Using speech recognition

By John Connole
Wednesday, 24 October, 2012


With an Integrated Reporting System from Soliton IT, Nambour hospital in Queensland, has reduced turnaround time for radiology reports by 85%.


NGH was experiencing transcription backlogs common in the Healthcare Industry, with improvements in Speech Recognition technology available it was time for change.


Soliton IT Reporting Workflow Solution, was implemented for Radiologists at Nambour. Centrally installed and managed, the system was also expanded into Caloundra and Gympie Hospitals, so that all Radiologists work with the single Soliton IT application across three discrete RIS databases.


A key benefit is the HL7 interface to the Radiology Information System (RIS) and the Desktop Integration with our Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS); it eliminates what David Ward, Medical Imaging Director, says was once “the number one risk for potential error”: the possibility of mismatching report and patient. “Thanks to the integration with the PACS and RIS, image, report and patient file are one single unit and it is impossible to mix them up, radiologists can choose between digital dictation and front-end speech recognition on a case by case basis if they wish. Speech recognition importantly also enables radiologists to produce and distribute an authorized report after-hours. “We have a number of young radiologists who embraced speech recognition and encouraged more experienced radiologists to come on board. We didn’t have any acceptance problems,” says David. “SpeechMagic continues to learn and adapt to the users. Recognition accuracy is constantly being improved and a site-specific vocabulary and context is being developed.”


The rapid report turnaround time facilitates faster clinical decision making and improves Patient Management.


“The Soliton system is working fantastically well. The features and the improved integration is making everyone’s life so much easier,” concludes Ward.


“Both the consultant radiologists and registrars are very happy with the product. It has especially improved our after-hours report turnaround times, and is easy to use. The speech recognition integrates well with workflow manager, and has in fact converted sceptics in this technology into users”, highlights Dr Troy Stapleton, the Director of Radiology, Southern Cluster, Sunshine Coast—Wide Bay Health Service District. “Accurate and rapid diagnosis is one of the keys to improving Patient Management and thanks to the new system we have achieved a marked reduction in our report turnaround times.”


“From a clerical point of view, the Soliton IT solution, has contributed to a less stressful environment, allowing a typist to be redeployed within the medical imaging service to help in other clerical areas,” adds Nonie Allen, the Nambour System Administrator. “The implementation of Soliton IT and SpeechMagic has improved the productivity and services and it has boosted the staff morale.”

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