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UVMC Advances Imaging Services with Voice Recognition System

Voice RecognitionA new voice recognition system is enabling the UVMC Imaging/Radiology Department to produce highly accurate patient reports in less time than ever before.

The Power Scribe System from Nuance was purchased by Upper Valley Medical Center and implemented in mid-February.  This was a collaborative project between UVMC Imaging, Transcription and Management Information Systems departments.

“The entire team came together and brought the system up in a pretty aggressive time frame,” said Jacqui Rose, Administrative Director of Imaging Services. 

There were several goals set for the project which were exceeded in the first month, she said.

The team of radiologists worked behind the scenes to prepare for the implementation. “They were key to making this project successful. They have to use it, understand it, and embrace it because it changes their work flow dramatically,” Rose said.

When using the voice recognition system, the radiologist selects a patient study which automatically initiates Power Scribe. Prior to this system, the radiologist would swipe a barcode and dictate a patient’s information. The new system removes manual steps, thus reducing the potential for human error.

“It is a great patient safety feature which is embedded directly into the system. Once they pull up the patient (images), they simply begin talking. When they are finished, they click a button and the report appears in front of them,” Rose said.  At this point, the radiologist can make any needed changes and approve the report. 

Through interfaced systems, the completed report is sent to the physician who referred the patient.  If a study is complex, the report can be sent to a transcriptionist, who listens to the dictated words and reviews the report.  They can modify the report, as needed and return it electronically to the radiologist for approval. 

Under the former system, the radiologist’s recording was sent to a transcriptionist for processing and returned to the radiologist for review and approval.

The ultimate goal of the new system is improved customer satisfaction for physicians and patients.  “Our physicians have noticed dramatic improvement on our turn around time,” Rose said. 

A time study showed the turnaround time for reports on outpatient tests decreased 65 percent and inpatient tests by 55 percent when the voice recognition system was implemented.  “The success of the voice recognition project is due to our radiologists who encourage and support decreased report turn around time and increased customer satisfaction,” she said. 

Dr. James Frost, Medical Director of Imaging Services at UVMC stated, “While there was a moderate learning curve to use the system efficiently, it has made an important improvement in the quality and rapidity of getting imaging reports out to physicians.” 

“The support and cooperation of the UVMC Medical Staff is key to our ability to successfully integrate important advancements such as this,” said Michael J. Maiberger, UVMC president and CEO.  “We are most appreciative of their dedication and willingness to work collaboratively with our staffs on projects that promote quality, cost-effective patient-centered care.”   

Not only has the voice recognition helped speed up reports, but it also helped eliminate outsourcing of reports by the transcription department. As of March, outsourcing costs were eliminated, Rose said. 

Upper Valley Medical Center is the first of the Premier Health Partners hospitals to go live with the voice recognition system. 

“This has been a great project.  The radiologists and the implementation team have made it a tremendous success,” Rose said.