General Practice Surgeries Going Digital with WinScribe

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26 General Practice surgeries under NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale in UK are now using WinScribe Dictation for the everyday running of their clinics. All general practioners (GPs) and secretaries are very enthusiastic about WinScribe Dictation and have seen positive improvements to their working conditions since using WinScribe for the creation of referral letters and patient reports. The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale has been the driving force of this move to digital technology. A primary objective of the IT Department was to identify a central digital dictation system that could be accessed by all the GPs in a secure environment regardless of the surgeries’ location.

26 General Practice surgeries under NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale in UK are now using WinScribe Dictation for the everyday running of their clinics. All general practioners (GPs) and secretaries are very enthusiastic about WinScribe Dictation and have seen positive improvements to their working conditions since using WinScribe for the creation of referral letters and patient reports. The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale has been the driving force of this move to digital technology. A primary objective of the IT Department was to identify a central digital dictation system that could be accessed by all the GPs in a secure environment regardless of the surgeries’ location.

The Challenge - Retire Analogue Tapes

NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale includes 26 General Practice surgeries and 127 GPs. Previously, all GPs were using analogue tapes to capture dictation. Doctors were manually recording on the analogue devices and once finished would give the tape to their secretaries. This way of working showed the usual limits of analogue dictation: doctors and secretaries were very concerned about the poor sound quality, the potential loss of tapes containing important data and also the lack of flexibility regarding both the recording and the play back of files from the tape.

The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale IT Department realised that it was about time to forget about this old school technology and look for a modern digital dictation system. Ben Laskey, Programme Manager, and Donna Haughton, Project Manager, started to look for a solution and tendered to attract potential suppliers and view the solutions available.

Brian Hart from DMCL, a WinScribe Authorized Partner, submitted into the tender process and was invited to demonstrate WinScribe Dictation to the NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale IT Department. Donna explains: “Brian Hart from DMCL came to our offices to assess what our specific needs were and gave us a product demo. We realised very soon that WinScribe Dictation located in our offices and accessible to the GPs through a secure https link would be the best solution for us.

WinScribe Dictation indeed ticked all the boxes, and we decided to place the order in March this year.” Ben adds, “The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale decided to accept DMCL’s bid for WinScribe Dictation as they met all the requirements of the PCT and GP Practices. WinScribe’s proven track record in delivering dictation solutions to GP surgeries and their ability to support key functionality such as encryption and workflow management made the selection easy.”

The Solution – WinScribe Dictation

DMCL organised the installation of WinScribe Dictation version 3.8. The WinScribe Dictation server is located within the NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale IT Department and is accessible by the GPs surgeries, which are spread out around Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale through the secure https link. Each secretary can only access the work allocated to him or her in order to avoid unnecessary issues and confusions between surgeries.

According to Donna, “We felt it would be easier if we set up and maintained the system centrally. It is less worrisome for the GPs and offers the opportunity or the better use of the system by all. Since each GP surgery operates independently, we are managing the access of the secretaries who will have permission to view only the work allocated to him or her. However if they wish to, GP surgeries could share thework between their secretaries in case of work overload. Two of them, Junction Surgery and Alkrington Clinic are actually sharing the workload between secretaries.”

The NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale IT Department who host the system has access to all the data. A back-up of all data is automatically performed to make sure that patient information is stored securely and can be retrieved in case of a problem in a surgery. The installation now includes 127 authors and 69 secretaries. All authors use Philips SpeechMike Pro to capture the data.

The Result - Greater Flexibility with a First Class Product and Support

The benefits were very clear. Donna explains: “First of all the secure link helped us in terms of patient data safety. All the data is now securely stored and backed up eliminating the risk of a loss of patients’ important information. This provides us with an additional safety net that ensures that the files will not get in to the wrong hands. The GPs are very pleased with the flexibility around the dictation. They can now add, deleteor change part of their dictation files without having to worry about the final quality of the recorded file. Secretaries were also seduced by the system and appreciate the new sound quality as well as the ability to control playback from their PCs while listening to the recordings. They are also very pleased with the fact that they now receive each piece of dictation separately and with the patient reference number. Their work has been made a lot easier as they now can start to type as soon as the dictation is sent to them. No longer are they forced to search a tape to find the right dictation.”

“Installation, implementation and training went quite fast”, explains Donna, “We did a pilot with the Junction Surgery for testing and then rolled out the solution to the entire NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale GP Estate. The order was placed in March ‘09 and by July ‘09 everyone was up and running. DCML provided us with very good service during both the installation and the implementation and also during the training and after sales support. GPs, secretaries and IT managers are very enthusiastic about the new system. Both WinScribe and DMCL have supplied us with a first class product and with first class support,” concludes Donna.

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Amy Clevidence

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