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How to optimise clinical correspondence workflows for better patient outcomes

The healthcare industry has undergone a period of mass digitisation to drive efficiencies at every point in the patient journey. At the centre of these changes, there’s been a real drive to optimise data management to improve patient care.

But it’s a complex undertaking, with IT managers bearing the brunt of the responsibility to find technical solutions to boost clinician productivity without impacting patient safety.

When it comes to clinical correspondence workflows, there’s still a lot of work to do but there are many tools available to help you streamline these processes. In this post, we’ll look at one of those solutions to optimise your clinical correspondence workflows and how you can use effective data management to improve patient care.

Clinical workflows: A brief history

In 2016, the NHS recognised that the scale and complexity of work undertaken in general practice was increasing. It also recognised that the diminishing supply of doctors, nurses and other key medical staff further compounds these pressures.

At the same time, research reveals that 19% of GP workloads should be handled by someone other than the general practitioner in order to help surgeries to better manage their workloads. Taking this information into account, the NHS established its 10 High Impact Actions guidelines.

One such action is ‘Productive Workflows’. Here, the guidance states clinics need to introduce “new ways of working which enable staff to work smarter, not just harder. These can reduce wasted time, reduce queues, ensure more problems are dealt with first time and that uncomplicated follow-ups are less reliant on GPs consultations.”

This is a huge undertaking. So, where should you start?

To improve your workflows, you need to take a multi-faceted approach – making high-impact, small changes.  There are many different solutions that could help and digital dictation with speech recognition is one such change you could make to boost your clinical correspondence workflows.

How can speech recognition help?

Clinical correspondence is usually read, actioned, coded and filed by the GP. Thanks to speech recognition and digital dictation, GPs are widely freed from these tasks, allowing them to delegate this to an administrator who can assume the responsibility in a supported environment.

Digital dictation plays a major role in helping clinics streamline this process. It’s also an effective and powerful tool, and one that can play a role in the recently published NHS Long Term Plan.  

Digital dictation is a method of recording and managing natural speech, allowing you to streamline your transcription into text processes either using speech recognition software or manually. In the NHS, it is typically used to create reports and letters and is also suitable for clinical notes.

Speech recognition is an important part of the digital dictation solution. It allows clinicians to document patient care in real-time and in their own words, increasing the overall quality and quantity of data being captured.

At T-Pro, our speech recognition platform is easy to implement in your EHR, as part of our front-end documentation solution or as a back-end speech recognition workflow to improve your transcription process, and helping your clinics boost their clinical correspondence workflows.

Let’s look at a quick example: T-Pro’s mobility app is used extensively in the Galway Clinic in the west of Ireland, allowing users to record dictations, access and report on patient appointments, and review and manage documents, from any device.

The impact on the clinic’s correspondence workflows was significant, allowing them to achieve a one-hour turnaround between the hours of 08:00-20:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00-17:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

What’s more, the Galway Clinic was awarded HIMSS Stage 6 for their advanced adoption of electronic medical records, becoming the first hospital in Ireland and the UK to do so.

The system has transformed the hospital’s correspondence workflows, optimising the patient’s medical journey and reducing the turnaround times of patient/client notes and the time it takes to send letters to the patient/client.

Our system has also allowed the clinic to achieve a greater level of standardisation, which in turn contributes to a reduction in clinical risk, as a result of more reliable and accurate information. What’s more, captured data can be recorded in a structured way and analysed in order to provide deeper insights and to forecast future healthcare requirements. In addition to this, our system provided improved security and data protection.

All of these benefits are clear examples of how using effective data management can improve your patient care and workflows.

Want to find out more?

If you want to optimise your clinical correspondence workflows, digital dictation is a good option but bear in mind that not all solutions are equal. You will need to find a system that provides effective data management to improve patient care both seamlessly and securely.

This is where T-Pro can help. Our next-generation speech recognition solution is available across all platforms and devices, giving clinicians an easy-to-use solution for both their front-end clinical and back-end transcription needs. Click here to find out more.