awards for 2008, and nominated as 'New Product of the Year' at the LTN Awards 2008. BigHand's BlackBerry dictation application was awarded 'Mobile Product of the Year' at the CNet Networks Business Technology Awards 2008. BigHand was named as the fastest growing legal software developer in The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 league tables for both 2006 and 2005. BigHand was also recognised by Deloitte as one of the 500 fastest growing software vendors in Europe in 2006. Additionally BigHand was voted "Best Legal Office Technology System 2004" from votes from over 14,000 lawyers and IT managers across the legal sector at the LOTIE Awards. BigHand's leading product also won the Society for Computers & Law IT Award in 2003 for "the most outstanding application of information technology to the law". Further information is available at http://www.bighand.com

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Jo Beckwith
BigHand
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