By David Bicknell
A recent survey of the technology being considered by NHS trusts includes digital dictation systems which are being used to cut the backlog of transcription files and to help trusts meet their patient discharge targets.
Typically, trusts, although they have experienced secretarial teams, struggle to get on top of the sheer volume of dictation transcriptions channelled in from hospital departments. That volume itself can cause a backlog and delay to the turning around of transcriptions.
One trust, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, used a solution from V7 Technology to cure its transcripti0n headache, clearing 50% of the backlog from 10 departments in 3 weeks. In 5 remaining departments, where there was the greatest backlog, outstanding transcriptions were reduced by 70% over the same period.
I recently learned that V7 Technology has now created an app-based digital dictation system for BlackBerry smartphones, which allows users to dictate documents and thoughts in real-time through the Cloud, and have them immediately available for transcription. The system, called Yodal, also allows users to edit the recording and include metadata such as comments, references and instructions.
The recordings can be streamed from anywhere in the world and sent securely – a benefit of the BlackBerry environment – to PAs, secretaries and transcriptionists. Costs for Yodal are £50 per user as part of a fully packaged service that includes including free transcription software. Android and iPhone based solutions are now under development, and the solution is applicable to a range of fee-earning professionals, including accountants, lawyers and surveyors.
As well as Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which is implementing the Yodal BlackBerry mobile solution, users also include Top 10 legal aid firm EBR Attridge, which estimates it will save nearly £10,000 in hardware and software costs over three years.
Dr Ian Douglas, consultant in palliative medicine at Princess of Wales Community Hospital said, “Yodal allows me to get as near as possible to making contemp0raneous notes from all settings in which I work, in particular when I am seeing people at home and on the wards in an acute hospital when access to other existing clinical systems is very difficult due to either the environment o0f the practical difficulties of 3G from people’s homes or my car. I would recommend this option to other clinicians who are asked to work in a mobile way from multiple sites.”