Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust has deployed new digital dictation and speech recognition software which will fully integrate with their existing patient administration system (PAS).

The trust has rolled out the WinScribe digital dictation system from suppliers, SRC, across the trust, covering 25 departments and over 800 users. The aim of the system is to improve document turnaround times at the trust.

The roll-out was supported by Sussex Health Informatics Service, and will integrate with the PAS using the HL7 healthcare data-interchange standard.

SRC says that it has configured WinScribe so that when the secretary opens a digital dictation file it automatically launches the appropriate template and populates it with GP details, patient information and data obtained from the trust’s PAS and other databases.

The key patient identification data is captured by the doctor or author using barcode technology connected to dictation devices.

Mark Cannon, associate director of elective surgery at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) Trust told EHI: “Administrative support to clinical teams is a crucial and integral part of the delivery of effective health care. Being able to utilise new technologies to improve the effectiveness of these services is critical.

“The combination of leading digital dictation technology, and customised integration and training services, which SRC has delivered, has resulted in a highly successful project that we are confident will save time for doctors and secretaries.”

The system has been fully integrated with three outsourced service providers who are providing transcription services to BSUH.

SRC says WinScribe can automatically route certain job types without the need for user intervention. It also ensures doctors and secretaries are provided with status reports and visibility on how the outsourced dictation is progressing.

Cannon added: “We believe that the ability to route work will ensure typing backlogs never occur and will allow us to manage our costs. The seamless use of outsourcers means that secretaries can quickly review, approve and distribute documentation.”

Anticipated benefits of the new system include improved audio quality, advanced workflow management and visibility which will be easier for doctors and secretaries to use than the previous tape based system that was being used.

Cannon said: “The previous system of using analogue tapes, whilst popular, was actually quite cumbersome. There was always the risk that tapes got lost or ‘chewed up’. The tapes themselves were not very secure and included a lot of confidential patient information that was easily accessible and, should backlogs build up, proved very difficult to locate if required urgently.

“Typically the level of involvement by doctors was enormous. They had to find a secretary that was available and physically hand them the tape for transcription. The new system automatically routes dictations to groups of secretaries, who can share the workload and ensure urgent dictations are turned around quickly and efficiently.”

SRC provided BSUH with full deployment services and end user training for all doctors/authors, secretaries and administration staff using the WinScribe system.

The trust hope the system will help them to improve document turnaround times and realise significant cost savings.

Cannon said: “The SRC solution will help us better manage the complex communications between various systems and deliver benefits in terms of better patient care coupled with increased savings in time and money across all departments.”

Chris Hart, CEO at SRC, said: “Rolling out the complete digital dictation solution, including the first ever UK HL7 based integration, in only four months was achieved by close team working between SRC, BSUH and Sussex HIS staff.

SRC have also provided digital document creation solutions to Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Homerton Foundation Hospital, East Sussex and Royal West Sussex.”