Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has reduced patient correspondence time by 55 days using digital dictation software.

The trust has implemented the Winscribe digital dictation and the WinVoicePro automated patient letter production system across the trust.

Katherine Sowden, Barnsley’s acting head of business change, said the trust previously had an average turnaround time of 56 days for clinical related patient correspondence, but can now do it in one day.

“The introduction of digital dictation and automated patient correspondence across all of our 24 clinical departments, has delivered impressive results – with turnaround times for important patient care correspondence reduced from a 56-day average, to a 1-day average in our medical cluster,” she said.

“Across our hospital alone, we generate, manage and send thousands of pieces of clinical correspondence every week, with this volume increasing year-on-year, with effective, time-sensitive communications with our patients being a vitally important part of the care we provide for our patients.”

Clinicians dictate and edit patient notes using digital dictation, which are then forwarded to medical secretarial staff who sign-off and distribute clinical patient letters.

Clinicians can also access the digital dictation system remotely within the trust.

The system from Voice Technologies includes a custom software platform with letter templates and automated links to the trust’s Totalcare patient administration system from McKesson

Barnsley recently announced it has chosen to take CSC’s Lorenzo electronic patient record system as a replacement PAS.

The trust will begin implementing the system as phase one of its EPR programme during 2014.