Secondary Care

Worcestershire NHS Trust selects AI to tackle backlog of patient records

Nuance Communications has announced that Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has deployed Dragon Medical Network Edition to relieve clinicians’ growing administrative burden and support the mobility of its healthcare workforce out and about in the community.

The deployment – following the Trust being granted Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) funding to invest in digital and technology investments – aims to improve working practices for staff and front-line care for patients. The roll-out of the technology will act as a tool to reduce clinical documentation workloads, support remote working, eliminate the backlog of reporting associated with detailed patient records and replace legacy, analogue dictation workflows to free up healthcare employees to focus on patient care.

Karen Edwards, Occupational Therapist (OT) at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust says: “The mountain of admin became oppressive to the point I just didn’t want to do the job anymore. Then we deployed Dragon Medical speech recognition and I caught up with a backlog of two years’ worth of clinical records in just three weeks.”

David Brown, IT director at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, was the driving force behind the Trust’s successful GDE funding application. “The Dragon Medical deployment has marked many positive improvements for our clinicians, including significantly enhancing workforce productivity and mobility.

“The move to clinical speech recognition has transformed our clinical documentation strategy – freeing up clinicians and even providing secure access to patient records on the go.  We hope that other Trusts can learn from this process, ensuring patients and staff alike can benefit from more timely, accurate and efficient patient records.”

Dr Simon Wallace, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Nuance, said: “Against a multitude of challenges – from budget constraints to an aging population – the NHS’ dedicated healthcare professionals work to deliver world-class patient services.

“However, our health system still needs to improve clinical documentation processes to underpin better patient care – an example set by Worcester with this latest announcement. Digital clinical documentation is vitally important in tracking any patient’s journey, but more patients means more patient records. Intelligent systems that help clinicians naturally document care – so they can focus on patients – are essential to optimise clinical and financial outcomes and are set to make significant impact in the industry.”