Worthing & Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust Achieves 10-minute Referral Turnaround Via BigHand Digital Dictation Software

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NHS Trust improves patient care through the delivery of same day referral letters facilitated by BigHand digital dictation workflow system.

Worthing & Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust has today announced that it has delivered same day referral letters for patients and in urgent cases within just 10 minutes, as a result of implementing the BigHand digital dictation workflow system. Prior to implementing the award-winning BigHand system consultants were using analogue tape dictation equipment, however broken tapes and poor sound quality were becoming more frequent and increasingly costly prompting a Trust wide review of the dictation and transcription process. Worthing & Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust now has over 300 users of the BigHand technology across the Trust.

The Trust wide review exposed disparities in document turnaround times between departments, ranging from 1 day to 6 weeks. The transparency of workflow via BigHand enables consultants and secretaries to work far more efficiently and as a result, departments are able to respond to patient needs much faster.

Alison Byatt, Project Manager at Worthing & Southlands NHS Trust commented on the benefits experienced across the Trust:

"An ENT consultant who runs the Head and Neck Cancer Clinic now dictates his urgent letters and they are immediately typed and signed off by the consultant the same day.

Within the Diabetes department a consultant saw a patient who needed to go to another clinic and required a letter of referral to take with them. The consultant was able to dictate the letter there and then, mark it as an "urgent dictation", and specified a time within 10 minutes for completion. The message was received by the secretaries instantly and the letter was typed and down in the clinic to be signed before the patient had left.

BigHand is also being used for non clinical dictation: the secretary for the department of Medicine for the Elderly is able to take down the minutes of the departmental meetings using BigHand to record the meeting and is then able to directly type up the notes and circulate them back to the attendees."

BigHand digital dictation enables consultants to record and instantly submit dictations into their Trust's workflow allowing immediate access for secretaries to begin transcribing. Importantly, secretaries are able to identify and expedite urgent patient referral letters, transcribing as soon as they are submitted, rather than trawling through hours of tape dictation and instructions.

Earlier this month Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust announced that it is to extend its use of the BigHand digital dictation workflow system across the Trust, further enhancing the Trust's ability to deliver first class patient care across a number of specialties. The success of replacing tape dictation equipment with the BigHand system within Oncology and Renal has led the Trust to extend into Cardiothoracic, Sleep Unit, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Speech and Language Therapy, and Nutrition and Dietetics.

In January 2009 Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced it implemented BigHand software incorporating over 1000 users spanning 5 hospitals over 2 campuses, in one of the largest rollouts of digital dictation technology in the NHS.

Chris Bell, BigHand. Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 5907

About BigHand
BigHand is based out of Chicago, London, Sydney and Toronto. BigHand is the leading digital dictation vendor in the global professional services sector. BigHand3 was awarded 'Best of Breed System of the Year' at the Legal Technology Awards for 2008, and BigHand Mobile (BlackBerry Edition) was voted 'Mobile Product of the Year' at the CNET Business Technology Awards 2008. BigHand has also been nominated in the Sixth Annual Law Technology News (LTN) Awards for 2009 as 'Dictation System of the Year' and 'Mobile Tool of the Year'. Further information is available at http://www.bighand.com

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Chris Bell
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