Creating system unity
Soliton Workflow Manager with Nuance speech recognition has been implemented for 15 radiologists at Nambour. Centrally installed and managed, the system was expanded into Caloundra Hospital and Gympie Hospital, so that more than 100 doctors are working with Soliton Workflow Manager powered by the Nuance speech technology.
A key benefit is the HL7 interface to the Radiology Information System (RIS) and the desktop integration with the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) which eliminates what David Ward says once was “the number one big issue for potential inaccuracy”: the possibility of a medical secretary typing the wrong report for the wrong patient.
“Thanks to the [Soliton’s] desktop integration with the PACS and RIS, image, report and patient file are one single unit and it is virtually impossible to mix them up.”, David underlines.
Radiologists are given the choice between digital dictation and front-end speech recognition. Latter provides great relief during weekend-shifts, as instant report creation by the doctor is possible.
“We have fairly young radiologists accustomed to operating a mouse. They are heavy users of the speech recognition system and encourage other to come on board. We didn’t have any acceptance problems,” says David.
What surprised David Ward the most, was the ability of the Nuance speech recognition engine to learn and adapt to the users – which constantly improves recognition accuracy and is the basis for developing a site-specific vocabulary and understanding.
Factual decision support
“Over the last 30 years the job of radiologist was to dictate reports. I wasn’t involved in dealing with the patient conditions before,” says Ward.
Today, they have multi-disciplinary team meetings in which radiologists get together with surgeons, technologists or medical students to discuss a patient and decide on treatment options.
“If there is a report on the system from 10 am, it can be discussed in the team meeting that same day,” says David Ward.
CT reports for example, are always prioritised.
“CT reports are often used for clinical decision making – more so than plain films. With CT, but also Ultrasound, clinicians are more dependent on radiology knowledge – the interpretation is essential”, explains Ward.
Thanks to speech recognition, all Ultrasounds dictated up to 3pm have reports attached on the same day.
“The system is working fantastically well, the features and the improved integration is making everyone’s life so much easier”, concludes Ward.