Barwon Health - Case Study

4 min read

Barwon Health increases clinician satisfaction, improves turnaround and saves costs with cloud-based, AI-powered Speech Recognition



Barwon Health is one of the largest and most comprehensive regional health services in Australia, providing care at all stages of life and circumstance. Health services available through Barwon Health cover the full spectrum from primary care, community services, aged care, rehabilitation, mental health, emergency and acute care. Except for neurosurgery and transplantation, virtually all other specialities are available through University Hospital Geelong.

Barwon previously used a mix of dictation methods, including dial in landline telephony, digital recorders and standalone digital dictation equipment. Problems identified with these processes included delays in processing letters, affecting the turnaround. This meant that Barwon Health was spending money on agency staff and outsourced transcription services to assist with letter backlogs. Staff were spending too much time on administrative tasks, including the manual transcription of dictations, and were subsequently not able to dedicate sufficient, quality time to dealing with patient issues.

Barwon Health sought to upgrade their legacy and ‘end of life’ telephone dictation system with one which could be easily adopted by clinicians and medical admin staff, and leveraged to improve service provision to patients by improving turnaround times and reducing the backlog of dictations. As with many hospitals, this is an urgent issue to address due to the nature of the healthcare service. Timely access to information is crucial for providing timely treatment to patients; and the legacy dictation systems were presenting major issues with system stability and the quality of the recordings, which affected the accuracy of medical records, as well as turnaround.

The main objective of Barwon Health was to procure a digital dictation solution that transitions the organisation to Voice Recognition technology to improve the timeliness and accuracy of voice to documentation for all areas.

The Health Service insisted the solution came from a proven supplier with enough skill and resources to manage a major project, with technology designed for both current and future healthcare needs. It was specified that the chosen technology be fully operational and achieve an immediate high level of medical-specific speech recognition.




T-Pro Dictate is a versatile, cloud-based Digital Dictation, Speech Recognition and clinical correspondence solution designed to provide staff with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface enabling them to easily create, track, transcribe and manage workloads centrally.

With T-Pro’s fully integrated, speech recognition engine, clinicians use their voice to securely capture the patient's story more naturally and efficiently - anywhere, anytime. With a single unified voice profile, clinicians can get up and running quickly across clinical workflows, care settings, devices, and apps. This provides a seamless, consistent, and personalised experience which supports the natural and individual workflows of clinicians.

  • Secure, accurate and mobile speech recognition
  • No voice profile training required
  • Capture patient story at any PC or while on the move
  • Dictate using microphone, handheld recorder, telephone, or mobile device
  • Select from patient list (pulled from PAS), which pre-populates templates with patient and visit information
  • Self-edit and sign clinic letter or send to transcription for review and editing
  • Feature set designed to maximise efficiency of proofreading and editing; words are highlighted as
    playback is controlled with foot-pedal
  • Changes made in the editor are sent back to the T-Pro speech engine for learning and improved accuracy over time
  • Personalised clinical vocabularies and templates can be accessed and shared across the Health Service
  • Voice command capabilities for editing, and boilerplate text insert capabilities
  • Rapidly check and electronically sign/approve letters
  • Intelligent routing and interfacing with PAS and EMR, and subsequent transmission of letters electronically to the GP




T-Pro’s in-house integration team was available to offer expert assistance in the design and development of interfaces with Barwon Health’s PAS and EMR (iPM, Allscripts, BossNet, Aria and AGFA) enabling T-Pro to handle all the stages of the documentation process - from creation to automatic distribution of letters, and every step in between. Deep integration also allowed the Hospital to leverage their existing systems, and create seamless workflows for users, and automate complex workflows that refocus staff towards more high-value tasks.

Transcribing a clinic letter, which previously would take a medical typist approximately 5 minutes - now with T-Pro speech recognition, it takes a matter of seconds. Over the course of one week, Barwon Health is able to save hours of valuable time and cut down on expensive, manual transcription time and empower clinical staff to work more efficiently. Time spent on transcription has reduced dramatically. The number of letters that typists are able to process per month has dramatically increased, and significant improvements in turnaround time have been felt across departments.

T-Pro speech recognition is easy to use, with minimal training required, taking as little as 5 minutes, so staff can stay productive.

What’s more, T-Pro Speech is highly accurate and flexible. Speaker independent, AI-driven speech recognition means there is no voice profile training required and users have a highly accurate speech recognition conversion tool, right out of the box. Clinicians can dictate while using any modern web browser, or mobile device, and efficiently capture the complete patient story. With options to self-edit and finalise letters in real time or send to a medical typist to review and edit the transcribed text, clinicians have the power of choice in their hands.

In addition to the efficiency gains, T-Pro’s subscription-based pricing makes it easier for the Health Service to plan budgets with little upfront capital investment and predictable expenses. It has enabled it to project significant cost savings to be achieved as we move to the introduction of front speech recognition for clinicians.

The implementation of T-Pro at Barwon Health was more than just your standard run-of-the-mill software implementation. Rather, this was a product of several teams coming together to work towards a common goal, which was to provide the Health Service with an efficient system that has high usability, will improve turnaround and enable clinicians to spend less time on documentation and focus more on patient care. 



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