A new voice recognition technology that has been proven to speed up note taking and support patient-clinician interactions at Connect Health has been rolled out nationwide after a successful pilot.
Lexacom Echo was selected for trial by leading community healthcare provider Connect Health, to address its concerns that the time taken by clinicians to write their notes was significantly impacting their working day and work-life balance.
Connect Health found that 50% of Tier 2 MSK (musculoskeletal) clinicians were almost always late for lunch due to administrative processes, while 63% logged in from home to complete such tasks.
During the three-month trial among a group of clinicians in Connect Health’s Wolverhampton service, 41.4 hours were saved using the dictation tool compared to typing. Now, with national adoption across 90 Tier 2 MSK clinicians, it estimates around 127 hours could be saved each year.
One advanced physiotherapy practitioner, who was involved in the pilot, explained:
I would typically be with a patient 15 to 20 minutes but completing any radiology requests, writing a good quality letter, and navigating the administrative processes would take at a minimum 10 minutes, but often longer.
I’m rarely running on time”, added the employee, “and I know the quality that I deliver would reduce as the day and week goes on, as I become progressively tired.
Another Connect Health colleague added:
I have found Lexacom extremely useful. I’m now finishing before the end of the day or on time for lunch whereas before I was often out the door at least 15 minutes after the bell rang!
The tool, which uses innovative speech recognition technology, can explain complicated medical conditions in simple English at around 90 words per minute. The clinician will dictate using typical medical vocabulary, translating it in real-time to lay language so that patients can better understand their clinical letters.
As a result of the trial, Connect Health found a 60% reduction in clinicians late for lunch due to admin workload, and a 17% reduction of logins from home. Furthermore, eight out of 10 said that using Lexacom Echo allows them to spend more time with their patients.
Clearer communication between clinicians and patients, as well as between clinicians and managers is another benefit, says Andrew Cuff, Head of Clinical Strategy at Connect Health:
Not only does this roll-out demonstrate our commitment to getting the best outcomes for patients and delivering high-quality clinical care, it shows we are prepared to invest in order to reduce the burden on our colleagues and ensure a healthy work/life balance for them. That’s incredibly important to us from a values and duty of care perspective, and also helps us to retain our highly skilled workforce.
This technology is now employed across Connect Health’s team of Tier 2 MSK clinicians around the country, who collectively help over 375,000 NHS patients. We are now looking at opportunities to further introduce it across our pain and rheumatology services.
A leading-edge medical speech recognition solution, Lexacom Echo saves clinicians time by enabling them to speak to their computers rather than type, with the software accurately and rapidly turning that speech into text.
In Medical Mode, full medical descriptions and shorthand are automatically added for other clinicians to use and in Patient Mode, the system adds plain English definitions of medical terms, making notes easier to understand for patients. This capability has proven to improve patient engagement with their clinicians, helping build trust and supporting positive health outcomes.
Lexacom Managing Director, Dr Andrew Whiteley concludes:
I’m delighted that Lexacom is now working with Connect Health to help them in their mission to see and treat patients across the UK and across multiple specialties, offering the highest levels of care, and giving them the ability to quickly and accurately record the notes in the clinical system using Lexacom Echo.
I look forward to working with them all to develop the software to their needs and to further improve on the productivity of their clinicians.